While the first trailer for Disney's Frozen 2 teased an enigmatic adventure, and a little wave-riding, the just-released second one offers a clearer portrait of what to expect when the sequel arrives in November. The footage illustrates a mind-blowing adventure that will take Elsa, Anna Kristoff, Olaf and Sven to the unknown regions north of Arendelle. And Elsa's power may be the only thing that can save the world.
But is there more here than meets the eye? We take a closer look at the second trailer to see what we discern about the still relatively mysterious plot of Frozen 2.
Catching a Wave
The trailer opens the same way the teaser did, with Elsa trying to ride oncoming waves by freezing them. However, this new footage goes a little further, with Elsa mounting the icy wave, only for it to crumble beneath her.
In Frozen, Elsa learns to accept and control her powers after a lifetime of repression. Could this wave-riding represent Elsa learning to control and harness her powers against the powers of nature? Is this a training scene? Or, perhaps, is Elsa simply trying to travel further north "across the enchanted lands and into the unknown" as the trailer alludes to?
Elsa falls into the water, and encounters a horse composed entirely of water that then disappears before her eyes.
Later, the leader of the rock trolls, Grand Pappie, claims, "The past is not what it seems," and that the truth about everything can be found north, in the great unknown. That indicates that the source of Elsa's magic might be located north, or perhaps that some sort of magical imbalance requires Elsa's gifts.
We now know, courtesy of Disney, that the magical entity is a Nokk, a water guardian spirit that protects the secrets of the forest. It is a manifestation of magic -- or, perhaps, a giver of magic. Is this guardian creating the waves to keep Elsa away from the truth?
Go North and Beyond
The rock trolls introduce the core of Frozen 2's adventure. Elsa will have to travel north, past the enchanted lands, and into the unknown. Looming over that perilous journey is the fear that her powers are "too much for this world." However, its salvation may depend upon Elsa mastering her abilities.
This northern land looks oddly warm, especially in contrast to snowy Arendelle. That could pose a problem: Some source of magic is presumably altering the environment in a way that's similar, yet different, to how Elsa affected Arendelle in Frozen.
The first trailer provided a glimpse of a new character, who appears to possess magical abilities. Is she responsible for the conflict in the sequel?
Death of Nature? Or the Rise of Autumn?
In the fall, many of the trees turn from green to vibrant yellow, orange and red. It's beautiful, yes, but the leaves are dying.
The magic in Frozen 2 may result in similarly colorful visuals, but nature may very well be dying because of some mystical ailment. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven will need to figure out a way to restore life, which no doubt requires finding the source of magic.
That, or else magic is tied in some fashion to the seasons. Elsa might represent winter, while this new magic user may spread fall. Perhaps Elsa is here in order to restore the natural order of the seasons using her powers.
At the end of the trailer, Elsa uses her magic to reveal a four enormous standing stones. They walk together through the mist, and disappear. It's difficult to look at the presumably prehistoric monuments, and not be reminded of the Celtic magical shrines from Pixar's Brave.
That said, it appears as though this shrine is a source of magic -- maybe even the source. Most of the promotional material seems to indicate Frozen 2 will provide the answer to where Elsa received her powers, and why. Perhaps this is the source of magic in Arendelle -- and beyond.
This is Elsa's Story, But Anna Will Still Fight
The first Frozen was a tale of two sisters, but the trailers for Frozen 2 seem to prioritize Elsa's role in the story. However, Anna is still here, emphasizing how she'll protect Elsa.
Why does Elsa need protection? While she is clearly instrumental to the magical core of the plot, Elsa will undoubtedly require Anna's help. As we saw in the 2013 original, Anna can hold her own in a fight.
In the original film, Elsa was able to create a sentient life form using magic -- more than one, in fact. Obviously, there's the talking snowman Olaf, but there's also the hulking creature Snowball. In this trailer, there are more creatures of that nature -- only much larger, and made of rock.
It is unclear whether they're the product of magic or possibly the creation of that mysterious new character glimpsed in the teaser trailer. Either way, it appears at least one of them is pursuing Elsa. Whether they're merely some sort of massive predators in this unknown land, or they're doing the bidding of someone else isn't yet clear.
Arriving Nov. 22, Disney's Frozen 2 reunites directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck and producer Peter Del Vecho with voice actors Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad. Returning musical talents include Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.