After a frustrating year of waiting we’re finally getting it- Frozen 2. Just saying that gives me chills! I mean, this news wasn’t surprising- it’s an obvious next step, but it’s a BIG next step.
Up until now, Disney’s announced everything BUT a sequel. We’ve got Disney park attractions, stores of merchandise, kids books, a Disney on Ice show, a Once Upon a Time storyline, and a Broadway musical in the works, but Disney wouldn’t announce a sequel.
Frozen has become a catastrophic success like nothing we’ve seen before. It’s not only the most successful animated movie of all time, it’s in the Top 5 most successful movies ever made (yeah, it’s up there with Avitar, Titanic, and The Avengers). It’s staggering. Disney was praying the movie could match the success of Tangled and now it’s become their most successful project. So, yeah, a sequel’s almost guaranteed. But it took them a long time to come to the decision.
In interviews, the creative team refused to admit a sequel was in the works. They convinced us that they didn’t know how to continue with the franchise- saying they were still thinking about what the next story would look like. But just as we started to lose faith, Disney made it official.
My biggest problem with Frozen was that it was too vague- fans filled in these gaps and made the movie their own. Elsa got little screen time but became one of the most popular characters ever written. She was this mystery to audiences and so Elsa became different things to different fans. People mistake the confusion for complexity, but the truth is that Disney didn’t flesh out her character- fans are trying to fill in her blanks.
Just type her name in on Tumblr and you’ll get thousands of pages of fan fiction. There’s a massive theory on social media that Elsa is a lesbian (an interesting way to go with the character). The sequel needs to dig deeper into her character- really define her. They need to explore her vague powers (she can creative life!?!?) and give her a clear direction. Unlike the long line of Disney princesses, Elsa is a Queen. There’s a million different possibilities of where you can go with her character because she’s so open ended.
Arguably the biggest challenge with a sequel will be matching its success. Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (the composers) are going to need to work tirelessly to come up with the next “Let It Go” (a power ballad to end all power ballads).
They tried in the short film Frozen Fever but failed. What Disney did well, though, with Fever was moving past the original movie. They were no longer tackling winter but embracing spring. We were a little sick of Elsa’s look after endless fan art and were glad that she won’t be stuck in her icy blue dress forever, slipping into a frosty green gown that was equally impressive (it made Elsa look like an entirely different person). Even Elsa, though, was overshadowed by Snowgies- the adorable mini-snowmen that just made Disney millions in plush toys.
While we’re weary of how they’re going to move forward, we’re glad that they ARE moving forward. There’s no release date, but the film could be made in time for next Christmas. We don’t think it’ll be here by this Christmas, with Star Wars dominating the winter Box Office. That means that a Frozen 2 coming in 2016 will be a three year gap since the first movie. A lot has changed since 2013 but fans obsession to the franchise likely won’t.
The blizzard is coming whether you like it or not- get ready to face it.