The D23 Expo got started today in Anaheim, California, with thousands packing into Hall D23 for a glimpse at Disney and Pixar's upcoming animated slated. One of the most highly-anticipated projects showcased during this two-hour panel was Frozen 2, which still doesn't have a proper title yet, although it is set for release on November 27, 2019. While no footage was shown, there was a few surprises in store for fans, as stars Kristen Bell (Anna) and Josh Gad (Olaf) took to the D23 stage, alongside John Lasseter.
Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, and produced by Peter Del Vecho, Walt Disney Animation Studios' feature-length follow-up to 2013's Oscar-winning film Frozen is slated for theaters on November 27, 2019, with the Frozen 2 release date handed out at the end of April. Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel (Elsa) and Jonathan Groff (Kristoff) are reprising their roles in an all-new story. In lieu of any sort of footage, Lasseter, Bell and Gad shared with Frozen fans a behind-the-scenes video showcasing the filmmakers' recent research trip to Norway, Finland and Iceland.
Kristen Bell, the voice of Anna, introduced fans to the new Frozen holiday featurette, Olaf's Frozen Adventure. Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf, surprised the crowd with a live performance of the all-new original song "That Time of Year," written by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson. The song is part of Walt Disney Animation Studios' new 21-minute featurette, which hits the big-screen in front of Disney•Pixar's Coco on Nov. 22, 2017. Joining Bell and Gad in the featurette are Idina Menzel as the voice of Elsa, and Jonathan Groff as the voice of Kristoff. The featurette is directed by the Emmy-winning team Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (Prep & Landing) and produced by Oscar winner Roy Conli (Big Hero 6).
While the sequel is definitely happening at Disney, there was talk in March 2015 that this Frozen sequel wasn't set in stone, which seemed odd since Frozen has become a cultural phenomenon, becoming the highest-grossing animated film of all time, earning $400 million domestic and $1.2 billion worldwide, from a $150 million budget. Regardless, the sequel was eventually given the green light, and now fans will be able to see the new adventures of Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf in just a few years' time.
It remains to be seen if Frozen 2 will be as much of a box office juggernaut as the original, but with the voice cast and creative team still in place from the first movie, it certainly seems possible. The original film also spawned the 2015 animated short Frozen Fever, and the upcoming short, Olaf's Frozen Adventure, which will debut in theaters attached to Pixar's Coco, arriving in theaters nationwide November 22. Take a look at the full panel video below, along with the interviews with John Lasseter and Frozen 2 director Josh Cooley.