By Paolo Pagcanlungan
If I could describe a night at the premiere of Frozen II in my first 4DX experience, it would be with the title of the flagship single of the Frozen II soundtrack, “Into the Unknown.” I sat in my comfortable seat as the theatre got dark and was whisked away. The movie? Magical. The 4DX experience? A little random, to be honest. Before I go on, I will place my spoiler warning for you right… here.
© Youtube | Walt Disney Animation Studios
As someone who grew up a Disney kid, but wouldn’t really ever put the Frozen franchise in any ‘Top 5 Disney’ list, I can confidently say the movie is worth a visit to your nearest theatre. Olaf, in my opinion, is ever more playful and a character that all ages can enjoy. Another fan favorite character performs a nice throwback surprise that older generations may catch. The two main stars/sisters grow deeper in their characters. And to top it all off, the visuals are nothing short of stunning. An animation project’s biggest flex is always shown in its display of water, but don’t take my word for it – soak it up for yourself.
I will admit that the original Frozen soundtrack is still far more replay-worthy than Frozen II, but at the same token, re-state that “Into the Unknown” is a banger. Some people have mixed feelings about how the indigenous influence is weaved not only in the storyline, but also in the music – I, for one, am here for it. The soundtrack is similar to the movie in that it’s not a shining example of Disney’s best work, but that it is heartwarming and gets the job done.
When it comes to the 4DX Experience, however, the slope gets slippery. The seats are comfortable and the viewing not an eye-sore, but the 4DX effects made for the movie were overall distracting. Between the air blowing in your face as it occurred in the movie and the chair rumbling while the animals galloped onscreen, the addition of these treatments to the theatre experience felt unnecessary. In addition, the 3D experience is one that I find can also be improved (why the tree branches were made 3D in one scene and not in the next is a question I would rather not ponder). One part of the 4DX experience that I did enjoy was (SPOILER ALERT!) the fireworks that flashed in my peripherals as they occurred in the film, although this might just be because I love fireworks in the first place. Does this idea of creating a virtual experience in film have potential to successfully entertain people? I still think so; it just has to be done in a timely way that shows a decision like spraying water in my face has a nuanced meaning and does not feel like it’s part of an experimental entertainment exercise.
Editor’s Note: This experience was sponsored by 4DX.