Sequels have always been a trend in the animation industry. The very concept of them probably dates back to animated shorts from the early 1920’s, such as Felix the Cat. Disney’s first theatrically animated sequel was 1990’s The Rescuers Down Under. For Disney, they are still a new breed.
Now it’s time to present what inspired this post: a Frozen sequel was announced today. This is a huge step forward for Disney, because in the past, whenever the company released a sequel, it never feel relevant nor necessary. For example, Return to Never Land, released in 2002, was a sequel to Peter Pan, released in 1953– 49 years before. Audiences were just begging for this. I’m not even going to get into the various direct-to-video sequels such as Bambi 2 (ready or not, the deer was back) because I am only discussing theatrical sequels.
Nearly two years after its release, Frozen is still everywhere. The phrase “let it go” will never mean the same thing again. Frozen is the most relevant Disney film of the generation. Some reviewers called it the best Disney movie since Beauty and the Beast. The New Yorker wrote a detailed piece of why Frozen has cemented a place in our culture. The writer describes the trend of Frozen themed birthday parties, people dressing as Elsa, multiple hour waiting times to see the characters in the Disney World among other Frozen insanities.
In essence, this is the perfect Disney film to have a sequel. The public is still ripe with Frozen-mania and as I’ve stated in my previous posts, when it comes to today’s animation industry, Disney holds all the cards.
Frozen 2 has been announced but has no release date yet. Will audiences flock to the theaters in a few years donning Elsa, Anna (and possibly Olaf?) masks? Yes, everybody still has the cold, but its never affected them regardless.