The biggest praise for Frozen was definitely directed towards the relationship between Elsa and Anna. Finally, a Disney Princess movie that focused on the relationship between two women! Right?
But the amount of screen time the sisters shared was minimal compared to say, the amount of time spent between Anna and Kristoff. And while the film set up a lot of problems in their relationship, it didn't spend a lot of time resolving them. Could this spiral out of control in the sequel? Are we facing a true divide between the sisters in Frozen 2?
Barriers and betrayal
Don't get me wrong. It's fantastic that the focus of Frozen was uniting the sisters. But thanks to a backstory that had them estranged before the story really started, and a plot that relied on the two being apart most of the time, we had what, three conversations between Elsa and Anna? In the meantime, Anna becomes embroiled in not one but two romance subplots. Though I'm all for the moral of the story there - it was nice to see a Disney movie address the pitfalls of love at first sight! But that's not really what you want from a film that's supposed to be about sisters.
As an audience, we feel Anna's frustration at constantly being shut out of her sister's life. She desperately wants a conversation with Elsa, and despite the fact that they eventually reconcile (and yes, that act of true love was beautiful) we never actually get this. They never talk about all those years spent apart (in the same house?), and Elsa never admits that she was just trying to protect her sister by alienating herself. There's a lot of build up to little resolution. These girls have barely spent any time together, and by the end of the film their relationship has really only just begun.
But that means that the sequel has even more to deal with! It's actually quite an exciting place to leave the story. So now that they're finally spending time together, how could Frozen 2 use this to drive new and exciting adventures? Or are the sisters heading towards conflict...
It's time to build a snowman!
Young Elsa actress Eva Bella has just confirmed that she will indeed be returning for Frozen 2. And you know what this means - it's flashback time!
Maybe we'll finally find out why Elsa has powers. This has to be a major focus for the sequel - building a mythology is important, and there are so many unanswered questions about Elsa's magic. I've already talked about how why this is important, though (and you can read that here), so let's get back to the sisters.
After answering some questions about the nature of those fantastic ice powers, Frozen 2's story needs to get the sisters building up their relationship, and hopefully working together in a new adventure. Of course there's plenty of things to deal with back home (and I'm sure Elsa will struggle with her role as queen), but it would be nice to see the sisters strike out on a journey that will see them finding common interests and making up for all that lost time.
Of course, that's not to say it's going to be an easy road. There's a lot of resentment and anger just bubbling under the surface of this relationship. Frozen went to some dark places with Hans and Anna, it would be great to see them not shy away from a realistic sister relationship, full of arguments and conflicts, with the sisters ultimately coming out stronger. The girls don't have to be friends all the time - just think of the fabulous relationship between Lilo and Nani in Lilo And Stitch! They bickered constantly, and their struggles were very emotive. It would be great to see Anna and Elsa work through their problems the same way.
There's so much potential for a great sister story, let's hope Frozen 2 doesn't waste it!
The long road to release
But we may have to wait a while to find out just what adventures Elsa and Anna face next. Josh Glad, of Olaf fame, has already shared his excitement about the no doubt blockbusting sequel.
"I think that the creative team is really taking their time to define how to top that story. The more I hear about it, the more excited I'm getting and I think it's going to be wonderful."
Frozen 2 definitely shouldn't be a rush job, but quality takes time. The estimates for the film's release put it around 2017, but the writers apparently already have a "terrific ending", according to co-director Chris Buck. And until its eventual release, there's lots more Frozen to enjoy: after the success of Frozen Fever, the studio has promised more short films in the future! So stay tuned.