Frozen II Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

In Frozen II the answer to why Elsa was born with magical powers is calling her and threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she sets out on a dangerous but remarkable journey. Ralph Potts reviews the Ultra HD Blu-ray release from Disney Home Entertainment.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

93

Details:

Studio and Year: Disney – 2019
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 103 minutes
Genre: Family

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, Spanish/French Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Kristin Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel, Jonathon Groff, Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Jeremy Sisto
Directed by: Jennifer Lee & Chris Buck
Music by: Christophe Beck
Written by: Jennifer Lee
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: February 25, 2020

“Into the Unknown!”

Synopsis:

“In Frozen II, the answer to why Elsa was born with magical powers is calling her and threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she sets out on a dangerous but remarkable journey.” – Disney Home Entertainment

My Take:

Venturing into the unknown, even for a strong queen like Elsa, calls for courage, passion, grit, imagination—and a little magic.

Elsa has a gift—the power to create ice and snow. She’s only recently learned how to control her magic, and only recently revealed her powers to her kingdom after years of keeping them hidden for fear she’d be persecuted for her differences. So, no matter how happy Elsa is to finally embrace her powers and be with her sister, Anna, their friends and the people of Arendelle, she finds herself unsettled. When Elsa hears a voice calling that no one else can hear, she tries to ignore it, but is ultimately drawn to it in the hopes of discovering why she is the way she is.

The answers promised by the calling also threaten the kingdom and everything Elsa and Anna ever wanted—including the bond between them. So, when Elsa faces a dangerous journey into the unknown to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond Arendelle, Anna is determined to go with her, be by her sister’s side, and help uncover the mystery—along with Kristoff, Olaf and Sven. In “Frozen,” Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In “Frozen 2,” she must hope they are enough.

Frozen II is the sequel to 2014’s Frozen and is an American Fairytale/animated musical that is reminiscent of films like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the beast but with a contemporary flavor. Much like its predecessor, this is a cute, funny and adventurous animated film that features modern themed humor, a typically heartwarming story and a cache of entertaining characters.

In the first film Anna and Kristoff get the lion’s share of screen time. I like the fact that in this sequel we get more focus on Elsa and the adventure to discover the origins of her powers. Anna and Kristoff have a part to play as well but, more so as part and parcel. Of course, Olaf and Sven, along with a few new characters are along for the journey as well. As we have come to expect from Disney there is a variety of music set pieces featured in the story. I can’t say that all stood out for me but I really enjoyed the “Into the Unknown” number which is beautifully arranged and performed.

The script is nicely balanced and offers up a good mix of drama, action and perfectly integrated humor. The beautifully crafted digital imagery lends to the entertainment value and the cast as you might expect is well placed. Kristin Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad reprise their roles while newcomers Evan Rachel Wood and Sterling K. Brown are splendid in their supporting roles.

Being a big kid at heart I love the adventurous escapism of fairytales and Disney has a knack for engaging storytelling and charming characters. There is always something memorable to take away from them which I am sure is something that Walt himself aspired to.

Frozen II like its predecessor, is simply lots of fun and makes for terrific family entertainment that has a little something for everyone.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for action/peril and some thematic elements.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights: 
  • HDR: Bright Highlights: 
  • HDR: Expanded Color: 
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

Dolby Atmos Rating: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
  • Soundstage integration: 
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  • Effectiveness of Atmos platform: 
  • Entertainment factor: 

Frozen II comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Disney featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

I watched the Blu-ray version of Frozen II first, so going into viewing the Ultra HD presentation it’s 1080p video quality was still fresh in my mind. Digital animation tends to look quite good in high definition so I couldn’t help but have preconceived notions regarding a positive viewing experience of this film in Ultra HD. Frozen II is rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K.

In terms of resolution the differences are apparent as there is a noticeably finer texture in the minutia, especially in the characteristics/physical makeup of the characters. This also applied to backgrounds, the Enchanted Forest, cave (where Olaf and Anna wind up), and streets of Arendelle, for instance, which emphasized depth of field. The image has lots of pop as the expanded color gamut and emboldened dynamic range draw out the chromatic palate, and use of contrast. Whites are gradational and bright and the monochromatic grays, blues and black featured in the sequences that take place at night, or with limited lighting, are multi-staged and dimensional in appearance.

The application of HDR added a complimentary and defining element that proved eye-catching. Elsa’s music number “Into the Unknown” looked dazzling. The scene later where she attempts to cross the Dark Sea is another example where deep, shadowy backgrounds offset by specular highlights looked terrific. As good as Frozen II looks in 1080p, the Ultra HD rendering, while not heads and shoulders above it, takes it to another level, entirely, making for a visually engaging and pleasing video presentation.

Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that makes steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix of atmospherics, music, and discrete sound effects. This is done very well and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. The mix effectively places effects/sounds within the soundstage which place you within the scene, in turn, adding an enriching element that heightens the intended feeling like something is passing overhead, traveling through the room, or emanating from a specific location.

There are ample times where near field objects, and multi-staged atmospherics places you inside the scene as sounds rotate and revolve around the sound field from both above and at ear level. While this is not what I would regard as an aggressive Atmos mix, it is an active one, that complimented the source material and made for an entertaining listening experience.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

Audio: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): 

Frozen II comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound.

This is an excellent video presentation that boasts vibrant colors that are rich in saturation and bold in depth. Detail rendering is terrific as the video has three-dimensional quality with crisp texture and excellent fine articulation. Contrast is boldly applied, whites are crisp, and colors pop without distortion or loss of detail. Blacks are deep with excellent dynamic and enriching gradational highlights. This is a beautiful and pristine quality digital transfer that sparkles on Blu-ray.

The 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack makes for a rewarding home theater experience. Dynamics are solid, providing the elements contained within the recording with definitive energy and potent impact. Christophe Beck’s music score plays an integral role in this presentation and the entire surround platform is used to present the instrumental performance.

Dialog is crystalline with appreciable tonal inflection and non-sibilant vocal character. The auditory is rich in clarity and detail which allows the subtle environmental sounds in the recording to easily be heard. The mix creates an immersive surround sound experience that achieves excellent balance which correlates nicely with the events transpiring onscreen. Low frequency effects are solid and when called upon engage the room with palpable low-level bass. This is an involving surround sound mix that makes for an entertaining audio presentation. Be sure to give the volume knob a few extra clicks.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Frozen II Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Frozen II Blu-ray
    • Sing-Along Version of the Movie – Sing along with your favorite songs as you watch the movie.
    • Song Selection – Jump to your favorite musical moments, with on-screen lyrics. Songs include Oscar®-nominated “Into The Unknown,” “All Is Found,” “Some Things Never Change,” “When I Am Older,” “Lost in the Woods,” “Show Yourself,” and “The Next Right Thing”
    • Outtakes – Laugh along with the cast of “Frozen 2” as they record their lines, sing their songs and have fun in the recording booth.
    • Deleted Scenes – Check out a few scenes that never made the final cut.
    o Intro – Directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck offer a glimpse into their filmmaking process with scenes that didn’t make the final cut.
    o Prologue – A battle rages between Arendelle and the Northuldra while a mysterious figure challenges King Agnarr.
    o Secret Room – A secret room reveals even more of Anna and Elsa’s past, including a shocking revelation about their mother.
    o Elsa’s Dream – Anna’s playful glimpse into Elsa’s dream takes a dark turn.
    o Hard Nokks – Kristoff reveals his true feelings about life in Arendelle when the Nokk won’t take no for an answer.
    o A Place of Our Own – Elsa uses her magic to relieve Anna’s lingering doubts about their parents’ faith in her.
    • Deleted Songs – When it comes to “Frozen 2,” there can never be too much music. Hear some of the songs that got cut from the final film.
    o Intro – Directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck revel in the chance to share a few songs that didn’t make it into the final film.
    o “Home” – Anna savors every moment as she wanders through this kingdom she calls home.
    o “I Wanna Get This Right” – Kristoff wants everything to be perfect before he proposes, leaving Anna to wonder, “Will it ever be just right?”
    • The Spirits of “Frozen 2” – Cast and crew explore the Scandinavian and Nordic mythology that inspired the spirits inhabiting the enchanted forest of “Frozen 2.”
    • Did You Know??? – Olaf asks us the question “Did You Know” as we discover “Frozen 2” fun facts, Easter eggs and tidbits about the making of the film.
    • Scoring a Sequel – Composer Christophe Beck combines a 91-piece orchestra with 30 choral voices to create the compelling score for “Frozen 2.”
    • Gale Tests – They say you can’t see the wind. Only its effects. Filmmakers give it a shot while creating the playful wind spirit, Gale.
    o Gale Test – A young girl and boy play tag in this fully animated effort to “give personality to something that’s invisible.”
    o Hand-Drawn Gale Test – A hand-drawn test to bring the precocious wind spirit to life.
    • Multi-Language Reel
    o “Into the Unknown” in 29 Languages – Hear Elsa’s soaring call to adventure in 29 different languages
    • Music Videos – Weezer and Panic! at the Disco lend their voices to a few of the soaring melodies from “Frozen 2.”
    o “Into the Unkown” (Panic! at the Disco version) – Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie stars in their version of “Into The Unknown” from “Frozen 2.”
    o “Lost in the Woods” (Weezer version) – Weezer puts their spin on Kristoff’s epic ballad, “Lost In the Woods.”
  • Digital Code

Final Thoughts:

Frozen II doesn’t quite reach as high as its predecessor but, nonetheless, is a charming and heartwarming Disney animated film that makes for pitch perfect family entertainment. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Disney Home Entertainment featuring excellent Ultra HD quality, sparkling high definition video, gratifying lossless surround sound, including a complimentary Dolby Atmos mix, and a fan friendly assortment of extras that are worth exploring. Frozen II is pitch perfect family entertainment that comes recommended on Blu-ray.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman color calibration software and Portrait Displays C6 HDR2000 colorimeter from Portrait.com)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/Roomie Remote V6 Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems