Frozen 2 is announced by Disney

Frozen 2 is announced

The highest-grossing animated film of all time is getting a sequel

Disney has announced a sequel to 2013's Frozen, the much-loved and staggeringly successful animated movie that's launched countless belted-out renditions of 'Let It Go' and earned its studio nearly $1.3bn.

Disney & Pixar's Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter broke the news at Disney's annual shareholders meeting. Frozen 2 will reunite the original film's producer Peter Del Vecho with its directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, who, according to Lasseter, 'have come up with a great idea' for a sequel.

The original film's success took Disney by surprise, perhaps because the project had stayed for so long in development hell. The studio toyed for decades with the idea of making a movie out of HC Andersen's The Snow Queen, but after repeated failed attempts to arrive at a story they liked, the film took its final form in a surprisingly haphazard way. In earlier versions of the script Elsa was evil, Prince Hans wasn't, and Olaf the Snowman was comically obnoxious instead of comically innocent: when Jennifer Lee was brought on board, her reaction to a screening of Olaf as originally conceived was 'Kill the f-ing snowman.'

The crucial breakthrough came when songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez tried to re-imagine Elsa without villainous qualities. This yielded 'Let It Go', the film's signature song, which in turn inspired a complete rewrite of the story.

Disney can hardly hope that the same creative lightning will strike twice. Buck, Lee and Del Vecho must be relieved about the upcoming Star Wars 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron, which mean that Disney isn't relying solely on Frozen to pay the bills, but they will still be under pressure to at least approach the extraordinary success of the first movie.

It remains to be seen what Buck and Lee's great idea is, and it's too early for a release date to be set, but if you and your loved ones need a Frozen fix, the short film Frozen Fever has been added as a curtain-riser to Disney's upcoming Cinderella.

Cinderella is on general release from Fri 27 Mar

Frozen 2

  • 3 stars
  • 2019
  • US
  • 1h 43min
  • U
  • Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
  • Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff
  • UK release: 22 November 2019

Elsa (Menzel) and Anna (Bell) head off on a dangerous journey after Elsa hears voices calling her to a distant land. The plot is less involving than the character interaction, but Olaf (Gad) is the comedic highlight and while it may be less compelling than the original, it's got all the ingredients for a hit.