Frozen 2 Trailer Analysis

We now have our first official full-length trailer for Frozen II. This trailer expands on some of the images we saw in the teaser along with strategically chosen dialogue to keep us guessing about the story. Though it does not contain any additional footage of the mysterious girl and boy from the initial teaser, we do see a new character in the form of an underwater horse spirit revealed to be a Nokk, a mythological creature from various European cultures. Reminiscent of the will o' the wisps from Brave or the blowing leaves from Pocahontas, this shapeshifting spirit appears to be Elsa's guiding force to the magical elements of the film. We see a similar horse appear again later in the form of glittering lights alongside illusions of other creatures that later transform into sparkling silver leaves. The Nokk's magic will likely lead Elsa to her mysterious destiny that will be presented in this film.


A major focal point of Frozen II is the inception of Elsa's powers. The official summary on YouTube begins with "Why was Elsa born with magical powers? The answer is calling her and threatening her kingdom." Later in the trailer, we see Pabby the troll cryptically state that "The past is not what it seems." This could be referring to Anna and Elsa's late parents, but it is more likely a hint to why Elsa was born with ice powers. This a big question from the first Frozen movie, which never explored how an ordinary king and queen gave birth to one daughter with magic and one without. I would have been on board with this if I wasn't so satisfied with the way it was already answered on ABC's Once Upon a Time by revealing that Elsa's aunt had snow powers and that the queen herself was Gerda from the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, Once's Frozen arc revealed that the powers are a genetic trait in the queen's bloodline that appears in one sister when two are born and resolved many of my gripes with the Disney film. My biggest concern with this sequel is that it might retcon the carefully crafted backstory from Once Upon a Time in the same way that Ariel's Beginning contradicted many of my favorite scenes from The Little Mermaid series.

The most obvious element of "The Snow Queen" that Frozen II is recycling from the original film, is the quest storyline. Anna is once again traveling through unforeseeable obstacles to reach a magical land of ice just like her mother Gerda did to save Kay. This time, however, her sister is right by her side every step of the way. This parallels the original movie except that this time, it is more about Elsa's journey than it is Anna's. Anna had more to gain from her journey in Frozen because she wanted to get back her sister and save the kingdom of Arendelle from an eternal winter, while Elsa was quite content to isolate herself in her opulent prison. Here, the roles are reversed. Elsa is the one who needs to take this journey because her power is the only thing that can stop whatever is threatening everyone. Anna is just along for the ride to make sure nothing bad happens on the way. We still have no idea what the threat they are facing actually is, but they might do a similar reveal to Hans, which means we probably won't learn the identity of the antagonist until the movie is released.

It is possible that the Nokk is actually the villain of the film. The Scandinavian version of the myth compares these water spirits to sirens that lure people to their deaths. Could this magical horse be attempting to lure Elsa into a trap to steal her powers? It didn't look very friendly when she first encountered it after failing to freeze a raging ocean. It's been established at this point that the trolls are good, so if they told Anna and Elsa that they need to take this journey, it likely has both positive and negative consequences in store for them. Then again, who's to say that the destination the Nokk is luring Elsa to is the same as the one the trolls had in mind for her? All we know at this point is that the sisters are traveling "across enchanted lands and into the unknown," which could mean literally anything since every land in a Disney movie is enchanted. The closest thing to an antagonist that I could find in the trailer was the pink flames that jumped across the trees in an attempt to attack Kristoff. It seems unlikely that these flames are connected the Nokk because its powers would probably be blue to match its water energy, but who knows?

Though this trailer did not reveal much more about the movie than the initial teaser did, we now know that there will be at least three new characters introduced in Frozen II, one of which is a mythological spirit. We will probably learn the source of Elsa's powers and join her and Anna on a new quest to save Arendelle and perhaps the rest of the world too. It doesn't look like Hans will be making a return, not that anyone misses him. We will, however, catch up with Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, and the rock trolls. Unlike many of Disney's older sequels, the cinematic imagery from Frozen II was clearly designed to be viewed on a large screen, which makes sense because the movie is coming to theaters on November 22nd. Hopefully, we'll learn more about the plot over the next few months. This trailer seems to be designed to keep people guessing just like the teaser.

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