A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lego Frozen Northern Lights is an animated follow-up to the popular 2013 Disney movie and features the same core cast, now designed like Lego characters. Obviously there's a commercial aspect to this new arrangement, as toys and books bearing the characters' images will be more visible to kids. Although Elsa and Anna have put the past to rest, there are lingering uncertainties for which they need each other, so messages about sibling relationships are evident. This story is less compelling than that of the feature-length movie, but it's lighthearted, humorous, and reminiscent enough of the original that kids especially will want to watch.
What's the story?
LEGO FROZEN NORTHERN LIGHTS follows royal sisters Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) on their journey to find the elusive aurora borealis, which is inexplicably invisible from their home kingdom of Arendelle. Joined by their friend Kristoff (Jonathan Groff); his reindeer, Sven (Groff again); and the ever-loyal snowman Olaf (Josh Gad), the two princesses clamor across snowy mountains in search of the northern lights. But with Elsa's ice powers on the fritz, the journey becomes surprisingly difficult.
Is it any good?
Lego works its now-familiar magic on these fan-favorite characters, adding block-inspired humor to the many movie throwbacks that maintain interest through a fairly mundane storyline. On the heels of Frozen's inspiring journey of self-awareness and a compelling sibling relationship, Lego Frozen Northern Lights is overly simplistic and at times feels more like a means to refreshing famous lines ("let it go," "the first time in forever," and "the cold never bothered me anyway" are cleverly placed in the dialogue) than a stand-alone hit. On the upside, the involvement of the original voice cast is a big plus.
That said, fans -- especially young ones -- will want to watch, and Lego Frozen Northern Lights will entertain them with many Olaf mishaps (made all the funnier now that he's made of blocks and a removable carrot nose) and some funny block humor. And though the plot languishes in spots, cameos from many of the movie's supporting characters help keep viewers' interest until the end.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Lego Frozen Northern Lights' messages about loyalty and friendship. Why are Kristoff and Olaf so willing to help Elsa and Anna on their difficult journey? Who are some of your best and most reliable friends?
Kids: Do you always get along with your brothers and sisters? What makes sibling relationships somewhat more challenging than friendships?
Do you like how these characters look in their Lego forms? What does this block format allow them to do that they otherwise couldn't? Does it make the show funnier than it would be if they were regular cartoons?
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