The highly-anticipated sequel to one of Disney's biggest hits is taking over theaters, and you might be expecting more of the same.
You would be wrong — in the best way possible.
Remember back in 2013 when you brought your 6-year-old to see the first "Frozen"?
By now, your 12-year-old has lived twice the life that she had back then, and, let's face it, the things she's worried about now are leagues beyond what she cared about six years ago.
"Frozen" came onto the animated movie scene with its star-studded cast of Broadway singers and seasoned actors to immediately dominate box offices.
The instant classic raked in about $1.3 billion.
And you've probably heard "Let It Go" about 1.3 billion times since then.
But it's hard to get sick of it! The music is good, and there's a reason for that.
The voice behind Elsa, superstar Idina Menzel, was the same Tony-award-winning voice that originated both the role of Maureen Johnson in "Rent" and Elphaba in "Wicked" on Broadway.
And the others are also remarkably accomplished performers.
Jonathan Groff, who voices Kristoff, is a Tony-nominee and originated Melchior in "Spring Awakening" on Broadway.
Josh Gad, who voices Olaf, is also a Tony-nominee and recently brought "LeFou" to life in the live-action "Beauty and the Beast."
Kristen Bell, the voice of Anna, is the only one of the four never nominated for a Tony, but she remains a prolific actress. I adore her in the TV series "The Good Place," but she has many, many other credits to her name.
Still, here we are with "Frozen 2" dawning in theaters. It's easy to approach it with hesitation — sequel fatigue is very real — but, alas, Disney has pulled it off again.
See, the kids who saw "Frozen" in theaters are older and, like the breakout song of the movie, they're ready to burst forward "Into the Unknown" of their teenage years and the rest of their lives. They're smarter, and this movie not only recognizes that but celebrates it!
I won't lie. In the first flick, I found Olaf to be ... well, a lot.
This time around, I found him absolutely hilarious, because he too is getting older. While this wise-beyond-his-years Olaf pokes fun at a generation of kids-turned-young-adults, it also gives an earnest and honest portrayal of this weird thing called growing up.
Without spoiling much, there's even an absolutely incredible moment when "Let it Go" is referenced and our ice queen cringes.
The characters have matured, the problems have matured and the story has matured.
And, yeah, the singing's not bad either.
(Joke's aside, I'm adding "Into the Unknown" to my car playlist as we speak.)
It's been six long years since we first met Elsa, Anna, Olaf and Kristoff, and, let me tell you, "Frozen 2" was well worth the wait.
It might even be better than the first.
I give it 10 out of 10 reindeer.