Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck and Peter Del Vecho talk the sequel to 2013’s Oscar-winning film
Over the last few years, due to the gender discrimination news we’ve heard and read about, society started calling (again) for women’s empowerment. Cinema responded and, in a certain way, Frozen anticipated the trends showing two strong sisters fighting for their kingdom. Children loved the film for the visuals, the songs, the magic, but there’s no doubt that Oscar-winning directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck’s film is having also a social impact on the younger generations.
However, some viewers found the first Frozen too childish, no matter the awards it won, and here comes the good news: the sequel to the 2013’s film feels closer to mature audiences without losing the fun/magic spirit that children loved. The voice cast of Frozen 2 includes Idina Menzel, Kristen Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Evan Rachel Wood.
Set 3 years after the events of the first film, Frozen 2 starts with a flashback: Elsa and Anna’s parents telling the girls an old story about an enchanted forest. Back to the present, Elsa starts hearing a strange sound calling her from the north. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven they will embark on a new adventure to discover the origin of Elsa’s magical powers.
After the world premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on November 7, Frozen 2 will be released worldwide on November 22 and in Italy on November 27, 2019.
Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck and producer Peter Del Vecho met the italian press yesterday morning, in Rome, to talk the long-awaited second chapter of Disney’s most successful saga.
It’s been 6 years since the first film came out: Frozen marked a turning point in animation’s history and it’s still having an impact on a generation of young viewers. How did you come up with the idea for a second film?
Jennifer Lee: «There was still something to be told about these two sisters: they surprised us with the strength they had. We built the first film on their emotions and their relationship. This time we only tried to stay close to the characters because we had to investigate the origin of Elsa’s magic powers.»
Music still has a very important role in the new film.
Chris Buck: «Yes, we treated this as the second part of a Broadway musical: the first film was the first act. Frozen’s songs introduced Elsa and Anna, in Frozen 2 we go deeper with the songs and with the characters.»
They also wear incredible dresses: how did you work on the costumes?
Chris Buck: «We have a very talented production designer and also incredible costume designers: Elsa and Anna wear four new costumes in Frozen II, but I think we went through a hundred of different versions just to get them right. The thing with the costumes is that we wanted to cheer them up a bit and, also, we wanted the clothes to reflect the story.»
Frozen has come in a very important moment in history: romantic love is the most predictable end in a fairy tale. In this case we have two strong, independent female characters, fighting for their kingdom, who follow two different personal journeys.
Jennifer Lee: «That’s why I love animation so much: it takes you to a different world where you can reflect the times we are living. There’s not only romantic love: Frozen shows family love, the deep bond between two sisters. Another important thing is the sense of responsibility that these two young women carry on their shoulders. This is a message for young girls and boys: they have to know they have the strength within themselves to face life’s challenges.»
Peter Del Vecho: «I think one of the reasons Anna and Elsa resonate so much with our world is because their conversations are real: they’re not perfect, they have flaws, but that’s why people feel so close to them.»
There was so much talking about Elsa’s sexual orientation: is there any space for a man in her future?
Jennifer Lee: «In both films we felt we had to focus on Elsa as a woman who’s discovering and accepting herself and this is already a hard and important personal journey. Many people believed she was gay, we simply thought that she was not ready for any kind of romantic love. At the moment she cares about her sister, her kingdom and her powers.»
Are male characters weak compared to their female counterparts?
Jennifer Lee: «No, they’re not. They are supporting characters: they are not scared of these two strong women, they help them. But this is Anna and Elsa’s story, there’s not space for everything.»
Frozen II deals with a very current topic: the respect for nature. Did you want to give a message to young generations?
Chris Buck: «We’re not preaching any kind of message because we can’t tell people how to think, but Elsa has a strong connection to nature: from her ice and snow powers she can connect to the other elements. This is a wonderful thing. Let’s say that if we don’t have a connection to nature, I think we should have one.»