Frozen 2 "grew up a little bit" in the time since audiences last saw sisters Anna (Kristen Bell) and ice queen Elsa (Idina Menzel) in 2013's Frozen, a direction that will leave original fans who are now six years older "pleasantly surprised."
"You know I can't tell you anything, Disney is so tight-lipped about it. What can I say? I have seen parts of it, because when we record we see things, I haven't seen the whole thing, but I've obviously read the script. It is not 'Episode II' of Frozen," Bell told ComicBook.com at San Diego Comic-Con.
"It is a story that we waited a long time so that it would reveal itself to the creators. What is the next progression in these characters' lives that needs to be told? Not just like, 'What's another storyline we could do?'"
Bell is hesitant to call the sequel "a little more adult," but does say "it grew up a little bit."
"It'll still be appropriate for kids and kids will still love it, but these girls have grown up as well a little bit," Bell said. "I think the original fans of Frozen, who were little girls and now might not think it's for them, will be pleasantly surprised."
Returning director Jennifer Lee, who again teams with Chris Buck, only agreed to revisit the icy world of Arendelle once a natural continuation presented itself.
"I think the big thing for me is, we weren't going to do a sequel," Lee previously told Slashfilm.
"[Buck] and I were like, 'That story's done.' But then one day we just made the mistake of talking about something and going, 'Oh my gosh. That's the thing we still haven't explored, and it's important.' Then I spent time writing these journals as the girls. I didn't do it from exactly [copying the original] because I can't. And if we tried to do it that way, I think we would have something very hollow."
The sisters will next journey beyond their kingdom to uncover the secret behind Elsa's icy powers, making a dangerous trek alongside friends Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Sven and Olaf (Josh Gad).
"So just like the first one, I approached it from the inside out, because I have to," Lee said. "So I hope — but in some ways, it gives it that inevitable feeling and yet surprise. 'Oh, it's going there!' But yet it completely feels like that's the journey they have. So that's my hope."
Walt Disney Animation Studios' Frozen 2 opens November 22.