Walt Disney Animation Studios is continuing their success with the Frozen franchise by releasing the first feature spin-off of the mega-blockbuster film, Frozen Fever. Frozen Fever is a short film playing before Disney's Cinderella and follows the story of a sickly Elsa putting together a birthday celebration for her one and only sister, Anna. The short film is also premiering right after the (surprising?) announcement that Walt Disney Animation studios is in early development with a sequel to Frozen, currently under the working title, Frozen 2. Find out more about Frozen Fever and Frozen 2 all after the break!
Frozen Fever Trailer and Synopsis:
In “Frozen Fever,” it's Anna's birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but when Elsa catches a cold, her powers may put more than just the party at risk.
To be honest, I don't really care for much of any of Frozen Fever other than the updated character and wardrobe designs. After all, it's pretty clear that this short was made for pure merchandising, as well as an extra draw to bring more theater-goers to see Cinderella. With that said, I don't mind any of it simply because it is a short film and really can do no harm. And, to contribute to all of the power that Disney bestows upon it's fans/shareholders, Frozen Fever also frames a new song, written by Frozen dream couple Bobby and Christian Lopez. The song, entitled Making Today a Perfect Day, is available for purchase on iTunes, although a version can be found online, which I have embedded for you below:
With a full short film and song, you'd think that Disney would be completing their mid-Spring Frozen splurge. But other than the sequel announcement which I'll get to in a moment, here is a last minute poster showing off the new looks of Elsa and Anna, accompanied by Olaf and some new, adorable "Snowgies," which are also featured in the short:
Frozen 2 Announcement:
Alright. Here we go. Before I start a mini tangent, here is the official press release announcing the early development of Frozen 2:
It’s of-f-f-f-f-icial: Frozen 2 is in development at Walt Disney Animation Studios with directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and producer Peter Del Vecho, the Oscar-winning filmmaking team behind Frozen.
The news was announced at this morning’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders by Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company; John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios; and actor Josh Gad (voice of Olaf and all-around cool dude).
You are being warned- I am not the biggest fan of Frozen, as I pointed out in my review from two years ago the many plot holes/underdeveloped characters/poor story of the original blockbuster. With that said, I acknowledge and applaud the success of the film and all of the recognition that Walt Disney Animation Studios has been able to finally receive after so many years of struggling for a hit. The success of Frozen is almost unprecedented (minus a little film called Toy Story 3) and for all that i do not like about the film, I find it's success very rewarding.
However, Frozen 2 does not need to be made. I am well aware of the billion dollars that the film is going to make at the box office. And the tens of billions of dollars that the franchise will make in merchandising and cross-business advertising/attractions. The original film, however, does not warrant a sequel or continuation of the story in any way. And no matter how many people would like to tell me that they will bring on new talent to actually write a well-constructed script and story, I simply don't want to revisit the Kingdom of Arrendelle. Frozen was lucky to be successful because Disney captured lightning in a bottle. They were able to construct a timely message, add in some good character designs, and pump out Broadway-style musical numbers into one (somewhat) cohesive film that struck audiences with that special Disney magic. I don't think that it can be accomplished again. Not that it is impossible, but simply that the Frozen franchise is really wearing down on pop-culture. People are loosing interest very quickly, and I believe that is because of two reasons. The first is that Let It Go is overplayed so much that it has become more of a joke than anything else. The second reason is that the story is so week that the film will not be able to stand the test of time.
Furthermore, the house that Walt Disney built does not need sequels to sustain it's current stance as one of the best animation/film studios in the industry. Walt Disney himself had a no sequel policy by stating that "you can't top pigs with pigs." The studio has not been successful before with the two sequels that it has produced: The Rescuers Down Under and Fantasia 2000. Rescuers Down Under is a great film, but it failed at the box office, while Fantasia 2000 was just a terrible reincarnation of the first groundbreaking masterpiece. And obviously Frozen 2 won't have the same problem that Rescuers Down Under or Fantasia 2000 had, but I believe that WDAS just isn't meant to make sequels. It's not what Walt wanted, and for good reason. Disney Animation films just don't seem right being franchised and spend off into different features. They loose the magic that the originals have. In addition, Disney Princess films, of all, do not warrant sequels. They just don't seem right. What I would like Disney to focus on instead of "sequelizing" a pre-existing princess film is to develop more films based on pre-existing material, such as their upcoming films Moana and Giants.
With that said, I would love sequels to Wreck-it Ralph and Big Hero 6. I know that may seem a bit contradictory, but those two recent films warrant continuations. The characters are more interesting, the worlds are more imaginative and expansive, and the stories that can be told in those universes seem to be infinite. There are rumblings that a Wreck-it Ralph 2 is in the works, and there has been some recent speculation about a Big Hero 6 sequel, especially after it crossed the 600 million dollar mark at the international box office, becoming the third highest grossing Disney Animated film of all time. Just imagine revising Ralph and Penelope or Hiro and Baymax- truly characters that are much more interesting and timely.
Although I do not like the idea of Frozen 2, it's obviously still going to happen so there is not much of a point in me complaining about its existence any longer. Instead, I'll gear my energy toward hoping for sequels to films that I better identify with.