When you say the word ‘Frozen’, images of talking snowmen and catchy songs come to mind. Yet the trailer for Frozen II appears as far removed from its predecessor as you could imagine. There are no musical numbers, princesses in castles or cutesy romance scenes that you might expect from a Disney trailer.
Viewers are kept in a suspense from the first few seconds, with only a black screen and a crashing noise gradually becoming audible. The noise is revealed as waves crashing upon a stormy beach, and the ominous mood only intensifies with the piano music building in the background as we watch Elsa run towards the waves. Although her attempts to control the sea are significant, the details of this mysterious location and her outfit are equally intriguing. It is unclear whether Elsa is still in Arendelle or potentially imprisoned elsewhere. Furthermore, the close up shows Elsa discard her cloak, highlighting the blue wetsuit-style outfit she wears, contrasting to the dress she creates for herself in the first film.
“Whether she is training herself or trying to escape is unclear”
However, as Elsa runs, the tide rolls over her, and the screen darkens. The ominous music continues as we see Elsa try again, this time diving into the water and climbing up a rock. Elsa appears more successful in freezing the waves, sliding down one and running up another. Whether she is training herself or trying to escape is unclear, yet Elsa hasn’t fully mastered her abilities, as the ice breaks and she is swept under again.
The trailer then cuts from one principal character to another. There is no dialogue, only choral music. We see Anna stood at a balcony in the palace, staring at mysterious blue diamond shapes floating in the air. Again, a sense of danger is suggested by the recurrent piano music.
“There is no dialogue, only choral music”
We then see Kristoff, riding on Sven through a forest, leading a charge of reindeer. Significantly, the forest is full of autumnal trees, signified by their red leaves, suggesting a change of season from the perpetual winter of the first film. The trailer then returns to Anna, now alone in a rocky terrain, possibly in search of Elsa. Notably, she is also wearing a trouser outfit rather than princess dress, and leaps off a ledge. Elsa appears to be in danger, reunited with Olaf but surrounded by a ring of purple flames.
However, the trailer also introduces two new characters. We glimpse a young woman, with dark wavy hair. Her purple items of clothing may suggest she belongs to a different kingdom, or be similar to Elsa’s gloves in controlling magical powers. All we see of the woman is her turning as the leaves beside her rustle, flinging a man into the air. At first glance, the man looks similar to Kristoff, with blonde hair, yet the green cloak, also lined with purple, suggests that this is another new character.
Perhaps the most telling moment of the trailer follows the introduction of these characters: we see Kristoff, Sven, Anna, Elsa, and Olaf, together upon a mountain top, looking out. As the camera pans across we see a landscape of autumnal woodland. Not only are these red trees significant in a change of season, but could suggests someone with similar powers to Elsa who has turned the landscape into autumn. The recurring trees also suggest that this scenery is the woodland in which the new characters were glimpsed.
“Anna as a warrior rather than giddy princess”
The title of the film is displayed, yet this isn’t the end of the trailer. Instead, we see Anna, Kristoff, and Elsa, stood in darkened woods, facing away from us. Suddenly, Anna turns and unsheathes Kristoff’s sword, slashing towards the camera. Even these final seconds suggest danger and how radically different Frozen II seems from Frozen, by presenting Anna as a warrior rather than giddy princess.
The fact that the trailer gives so little away about the plot of the film suggests that it is instead symbolic of how the film may be very different to the first one. After all, its audience has grown up since the release of Frozen six years ago. Therefore, the trailer’s focus upon action and sense of danger tackled primarily by women suggests that Disney are keen to offer audiences a role model beyond the stereotypical damsel in distress.
Featured image Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures via IMDb. No changes made to the images.
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