'Frozen 2': Everything You Need to Know Ahead of the Big Release
Elsa and Anna's second venture onto the big screen is bursting with empowerment, humor, magic, chill-inducing new music, and, of course, lots of heart. Here's what you need to know ahead of your family's trip to the movies.
It's been six years since Disney charmed and thrilled audiences both young and old with Frozen, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Snow Queen." The 3-D computer animated flick not only won two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song ("Let It Go," which many kids understandably still refuse to let go), but became an instant classic. An entire generation of kids has grown up rightfully worshipping Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, the voice acting and singing queens behind sisters Anna and Elsa. So, it's no wonder Disney has been hard at work on a follow-up installment.
After years of anticipation, Frozen 2 will hit theaters nationwide on November 22. Here's your complete guide to prep for your family's trip to the theater.
Watch the Sneak Peeks & Trailer
A special look, featuring the song "Into the Unknown," hit YouTube at the end of September. Fans are already loving the lyrics, penned by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez, who wrote the music for the first film: "Are you here to distract me so I make a big mistake? Or are you someone out there who’s a little bit like me, who knows deep down I’m not where I’m meant to be? Every day’s a little harder as I feel my power grow. Don’t you know there’s a part of me that longs to go into the unknown?"
Additionally, the clip offers a sneak peek at some of the most thrilling, emotionally-charged moments of the film, emphasizing a central theme: Elsa and Ana's enduring, powerful sister bond.
You might also want to check out the latest trailer, which features over two minutes of stunningly eye-catching moments from the film.
If that isn't enough of a fix before the film hits theaters, Disney also released a new teaser trailer earlier this month.
Twists, Turns, & Technical Details
In addition to the beloved original cast Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, Sven, and the trolls, you can look forward to two new central characters: Lieutenant Matthias, who is voiced by Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us), and Anna and Elsa's mother, Queen Iduna, is shown in flashbacks and voiced by Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld).
Also, as you might have noticed in the trailers, the sisters also get up close and personal with several magical spirits of the Enchanted Forest. The fire spirit is a tiny, ridiculously adorable salamander named Bruni, who is sure to be a beloved new character.
A word of warning for parents of younger kids
Parents whose children might have been too little to see the first one when it came out in 2013, or whose L.O.s are sensitive to imagery and violence, should bear in mind that this installment is darker than the first film. Mythical creatures like the Earth Giants might very well be nightmare fodder for a child with an active imagination, and there are certain gloomy moments (for instance, one in which Anna, feeling as though she has no exit from a cave, appears to contemplate throwing in the towel) some children might not be prepared for emotionally.
That said, there's a case for kids to digest heavier themes. At a recent press conference for the film, Kristen Bell, who voices Anna, addressed concerns raised by a mother in the audience. "I have two little girls too,” Bell said. “We don’t give [kids] enough credit for their ability to digest complex situations and trauma and struggle. You don’t have to tell them that the world is a scary place even though it really is. But you can let them see a story that has a resolution. I actually think that it’s great for kids to be a little bit on the edge of their seat, because it’s a safe environment to try on those emotions."
In Frozen, Disney steered away from the stereotypical boy-meets-girl plot that has been central to its other princess films, opting to focus on the beauty of sisterly love. Sure, Anna and Kristoff had their romance, and that will continue into the sequel. As one preview showed, Kristoff will try to find the right time to pop the question. But fans have held out hope that Frozen 2 would introduce a love interest for Elsa, as well.
In an interview with IGN, Frozen 2 songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez explained that Elsa will continue to focus on her own journey of self-discovery. "Like the first movie, Elsa is not just defined by a romantic interest," Anderson-Lopez said. "There's so many movies that define a woman by her romantic interest. That's not a story that we wanted to tell at this point in time. What we really wanted to tell was if you have these powers, how do you grow and change and find your place in the world and find answers that haven't been found before?"
Clocking in at just over an hour and half, with a 103-minute runtime, it's absolutely possible to get through Frozen 2 without a bathroom break entirely, depending on your little one's age.
Frozen 2 Tickets & Premiere Events
To help families with their ultimate winter wonderland playdate options, Dolby Cinema at AMC is hosting an exclusive event at all locations for the November 23, 10 a.m. (local time) showing. The event will feature a Frozen 2 pin giveaway and a concession offer from AMC.