There hasn’t really been a Disney animated pop culture phenomenon that has endured as long as Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen (2013). Last year’s Encanto (2021) is certainly on a similar trajectory, but for almost a decade Anna and Elsa have stood the test of time to become some of the world’s most famous animated characters.
As both leading ladies speak up on the third installment of the franchise, The Walt Disney Company now has the perfect opportunity to confirm Elsa’s sexuality.
It’s hard to believe it’s almost been 10 years since the tune of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s “Let It Go” first entered the cosmos and fans were introduced to Idina Menzel’s Elsa and Kristen Bell’s Anna in the Kingdom of Arendelle. Not only were Menzel and Bell’s animated royalty extremely popular in the Disney movie but so too were the supporting characters. Josh Gad’s hilarious snowman, Olaf, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), and loyal reindeer, Sven, proved that love transcends romantic relationships in Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee’s fantasy film.
Frozen went on to earn over $1 billion at the global box office and win the Best Animated Feature Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards, with its success spawning a sequel six years later. Frozen 2 (2019) delved deeper into Queen Elsa’s powers — after conjuring an eternal winter and saving her sister with an act of true love in the first movie — and the mysterious history of Arendelle.
While the sequel was not as widely well-received as its predecessor, Frozen 2 did go on to outperform Frozen at the box office, becoming the second-highest-grossing animated film of all time — falling just behind Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King (2019) from director Jon Favreau.
Seemingly coming to a natural conclusion in its tale of two sisters, Frozen 2 can easily be seen as the end to Anna and Elsa’s story. But, recently, both Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell have spoken out about a potential third movie in the Frozen franchise, with the pair revealing they are ready to step back into the world of Arendelle one more time.
Menzel spoke to Today about reviving her famous icy Queen. She said:
‘I hope so…I hope it is but I don’t know…any time I can be 80 and play a blonde animated girl whose like 15, whose got amazing arms, by the way, I love that about her.’
While Bell followed up with her own thoughts on The Tonight Show:
“I would like to officially announce, with zero authority, Frozen 3 […] Please bear in mind I did say ‘zero authority,’ ’cause I can’t [actually announce it]. I can’t do that — I’m not in charge.”
“Well, you know, I’m — I’ll keep it mysterious […] But I know Idina [Menzel] recently said she would do it and I feel like if we’re all in, what are we waiting for?”
Even further back, in April 2022, Jonathan Groff said that he thought a Frozen 3 movie was “possible”. The unrivaled success of the two movies combined proves there is an appetite for the series to continue and with the cast on board, it may provide the perfect opportunity for Disney to confirm Elsa’s sexuality.
Queen Elsa has been seen by many as a Queer icon, with some even noticing the parallels between her coming to terms with her ice powers as an allegory to coming to terms with sexuality. The idea of Elsa being gay was further enhanced after Disney Animation released the Frozen 2 trailer during Pride month in 2019, with the sequel itself suggesting a potential future relationship between Elsa and Honeymaren (Rachel Matthews).
While Disney didn’t expressly confirm Elsa’s LGBTQ+ identity in the Frozen franchise, the Queer-coding led fans to believe she was gay. Something similar happened when fans believed Mirabel was bisexual when her costume in Encanto seemingly featured a nod to the bisexual flag.
Disney and its subsidiaries have been moving towards more inclusive filmmaking recently. Marvel Studios’ Eternals (2021) and Disney/Pixar’s Lightyear (2022), both featured same-sex relationships and kisses, but the decision not to remove these scenes in certain markets left the Mouse House shut out of a number of movie theaters across the globe. This also happened to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) which briefly showed America Chavez’s (Xochitl Gomez) same-sex parents.
There has been a shift, though, in Disney animation, as the studio announced that the upcoming Strange World (2023) will feature Disney’s first openly gay teen romance.
If Disney did reveal Elsa as an LGBTQ+ character, it would solidify almost a decade of theories, while also providing a massive (billion-dollar) stage for inclusion, representation, and diversity.
Would you like to see Frozen 3 confirm Elsa’s sexuality? Let us know in the comments down below!