What You Need To Remember About Frozen Before Seeing Frozen II

Kristen Bell as Anna and Idina Menzel as Elsa in Frozen
(Image credit: (Disney))

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Can you believe it has been six years since the original Frozen hit theaters? Sure we remember all the words to “Let it Go” like we heard it yesterday… and I’d bet some of us literally did with the holiday season simmering in. The animated musical is now a bona fide modern classic, one of Disney’s biggest hits and became a swift cultural phenomenon when it blew into cinemas back in 2013. But with Frozen II coming out this weekend, you might be in need of a recap!

There’s more to the Frozen story then you likely remember. Disney+ subscribers certainly have the option to log on to the fresh streaming site and give it a rewatch before heading out to see the highly-anticipated sequel (a free seven-day trial deal is still being offered). Or you can save some time and keep on reading! Here’s what knowledge will come in handy ahead of seeing Frozen II:

Young Elsa And Anna in Frozen 2013

(Image credit: (Disney))

Anna And Elsa Had A Tragic Childhood Apart

The heirs of the kingdom of Arendelle are two sisters named Elsa and Anna, and they were best buddies as kids too! They would sneak off and play around the castle with Elsa’s magical ice powers. That is, until one day when an accident occurs. Elsa accidentally slips and strikes Anna on her head with her ice cold talents. Their concerned parents (the King & Queen of Arendelle) covertly take Anna to a village of trolls to attempt to heal her.

The trolls can help the young princess this time around, but recommend all magic is not only removed from Anna’s head, but from her memories too. While she is left with fond memories of playing with Elsa, all remnants of Elsa’s magic is erased from her brain. The King and Queen separate their daughters from coming in contact with each other too. For most of their lives, Elsa remains on one side of the castle learning to control her powers, while Anna is lonely talking to the paintings on the walls on the other side. The gates of the castle are locked to the public as well. Then, one day their parents die in a shipwreck.

Elsa And Anna in her Ice Castle in Frozen 2013

(Image credit: (Disney))

Elsa Has Mysterious Ice Powers

Now all grown up, Elsa is then tested with the task of surviving her coronation day to become Queen of Arendelle without anyone in the kingdom finding out of her dangerous powers. The ceremony is the “first time in forever” the gates will be open to the kingdom, and Elsa is pressured to get through on her own. While Elsa is able to complete the ceremony without any ice cold accidents, it’s during the afterparty where things go wrong. Anna confronts Elsa about her ignoring her all these years and Elsa cannot control her powers. She runs away, setting off an eternal winter on her kingdom behind her and without her knowledge.

Off on her own, Elsa finally feels free to use her powers. We learn she can build whatever she puts her mind to in ice form, from castles to clothing to snow beings with minds of their own. Elsa’s powers seem driven and connected by her inner emotions. She’s not always aware about the forms they may take in the first movie because she’s tried to keep them in check and concealed from those around her. With Frozen II set a few years after the events of the first movie, perhaps she knows more (and will find out) more about the scope of her ice powers.

Anna and Kristoff during Fixer Upper music number 2013 Frozen

(Image credit: (Disney))

Anna’s Man, Kristoff Is A ‘Bit Of A Fixer-Upper’

Due to Anna’s lifetime of loneliness behind the gates of Arendelle, she craves love and attention. It comes out in all the wrong ways at first when she literally falls in love with the first man (Prince Hans) she lays eyes on and gets engaged with him on the night of Elsa’s coronation. Unknown to Anna at the time, Hans is a dashing prince who is using Anna for her princess title in order to gain power and a kingdom of his own. When Anna goes off after Elsa, she leaves Hans in charge of the kingdom and meets the man she’ll truly fall in love with in and still be with years later in Frozen II, Kristoff.

Kristoff starts off as a friendly stranger who agrees to help Anna on her quest to find Elsa. He schools Anna (and every Disney princess before) on the dangers of a quick engagement. There’s something pecuilar and oddly charming about Kristoff though. His only friend is a reindeer named Sven, whom he makes voices for. He also has a family dynamic going with the same trolls who healed Anna as a child. Going into Frozen II, fans should remember Kristoff isn’t your typical Disney man. He’s no dashing prince – he’s an awkward and strange one. Yet he's just the right match for Anna.

Olaf during In Summer music number 2013 Frozen

(Image credit: (Disney))

Olaf Is A Snowman That Can No Longer Melt

After Elsa’s grand exit, Anna goes off to find Elsa and break the snow curse – on the way she meet one of Elsa’s snowman creations. Olaf is an adorable snowman that Elsa would conjure up and the two sisters would play with as kids. Without realizing it in her adulthood, Elsa has created Olaf again with the onslaught of snow, and this time he’s a fully functioning being with mind and emotions of his own. Originally, Olaf is just a snowman who can melt in the sunlight. He doesn’t know this though, and ignorantly dreams of summertime.

Olaf learns of the kryptonite of being a snowman toward the end of Frozen when he is with Anna when she is in peril and has just learned of Hans’ true motives. He starts the fireplace for Anna when she needs it as she protests knowing how it will affect him. Olaf says the famed line “some people are worth melting for” as he stands with her and they think out a solution. Once Anna & Elsa are reunited at the end, Elsa places a flurry of gusty wind over Olaf’s head to allow him to remain cold and jolly!

Frozen Anna in 2013 Disney movie

(Image credit: (Disney))

Love Thaws A Frozen Heart

The big twist of Frozen is how it changes up Disney’s typical “love breaks the curse” theme. When Anna first finds her sister in an attempt to team up with her and stop the eternal winter Elsa has created, the ice queen accidentally strikes her sister again and this time it has damaged her heart. When they initially go to the trolls once again to help her, they say only an act of true love can break the spell. Since Anna is in love with Hans at the time, they rush back to Arendelle in hopes of a “true love’s kiss” to heal her.

When Anna learns Hans’ intentions are evil, she needs a new plan. The next person in line would be Kristoff right? The two have cultivated a friendship / budding romance? But Frozen is about the love between two sisters. Anna stands in front of Hans just as he attempts to kill Elsa so he can take the throne for himself, and then she turns to ice. Her act of true love to literally sacrifice herself for Elsa is what really breaks the spell, no romantic love interests required! Then, Elsa learns that love is the key to controlling her powers and finally unfreezes the kingdom from the cold!

There you have it! You're all caught up on the original Frozen and ready to see Frozen II! As far as what you can expect from the sequel's story, Frozen II will see Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven traveling beyond Arendelle to discover the origin of Elsa's powers and save their kingdom, and along the way they'll learn more about their parents.

The Disney sequel hits theaters this Friday, November 22, and you can read CinemaBlend's review of the movie now.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.