Frozen (franchise)

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Frozen
Frozen logo.svg
Created by
Original work Inspired by The Snow Queen fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen
Owner The Walt Disney Company
Print publications
Book(s)
Comics Frozen – Graphic Novel
Films and television
Film(s)
Short film(s)
Television series
Theatrical presentations
Play(s) Frozen – A Musical Spectacular (2016)
Musical(s) Frozen – Live at the Hyperion (2016)
Frozen (2018)
Games
Video game(s)
Audio
Radio program(s) Frozen Radio (2014)
Soundtrack(s) Frozen (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2013)
Original music
Miscellaneous
Toys Disney Tsum Tsum*
Theme park attractions
Ice shows Disney on Ice: Frozen
Brand extension Frozen Northern Lights
Official website
Official website
* Work where this franchise's characters or settings appeared as part of a crossover, or has characters based on those from this franchise.

Frozen is a Disney media franchise started by the 2013 American animated feature film, Frozen, which was directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee from a screenplay by Lee and produced by Peter Del Vecho, with songs by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Walt Disney Animation Studios' chief creative officer John Lasseter served as the film's executive producer. The original film was inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, "The Snow Queen".

Since the film's release in November 2013, the franchise has expanded very rapidly. To date, the franchise includes various Disney theme park attractions, merchandise, video games, books, a Disney on Ice show, and a short animated film. Disney has also announced that it is working on a Broadway stage musical adaptation, an animated film sequel, and a new book series. In November 2014, TheStreet.com explained that "Frozen is no longer a movie, it's a global brand, a larger than life franchise built around products, theme parks and sequels that could last into the next century". Boxoffice chief analyst Phil Contrino was quoted as saying "it's become massive".[1]

History[edit]

Frozen was released in 2013 and was based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale "The Snow Queen".[2] The film earned two Academy Awards in 2014 (best animated feature and original song) and took in $1.2 billion globally and sold 4.1 million soundtracks by June 2016.[3]

On March 12, 2015, at Disney's annual meeting of shareholders officially announced a full-length sequel was in development at Disney Studios.[4] The Frozen Fever short film was released with Disney's full-length live-action Cinderella in 2015.[3] With the success of the movie, Disney began work on three musicals adaptations, for Disney California Adventure, Broadway and Disney Cruise Line. With the first starting in May 2016.[5]

In June 2016, Disney announced a franchise extension called Frozen Northern Lights. This brand extension including animated shorts, books and a TV special.[3]

Theatrical films[edit]

Frozen (2013)[edit]

The 2013 animated film Frozen was released to critical acclaim and commercial success, sparking interest in related media to expand the Frozen universe. By June 2014, the film's reliance on Norway for visual inspiration had resulted in a significant increase in tourism in that country, with a 37% increase in tourists from the United States in the first quarter of 2014 (in comparison to the previous year's first quarter).[6][7] Tour operators (including Adventures by Disney) responded by adding more Norway tours.[6] It is the 53rd Disney animated feature film

When asked about future sequels, Del Vecho explained in March that Buck, Lee and he "work very, very well together, so I believe we will be developing a new project. But I don't know what that is right now."[8] In late April, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan F. Horn said that "we haven't really talked about a sequel" because the studio's current priority is the planned Broadway musical, which will require "four or five" additional songs to be written by Lopez and Anderson-Lopez.[9][10] When asked in May about a sequel during an interview with CNBC's David Faber, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said that Disney would not "mandate a sequel" or "force storytelling", because to do so would risk creating something not as good as the first film.[11] In the same interview, Iger also expressed the hope that the Frozen franchise "is something that is kind of forever for the company" similar to The Lion King."[11] In June, Lee confirmed that chief creative officer John Lasseter had expressly granted her and Buck the freedom to explore whatever they were "passionate about": "We don't know what it is yet ... We’re actually going to start from scratch. It’ll be something completely brand new."[12]

On August 5, 2014, Variety reported that Lee had selected her next project: a screenplay adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's 1962 novel A Wrinkle in Time, for which Disney already holds the film adaptation rights.[13] However, Lee will continue to participate in Disney Animation's development process (i.e. giving notes on other projects, the same process by which she became involved with Frozen in the first place).[13]

On November 28, 2014, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, when asked about the possibilities of a Frozen sequel and a stage show, Idina Menzel mentioned "they’re all in the works." She also talked about her involvement in these projects: "Ah, yeah sure... Not the stage show – I don’t know what will happen with that – but the movie hopefully. We’ll see. I’m just going along for the ride."[14][15][16] However, on December 1, when the subject came up again during an interview on the Today show on the NBC network, Menzel said, "You know, I have no idea. I just assumed that because it’s so successful that’s what they’re up to!"[17][18][19]

In a March 2015 interview with BuzzFeed about Frozen Fever, the directors addressed and refuted the recurring rumors about a possible feature-length sequel.[20] Buck joked about how whenever they saw such rumors, he and Lee would ask each other, "Are we?"[20] Around the same time, Lasseter reiterated to Variety his philosophy as to sequels (while discussing Toy Story 4): "We do not do any sequel because we want to print money[.] We do it because each of these films was created by a group of filmmakers, and to my mind, they are the owners of that intellectual property. So we look at it with the simple question: Is there another story we can tell in this world? And that desire has to come from the filmmaker group. Sometimes, the answer is an obvious yes. And sometimes it’s, ‘I love the characters and I love the world, but I don’t have an idea yet.’ And sometimes it’s just, ‘that movie is a great movie,’ and the filmmaker wants to move on and do something else. And that’s fine, too."[21]

Upcoming[edit]

Frozen 2 (2019)[edit]

On March 12, 2015, at Disney's annual meeting of shareholders in San Francisco, Iger, Lasseter, and actor Josh Gad (the voice of Olaf) officially announced that Frozen 2 was in development at Disney, with Buck and Lee returning as directors and Del Vecho returning as producer.[4][22] Lasseter explained that at Disney Animation, "as with Pixar, when we do a sequel, it is because the filmmakers who created the original have created an idea that is so good that it's worthy of these characters."[22] In the case of Frozen, the directors had "come up with a great idea for a sequel and you will be hearing a lot more about it, and we're taking you back to Arendelle."[22] According to the Los Angeles Times, there was "considerable internal debate" at Disney over whether to proceed with a Frozen sequel at Disney Animation, but the unprecedented success of the first film apparently swayed Disney executives towards making a sequel.[23]

A month later, Buck disclosed during a visit to Australia that the directors already have an idea for the sequel's ending, but they are still working on the story that will eventually culminate in that ending.[24][25] He acknowledged their awareness of the challenge they have undertaken: "How do we live up to the phenomenon of the first one? There's a lot of pressure. And we'll put that on ourselves too; we'll be very demanding about how good this one has to be."[24]

In November 2015, Del Vecho, while visiting Duke University as the parent of a first-year Duke student, explained in an interview published in the Duke student newspaper that his days are currently divided between two things: "handling the Frozen franchise" and "working up ideas for the development of Frozen 2" with the directors.[26] When asked what to expect from the sequel, Del Vecho stated: "We’re excited by the ideas we have, but it’s too early to talk about them. We wouldn’t be making a sequel if we felt that we didn’t have a story to tell that was equal to or greater than the original."[26]

In March 2016, Kristen Bell, the voice of Anna, was asked if she had started recording for the Frozen sequel while doing promotional interviews for The Boss.[27] She replied: "Not yet. We’re just about to. They’ve just written it and they’re still doing tweaks, but I think we should be recording this month. The story is great, and they exude quality .... It took them a while because they wanted to figure out what story they needed to tell and what would be important and engaging and I think they found it."[27] In September, Bell explained in another interview that her earlier comments were mistaken, and she had not yet recorded lines for the sequel because Disney Animation was "still putting the finishing touches on the script," but in the meantime, she had already recorded lines and songs for other Frozen-related projects, like Olaf's Frozen Adventure.[28]

In April 2017, it was announced that the sequel is scheduled to be released on November 27, 2019.[29]

In March 2018, Anderson-Lopez in an interview about Broadway's Frozen, for which she and her husband wrote the new featured songs, confirmed that they had already recorded a song for the sequel with Bell, the voice of Anna.[30]

In July 2018, it was announced that Evan Rachel Wood and Sterling K. Brown had entered talks to join the cast in undisclosed roles.[31]

Cast[edit]

Characters Films Short films
Frozen Frozen 2 Frozen Fever Olaf's Frozen Adventure
2013 2019 2015 2017
Anna Kristen Bell
Livvy Stubenrauch
(5 years old)
Katie Lopez
(5 year old singing voice)
Agatha Lee Monn
(9 year old singing voice)
Kristen Bell
Elsa Idina Menzel
Eva Bella
(8 years old)
Spencer Lacey Ganus
(12 years old)
Idina Menzel Idina Menzel
Eva Bella
(young)
Olaf Josh Gad
Kristoff Jonathan Groff
Tyree Brown
(young)
Jonathan Groff
Hans Santino Fontana N/A Santino Fontana N/A
Duke of Weselton Alan Tudyk N/A
Grand Pabbie Ciarán Hinds N/A
Oaken Chris Williams TBA Chris Williams
Bulda Maia Wilson N/A
Marshmallow Paul Briggs N/A Paul Briggs N/A
King of Arendelle Maurice LaMarche N/A Painting
Queen of Arendelle Jennifer Lee N/A Painting

Crew[edit]

Role Films Short films
Frozen
(2013)
Frozen 2
(2019)
Frozen Fever
(2015)
Olaf's Frozen Adventure
(2017)
Director(s) Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers
Producer(s) Peter Del Vecho Peter Del Vecho and Aimee Scribner Roy Conli
Executive producer John Lasseter TBA John Lasseter
Writer(s) Story by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, and Shane Morris
Screenplay by: Jennifer Lee
TBA Story by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, and Marc E. Smith Screenplay by: Jac Schaeffer
Songwriters Robert Lopez (music)
Kristen Anderson-Lopez (lyrics)
Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson
Composer Christophe Beck Christophe Beck and Jeff Morrow
Editor Jeff Draheim TBA Jeff Draheim Jeremy Milton and Jesse Averna

Video games[edit]

A video game titled Frozen: Olaf's Quest was released on November 19, 2013, for Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS.[32] Developed by 1st Playable Productions and published by GameMill Entertainment,[33] it takes place after the events of the film. In the game, Olaf must use his unique snowman abilities in order to stay in one piece throughout 60 levels.[32] Anna and Elsa were released as figurines in the Frozen toy box pack for the toy-based video game Disney Infinity on November 26, 2013,[34][35] and both figures were released separately on March 11, 2014.[36][37] Additionally, Disney Mobile released a match-three game titled Frozen: Free Fall for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and PlayStation 4 platforms. It takes place in the kingdom of Arendelle and closely follows the original story of the film, in which players can team up with Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Hans, Olaf, Pabbie and Sven to match puzzles with the help of each character's special power-ups.[38][39] Six mini-games can be played on the Disney website.[40] Sony released a limited-edition Frozen-themed PlayStation 4 console in Japan at the time the film was released into the Japanese home video market.[41] In 2014, Frozen was co-branded with another Disney property – children's MMORPG Club Penguin, which became Frozen-themed for a period of time leading up to the Christmas season; the Frozen Party lasted from August 21 to September 3, 2014.[42] In 2015, Frozen Free Fall: Snowball Fight was released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Steam.[43] A world based on Frozen, "Arendelle" would appear in the third main installment of the Disney/Square Enix crossover franchise, Kingdom Hearts.[44]

Television[edit]

The film played a factor in the fourth season of a television series produced by Disney-owned ABC Studios, Once Upon a Time. On May 11, 2014, the conclusion of the show's third-season finale revealed a new storyline that will incorporate elements from Frozen, centering on the arrival of Elsa, the Snow Queen, after her urn was accidentally thrust into the time-traveling portal from the Enchanted Forest back to present-day Storybrooke. The show's executive producers later explained that Disney had not asked them to do a crossover.[45][46] Rather, they fell in love with Frozen when it premiered in November, saw it three more times, then developed a story idea in February and successfully pitched it to ABC Studios, the ABC network, and then Disney brand management.[45][46][47] The producers shared that "their writers' room was "basically a 'Frozen' appreciation room" and they would be "completely honored" if the original movie stars wanted to reprise their roles.[48][49] Producer Adam Horowitz said that they were not going to "redo" the film: "We're very aware of what we think makes this character from 'Frozen' so special and we want to honor that and make sure that what we do is in the universe of [what] everyone fell in love with this past year."[48]

On June 7, 2014, TVLine reported that Anna and Kristoff would also appear in the show alongside Elsa, casting had begun for all three characters, and that Elsa would appear in approximately nine episodes.[50][51] By the first week of July, it had been confirmed that the show's producers had cast Georgina Haig as Elsa, Elizabeth Lail as Anna, and Scott Michael Foster as Kristoff.[52][53] Later on July 22, TVLine announced the appearance of Hans in the third episode of this series' Season 4,[54] and on July 28, actor Tyler Jacob Moore was announced to have been cast in this role.[55] On the same day, John Rhys-Davies was cast as the voice of rock troll Pabbie.[56] A first look at a Frozen scene from the show's fourth season was screened at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International, which depicted a story line taking place after the animated film's events.[57]

On August 13, 2014, it was announced that a one-hour special titled The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic would air September 2, 2014 on ABC. It featured interviews with some of the cast and the creative team of the film, footage from Norway that inspired the look of Frozen, announcements of what is next for the franchise, and a preview of Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff's appearance in Once Upon a Time. The special also included a sneak peek of Walt Disney Animation Studios' Big Hero 6.[58][59][60]

Short films[edit]

Frozen Fever (2015)[edit]

Frozen Fever is a short sequel that was released in early 2015. On September 2, 2014, during the ABC airing of The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic, Lasseter announced a Frozen short film with a new song will be released in the future.[61] On the same day, Variety announced that the short would be released in spring 2015 under the title Frozen Fever, with Lee and Buck returning as directors, Del Vecho producing and a new song by Lopez and Anderson-Lopez. The short involves Elsa and Kristoff throwing a birthday party for Anna, but Elsa's icy powers put the party at risk.[62][63][64] In a mid-October interview, Idina Menzel revealed that the cast had already recorded their vocal tracks: "We just worked on a short for Frozen."[65] On December 3, 2014, it was announced that Aimee Scribner would be a co-producer and that Frozen Fever would debut in theaters with Disney's Cinderella on March 13, 2015.[66][67]

Olaf's Frozen Adventure (2017)[edit]

On February 9, 2016, it was announced that a Frozen holiday special was in development, scheduled to premiere in 2017 on ABC. It is directed by Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (Prep & Landing, Prep & Landing: Operation: Secret Santa), and is produced by Roy Conli (Tangled, Big Hero 6).[68] During the airing The Making of Frozen: Return to Arendelle on ABC in 2016, it was revealed that the name of the holiday special would be Olaf's Frozen Adventure. It was later revealed by John Lasseter in June 2017 that the 21-minute special would instead receive a limited time[69] theatrical release. It premiered in theaters with Pixar's Coco on November 22, 2017, and made its television debut on ABC on December 14, 2017.[70]

Music[edit]

The Frozen franchise contains many songs which have achieved a level of independent success outside the context of the films they were featured in. These include: "Frozen Heart", "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?", "For the First Time in Forever", "Love Is an Open Door", "Let It Go", "Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People", "In Summer", and "Fixer Upper" (all featured in Frozen), and "Making Today a Perfect Day" (featured in Frozen Fever) and "Ring in the Season", "The Ballad of Flemmingrad", "That Time of Year" and "When We're Together" (all featured in Olaf's Frozen Adventure). The Frozen soundtrack was also very successful becoming the best-selling album of 2014 with over 10 million copies sold and "Let It Go", becoming the fifth best-selling single of 2014 . A radio program titled Frozen Radio is another format used to provide Frozen and other Disney songs to listeners. Additionally, a song titled "The Making of Frozen" was written as a featurette for the Blu-ray/DVD release of Frozen.

Live shows[edit]

With the success of the movie, Disney began work on three musicals adaptations, as an attraction at the Hyperion Theater in Disney California Adventure, for Broadway and Disney Cruise Line.[5]

Disney on Ice[edit]

Disney on Ice: Frozen
Company Ice Follies And Holiday on Ice, Inc.
as Disney on Ice
Genre fantasy
Show type ice skating show
Date of premiere September 4, 2014 (2014-09-04)
Location touring
Creative team
choreographers Cindy Stuart
Benjamin Agosto[71]
principal skaters
producer Nicole Feld[72]

On May 20, 2014, it was reported that Feld Entertainment's Disney on Ice was planning an ice skating show based on Frozen with assistance from the film's producers and directors, and that the show would start touring in September 2014 starting in Orlando, Florida, with a cast of 39.[72] The show's world premiere was presented on September 4, 2014, at Orlando's Amway Center.[73][74] Feld Entertainment disclosed in November that they had sold 250,000 tickets on the day they first became available and expected that over one million people would have seen the Frozen show by the end of 2014.[75]

The show includes a traditional "Ice Follies PinWheel" while still performing difficult ice skating jumps. All the popular songs from the movie are included. About Figure Skating Expert Jo Ann Schneider Farris gave it 5 stars.[71]

Broadway stage musical (2018)[edit]

"The first priority [for Disney Theatrical in 2016], I have to tell you, is when you have a property that is as beloved and music-based as "Frozen," that has to get an enormous amount of my attention. To say, How do we take this and make a sophisticated, adult evening of theater out of it? Because, as we know with our hits, they have been for that audience that includes the sophisticated theater-goer."

— Tom Schumacher, interview with Southern California Public Radio in November 2014[76]

In January 2014, Iger stated that Disney Theatrical Productions is in early development of a Broadway stage musical adaptation of Frozen.[77][78][79] No specific date has yet been set for this adaptation. "We're not demanding speed," Iger said. "We're demanding excellence."[77][80]

During Disney's February 2014 earnings call, Iger congratulated "all those involved with Frozen" and reiterated that it would "be going to Broadway."[81]:4 He also noted that Frozen "has real franchise potential" and predicted that "You will see Frozen in more places than you've certainly seen today."[81]:8,13

At the end of March 2014, Del Vecho confirmed that there had been "discussions on how we can support the [film's] characters at other locations [and] [w]e are also discussing making a theatrical [musical] version of Frozen, but these things take time."[8] In late June, Anderson-Lopez and Lopez said there will be a musical based on Frozen within "a few years".[82]:45:40

In an October 2014 interview, Thomas Schumacher, the president of Disney Theatrical Group, disclosed that discussions about a musical had begun even before the film was released almost a year earlier.[83] After watching Frozen at a pre-release midnight screening, he texted Lasseter at 1:30 a.m. with "When can we start?" and got a call back from Lasseter within 60 seconds.[83] Schumacher explained: "My job is to corral the writers of the movie. I'm already talking to directors, and I have a design concept, and we have to begin to fashion this idea. It doesn't need to be fast. It needs to be great."[83]

On February 12, 2015, the Daily Mail reported that Lopez, Anderson-Lopez, Lee, and Schumacher had been meeting with two-time Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers to discuss ideas for getting the musical into a theatre by 2017.[84] The next day, Schumacher issued a terse statement confirming only that the songwriters were working on the show and that Lee would be writing the "book" of the stage version (the musical equivalent of a script), then stressed that "no other staffing or dates have been announced".[85]

On July 23, 2015, The New York Times reported that among various projects, the songwriters were "writing about a dozen new songs" for the Frozen musical.[86]

On February 9, 2016, Disney Theatrical announced that the musical was scheduled to open on Broadway in spring 2018.[87] At that time, Disney also confirmed that several additional people were now part of the musical's creative team, including Timbers as director, as well as Stephen Oremus, Peter Darling, Bob Crowley, and Natasha Katz.[87] Two days later, it was confirmed that the musical would first go through a pre-Broadway tryout in August 2017 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.[88] In April 2016, it was reported that Betsy Wolfe had been cast as Elsa,[89] but a Disney spokesperson said on April 26 that no roles have been officially cast.[90]

On April 25, the songwriters mentioned to an interviewer that they were about to head into a developmental lab next week for the musical.[90] Anderson-Lopez explained that while "the movie only has seven-and-a-half songs ... we’ve written about 23" for the musical," in the sense that they doubled the number of original songs and then there are reprises of those.[90] Lopez explained that the musical would follow the same story as the film, but they were adapting all the iconic moments from the film to the musical theatre environment.[90] It was later reported that the musical's first developmental lab was held over two weeks during May 2016 in New York City, with Betsy Wolfe as Elsa, Patti Murin as Anna, Okieriete Onaodowan as Kristoff, and Greg Hildreth as Olaf, and that Iger himself attended the lab at one point.[5] However, Disney had not yet committed to a cast for the Denver tryout production.[5]

On September 27, 2016 Disney announced the new creative team: Michael Grandage is the director and Christopher Oram is the scenic designer. Christopher Gattelli had been previously announced as choreographer. (Alex Timbers and Bob Crowley are no longer involved.) The musical will open on Broadway at the St. James Theatre.[91]

Merchandise[edit]

During the Walt Disney Company's 2014 first-quarter earnings conference call on February 5, 2014, Iger alluded to "high demand for Frozen merchandise", which was expanded upon by Disney senior executive vice president and chief financial officer Jay Rasulo: "Over the most recent quarter...if I had to pick out a single item, I would say Frozen items were the single most demanded items at Disney Stores."[81]:4,22 In March 2014, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Disney had sold almost 500,000 Anna and Elsa dolls, with a 5,000 limited-edition run selling out online in only 45 minutes in January.[92] Demand only increased further after the mid-March home video release; toy industry expert Jim Silver explained home video enabled children to "watch it over and over again" and "fall in love" with the film's characters.[93] Chris Buck mentioned in an April 2014 interview that the directors had not bought anything for themselves "thinking it wouldn't be a problem, and now everything's sold out!"[94] |By mid-April, U.S. consumer demand for Frozen merchandise was so high that resale prices for higher-quality limited-edition Frozen dolls and costumes had skyrocketed past $1,000 on eBay, both Disney and its licensees had arranged for air freight to rush fresh inventory to retailers besieged by desperate parents, and some of those parents had begun publicly venting their frustration through social media outlets such as the Disney Store's Facebook page.[93][95][96][97][98] Needham & Co. analyst Sean McGowan compared the situation to the 1980s Cabbage Patch Kids craze, where "the demand is ... driven by the scarcity because of the social status attached to being able to find it."[99] Fed up with the shortage, some parents took a "do it yourself" approach, and others went for custom-made replicas on crafts sites like Etsy.[96][98] Similar shortages of Frozen merchandise were reported during spring 2014 in the United Kingdom,[100][101] Canada,[102] Australia,[103][104] New Zealand,[105] France,[106] and Singapore.[107]

In a mid-April interview, Disney Store Vice President Jonathan Storey admitted that although Disney had high expectations for the film, "demand went even higher than they thought it ever would."[108] He also promised that more Frozen merchandise would be delivered to Disney Store locations immediately through regular shipments, and that new products were being developed for release throughout the year.[108] By the end of April, Disney Parks had imposed a five-item limit at its stores, while Disney Store had imposed a two-item limit, restricted the release of the most popular items to store opening on Saturday mornings, and required guests to enter into a lottery on those mornings just for the chance to purchase the very popular Elsa costumes.[109][110]

During The Walt Disney Company's 2014 second-quarter earnings call on May 6, 2014, Iger said Frozen "is definitely up there in terms of, probably, our top five franchises",[111] and that the company will "take full advantage of that over the next at least five years."[112] He also explained Disney was still working on the musical, as well as publishing, interactive, and theme park projects.[111] Rasulo disclosed that nine of the ten best-selling items at Disney Store in the second quarter were Frozen-related.[111]

In response to demand from private art collectors for official Frozen-inspired fine art, the first batch of 10 artworks approved by Disney Fine Art went on sale in May 2014, at an art gallery in Sacramento, California.[113]

A few days earlier, on May 1, 2014, it had been reported that Disney Consumer Products was developing a comprehensive program of new Frozen merchandise for 2014 and 2015, which would include additional role play and plush items as well as "home décor, bath, textile, footwear", sporting goods, consumer electronics, and pool and summer toys (the last two to come in summer 2015).[114] On June 25, 2014, DCP presented a "holiday fair" to journalists in New York City for the 2014 Christmas and holiday season, which included numerous Frozen-related items.[115] MTV News warned parents to prepare to "'[l]et it go,' and by 'it' we mean 'your money.'"[115] In early August, Fortune reported that Frozen could hit $1 billion in merchandise sales just in the U.S. market alone (that is, excluding sales of the actual film itself) by the end of 2014, with about half of that amount coming from toys.[116] Advertising Age reported at the start of September that the Frozen brand would be expanding soon to even more kinds of products, such as backpacks, fruit, juice, yogurt, bandages, and oral care.[117]

In late September, film reviewer Kyle Smith of the New York Post wrote about how Disney had sent him an early DVD copy of Frozen almost a year earlier for him to review, and as a result had cost him approximately $900 in merchandise.[118] He explained, "Frozen has turned my sweet daughters into mad merch-munching dragons who get all the hungrier the more we feed them."[118]

On October 9, 2014, Iger acknowledged at a conference on new media in San Francisco that demand for Frozen costumes "has been crazy since the movie came out, crazier than we ever anticipated, because, who knew?"[119] He added that Disney was now "definitely prepared" to meet consumer demand.[119] Around the same time, the National Retail Federation published a survey projecting that Frozen costumes would be the fourth most popular category of children's costumes for Halloween 2014, in that about 2.6 million American children were expected to dress up as Frozen characters.[120] The Fresno Bee estimated that with all the accessories released for Halloween 2014, it would cost about $94 to fully costume a girl as Elsa.[120]

At the start of November, it was reported that the shortage of Frozen merchandise was finally over, and Disney and its licensees had "adapted to a new reality where demand for Frozen merchandise seems unquenchable."[121] Disney announced that it had sold over three million Frozen costumes in North America alone, of which Elsa was the no. 1 best-selling Disney costume of all time, followed by Anna at no. 2.[122] Walmart went into the 2014 Christmas and holiday season with about 700 distinct Frozen-related items of merchandise in stock.[122] Among the Frozen-branded products made available in the U.S. market in late 2014 were duct tape[123] and a version of Monopoly Junior marketed with the tagline, "Whoever collects the most cash will thaw their freezing heart and win".[124] The "Frozen juggernaut" was cited as a major reason for a significant decline during 2014 in sales figures for other toy brands, including Hello Kitty[125] and Barbie.[126] The National Retail Federation's 2014 Holiday Top Toys Survey found that 20 percent of U.S. parents planned to buy Frozen-related merchandise for their girls, compared to only 16.8 percent who planned to buy Barbie merchandise. This meant Frozen toys were the No. 1 item on "holiday wish lists of girls", a position which Barbie had previously held for 11 years.[127] The New York Times reporter Binyamin Appelbaum compared Disney's spectacular success with the Frozen merchandise brand to the pharmaceutical industry, in the sense that the actual consumer of the product is usually not the person who is stuck with the bill: "After all, who wants to say no to their princess?"[128] NPD Group later estimated that Frozen merchandise had brought in $531 million in gross revenue during 2014, meaning that Frozen was the top toy brand of the year.[129]

On February 3, 2015, Disney Consumer Products reported a 22% rise in revenue and a 46% rise in operating income for the quarter ending on December 27, 2014 (as compared to the quarter a year earlier).[130] The largest driver of that growth was Frozen merchandise.[130] During the Walt Disney Company's earnings call on that same date, Frozen was mentioned 24 times, "more than 'Star Wars,' 'The Avengers,' 'Cinderella' and 'Spider-Man' combined."[131] The next day, Disney's stock price jumped 8% in one day to close at a record high of $101.28 per share.[132] The brand's success was only reinforced further on June 9, 2015, when Frozen won multiple awards at the LIMA International Licensing Awards ceremony in Las Vegas, including Overall Best Licensed Program and Film, Television, or Entertainment (Animated) Program.[133] Jakks Pacific's Elsa toy won the award for Film, Television, or Entertainment (Animated) Licensee: Hard Goods (in a tie with Playmates Toys' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), while Kohl's won the Retailer award for its presentation of Frozen products.[133]

Activities and locations[edit]

Meet-and-greets[edit]

ElsaAnnaFrozen.jpg

The meet-and-greets with Anna and Elsa at Disneyland and Epcot had been initially sponsored by The Walt Disney Studios as short-term temporary attractions starting from November 2013 to promote the film, but in February 2014, Disney Parks decided to extend them indefinitely in response to unprecedented demand.[134] By the beginning of March, wait time was reportedly as long as four or five hours to see Anna and Elsa, which fueled outside speculation about whether Disney Parks would respond with additional Frozen-specific attractions.[135] After wait times at Norway pavilion in Walt Disney World's Epcot reportedly reached six hours,[136] in mid-April the Anna and Elsa meet-and-greets were finally moved to Princess Fairytale Hall at Magic Kingdom, where park guests could use the new FastPass+ reservation system (part of Disney's MyMagic+ project) to bypass the lengthy wait time.[137][138] Jezebel.com commented on the phenomenon, "Word has it that those characters are like the Beatles now, attracting large crowds of screaming females."[95] However, as of April 2014, there have not been any plans for Anna and Elsa to join the Disney Princess line-up, though Disney Store confirmed that it was still possible the characters would be added to that franchise in the future.[108] When later asked about the situation with the meet-and-greets, Buck said, "Oh, it's crazy."[139] He saw the four-hour-long line himself during a Disneyland visit in the summer of 2014, and tactfully declined a fellow visitor's suggestion to introduce himself to the huge crowd.[139] In September 2014, a FastPass system was added to the Anna and Elsa meet-and-greet at Disneyland.[140]

In Christmas 2014, Hong Kong Disneyland opened a Frozen meet-and-greet in Fantasyland featuring Anna and Elsa. It requires a reservation ticket (similar to Disney Fastpasses) to meet them due to the high popularity of the film. There was also a puppet show about Olaf's search for summer in Fantasyland.

Meet-and-greets with Anna and Elsa were introduced for the Christmas season in 2014 (mid-November 2014 to early January 2015) at Disneyland Paris in the Princess Pavilion. Reservation tickets were issued each morning for a limited number of slots. Due to queue lengths and poor guest behaviour, the meet-and-greets were discontinued in early 2015 and have only returned irregularly, and unannounced, in the Disneyland Hotel.

Parades[edit]

After the film launched, Disneyland Paris decided to add a Frozen float into Disney Magic on Parade.

In spring 2014, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom opened Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, featuring Frozen characters on the first float.

In May 2014, Mickey's Soundsational Parade in Disneyland debuted a Frozen pre-parade unit featuring Anna, Elsa, and Olaf.

On January 28, 2015, it was announced that Disneyland would receive a new nighttime parade called "Paint the Night", which includes a Frozen float featuring Anna, Elsa, and Olaf. The parade premiered May 22 as part of Disneyland's 60th anniversary celebration.[141]

On March 26, 2017, Disney Stars on Parade premiered at Disneyland Paris. It features a Frozen unit with two floats. The first float includes Olaf riding on Sven and the second is a small castle with Anna and Elsa at the top. The second float features artificial snow.[142]

Events and celebrations[edit]

World of Color: Winter Dreams (2013, 2014, 2015)[edit]

From November 15, 2013, to January 6, 2014, a full-length show titled World of Color: Winter Dreams debuted. Hosted by Olaf (Josh Gad) the show celebrates the winter season with several holiday-themed segments, featuring scenes from Frozen, Toy Story, Bambi, Fantasia, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Prep & Landing, Secret of the Wings, Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Melody Time, Lady and the Tramp, Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, and various vintage Mickey Mouse shorts.[143] The show incorporates traditional holiday-related music, including Eric Whitacre's "Glow",[144] "Carol of the Bells", "Let it Snow", "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year", "I'll Be Home for Christmas", "Believe", "Silent Night", the "Nutcracker Suite", "Jingle Bells", "I Have a Little Dreidel", "Feliz Navidad", "Joy to the World", and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", as well as Frozen songs, such as "Let It Go" and "In Summer".

In November 2014, World of Color: Winter Dreams opened with a different show than its pilot year. The pre-show segment of Glow has been removed, however its music plays after the post-show segment as exit music. Overall the show faced major rearrangement, such as additional songs from Frozen, including "Love Is an Open Door" and "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?". Additionally the isopar flames were introduced into this show during the "In Summer" sequence.

Disney Dreams! of Christmas[edit]

On November 10, 2013 a full-length show titled Disney Dreams! of Christmas debuted. Hosted by Olaf, along with Anna from Frozen as co host. The show celebrates the winter season with several holiday-themed segments, featuring scenes which are almost the same as World Of Color Winter Dreams.

In Christmas 2014, like World Of Color, the show opened with a different pilot. It features more scenes like World Of Color does, such as characters from Big Hero 6.

Frozen Fun[edit]

On July 5, 2014, Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World launched a "Frozen Summer Fun" program which was to run through September 1, and which included a daily parade, sing-along show, dance party, and fireworks show; an indoor ice skating rink and a merchandise shop; and Frozen décor throughout the theme park.[145] In response to strong demand, Disney Parks subsequently announced on August 7 that Frozen Summer Fun would be extended to September 28.[146]

On December 5, 2014, the Disneyland Resort announced a "Frozen Fun" event at Disney California Adventure. While some of the attractions were made available starting on December 20, "Frozen Fun" officially began on January 7, 2015. The event included For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at the Muppet*Vision 3D theater, "Olaf’s Snow Fest" (featuring a meet and greet with Olaf), Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post, "Freeze the Night! A Family Dance Party" (temporarily replacing Mad T Party), and "Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome", a meet-and-greet at the Disney Animation Building (replacing the meet-and-greet in Disneyland Park) as well as lessons on how to draw either Olaf or Marshmallow at the Animation Academy. In addition, Disneyland received a Frozen play at the Fantasy Faire, and an update to the Storybook Land Canal Boats to include the village of Arendelle from the film.[147][148]

On June 11, 2015, Hong Kong Disneyland launched a "Frozen Fun" event that runs through August 30. The major feature of the event is the "Frozen" Festival Show presented at the Crown Jewel Theatre inside Frozen Village, an area located in the “Black Box” space known as "The Pavilion", between Adventureland and Grizzly Gulch. Also inside Frozen Village is Frozen Festival Square where the meet-and-greet with Olaf, a toboggan ride, and Oaken’s Trading Post are located. Other attractions are "Frozen Processional", meet-and-greet with Anna and Elsa in Fantasyland as well as lessons on how to draw Olaf at the Animation Academy.

Anna and Elsa's Frozen Fantasy[edit]

On January 13, 2015, Tokyo Disneyland presented a winter event based on Frozen. This event featured a Frozen parade and special scenes on Once Upon A Time Castle projection show. The event ended on March 20, 2015.

For the 2017 version of Anna and Elsa's Frozen Fantasy, a new projection mapping and firework show called Frozen Forever premiered. It was directed by Steve Davison.[149]

Disney Cruise Line activities[edit]

On January 22, 2015, it was announced that in the summer of 2015, Frozen themed activities will be added to select Disney Magic and Disney Wonder itineraries of the Disney Cruise Line. This includes a new Frozen-themed deck party, and, on the Magic, a new Frozen scene added to the Disney Dreams stage show. In addition, Anna, Elsa and other Frozen characters will be doing meet and greets on all the ships.[150]

Wonder musical[edit]

This unconfirmed musical was in the early stages but is planned for the Wonder cruise ship, which is going in for refurbished in 2016. Sheryl Kaller is the director, while casting notices indicated Josh Prince as the choreographer. This musical has had one run-through and is expected to replace “Toy Story — The Musical” thus project as an hour long musical, shorter than the Broadway version. While considered the least extravagant, fake snow is included in the climactic scene.[5]

Attractions[edit]

Anna & Elsa's Boutique[edit]

On August 19, 2014, it was initially announced that Elsa & Anna's Boutique (replacing Studio Disney 365) would open mid-September in Downtown Disney district at the Disneyland Resort. The opening date was later changed to October 6, 2014, and the store name was changed to "Anna & Elsa's Boutique". The location includes products inspired by Anna, Elsa, and Olaf.[151][152][153][154] Anna & Elsa's Boutique promptly drew a line of curious consumers on its first day of operation, although Disney management was reportedly attempting to gauge consumer response before considering similar stores at other Disney locations.[155]

Frozen Ever After[edit]

On September 12, 2014, Walt Disney World announced that a Frozen attraction is scheduled to open in June 2016 at Epcot's World Showcase in the Norway pavilion, replacing the park's Maelstrom ride. The attraction will feature the kingdom of Arendelle with music and scenes from the film, as well as meet-and-greets with Anna and Elsa.[156][157][158] Buck and Lee confirmed in March 2015 that they have been assisting Disney Parks with the new Epcot ride's design.[139] On the attraction, Buck stated "It's going to have real state-of-the-art audio animatoronics and it's going to look amazing."[139] In June 2015, it was announced that the attraction's name will be "Frozen Ever After" and will feature the kingdom of Arendelle during its "Winter in Summer" event, which will include appearances by the Snowgies from Frozen Fever, in addition to Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Sven, Olaf, and Marshmallow.[159] The attraction opened on June 21, 2016.[160]

Live at the Hyperion[edit]

In September 2015, it was announced that Disney California Adventure would receive a Frozen-inspired musical stage show for the park's Hyperion Theater, titled Frozen – Live at the Hyperion. The show premiered on May 27, 2016[5] and is produced by Walt Disney Creative Entertainment.[161]

Scandinavia themed area (Tokyo Disney Resort)[edit]

On April 28, 2015, the Oriental Land Company announced a new themed port at Tokyo DisneySea would be Scandinavia with a portion of the area being themed specifically to the world of Frozen. The new eighth themed port will be developed in the expansion site located south of Lost River Delta and has about the same size as Arabian Coast.

Frozen themed area (Hong Kong Disneyland Resort)[edit]

On November 22, 2016, it was announced that the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort would get two major expansions. One of which was a Frozen themed area expansion. It is to feature two rides, meet-and-greets, entertainment, shops, and dining locations. It will be developed behind the current Fantasyland area and it is scheduled to open in 2020. It is said to be similar to the Tokyo Disney Resort Frozen themed area.[162]

Books and comics[edit]

The publisher Random House initially released five Frozen-related titles for English-speaking markets in conjunction with the film's release. By June 29, 2014, all five ranked among the Nielsen Top 20 bestselling books of 2014 in the U.S. market.[163] By August, those five titles had collectively spent 148 weeks on USA Today's list of the top 150 bestselling books in the United States,[164] and Random House had sold over 8 million Frozen-related books.[165] That month, Random House announced a new series of four books by Erica David to be released in 2015; its two first installments, Anna & Elsa #1: All Hail the Queen and Anna & Elsa #2: Memory and Magic, which extends the plot beyond the events shown in the film as the sisters get to know each other, were released on January 6, 2015.[166][167] They further plan to release three or four Frozen books a year in the future.[168][169] In 2014, a Frozen-themed entry in Charles Solomon's "The Art of..." series was also released titled The Art of Frozen, depicting behind the scenes information regarding the film's production, and numerous conceptual artworks that informed the final visual style of the piece.[170] A comic book adaption of Frozen titled Frozen – Graphic Novel was released digitally on July 23, 2014, by Disney Press, and a print version was published by Joe Books on January 27 of the following year.[171]

In January 2018, it was announced that a Frozen comic book series was set to be published by Dark Horse Comics. The series, titled Disney Frozen, will be written by Joe Caramagna with art from the Kawaii Creative Studio. It is set to launch in August 2018.[172]

Brand extension[edit]

Frozen Northern Lights[edit]

Frozen Northern Lights
Owner The Walt Disney Company
Print publications
Book(s) Journey to the Lights (2016)
Films and television
Short film(s) 4 LEGO Frozen Northern Lights complimentary shorts
Television special(s) LEGO Frozen Northern Lights (2016)

In June 2016, Disney announced a franchise extension called Frozen Northern Lights. This brand extension including animated shorts, book series and a TV special, plus potential characterized toys courtesy of LEGO Friends.[3]

The extension's book series launched the extension on July 5, 2016 with its first book, Journey to the Lights, published by Random House by author Suzanne Francis and is 224 pages in length. The ten books in the series will be released by the end of 2017. The film's main characters attempt to restore the Northern Lights' glimmer and face Little Rock, the series' new protagonist.[3]

A spin-off collection of four shorts developed by LEGO aired on Disney Channel, titled:

  1. Race to Lookout Mountain[173] (a.k.a. Race to Lookout Point)[174]
  2. Out of the Storm[175]
  3. The Great Glacier[176]
  4. Restoring the Northern Lights[177]

They later aired as a whole on December 9, 2016. Titled LEGO Frozen Northern Lights (also known as Frozen: Magic of the Northern Lights in the UK and Lego Frozen Northern Nights elsewhere[178][179]), the shorts were compiled as a special and will featured the returning voice talents of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad.[3][180] The special received 2.01 million viewers and ranked fifth for the night on cable.[181]

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