Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel), whose character was originally based on The Snow Queen in Frozen, has come into her own by the time Frozen 2 begins. She and her sister Anna (Kristen Bell) are finally close after years being separated, and she is growing in confidence and her sense of self. But fans have wondered whether this confidence is also a sign Elsa is understanding her sexuality more closely.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Frozen 2 animator Malerie Walters opened up on what she thought of this theory around the character of Elsa.
For Malerie, Elsa is “not defined by her sexuality,” but the animator explained how “beautiful” it is for fans from the LGBTQ+ community to feel represented in Elsa.
She said: “I think that is the beauty of animation and animated characters, when you have someone who is so genuine, we can draw out of them what we want.
“I know I can’t make any statements to Elsa’s sexuality because I’ve always been told she is a character not defined by her sexuality.
“But it’s beautiful that she has allowed that community to finally see themselves in a character like that, because there is very little representation of that community in animation.”
The animators on Frozen 2 clearly have not been told explicitly whether Elsa is gay but for Malerie, the way the characters are created through the work of multiple departments at Disney is what allows them to feel so real and genuine for fans from all walks of life.
She said: “I would also like to shout out the details that go into Anna and Elsa’s costuming most of the credit gets put on the animation department but there are so many other departments that make everything look so beautiful, even down to making sure the cloth simulation looks wonderful.
“The designers of the costumes and those technical artists who bring the costumes to life as well don’t often get the accolades that we get in animation, so I wanted to give them a shout out as well.
“It brings every single department to bring characters to life and part of bringing characters to life is making them feel believable and real and it’s those details which really add to that.
“And so I think it’s beautiful people can connect with Elsa on that level. I connect with Elsa on that level as well, and so I think right now things are left to interpretation.”
For fans all over the world, Elsa embodies a shy, uncertain person who finds her true self and is able to be who she wants to be, understanding her powers as well as her desires in life.
Some fans believed, at the end of Frozen 2, she and the new character Honeymaren (Rachel Matthews) would leave together and become a couple.
However, it is clear in the minds of those making Frozen 2, Elsa is not defined by romantic interest.
This is in contrast to Anna, who in both films has a romantic interest while also finding her own strength as the new Queen of Arendelle.
For Malerie, Anna and Kristoph’s relationship also has a special place in her heart, as she was able to animate Anna’s reactions to Kristoph’s proposals.
Having acted out the scene with her boyfriend for reference, Malerie added: “I think for me I see a lot of my boyfriend in Kristoph and so it was fun because I got to shoot reference for that with my boyfriend too.
“I just had so much fun shooting reference with him for that.
“Not the proposal part, I remember feeling a bit awkward about the proposal part because my boyfriend has not proposed yet, and so it felt like I was acting out a moment which might happen in the future, which felt a little awkward…
“I do think that added to being able to act it out, it’s something I’m very excited for so it added a genuine layer when I was acting out Anna’s reaction to it.”
Frozen 2 is out on Disney Plus on July 3