Frozen 2 is in the works, Disney confirms

The Walt Disney Co. announced plans Thursday to make a sequel to the animated mega-hit Frozen, which grossed nearly $1.3 billion US at the global box office.

The 2013 original grossed nearly $1.3 billion US at the global box office

Queen Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel, appears in a scene from Disney's 2013 smash hit Frozen. The Walt Disney company revealed long-suspected plans Thursday that the studio will make a sequel, Frozen 2. (Walt Disney Animation Studios)

The Walt Disney Co. on Thursday announced plans to make a sequel to the animated mega-hit Frozen

Bob Iger, Walt Disney Co. chief executive, and John Lasseter, head of Walt Disney Animation Studios, joined in officially announcing Frozen 2 at the company's annual shareholders meeting in San Francisco.

The sequel had been widely expected for a film that has become a juggernaut for Disney.

Since its release in November 2013, Frozen has made nearly $1.3 billion globally at the box office, generated a massive merchandising revenue stream and won the Academy Award for best animated feature.

Queen Elsa wakes up sister Anna in a scene from Disney's animated short Frozen Fever. The Frozen follow-op opens in theatres March 13, 2015, ahead of feature film Cinderella. (Disney )
Disney didn't announce any details on the sequel's plot or a release date, but said directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck will be returning.

"We enjoyed making Frozen Fever so much and being back in that world with those characters," said Lasseter.

"Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck have come up with a great idea for a sequel and you will be hearing a lot more about it and we're taking you back to Arendelle."

Though a sequel was always only a matter of time, fans have waited eagerly for the announcement. Most big box-office hits generate sequel announcements within weeks of opening.

But any delay in a Frozen sequel has been easily assuaged by the film's unabated popularity.

Frozen is by far the biggest grossing animated film ever, and its soundtrack, led by Idina Menzel's Let it Go, remains ubiquitous. A Frozen short is to play in front of Disney's latest release, the live-action Cinderella, which opens in theatres Friday.

Josh Gad, the voice of the snowman Olaf, was on hand for the announcement Thursday and will be returning for the sequel. But no other returning characters were announced.

At the shareholders meeting, Disney also announced a release date for Star Wars: Episode VIII: May 26, 2017. Rian Johnson (Looper) is confirmed to write and direct.