Following last year's news of the announcement that Walt Disney Animation Studios is in active development on a Frozen 2, The Walt Disney Company addressed in an official press release the addition of a Frozen ABC Television Special will air in 2017 along with the announcement that Frozen: A Broadway Musical will be hitting the Big Apple in 2018. Read the official press release after the break!
PRESS RELEASE, Frozen: A Broadway Musical:
For the first time in forever, Frozen is coming to Broadway! Rumors about the show have been swirling for some time now, but the official announcement was released today. The all-new show will be joining the likes of the critically acclaimed Aladdin and The Lion Kingin spring 2018. The pre-Broadway engagement is slated to kick off summer 2017.
The musical, based on Disney’s Academy Award-winning film, Frozen, will feature music and lyrics by songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Winnie the Pooh) and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, Book of Mormon), who also wrote the music for the film. The story will be based on a book by the film’s screenwriter, Jennifer Lee. Though the cast won’t be announced until later, there are a ton of talented folks already attached to the project, including Tony Award-winner Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher, Mozart in the Jungle), and Peter Darling (Billy Elliot, Matilda), who will serve as director and choreographer respectively.
The design team is equally impressive, featuring scenic and costume designer Bob Crowley (Mary Poppins), lighting designer Natasha Katz (Aladdin), sound designer Peter Hylenski, and music supervisor Stephen Oremus (Avenue Q, Wicked, Book of Mormon).
PRESS RELEASE, Frozen Holiday Special:
Since Frozen made its theatrical debut back in 2013, we’ve seen the film’s protagonists, Anna and Elsa, make appearances on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, and star in the animated short, “Frozen Fever.” Now, we’re happy to confirm that the sisters will be returning in an all-new holiday special. Oh boy, this announcement makes us happier than a … a happy snowman!
While we don’t have too many details at the moment, we do know that Olaf, Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Sven are all set to return. The special will be directed by two-time Emmy Award-winning directors Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (Prep & Landing, Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa), and will be produced by Oscar Award-winner Roy Conli (Big Hero 6). Members of the original voice cast including Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, and Josh Gad will reprise their roles.
The special (which is currently untitled), is slated to air during the 2017 holiday season on ABC.
It is no surprise that Disney is heavily pursuing the Broadway musical adaptation of the Oscar-winning 2013 feature, as they have pursued several other successful adaptations with The Lion King, Beauty and The Beast, and Aladdin, among others. The same can be said for the Holiday television special, which will hopefully progress the story of Anna and Elsa, unlike the Broadway musical or last year's short film, Frozen Fever. The Holiday special is also exciting because it is in the hands of Deters and Wermers-Skelton, who very successfully directed the Prep & Landing television specials, which remain some of my favorite holiday specials to catch on ABC each December!
Also, I would like to note that although these two press releases don't directly acknowledge the aforementioned Frozen 2, the sequel is projected to come after Disney's 2018 March feature, Gigantic. The only other date for an upcoming Walt Disney Animation Studios is November 25th, 2020, so I would not be surprised if the Frozen sequel will eventually be attached to the November 2020 date.
Regardless, The Walt Disney Company is clearly milking the Frozen cash cow as much as possible, and while audiences may tire eventually, only time will tell as Frozen continues to permeate the entertainment market in multiple forms of media and consumer products.