Kristen Bell Explains Why it Took So Long to Make Frozen 2

After a six year hiatus, Disney Animation's most popular property is returning to theaters with an all-new sequel. Frozen 2 will continue the story of Anna and Elsa after the events of the first film, which set the record for highest-grossing animated film in history when it was released in 2013. There was never a question as to whether or not Frozen would get a sequel, it was always a matter of when, and no one expected Disney to take a full six years to return to Arendelle.

So what's with the long delay? As it turns out, the creative team didn't really a clear sense of where they wanted to go with Frozen 2. There were obviously easy answers right in front of them, but they would've likely resulted in a lesser film.

While speaking with Collider, Frozen franchise star Kristen Bell explained that co-director and Disney Animation head Jennifer Lee wanted to be sure Frozen 2 would have the same impact and carry the same weight as its predecessor. She was determined not to more forward with anything less.

"The reason they didn’t green light it so quickly is because nobody knew what it was gonna be," Bell said of the Frozen sequel. "Nobody wanted it to be Episode 2 of Frozen, where Anna lost her shoes. No. It was about, what are the emotional undercurrents where we can show growth and character development in these people? What are we saying? It’s not just about providing a problem and have an end of a second act, and then a third act. It’s a beautiful story, and I think it says something pretty powerful. I’m glad that they took the time that they did because I think it’s really good. And it’s definitely a different Frozen. It’s a more developed Frozen."

"Yeah, they took so much time with it, for a reason," she added. "It went through so many filters, and Jen [Lee] kept going back to the drawing board, until she got it exactly right. To even find the story, she journaled, as the characters, for months. She would open a journal and be like, 'What’s Anna doing today?,' just to find where she’s stunted, where does she needs to grow, and what’s important. It was pretty impressive."

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Frozen 2 is set to hit theaters on November 22nd. Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck direct with a script from Allison Schroeder. Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Sterling K. Brown, and Evan Rachel Wood are set to star.