- “The worldwide phenomenon returns.”
Frozen II is an animated musical comedy-drama/fantasy film produced at Walt Disney Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The sequel to the studio's 2013 animated feature film, Frozen, it is the 58th animated feature in the Disney Animated Canon.
Taking place three years after the events of the previous film, Frozen II follows Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven as they journey to an enchanted forest to save their kingdom from a curse involving the elemental spirits of water, wind, fire, and earth.
Co-directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck returned to helm the project, alongside producer Peter Del Vecho. While still retaining much of the humor of its predecessor, the film is notably darker in tone, with a heavier focus on action, death, and intense imagery. This was a deliberate move by the filmmakers, who likened the tone of Frozen II to earlier Walt Disney-era fairytales such as Pinocchio.
Upon release, Frozen II received generally positive reviews from critics for its animation, voice performances, and music by songwriting duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. On its opening weekend, the film grossed $127 million domestically, and $350 million worldwide, making it the highest-opening of all time for an animated film.
Why was Elsa born with magical powers? The answer is calling her and threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven, she'll set out on a dangerous but remarkable journey to save a cursed, trapped civilization deep in a forest of enchantment.
Inside one of the rooms of Arendelle Castle one evening, young Anna and Elsa have built a forest out of snow and ice, sourced from Elsa's ice powers. As she conjures small snow people to play with, King Agnarr and Queen Iduna enter, telling the girls that it is time for them to go to bed. Seeing that Anna and Elsa are happily playing together, the king and queen smile, then take the girls to their bedroom.
Inside the bedroom, the princesses beg their father to tell them a bedtime story. King Agnarr agrees and begins the tale of an enchanted forest.
King Runeard, founder and first king of Arendelle, establishes a treaty with the woodland Northuldra tribe, building a dam between Arendelle and the Enchanted Forest, home of the Northuldra. However, a fight between the two armies occurs, killing Runeard and many of his men. The four elemental spirits of earth, fire, air, and water, which inhabit the forest, become enraged due to the fight. The spirits disappear, and a thick wall of mist encases everyone in the forest. No one is able to enter or leave, and the contents of the forest become preserved in time. Runeard's son Prince Agnarr barely escapes with the help of an unknown savior.
Queen Iduna is seen smiling at this part, possibly showing her connection to the story. As King Agnarr finishes, Anna exclaims, "Whoa, Papa, that was epic!", clearly showing her delight in the story. As Queen Iduna tucks the girls into bed, she sings them an old lullaby taught to her by her mother, "All Is Found".
Three years after her coronation, Queen Elsa of Arendelle stands on the castle balcony, returning from her flashback to the present. Avoiding her royal duties, she goes to the town square to celebrate autumn in the kingdom with her younger sister, Princess Anna, Olaf, their talking snowman, Kristoff, Arendelle's resident ice harvester and Sven, Kristoff's pet reindeer and best friend.
The same evening, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf play a game of charades. After having some fun with her sister and friends, Elsa decides to go to bed early. Later, Anna enters Elsa's room, concerned. She notices that Elsa is wearing their late mother's shawl, which she only wears when nervous or troubled. Elsa finally confesses to Anna that she has been hearing a mysterious voice at night, calling to her. Anna and Elsa talk for some time, and eventually, huddled together, they fall asleep.
Suddenly, in the middle of the night, Elsa wakes up when she hears the mysterious voice calling to her again. Unable to ignore it this time, Elsa tries to follow the voice, unintentionally awakening the elemental spirits, which force everyone in the kingdom to evacuate. Grand Pabbie, the leader of the troll colony, senses danger and arrives in Arendelle with the rest of the trolls. Pabbie informs Anna and Elsa that they must set things right by discovering the truth about the kingdom's past. Elsa deduces that she must follow the voice she has been hearing. Elsa tries to tell her sister that she must go alone, but Anna insists upon coming with her, saying, "You're not going alone." As Elsa tries to reason with her sister, Anna replies, "I went into the North Mountains, survived a frozen heart, and saved you from my ex-boyfriend - all without powers. I'm coming." Elsa had asked to borrow Kristoff's wagon and Sven, which he did not feel comfortable with. After Anna states that she is coming, Kristoff agrees, insisting on driving. Olaf agrees, adding, "I'll bring the snacks!"
Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven embark on their journey to the Enchanted Forest, traveling via Kristoff's wagon. They pass landmarks from the first film, such as Elsa's Ice Palace, and Olaf waves to Marshmallow, the giant snow-monster that still. guards the castle. Finally arriving at the entrance to the Enchanted Forest, the group encounters the impenetrable wall of mist, but it parts open as Elsa uses her magic, before closing again once they are inside. The group first encounters Gale, the wind spirit, which appears in the form of a tornado and sweeps everyone into its vortex. Elsa stops it by firing streams of snow, forming a set of ice sculptures. They discover the sculptures are from their father's past and that their mother, Iduna, was the mysterious Northuldra who saved Agnarr's life during the battle between King Runeard and his soldiers and the Northuldra fighters. They encounter the Northuldra, along with a troop of Arendellian soldiers, as the two groups are still in conflict with each other. The fire spirit appears and Elsa attempts to stop its fire from spreading. Elsa discovers that the spirit is in the form of an agitated magical salamander named Bruni. She calms it down by placing it in her palm and creating a small snow flurry, ceasing its flames. Elsa and Anna form a truce between the soldiers and the Northuldra, explaining that their mother was Northuldra and their father was Agnarr, the prince of Arendelle. An Arendellian soldier named Lieutenant Mattias is impressed, recalling memories of the young prince. Later, at the Northuldra camp, the group encounters two young Northuldra siblings named Honeymaren and Ryder. Elsa talks to Honeymaren, learning that Queen Iduna's shawl is decorated with a traditional Northuldra pattern. Anna talks with Lieutenant Mattias, Olaf is rearranged by a group of Northuldra children, and Kristoff talks with Ryder, who also loves reindeer. Elsa later learns of the existence of a fifth spirit, which will unite people and the magic of nature.
Elsa continues to head north with Anna and Olaf, while Kristoff and Sven stay behind with Ryder and the rest of the Northuldra. Kristoff tries to propose to Anna, not realizing that she is gone, but instead finds the leader of the Northuldra tribe. Meanwhile, the sisters find their parents' shipwreck and a map with a route to Ahtohallan, the mythical river said to have answers and explanations about the past. Ahtohallan was the "river full of memory" that was mentioned in Queen Iduna's lullaby, which Elsa learned was a traditional Northuldra song. The sisters find an ice sculpture of their parents huddled together, apparently about to meet their fate. Elsa and Anna begin to cry. Feeling extremely guilty that their parents were lost at sea in search of answers about her magic powers, Elsa decides to travel alone, sending Anna and Olaf away in an ice-boat for their safety. Anna and Olaf become stranded in a dark, mysterious cavern.
Elsa encounters Nokk, the water spirit who guards the ocean in the form of a glistening stallion, on her way to Ahtohallan. Elsa tames the Nokk and finally reaches Ahtohallan. Elsa discovers that the voice was the call of Iduna from memories of the past, as an image of her singing her mysterious call to an unconscious Agnarr after saving him flashes onto the wall. Elsa discovers that her power was a gift from the magic of nature, due to Iduna's selfless act of saving Agnarr. This makes Elsa the fifth spirit, a bridge between humans and nature, who unites differences. Elsa wields her mother's mantle of the fifth spirit. She also learns through flashbacks and memories that the dam was built as a ruse to reduce the Northuldra's resources, due to Runeard's dislike of the tribe's connection with magic. Elsa learns that King Runeard, although depicted as good, was the one who initiated the conflict with the Northuldra. Elsa sends this information to Anna. However, as she had ventured into the most dangerous part of Ahtohallan, Elsa becomes frozen herself. Olaf, being made of Elsa's now-defunct magic, fades away and becomes a pile of snow. Anna is left devastated and alone. She feels that her life is over and that she must give up, but she convinces herself to do "the next right thing" and continue.
Suddenly, Anna receives Elsa's message and concludes that the dam must be destroyed for peace to be restored. Anna escapes from the cavern and awakens the sleeping Earth Giants, the humongous earth spirits. Anna lures them towards the dam, which is destroyed by boulders hurled by the giants. Elsa finally thaws herself out and returns to Arendelle, stopping a flood from the destroyed dam. As the wall of mist disappears, Elsa reunites with Anna and revives Olaf, to the delight of everyone. Kristoff finally properly proposes to Anna, and she accepts. Elsa points out that she and Anna are now the bridge between the people and the magical spirits. As the Enchanted Forest and Arendelle are now open and connected to each other, Elsa decides that she is meant to live in the forest, being the fifth spirit. Anna becomes the new Queen of Arendelle, and Elsa becomes the protector of the Enchanted Forest. She regularly visits Arendelle as peace is restored in all the lands. Anna and Kristoff enjoy time together after Anna's crowning and first royal event. Olaf and Sven eagerly explore Arendelle. Lieutenant Matthias is seen together with an Arendellian woman he mentioned back at the Northuldra camp, now reunited with her, as she shows him a "new invention" called a photograph.
- Idina Menzel as Elsa
- Mattea Conforti as Young Elsa
- Eva Bella as Young Elsa (Ahtohallan/archive recording)
- Kristen Bell as Anna
- Hadley Gannaway as Young Anna
- Livvy Stubenrauch as Young Anna (Ahtohallan/archive recording)
- Jonathan Groff as Kristoff
- Josh Gad as Olaf
- Sterling K. Brown as Lieutenant Mattias
- Evan Rachel Wood as Queen Iduna
- Delaney Rose Stein as Young Iduna
- Aurora as The Voice
- Alfred Molina as King Agnarr
- Jackson Stein as Young Agnarr
- Martha Plimpton as Yelana
- Rachel Matthews as Honeymaren
- Jason Ritter as Ryder Nattura
- Jeremy Sisto as King Runeard
- Ciarán Hinds as Grand Pabbie
- Alan Tudyk as Duke of Weselton (Ahtohallan/archive recording), Guard, Northuldra Leader, and Arendellian Soldier
- Santino Fontana as Hans (Ahtohallan/archive recording)
- Paul Briggs as Marshmallow
- Maia Wilson as Bulda
- Stephen J. Anderson as Kai
- Halima V. Hudson as Halima
- Isabella Acres
- Nick Fisher
- Arthur Ortiz
- Stephen Apostolina
- Jackie Gonneau
- Paul Pape
- Kimberly Bailey
- Franck Gourlat
- Michael Ralph
- Dave Boat
- Daniel Kaz
- Akai Robinson
- June Christopher
- Phil LaMarr
- Lynwood Robinson
- Antonio Corbo
- Arnaud Leónard
- Maddix Robinson
- David Cowgill
- Mimi Maynard
- Kaitlyn Robrock
- Wendy Cutler
- Scott Menville
- Violet Schaffer
- Hudson D'Andrea
- Melanie Minichino
- Pepper Sweeney
- Grey DeLisle-Griffin
- Max Mittelman
- Fred Tatasciore
- Jessica DiCicco
- Matt Nolan
- Jean-Alain Velardo
- Terri Douglas
- Capri Oliver
- Kari Wahlgren
- Robin Atkin Downes
- Matthew Wood
Development on a theatrical Frozen sequel was officially announced at a Disney Shareholder meeting, alongside being confirmed by Jennifer Lee on her Twitter account. Co-directors of the original film, Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, as well as producer, Peter Del Vecho, all returned to helm the project. The filmmakers had not originally considered making a sequel to Frozen at all and the road to its creation was bumpy. Co-director Chris Buck began by considering that what would be next for Elsa, having been in hiding for so long and finally being accepted by her people. One question the filmmakers were repeatedly asked was the question of why Elsa has her powers, which led them to explore this question for the sequel. As part of the production process, the filmmakers took part in a four-hour psychological personality test, assuming the roles of the characters and answering questions posed by an actual psychologist. In doing so, they discovered that Anna was a "fairy tale" character, optimistic, and human, while Elsa was a "mythic" character, with the weight of the world on her shoulders and special powers. The film's visual developers worked on special finishing touches to the characters' outfits, including lining inside the fabric of every character's clothes. Both Elsa and Anna wear pants when traveling into the Enchanted Forest, Jennifer Lee stating that they wear what's right for the situation and she loves that they can wear anything. The film is said to be "darker" than the original Frozen and Kristen Bell stated that "...we don’t give kids enough credit — because they’re projections of us and we want them to be happy because we want ourselves to be happy all the time. We don’t give them enough credit for their ability to digest complex situations and trauma and struggle."
Following concerns about cultural appropriation regarding the original Frozen, Disney signed a contract with the Sámi people to respectfully portray Sámi culture. As the culture was to feature in an even greater role in Frozen II, the Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden, and Finland, along with the Saami Council reached out to collaborate with the film's producers. The contract also included an agreement that Disney would produce a dubbed version of Frozen II in one Sámi language and participate in cross-learning initiatives that contribute to Indigenous communities in Scandinavia. The Sámi people and those working with the filmmakers appear in the film's credits.
On April 25, 2017, the official release date for the Frozen sequel was announced by Disney. On September 28, Josh Gad and Disney announced on social media that recording for the film had officially begun.
In 2018, Jennifer Lee was the appointed replacement for John Lasseter following his discharge from The Walt Disney Company. With her attention now focused on several facets of the studio, writer Allison Schroeder was brought on to co-write the script for Frozen 2. On November 1, it was announced that the Frozen sequel had been pushed up a few days from November 27, 2019, to November 22, 2019. On February 13, 2019, the film was retitled as Frozen II.
Advance ticket sales for Frozen II set a first-day record for an animated film for both Fandango and Atom Tickets. The film outpaced sales of Toy Story 4 to set the new record. Based on early sales, the film was predicted to open with at least $100 million over its opening weekend, with more optimistic predictions setting it at $125 million. Globally, the film was predicted to shatter the previous Toy Story 4 record with a $242 million global opening weekend. The film in fact shattered the record, with an estimated domestic opening weekend of $127 million and $350.2 million worldwide. The film also set a record in China with $55 million. The film's spectacular opening weekend was followed by an equally stellar Thanksgiving weekend. The film made $123.7 million domestically over the five day holiday weekend, breaking the 2013 record of $109 million by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in 2013. Globally, the film's take rose to $753.4 million dollars over 12 days.
The film's first reviews appeared on November 14, 2019. As of January 14, 2019, the film holds a score of 77% fresh with 310 reviews on the review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, with the site's consensus stating that "Frozen II can't quite recapture the showstopping feel of its predecessor, but it remains a dazzling adventure into the unknown." Mara Reinstein of U.S. Weekly stated that while the film was not as spectacular as the original, it was "still a beautifully designed, sharply written, and toe-tapping piece of family entertainment." Nicholas Barber of BBC was one of those who was critical of the film, stating that the film "takes an ice age" to get going and describing it as "an avalanche of half-formed ideas." On November 19, 2019, the film was certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film's red carpet world premiere was held on Thursday, November 7, 2019, in Hollywood, California, with members of the cast and crew in attendance. Although the film's official U.S. release was November 22, 2019, a number of theaters offered multiple showings as early as 6 P.M. on November 21, 2019.
- November 20, 2019 (Belgium, Germany, France, Indonesia, Netherlands, Philippines, Turkey)
- November 21, 2019 (Colombia, Croatia, Hungary, Israel, South Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Peru, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, Thailand, Taiwan)
- November 22, 2019 (Albania, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Spain, Ireland, India, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Romania, United Kingdom, Vietnam)
- November 27, 2019 (Italy)
- November 28, 2019 (Australia, Chile, Greece, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine)
- November 29, 2019 (Lebanon)
- December 7, 2019 (Premiere - Comic-Con Experience - São Paulo, SP, Brazil)
- December 25, 2019 (Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Sweden)
- December 27, 2019 (Estonia)
- January 2, 2020 (Argentina, Brazil)
- This is the first Walt Disney Animation Studios sequel to focus on the secondary character (in this case being Elsa) rather than the protagonist of the original film, thus promoting Elsa as the primary female character.
- While fans of Frozen campaigned to have Elsa come out as a lesbian in the sequel, at D23 Expo the filmmakers were forced to permanently silence those rumors.
- This is the sixth sequel in the Disney Animated Features canon, after The Three Caballeros, The Rescuers Down Under, Fantasia 2000, Winnie the Pooh, and Ralph Breaks the Internet.
- This is the last Walt Disney Animation Studios film to use the 1967 MPAA logo. It is also the last theatrical Disney film to do so; the next Disney-distributed theatrical films would start using the 2019 MPA logo in the end credits beginning with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
- This is the fifth Disney animated theatrical sequel to be rated PG by the MPAA, after Planes: Fire & Rescue, Finding Dory, Incredibles 2, and Ralph Breaks the Internet.
- This is the second Walt Disney Animation Studios film to feature the full 2011 logo as a closing logo, after Moana.
- This is the last Walt Disney Animation Studios film with John Lasseter's involvement before he left his position from Disney and Pixar animation at the end of 2018 and therefore making it the first to be released under Jennifer Lee's supervision.
- This is the seventh Disney animated film to feature the full 2011 logo as a closing logo, after Finding Dory, Moana, Cars 3, Coco, Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4.
- This is the eighth Walt Disney Animation Studios film to include a post-credits scene after The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Brother Bear, Winnie the Pooh, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Moana, and Ralph Breaks the Internet.
- The film takes place three years after the events of Frozen.
- Elsa is 24 years old now, and Anna is 21 years old.
- Frozen II was originally set to be released sometime after the film Gigantic, which was later canceled.
- The teaser trailer became the most viewed animation trailer of all time, with a record-breaking 116.4 million views in 24 hours.
- Anna's voice actress - Kristen Bell - spoiled the entire plot of the film to her two daughters, only realizing afterward that it placed her in breach of contract and she could potentially be sued by Disney. She then told her girls that if they revealed any information, their teeth would fall out.
- People magazine released a special Frozen II issue filled with secrets from the film, including the signing a contract with real-life Norwegians.
- When Olaf recounts the events of Frozen, several of Christophe Beck’s musical cues from the film were reprised.
- The scenery and color schemes in Frozen II were greatly inspired by the traditional hand-drawn animated classic, Sleeping Beauty. There are some parallels between the Enchanted Forest in this film and the ethereal backgrounds that artist Eyvind Earle painted for the 1959 animated classic. According to animator Justin Sklar, the filmmakers were drawn by the organization and graphics of the imagery in Sleeping Beauty.
- During a flashback into Agnarr and Iduna's childhood, Agnarr is reading a book that he states is from a "new Danish author". This is a reference to Hans Christian Andersen, the writer of The Snow Queen, the fairy tale that Frozen was inspired by.
Cameos and other Disney references
- In the beginning of the movie, Dumbo and Baymax from Big Hero 6 cameo as two of Elsa's snow dolls.
- During the charades game, Olaf shapes into Mickey Mouse.
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- Frozen sequel announced
- Jennifer Lee confirms her involvement
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