'Frozen 2' Early Buzz: Not As Good As The First, But The Dazzling Visuals And Great Songs Make Up For It

Disney heads into the unknown with Frozen II, its first theatrical sequel to one of its biggest hits. Before Frozen II, most of the beloved Disney animated movies would receive at least one direct-to-video sequel or maybe a TV spin-off. But the incredible success of 2013's Frozen almost necessitated a sequel that could once again tap into Elsa-mania with the help of brand new songs by Oscar-winning songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and the return of Idina Menzel's soaring vocals. And, according to critics who got the chance to see the highly anticipated sequel early, that's exactly where Frozen II succeeds.

Critics praised the dazzling visuals and the undeniably catchy songs of the new film, but questioned whether Frozen II needs to exist at all — aside from being a surefire box office hit. See what critics are saying in the Frozen 2 early buzz below.

Despite the return of the original cast — which in addition to Menzel, includes Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad — and the first film's directors Chris Buck and Jennifer LeeFrozen II can't quite capture the magic of the original, a few critics said. But they still praised the "eye-popping visuals" and a few new songs that could even surpass the original's songs.

A few critics were even warmer to the movie, arguing that Frozen II is better than the original by taking its characters on a darker, more complex evolution. The film's story is darker and bigger, which could challenge some younger fans of the original.

While critics are divided on whether Frozen II is better than the 2013 original, or even whether it warrants its own existence, it seems the sequel will be a major success thanks to its incredible visuals and show-stopping numbers. Spreading the solo songs out among the main cast seems to be a good call, especially the solo for Jonathan Groff, who received the most praise of returning cast members among the early buzz.

Frozen II opens in theaters on November 22, 2019.

Why was Elsa born with magical powers? What truths about the past await Elsa as she ventures into the unknown to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond Arendelle? The answers are calling her but also threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she'll face a dangerous but remarkable journey. In "Frozen," Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In "Frozen 2," she must hope they are enough.