Frozen was the biggest movie that the animation division of Disney had seen in a very long time. Between the fact that the film put a major twist on the princess tropes that Disney themselves had helped to create, and the fact that the movie had that song you couldn't escape, Frozen was absolutely everywhere. While Disney Animation frequently avoids making theatrical sequels to their animated movies, it was obvious that if an exception was going to be made, Frozen would be it, and after rumors implied one was probably happening, it was eventually confirmed to be on its way.
Here's a breakdown of everything we know about Frozen II so far, starting with a look at the exciting first official trailer for the upcoming hit!
The tone is probably a bit more epic and tense than most people were expecting, but that only makes us that much more excited to see what is coming when the film finally arrives. The trailer doesn't give away a great deal of the film's story, but it does give hints, and when we combine those hints with everything else that has been revealed, the picture becomes a bit clearer.
Frozen II was originally set for release on November 27, 2019. This is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in 2019, which is a release date that Disney has had nailed down for years. It's the same spot where the original Frozen was released back in 2013.
However, Disney recently decided to move Frozen II up and the film is now set for release on November 22, the previous Friday. No major tentpole releases were planned for that weekend and so Disney apparently decided to give itself the extra weekend to so that Frozen II would have possible chance. At this point the only other major releases set for November are the Charlie's Angels reboot and the next Terminator movie. Both will be released the first weekend of November, leaving things open for Frozen 2 to take over the box office until Star Wars: Episode IX hits in December.
This early it's impossible to know what the MPAA rating of Frozen II will be, but the studio's recent efforts, including the original Frozen, have been rated PG rather than the more traditional G, and there's a good chance that Frozen II will follow suit. And, it's a safe bet we won't see anything beyond PG. Disney Animation has never gone that far before, and we wouldn't expect Disney to do anything that might cause families to reconsider which members should be attending the film.
Frozen II is set to be co-directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck. This will be good news for Frozen fans as it means both of the directors of the original Frozen will be making their return. Chris Buck has been very Frozen focused since the original film, with his other major project in the intervening years being the writing and directing of the Frozen Fever animated short.
Jennifer Lee has been a bit busier since the original Frozen, while she co-write and directed Frozen Fever as well, she also co-wrote the story for Disney's other recent smash hit, Zootopia, and she also wrote the screenplay for the adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. This may be Lee's final gig as a director as she was named the head of Walt Disney Animation Studios following the departure of John Lasseter, so those duties may take her away from hands-on film making.
Jennifer Lee wrote the original screenplay for the first Frozen and, based on comments from Kristen Bell, it appears she was involved in writing the sequel as well. However, officially, the only screenplay credit Frozen 2 has belongs to Allison Schroeder. Schroeder was previously nominated for an Oscar for her work on the screenplay for Hidden Figures and she also previously worked with Disney as part of the team that wrote the live-action Winnie the Pooh movie, Christopher Robin. We do know that the songs for the new film will be written by the same husband and wife team of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez who wrote the music for the first film and brought us the epic "Let it Go."
The new trailer is very careful not to reveal too much about the actual story of Frozen II. We see our group of heroes, Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven going on some sort of journey together, though where they're headed and why we aren't told. The one hint the trailer does give are these crystals that we briefly see in the trailer. They appear to be surrounding Anna and she is clearly distressed by them. They also show up in the sequel's first poster. We don't know what they are, but they're important.
Chris Buck has said that we'll see more of Elsa enjoying her new found freedom, something that was touched on in the Frozen Fever short. In addition, Josh Gad has said he would like to see Olaf grow up a bit, since he is essentially a child in the first film and should hopefully mature, at least a bit, in between films. Kristen Bell has said her own personal struggles as her life changed helped inform the next stage of Anna's character growth as well.
In the first Frozen, we watched Elsa ascend to the throne of Arendelle and come to terms with her magical abilities. There really wasn't anything specifically set up for Elsa to do next, so while she'll almost certainly take a lead role in the new film, who knows what she'll be doing. She currently stands as one of the few Disney heroines who doesn't have a romance during her film, so, perhaps, that will happen here. If it does, there's a significant contingent of fans who would love to see Elsa's love interest be female. Considering the way the original Frozen was willing to go against Disney's own established traditions, perhaps they'd be willing to take this major step as well, one that we're sure will happen one day.
The first trailer opens with Elsa fighting against the waves, though for what purpose we don't know. She's clearly focused and determined. This is a side of Elsa we didn't really see in the first film. She has a strength of Will that is driving her forward which will likely carry the entire movie.
Much like her sister, we see a very different Anna in the Frozen II trailer than we saw in the first film. In the clip's final seconds, we see Anna grab Kristoff's sword and swing it at something or someone coming up behind them. She doesn't hesitate and really seems to know how to use the weapon. While we mostly see Anna and Elsa together in the trailer, we also see Anna by herself, making a leap of faith over a large gap between rocks.
Anna was, possibly, the more interesting princess in the original Frozen. She is, at least, the one who fell in love with a character she just met, in traditional Disney fashion, though, by the end, it was her act of true love that broke the spell that was hurting her. At the film's close, Anna and Kristoff had begun a relationship. Depending on how much time will have passed between Frozen and Frozen II we could see that relationship become more serious, or, if they want to drive home the idea that the pair are taking it slow, we could see them together, but without making the relationship itself important to the story.
Olaf took center stage a couple of years ago as the lead character in the holiday special Olaf's Frozen Adventure. When it comes to Disney sidekick characters Olaf is pretty popular. In the first film, he was solid comic relief without being over the top or childish. Could Olaf taking on a larger role in the holiday special be an indication that he'll be more important in the theatrical sequel?
If that's the case, the trailer hides it well, as we barely see the walking snowman at all. He appears a couple of times, but the trailer never focuses on him at all.
One of the never answered questions in Frozen is why Elsa's magic has the power to give Olaf life. If that question is in any way at the center of the film's plot, it could very likely mean that Olaf will be quite important.
The other two characters that we know we'll see in Frozen 2 are Kristoff and his reindeer Sven. Much like Olaf, the pair are largely relegated to the sidelines of the new trailer. However, one of the more epic moments that we do see includes Kristoff riding Sven and leading a charging herd of other reindeer. Sven, like everybody else in the trailer, looks incredibly serious and determined. Is he riding to somebody's rescue? We'll just have to wait and see.
We do know from what Kristen Bell told us that Frozen II will include a pair of brand new characters, though she was certainly tight-lipped about them, which means we don't know anything beyond the fact that they'll exist. Are these new allies or is one of them a villain? While Disney animated films have had some of the best villains in movie history, not all films even have traditional villains. The original Frozen being a prime example.
The trailer does show off a pair of new character in one brief sequence. A young woman is standing on some fallen leaves and a moment later a young man appears to be blown up in the air from under the pile. Evan Rachel Wood and Sterling K. Brown are reportedly lending their voices to Frozen II and so these two could be their characters, but the scene doesn't tell us much, except possibly that somebody in the movie might have magic wind powers.
There's a decent chance that we'll see the Duke of Weselton again, if only in a brief cameo. The character was voiced by Alan Tudyk, and he has been lending his voice to every Disney feature in recent years, so there's a good chance we'll see that character again. If not, expect to hear Tudyk's voice, but in a less recognizable place. He played a chicken in Moana, so he could voice an animal, or something else that doesn't speak, if they don't want a character to sound too much like the Duke of Weselton.
The other major character from the original Frozen who is a question mark at this point is Hans. He was the underhanded prince who tried to marry Anna in order to gain the throne. At the end of the film, he's sent back to his home, where his elder siblings were, apparently, none to happy with his plot. We see Hans briefly at the end of Frozen Fever, so perhaps he, or the rest of his family, will also play a part in the sequel.
The first piece of Frozen material that we got following the film was the animated short Frozen Fever. It followed Elsa's attempt to throw a birthday party for her sister. While it's easy to write this off as simply a bit of fun, and it is mostly that, the short does include some material that's potentially relevant to the sequel. First, we see Elsa conjure dresses for herself and Anna using magic. While we saw Elsa do this in Frozen, these dresses are green and distinctly non-ice related. It would appear that her magic has some additional power beyond simply the ability to make ice. We also see her accidentally create tiny snowmen (called "snowgies," if you're wondering) due to her being sick. At the end of the short, we see the snowgies move into Elsa's ice palace with Marshmallow, the abominable snowman. We could potentially see them in Frozen 2.
Olaf's Frozen Adventure is Disney's newest holiday special that saw a brief theatrical release along with Pixar's Coco before debuting on television. It follows Olaf's attempts to find a holiday tradition for Anna and Elsa, something they never found themselves due to being separated for so long because of Elsa's powers. Ultimately, it's discovered that the two did have a tradition, as Anna would make Olaf-inspired gifts for Elsa every Christmas. This gave us a look at a previously unknown part of their lives that took place during the "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" montage in the first film. It's possible there could be more information during that part of their lives that could be created in order to give Frozen II a place to start.
We don't have that much longer to wait until Frozen II is finally out in theaters, so more news on the film will likely be coming along on a regular basis in the intervening months. As such, be sure to keep your eye on this guide, so you can stay on top of all the new details as they become available to us!