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What the critics are saying about Frozen 2

Frozen warmed enough hearts that critics and young audiences alike just couldn't seem to let it go. Luckily for Disney, it looks likes critics are mostly feeling the same way about the film's upcoming sequel, Frozen II

The long-anticipated follow-up to what was once the highest-grossing — and is now just the second top-earning— animated movie of all time had its star-studded premiere in Los Angeles on Thursday, November 7. A movie six years in the making, the latest enchanting adventure of sisters Anna (Kristen Bell) and the Snow Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel) saw Hollywood creatives and entertainment critics come out in droves to get the first look at the film. 

While the enchanting fantasy flick — which follows the sisters as they and their friends travel far from the kingdom of Arendelle to find the source of Elsa's powers — isn't slated for release until November 22, critics in attendance have already taken to social media to share their initial reactions. And it all seems to point to yet another animated hit for Disney. 

The general consensus from those with premiere invites point to a follow-up that's creatively competitive with the original, a film that quickly became both an award-winning animated classic and pop cultural phenomenon. Frozen II's songs and visuals especially have received considerable praise. 

Mashable deputy entertainment editor Angie J. Han acknowledged that the Frozen sequel exists in part simply because of the financial success of the first film. Still, Han said that doesn't take away from what the second installment, set three years after the first movie, does right. Among these things are new songs and an adorable new character. As Han tweeted, "#Frozen2 seems to exist primarily bc box office for Frozen 1 demanded a sequel, but there's still plenty to love here: eye-popping fantasy sequences, nice moments for your faves, LOTS of new songs incl the earworm-y 'Into the Unknown,' and an unbearably cute new critter."

Jason GuerrasioBusiness Insider's senior entertainment reporter, called Frozen II "a worthy sequel" that offers up some truly "breathtaking" animation. He added, "Elsa rides a water horse and it's breathtaking. The song 'Into the Unknown' is primed to be 'Let It Go'-like addictive (sorry parents). And there's even an '80s ballad... sung [by] Weezer in the end credits! Get ready!!!"

When the social embargo for Frozen II lifted after the film's screening, critic Clayton Davis took to Twitter and shared how profoundly impacted he was by the film's messages, particularly as a father watching with his daughter. "#Frozen2 embarks as not just an evolution of its characters, but it sincerely acknowledges that it's fanbase has grown over the last 6 years, and they have new things to learn in a changing world. Songs are plentiful. Beautiful shots at times. It was something I REALLY needed," Davis wrote.

It's a level of emotional resonance Alisha Grauso, an editorial lead at Atom Tickets, said actually brought her to tears. Part of that emotional reaction was due to the film's focus on female empowerment, for which the original was also praised. She tweeted after seeing the film, "#Frozen2 is breathtakingly beautiful and leans in on empowerment for its characters. I cried at least 3 times. From the story to the last thread on Elsa's dress, the care and love put into it shows. And, good news, every one of Team Elsa gets at least one solo this time around."

The DisInsider's editor-in-chief Skyler Shuler went perhaps the farthest of any other journalist, proclaiming that the Elsa, Anna, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad), and Sven reunion was better than the record-smashing Frozen. Schuler even provided a warning for parents who are still getting over the infectious love of "Let It Go."

"I can't believe I am saying this, but FROZEN 2 is better than its predecessor," Shuler tweeted. "Darker, a little more mature, but still an excellent film for families, the songs believe it or not are catchier, so parents beware." 

Most Frozen 2 reactions have been positive, but some point to a plot issue

While many early reactions have been highly positive, some have noted that Frozen II's plot and other elements simply don't stand up to those of its predecessor. 

Among the critics who have been, well, more critical of Frozen II is Alison Foreman. Another Mashable reporter in attendance at the Frozen II premiere, Foreman gave the film props despite it not having the same magic of the first movie, at least in her eyes: "Just got out of #Frozen2! It doesn't capture all the magic of the first, but it's got: Elsa in a wetsuit, Anna ugly crying, Sven ugly crying, Kristoff singing a '90s rock ballad, Olaf at his wisest, and... THIS GOOD BOY!! (We must protect him at all costs.)"

For critics like Joey Magidson of The Awards Circuit and Scott Menzel, the editor-in-chief of We Live Entertainment, Frozen II couldn't quite reach the quality delivery of the 2013 movie. 

For Magidson in particular, the plot is where it all fell a bit short: "#Frozen2 has some incredibly ethereal animation (and what they do with water is incredible), along with very solid songs, but the story didn't enchant me nearly as much this time around. It's good, but the first one was great." 

As for Menzel, he tweeted, "Frozen 2 loses some of the magic of the original but its soundtrack is surprisingly superior. Kristoff, Sven, & Olaf standout even though the script leaves Anna & Elsa out in the cold. It is a decent sequel but definitely a step down from the first."

Ashley Menzel, who's part of the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society, echoed Magidson's feelings. She even countered Davis' praise of an aged-up story, stating that the animated production's shift in its target demographic actually hurts the movie: "Frozen 2 creates musical magic, but story wise, doesn't quite reach the level of the original. Olaf is certainly the highlight of the film & brings much needed levity to a pretty dark film. It feels like it is for a much older crowd than the target demo."

Critics who attended the Thursday-night west coast premiere of Frozen II have yet to release their full reviews of the film, which may shed a better light on what audiences should ultimately expect from the sequel. Looking at the handful of promising and praise-worthy social reviews already in, though, Disney just might have another billion-dollar box office smash on its hands. 

Frozen II will hit theaters on November 22.