Children who consider Elsa to be their favorite superhero will be thrilled to see the princess flex her powers in the new Frozen 2 teaser. Disney dropped the highly anticipated first look this morning, which features an astonishing 40-second sequence in which Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) uses her ice powers to literally walk on water, as she attempts to cross an ocean during a raging storm. What is on the other side of those waves that the princess is so desperate to get to? The surprisingly intense, dialogue-free teaser is careful not to reveal any specific plot details, but it does give us a few hints. Watch it above.
It’s a beautiful autumn in the kingdom of Arendelle, but it’s clear that all is not well. Strange diamonds hover in the air outside the palace. Anna (Kristen Bell) climbs across treacherous rocks alone, perhaps in search of her sister once again. We see Elsa and Olaf (Josh Gad) circled by strange pink flames, and a mystery character being propelled from the forest floor clear into the air. Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) has assembled a small army of reindeer alongside his trusty Sven. The final shot is Anna grabbing Kristoff’s sword, and lunging towards the audience.
The sisters are on guard and under threat — but why? From the prominence of red leaves, it appears to be something connected to the fall season (and probably more serious than allergies). It may also involve the two new characters we can partially see in the trailer: a redheaded woman in casual clothes and the blonde, boot-wearing figure who gets tossed around with the leaves. (See screencaps below.) The second one could very well be Elsa, dressed in casual gear unseen elsewhere in the trailer. One of these characters could be voiced by Evan Rachel Wood, whose role has not been announced — but it seems unlikely that either is voiced by Sterling K. Brown, the other actor whose role is still a mystery.
Of course, a strong contingent of fans is hoping that the mysterious redhead is a love interest for Elsa. Frozen did not reveal anything about Elsa’s sexuality, leaving the door open for the princess to have a more progressive romance (and inspiring the social-media movement #GiveElsaAGirlfriend). The film’s stars have supported the idea, writer-director Lee says it has been discussed, and the casting of openly bisexual Wood further stoked speculation. Still, it would be an unprecedented leap for Disney, who have never shown a gay character in a major role in an animated feature.
Along with the trailer, Disney has released the first Frozen 2 poster, which is just as obtuse about story details as the trailer. It does feature an interesting design change, though: instead of the six-sided snowflake used on the poster for Frozen, this one has four points radiating from the center. Maybe the points are symbolic of the people who need to bring the kingdom together: Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and … Sterling K. Brown? Look closely at the diamonds inside the snowflake and there’s another hint: they all contain different patterns, which seem connected to the floating diamonds in the teaser.
On social media, fans are pointing out the extreme contrast between this trailer and the first teaser for Frozen, a cute comedy sketch featuring Sven and Olaf that was disconnected from the plot of the film (and didn’t show the human lead characters at all).
And plenty of Frozen skeptics seem to have been won over by the trailer’s unexpectedly ominous tone.
Frozen 2 is directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, who also directed the 2013 blockbuster. The film will feature more original songs from Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who hinted at the movie’s themes in an interview with Yahoo Entertainment about Frozen Broadway last February.
“I think all of us have patterns that get solidified in early childhood that we spend our whole lives working out,” said Kristen Anderson-Lopez, referencing to Frozen’s sibling heroines. “I think that’s in the zeitgeist with This Is Us right now too. Our stories are always connected to the past.”
Frozen 2 opens in theaters on Nov. 22.
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