What we learned about Frozen 2 and what you need to know!
As everybody knows already, I’m very excited that Disney Animation Studios did NOT let go of Anna and Elsa. Back in September, I had the opportunity to participate in an early press day for Frozen 2 where I learned everything about this new adventure and it’s going to be amazing! Here is a brief list of everything you should know about Frozen 2 before it hits theaters on November 22.
According to director Chris Buck, “Frozen 2 is even bigger and more epic than the first.” This time around, Elsa and Anna will venture into the unknown, which even for a strong queen like Elsa, this new adventure will call for courage, passion, grit, imagination and a little touch of magic.
Frozen 2 is set in an enchanted forest and embraces the colors of autumn, differently from the first one that embraced cool winter tones. There will be no snow in Arendelle this time around. The new storyline takes place three years after the first film, where Elsa is queen and Anna is happy to have Kristoff, Elsa, Olaf and Sven living together. The film is inspired by fairytale “The Snow Queen” written by Hans Christian Andersen.
Frozen 2 is ultimately a mythic fairytale about home, family, self-discovery, courage, and the power of never giving up. According to director/writer Jennifer Lee, “The mythic characters often meet a tragic fate and we realized that we had two stories going together; a mythic story and a fairytale story.”
The iconic song “Let It Go,” which was written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez for Frozen was insanely popular. It won the Oscar® for Best Original Score and sold over 10.9 million copies. The Lopez duo is back for Frozen 2 with seven new and original songs, which will capture, in a contagious way, the emotion, fun, and intrigue of the story. The inspiration for the songs is their daughters, who also influenced them on the creation of the tracks from the first movie.
Actors Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad are all returning to Arendelle as the voices of Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf, respectively.
Actress Evan Rachel Wood has joined the cast as Queen Iduna, Anna and Elsa’s mother. According to Lee, “Evan is amazing, and her singing voice sits beautifully between Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel in terms of its parent sweetness and that was an amazing discovery as we get to hear her sing.”
The beloved actor Sterling K. Brown, who is well-known from the NBC TV series “This Is Us,” lends his voice to Lieutenant Destin Mattias. “He’s actually a character who’s been trapped in Enchanted Forest since a fierce battle broke out over thirty years ago, when Anna and Elsa’s grandfather was king,” mentioned Lee during the presentation.
Buck added that “thanks to Elsa, Olaf now has permafrost which allows him to fully enjoy Summer and has a new passion for reading. Kristoff is deeply in love with Anna and lives life happily in Arendelle with his trusty best friend, Sven.”
One of the new characters is a lizard called Bruni the Salamander, created by Art Director Bill Schwab and James Woods. Bill said, “our main focus with this Character was to make him as adorable and cute as possible.” Bruni is a cutie and I’m pretty sure everybody will love this new character.
In Frozen 2, the forest is enchanted! Buck explained, “it’s a forest ruled by the magical spirits of nature, namely of air, fire, water and earth. And just like in nature, sometimes these spirits can be enchanting and at other times they can be dangerous. So on that visit something went very wrong and enraged the spirits. [King] Agnarr [Anna and Elsa’s father] barely survived. He doesn’t know who saved him, only that a haunting voice cried out and a magical mist enveloped the forest shoving everyone out.”
The environment is always there to support the narrative and the characters. In the forest, one of the magical nature spirits is Gale, which was the biggest challenge when it comes to animated. Production Designer Lisa Keene explained, “as you can imagine, you’ve got a character who is using nature’s elements to describe itself. How do you get that character to read over the environment that we are using as a construct to see it? How do you get Gale, who’s made up of something that is in that environment, to show off of the same environment? That’s where we were splitting hairs often, hue wise, to get that character to perform so that we as an audience could see it.”
And before I go, there is another “character” that the environment, The Dark Sea, brings to the story. His name is the Nokk and he is a mythical sea horse, a water spirit (we see him on the trailer). Effects Supervisor Erin Ramos explained that “the Nokk lives in the Dark Sea which is another environment that we visit in our movie. So like the Enchanted Forest, we want it to feel mysterious but while the Enchanted Forest is enchanting, we wanted the Dark Sea to feel more dangerous and treacherous.”
Frozen 2 opens in U.S. theaters on November 22, 2019.