In 2013, Walt Disney Animation made history with the release of Frozen. The musical story of Elsa the ice princess and her sister Anna demolished box office records and went on to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time. Even after almost two years, the single film's popularity was enough to spawn an entire line of merchandise that stretches from Target to even the smallest general store. It came as a surprise to absolutely no one when Disney officially announced a sequel back in March. The question now is: what will the sequel be about?
In an interview with MTV News, Frozen co-director Chris Buck said that he and fellow director Jennifer Lee already have a general idea of what the sequel will be about:
“Jen and I are just getting back into the story room together and throwing ideas around. We have an overall idea, a concept, which I think is a very strong one. I’m very excited about doing it.”
So what is this story? While the specifics aren't known at this point, Buck says that the sequel will tackle real-life issues that modern audiences can relate to:
“We have two very strong female leads in ’Frozen...We will keep that going in the next one. We will tackle other issues that, I think, are out there today that boys and girls, men and women, are dealing with.”
Buck adds that in the position of a filmmaker, it is beneficial to insert life lessons into a feature. While entertaining the audience is still an absolute priority, it doesn't hurt to give kids (and maybe even adults) something beneficial to open up their minds. Buck added:
“I think we’re very aware of what is happening in society...I don’t think any of us take [them] lightly, even though they can be very funny and entertaining, the messages that our movies have and the influence they can have on young people. When the kids [watch] them, they watch them over and over again, and if we don’t have a decent message in there, I think we’ve missed an opportunity.”
It appears that Buck is teasing that the plot of Frozen 2 will revolve around an important and relevant life lesson that is currently going on in society. The implication that the message applies to more than just the young female demographic that buys Frozen merchandise can lead to quite a lot of speculation among fans.
Among other things, perhaps Frozen 2 will center on prejudice. Whether its racial discrimination or baseless hatred for other religions and sexualities, prejudice is perhaps the biggest issue affecting the world today. Maybe the sequel can center around other kingdoms learning to accept Elsa and her powers. Or maybe the trolls will receive more attention in the sequel and struggle with being accepted by the human citizens of Arendelle.
In any case, the possibilities for a sequel and the commitment by the filmmakers is sure to win over at least some of the most adamant naysayers. Personally, I didn't think a sequel to Frozen would work until I really looked into how it could come together. In the middle of nearly decade-long winning streak, Walt Disney Animation Studios certainly has the ability to deliver the goods. Frozen 2 may just be the first animated Disney sequel that will be remembered on the level of the original.