20 Weeks of Disney Animation: ‘Frozen’

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Frozen is probably the most popular Disney film of the last 10 years. Not only was it a smash hit upon its release in 2013, but it has inspired multiple short films, a Broadway musical, a successful sequel, and lots of love in the parks. The characters are memorable and endearing, the soundtrack is one of Disney’s best, and the visuals are beautiful. Frozen deserves all of the recognition it gets.

Read: 20 Weeks of Disney Animation: ‘Wreck-It Ralph’

Inspired by the classic fairy tale of The Snow Queen, this film follows in the tradition of the Disney animated films of old by taking a fairy tale and reimagining it. Frozen uses modern animation techniques to its benefit by creating a beautiful world that likely not be as visually stunning if any other way.

This was one of the first films to break several molds that Disney had followed up to this point. Most notably, the lack of a love story that results in a “happily ever after” sets Frozen apart from films prior. Another ground-breaking story beat is the way it handles the villain, which came as a big surprise to viewers upon its original release.

Much has been said about Frozen and its impact on the Disney Company and beyond. However, the simple fact remains that it is a good film, after all. Is it mostly for kids? Yes, but most adults will also find joy in Frozen, whether from the music, the lovable Olaf, or the meaningful message.

Live-action remake: In 2020, we exclusively revealed that a live-action adaptation of The Snow Queen was in production at Disney. However, rather than a remake of Frozen, this will be a completely new version. The film will likely be released theatrically and will be produced by Kristin Burr of Cruella and Christopher Robin.

Frozen in the theme parks: Frozen has hit the Disney parks harder than possibly any other Disney film in recent years. It has inspired countless attractions including the ride Frozen Ever After, shops like Anna & Elsa’s Boutique, any numerous other Frozen-themed events across Disney’s parks.

Sequel/Spin-offs: The first Frozen spin-off was released in 2015, two years after the film. Titled Frozen Fever, this short picks up after the events of Frozen during Anna’s birthday. It premiered alongside the remake of Cinderella.

The next Frozen short was released alongside Pixar’s Coco in 2017. With a twenty minute runtime, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure was largely disliked by audiences and eventually was pulled from showings after audiences complained of its length.

In 2019, Frozen 2 was released to theaters, and was extremely successful both critically and financially.

A year later, a short which serves as an Olaf origin story hit Disney+. Called Once Upon a Snowman, it takes place during the events of the first Frozen film.

Another origin story appeared in the form of a book, which was released late last year. Titled Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets, this book tells the story of Anna and Elsa’s parents before the films. You can check out our interview with author Mari Mancusi here.

Frozen on stage: The first major stage version of this property was Frozen- Live at the Hyperion and played at the Hyperion Theater in Disney’s California Adventure. This massive production ran from 2016 to 2020.

In 2018, a musical adaptation of Frozen hit the Broadway stage. With new songs written by composers Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the show expanded and built on the original film. For this production, Patti Murrin played the role of Anna and Caissie Levy played the role of Elsa. A US Broadway tour began in 2019, but has since been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Frozen is available to stream on Disney+.

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