Frozen 2 is still in the pipeline, nearly five years after Frozen, the original 3-D animated fairy-tale film that focused on the adventures of sibling princesses Elsa and Anna, opened in theaters. Disney’s Frozen went on to become a blockbuster, earning more than $1.2 billion at the box office worldwide, making it the highest grossing animated film to date.
Although Frozen established itself as a global phenomenon, it remained unclear after its blockbuster run at the box office whether Disney had plans for a theatrically-released sequel. The doubt arose due to the fact that Disney has produced relatively few theatrically-released sequels to its animated films. However, Frozen fans continued to hope that Disney would make an exception for its biggest animated film ever.
The eventual official confirmation of Frozen 2 finally came on March 12, 2015, after persistent rumors and frustrating denials by Disney. The announcement came with very little information besides a confirmation that Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck were returning as directors, and Peter Del Vecho was returning as producer.
The production of Frozen 2 is underway, and when it opens in theaters in 2019, it will join an exclusive list of Disney’s theatrically-released animated sequels. The list includes Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-it Ralph 2, due to be released this fall ahead of the release of Frozen 2.
Expectations are very high for Frozen 2, being the sequel to the highest grossing animated film of all time. It remains to be seen whether the upcoming sequel lives up to the original. But meanwhile, Frozen fans just can’t wait to see the return of the princess of Arendelle and her friends.
Ahead of the release, here is a look at everything we know about Frozen 2.
Frozen 2 release date
On March 12, 2015, during Disney’s annual meeting of shareholders in San Francisco, CEO Bob Iger, chief creative officer John Lasseter, and actor Josh Gad (Olaf), confirmed that Frozen 2 was in development. The release date for the film, November 27, 2019, was announced a few weeks later.
November 27, 2019, falls on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in 2019. The date comes six years after the original Frozen film was released on November 27, 2013, the day before Thanksgiving.
The next major movie planned for release after Frozen 2 is Masters of the Universe, which Sony has confirmed will be released on December 18, 2019, only a day before Star Wars: Episode IX, currently set for release on December 19, 2019.
Frozen 2: Will the sequel live up to the legend of the original?
The Los Angeles Times reported on March 13, 2015, that the decision to proceed with a sequel to Frozen came after “considerable internal debate.” The decision was clearly influenced by the phenomenal success of the original.
“When we do a sequel, it is because the filmmakers who created the original have created an idea that is so good that it’s worthy of these characters,” Lasseter said.
“I think that the creative team is really taking their time to define how to top that story,” Gad told Coming Soon in July 2015. “The more I hear about it, the more excited I’m getting and I think it’s going to be wonderful.”
Director Chris Buck admitted in April 2015 that the creative team was under pressure to come up with a sequel that lives up to the legend of the original.
“How do we live up to the phenomenon of the first one? There’s a lot of pressure,” he said. “And we’ll put that on ourselves too; we’ll be very demanding about how good this one has to be.”
He also revealed that the creative team had brainstormed ideas for the ending of Frozen 2 and already had a clear vision of how they wanted the film to end.
In November 2015, during a visit to Duke University, Disney’s Peter Del Vecho said they took up the challenge of producing a fitting sequel to Frozen because they believed they had a good story to tell.
Bell commented in March 2016 that the team was determined to create a successful sequel to the original and that they were working hard to “figure out what story they needed to tell.”
Frozen 2 details
Lasseter confirmed in March 2015 that Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck were returning to direct Frozen 2.
Lee and Buck had co-written the original Frozen with Shane Morris. They also co-wrote and directed the animated short Frozen Fever (2015), while Lee co-wrote Zootopia (2016).
At last, I can say – FROZEN 2!!!! I'm beyond excited to create alongside my Frozen family! pic.twitter.com/Xgbt67QuGc
— Jennifer Lee (@alittlejelee) March 12, 2015
Frozen 2 voice recording started in September 2017, with Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, and Jonathan Groff doing their voice recordings for the film.
In August 2018, fans learned that Allison Schroeder, who received an Oscar nomination for her work on Pineapple Express (2008) and Hidden Figures (2016), had been hired to assist Lee in screenwriting duties after Lee was appointed as the head of Walt Disney Animation in place of Lasseter.
Lasseter was forced to step down following allegations of misconduct at work.
It was also confirmed that the husband and wife team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez would return to write the music for Frozen 2. The couple wrote the music for Frozen, including Let It Go, which earned them the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Kristen confirmed in March 2018 that she and her husband had already recorded a song for the sequel with Bell.
Disney announced in July 2017, at the D23 Expo, that Frozen 2 will have a new title when it opens in November 2019, but they did not reveal it. Since then, rumors have been swirling about the final official title for the movie. One rumor claims that the subtitle will be Strange Magic.
While the MPAA rating from Frozen 2 has not yet been confirmed, the original Frozen was rated PG, so it is likely that the sequel Frozen 2 will have the same rating.
Frozen 2 cast
The main characters and their voice actors are returning for the sequel. Idina Menzel is returning as Elsa, Kristen Bell as Anna, and Jonathan Groff as Kristoff.
Josh Gad is also returning to voice the enchanted snowman, Olaf.
We don’t know for sure that Hans (Santino Fontana) — the prince who wanted to marry Anna to gain the throne– will return, but multiple sources claim he will return and get a chance to rehabilitate himself.
Similarly, Alan Tudyk will likely return as Duke of Weselton, but it has not been confirmed.
Bell hinted that Frozen 2 will have at least two new characters, but she carefully avoided giving any specifics. However, it was announced in July 2018 that Evan Rachel Wood and Sterling K. Brown were joining the cast in unspecified roles.
Wood appears as Dolores Abernathy in Westworld (2016- ) and as Gabi Ibanescu in Charlie Countryman (2013), while Brown appears as Randall Pearson in This is Us (2016- ).
The news that Brown was joining the cast of Frozen 2 came after he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor for his portrayal of Randall Pearson in This Is Us.
Anderson-Lopez hinted in March 2018 that instead of the trolls that appeared in the original movie, Frozen 2 may feature the “hidden folk” who first appeared in Frozen the Musical on Broadway.
“We’ve thought a lot more about those hidden folk,” she said told Variety in an interview. “That’s all I’m going to say.”
Frozen 2 trailer
No trailer has been released for the upcoming Frozen 2. We will update our readers as soon as teaser clips and the first official trailer for the animation film are released.
Frozen 2 plot
Fans still have a long wait ahead before Frozen 2 hits theaters, and we currently know very little about the plot. But we can expect more official disclosures as the November 27, 2019 release date approaches.
Following the phenomenal success of Frozen, expectations for the sequel are extremely high. The creative team is aware that a lot is at stake as critics and fans express concerns that Frozen 2 may not live up to the original. Some of the returning voice actors, including Kristen Bell, have tried to reassure fans.
“The story is great… It took them a while because they wanted to figure out what story they needed to tell and what would be important and engaging and I think they found it,” Bell told Collider.
Director Buck hinted during a 2015 interview with Jane Hutcheon on One Plus One that they started building the storyline by considering the type of ending they envisioned for the film.
Buck also warned fans to expect major changes in the circumstances of Elsa, Anna, and Olaf. He promised that fans will see more of the fun side of Elsa in Frozen 2. Based on Buck’s comment, fans can expect to meet a happier Elsa after ascending to the throne of Arendelle.
“She had such a dramatic journey, and at the end she’s just starting to feel like she can open up and have some fun again,” Buck said in an August 2015 interview with Fandango. “That’s what was really good about [Frozen Fever] – we could have fun with Elsa. And that personality… you will see in the next one.”
Gad told Cinemablend in 2016 that he would like to see a more mature version of the child-like Olaf.
Olaf’s role was primarily to provide comic relief, but the fact that he got his own movie, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (released on November 22, 2017), was a testimony to his popularity. And if, as widely believed, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure bridges the gap between Frozen and Frozen 2, specifically with regard to character development, then we could see him playing a more important and possibly more mature role in the upcoming sequel.
Current theories about Frozen 2 storyline include a love story for Olaf. A fan theory suggests that Anna and Elsa will discover they are not really biological sisters, and Frozen 2 plotline will explore how the shocking revelation affects their relationship, leading to a happy ending for all.
Others theories suggest that Prince Hans will have a change of heart and that a female villain will join the character cast.
Regardless, there is a consensus that while the original Frozen was based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, the creative team will attempt to strike out on their own this time around and try to create a unique plot and story. We may have seen the first hints of the new progression in Frozen Fever, in which Elsa uses her magic powers to set up a fun birthday party for Anna. She demonstrates new magical powers, such as conjuring new dresses for herself and her sister. She also creates “snowgies” (tiny snowmen).
It was Anna, instead of Elsa, who played the traditional Disney love story role by falling in love with Kristoff. Anna’s relationship with Kristoff could deepen in Frozen 2. Kristoff and his reindeer, Sven, could, therefore, play an important role in Frozen 2, alongside Anna and Elsa.
However, fans are hoping to see the romantic side of Elsa, given that she had no love interest or romance in the original film.
There were rumors that Elsa’s character will be a lesbian, with a girlfriend. While the lesbian plotline idea delighted some fans, others were not so pleased. However, Idina Menzel, who voices Elsa, came out in support, saying it was a great idea.
Lee responded with caution to calls for a lesbian Elsa.
“We have tons of conversations about it, and we’re really conscientious about these things,” Lee told Huffpo in February 2018. “Elsa’s every day telling me where she needs to go, and she’ll continue to tell us. I always write from character-out, and where Elsa is and what Elsa’s doing in her life, she’s telling me every day. We’ll see where we go.”
Although Lee’s comment suggested to some that she was open to the idea, the underlying equivocation suggests that Disney is not ready for an LGBT princess. It is unlikely that Disney, which prides itself as a family-friendly studio, will want to take the risk of displeasing the more socially conservative members of the audience.