It’s taken six years for Disney to follow up its 2013 animated smash Frozen with a sequel, and with Frozen II hitting cinemas this weekend we wanted to know if the creative team behind the musical see a future for the franchise.
Broadway legend Idina Menzel, voice of the ice queen Elsa, admits she’s not ready to let it go just yet, and hopes she’ll get to voice the magical character again in the future.
“You’re going to make me cry!” Menzel responds to Yahoo’s question about whether she felt like she’d voiced Elsa for the final time in Frozen II.
“I didn’t think about it. I think about it being the last session with the creative team who are my Disney family for this particular film, and thinking ‘oh my God, it’s been three years [in production]’, and it’s bittersweet, you know?”
“It feels good to complete something and accomplish this project with them, and also knowing that we won’t see each other for a little while, so there’s definitely that.”
“But the finality of it, I haven’t dealt with yet.”
One person deeply connected with the franchise who doesn’t see themselves personally returning to Arendelle any time soon is writer-director Jennifer Lee.
She’s taken on the position of chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios since the release of the first film, on which she served as writer and co-director, and she feels she’s achieved closure with the sequel.
“For me [finishing Frozen II] felt final,” Lee tells us.
“But we always say ‘never say never’. I think what made this one special is that we’d both confessed that we didn’t want to leave this world. We naively just went into this because we love [the characters] and we could see more story.”
The sequel picks up the story of royal sisters Elsa and Anna three years after the events of the first film.
Elsa, comfortable with her magical powers, is now happily ruling Arendelle, and her sister Anna is taking a more active leadership role in the kingdom. Anna’s boyfriend Kristoff is getting ready to take their relationship to the next level, with his planned proposal providing some much-needed levity to the darker sequel.
Read more: What critics think of Frozen II
MINDHUNTER star Jonathan Groff, who voices ice-farmer Kristoff (and by proxy, reindeer Sven too), says he had mixed feelings about finishing the film, hinting at a tricky production behind-the-scenes.
“On the day that was the final day that I was in the recording booth, I genuinely felt sad,” Groff says.
“I also felt really relieved for the creative team because they had worked so hard and gone through so many rewrites that for them they were like [exhales deeply]: ‘We did it! We climbed the mountain!’”
Josh Gad, who voices the snowman Olaf in both films says if Frozen II ended up being the final chapter he’d be happy with his character’s legacy.
“If I don’t ever play Olaf again,” Gad tells us, “it will end up being one of the great parts of my life and one of the greatest joys and thrills to be able to have created a character that’s connected with so many people.”
Frozen II is in cinemas from Friday, 22 November. Watch a trailer below.