Frozen II comes out on November 22 and Disney has started gradually revealing more details about the new adventures of Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) and Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel). Fans got a new trailer that reveals more story details, and we got to hear of a new song called “Into the Unknown.”
There is one particular audience already in the know about this — a very small audience of very small people: Bell’s children. Bell has reportedly been telling them all about the movie, and the kids aren’t very good about keeping secrets.
What has Kristen Bell told her kids about ‘Frozen II?’
Bell has two daughters with her husband Dax Shepherd: One is 6 and the other is almost 5. Bell and Shepherd’s daughters are the target audience for the movie and, lucky for them, their mom gave them a preview — at her peril.
Bell revealed on The Talk: “I’m in trouble. I did not have them sign an NDA … we worked on it for over two and a half years. So I come home and I’ve learned a new song and I sing it to them at night in bed, and I would tell them new story plots.”
Bell realized this was risky, so she told her girls this was a big secret between mommy and them. But as Bell quickly found out, little kids like to spread the word. An NDA probably wouldn’t have made much difference.
“I really got myself into a pickle!” Bell exclaimed.
What is ‘Frozen II’ about?
Until very recently, Disney has been somewhat cagey as to what the story was. Wikipedia outlines the story this way, and it’s quite brief: “Three years after the events of the first film, Elsa starts to hear a strange sound from the north calling her. Together with her sister Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven, they embark on a new journey beyond their homeland of Arendelle in order to discover the origin of Elsa’s magical powers and save their kingdom.”
We know the sisters’ past comes into play because Evan Rachel Wood has been cast as Anna and Elsa’s mother: Queen Iduna. The queen and her husband supposedly died at sea when Anna and Elsa were very young, so the characters joined a long Disney tradition of being parentless.
What we don’t know for sure is if Queen Iduna is only seen in flashbacks, or if she is somehow still alive. One thing’s for sure: We will be getting at least one Elsa anthem very likely to join the ranks of “Let it Go,” according to Bell.
As she did in the first movie, Anna gets a song too, with Bell being a more than capable singer in her own right. For that matter, Wood is too. But as Bell said on The Talk: “I have a song. It doesn’t hit those high notes because I’m of the opinion that when you have LeBron James on your team, you don’t try and dunk. We’ve got Idnia Menzel .. Idina’s got two songs that are just going to blow people’s minds.”
Disney animation continues to resurge with ‘Frozen II’
Frozen II represents a continuation of a new Disney renaissance that crystallized with the first Frozen. After a string of success in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, Disney Animation entered a creatively fallow period with less well-regarded movies like Atlantis and Chicken Little. Meanwhile, their compatriots at Pixar were drilling one home run after another.
By the late 2000s; however, the studio was gradually getting its mojo back. Tangled, released in 2010, became the studio’s first movie since the 1994’s The Lion King to gross more than $200 million. Frozen exceeded all expectations, grossing $400 million.
Every movie by Walt Disney Animation since then has grossed at least $200 million, including Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Moana, and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Now, tracking has the sequel grossing between $115 million and $145 million on opening weekend alone. By comparison, the first movie made $67 million when it opened wide. Whatever Menzel’s new anthem is, you’re going to hear a lot of it whether you want to or not.