NEW YORK -- Years after "Frozen" came out, some of us still can't walk through our home without accidentally prompting "Let it Go" to erupt from some unseen toy.
Elsa never really left us. But she's back.
If you haven't already been informed by some young girl (or boy) in your life, "Frozen 2" will be unleashed in theaters on Nov. 22, six years after the original amassed $1.2 billion in worldwide ticket sales (a record for an animated film), sent the name "Elsa" skyrocketing up popular baby name lists and ingrained the lyrics of "Let it Go" on the collective consciousness of humankind.
To reflect on Elsa's journey ahead of the release of "Frozen 2," The Associated Press assembled the two women most responsible for her creation: Jennifer Lee, co-director and writer of each film, and Idina Menzel, the Tony-winning actress who gives the ice queen her clarion voice.
Elsa was initially designed as the villain of "Frozen" but was reshaped as a new kind of Disney princess: fiercely independent, magically powerful and humanly flawed. She has ever since been a beacon of female empowerment to millions of young girls -- and, as they explained, to Menzel and Lee, too.
AP: How does it feel to have created the most powerful thing known to man?
Menzel: (Laughs) I don't think we've created the most powerful thing known to man, but it's nice to know we created something that resonates so strongly and beautifully within young people.
Lee: For (co-director Chris Buck) and I, everyday we're still surprised. We always ask the question of "Why?" and there's not a single answer.
AP: But why do you think "Frozen" has so resonated? After watching it a few hundred times, I'd say its power is predicated on its portrait of sisterhood and a young woman coming to terms -- letting out -- her talent.
Lee: They had flaws. They were messy and real. They were misunderstood and they were alone at times. But they had in this journey a perseverance and looked out for each other. To me, it's not trying to be perfect or polished. It's trying to connect with real experiences and real emotion.
Menzel: It's so refreshing that a man is not the answer to their problems. It's (Anna and Elsa's) relationship to one another, seeing the love affair of these two sisters. That's unique to most films in general and especially in a Disney movie.
AP: Idina, how would you describe your relationship with Elsa?
Menzel: It's funny. The character has sort of catapulted me to be a role model for young girls and boys. Yet I'm a woman in her 40s who still has to remind herself of her own power and pick herself up every day and figure out how I want to tackle the day and approach my life. I have to sing her songs and say her words all the time. It's a constant reminder to walk the walk and talk the talk and love myself, and love my vulnerabilities and my idiosyncrasies and everything that I am. And to understand that what makes me different and unique is what makes me powerful and beautiful.
AP: You were both very successful before "Frozen" but your lives have been changed by it. Jennifer has since become the head of Disney Animation.
Lee: What "Frozen" did for me is that it opened doors. As a woman in Hollywood, it's all about access. I was given a chance on "Frozen" and because of "Frozen," the doors were opened. Having those opened doors makes you take more chances.