Spoiler warning: This article references the plot of “Frozen 2.” If you want your viewing experience of “Frozen 2” to be entirely spoiler-free, we suggest you click out of this article and read some of our other awesome content on Inside the Magic.
Like many fans of Disney Princesses and Walt Disney Animation, we’re absolutely head over heels for “Frozen,” and we just can’t let it go. And now that “Frozen 2” is coming out (and we’ve seen every trailer that’s dropped), we’ve got to catch up on Queen Elsa and Princess Anna and figure out what we’ve missed in the years since the first movie premiered before we see the sequel this November.
Even though it’s been six years since “Frozen” hit theaters, the sequel “Frozen 2” takes place only three years after the first film. But that three year time difference is significant when it comes to how Elsa (played by Idina Menzel) and Anna (played by Kristen Bell) have changed. And with “Frozen 2” taking place in the autumn and as the year grows and matures, the characters are maturing, as well. Elsa is now 24, her sister Anna is 21, and both are in the thick of their tumultuous 20s.
So what has happened in the three years since the events of the first “Frozen” movie? Earlier this summer, Inside the Magic had the opportunity to sit down with the creative team who brought “Frozen 2” to life. Here’s everything we learned about how Anna and Elsa have changed since the first film.
Elsa three years later
As a young woman entering her mid-20s, it’s natural for Elsa to be more mature than she was before. But her maturity wasn’t something that was difficult for the creative team to achieve, although small changes were made to her costume.
“Elsa has always been more austere so she inherently has a level of maturity to her that we didn’t have to push as hard on that, and it was more helping her to fit into this world of autumn when she’s clearly a winter,” said Brittany Lee, visual development artist for Elsa. She also explained that the designers had to give Elsa the ability to go on an adventure with her family because her hemlines don’t exactly allow her to easily trek through an enchanted forest (which isn’t exactly as pristine as Arendelle).
“Having to take her hemlines off the ground was a big thing that felt like borderline breaking the character,” she continued. “So we had to work on ways of reintroducing and balancing out that, what seems trivial but was a pretty significant change, with reintroducing other elements that reinforce who she is and basically tell the audience, ‘It’s okay, it’s still Elsa, you still know her,’ and take them on the journey that way.”
Overall, fans should understand that three years after the events of the first film, Elsa longs for a change in “Frozen 2.” In “Frozen,” Elsa sings about letting go of her past and embracing who she is, since the cold never bothered her anyway. But it’s been three years since she and Anna established their family with Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven. But, she is struggling with a feeling of being called to go somewhere else (actually, a literal voice is calling her to leave — cue “Into the Unknown”). And it doesn’t look like she’ll let it go.
Anna three years later
Now that Anna is older and she is closer with Elsa than ever before, she has grown to become the protective sister in the family. In “Frozen,” Anna is known for being boy-crazy and spontaneous, and Elsa is the protective older sister who Anna then goes on a journey to save.
But in “Frozen 2,” Anna assumes the role of the protector. She is along for the ride when Elsa feels compelled to leave Arendelle, and she has made it her duty to defend the ones she loves at all costs. This is apparent just from seeing the second trailer, but Anna’s newfound confidence and protective role is something that makes her an even more admirable figure than before.
While these characters are so much more than their looks, it is obvious that Anna’s appearance has changed a bit as she has matured. A change viewers have already noticed since watching the “Frozen 2” trailers is Anna’s hair.
“At first we have the two braids because that is her signature. But every time we have that, no matter what, she looks too young in that outfit. That outfit just calls for something different,” said Griselda Sastrawinata-Lemay, visual development artist for Anna. She explained that one of the ways to make Anna look more mature was to let her hair down for a half-up-do with two smaller braids pulling back her hair that frames her face. “That just feels right.”
In terms of Anna’s love life, she’s about to be engaged. Well, sort of. Kristoff wants to propose to her, but from what we were told by the creative team behind “Frozen 2,” something goes awry and there are some hiccups along the way. We’re not exactly sure how Kristoff’s proposal to Anna will go, but we’re definitely excited to find out.
“Frozen” was so relatable and enchanting that we couldn’t get enough of it. And after learning how much Elsa and Anna have changed and grown since the first movie — and how much they are still the same characters we know and love — we can’t wait to see “Frozen 2.”