Friday, March 18, 2016

Oncoming Snowfall: Is 'Frozen 2' Closer to Production?

Do we now have an idea of how far along Frozen 2 is?

Frozen 2 was an inevitability the minute the first film outgrossed Tangled at the worldwide box office. The film is Lasseter-era Disney Animation's biggest hit, and without any adjusting and whatnot, it is the world's highest-grossing animated film. No executive walks away from a $1.2 billion worldwide haul, unless your film is something like Titanic.

Gone are the days where animated feature film hits from Disney would end up getting direct-to-video sequels made by another studio (namely, DisneyToon), we're now in the era where a successful film's sequel will be done in-house and will be a theatrical release. Frozen 2 is the first sequel - not counting the continuation that was 2011's Winnie the Pooh, a follow-up to short subjects made decades ago - of this era to be announced by the company. They're still stalling on confirming Wreck-It Ralph 2, though there's probably a good reason why.

Kristen Bell, the voice of Anna, was interviewed by Collider the other day. Here's what she said when asked if lines were recorded yet...

"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. What I know about that whole team is that they wouldn’t just put something out to put it out. That’s why it took them so long to even announce that we were doing a second one. Generally when you have a first successful movie you want to make a second one. 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."

She has a point there. Another studio probably would've announced a sequel right away, and banged it out... Disney waited till March 2015 - nearly a year and a half after the film's release - to officially confirm the sequel. With Disney Animation's upcoming slate in mind, her comments could indicate that Frozen 2 will ultimately be the film that the studio will release in November 2018, which would have it bow near the first film's fifth anniversary.

If that ends up being the deal, that's good. A 2018 date gives and has given the story crew lots of time to get the story right. Frozen, dirty little secret, was a rushed movie that was banged out to fill a then-vacant 2013 slot. While the film is beloved the world over, I think it has lots of issues. The studio's recent films that I prefer were unsurprisingly in development and production longer than Frozen was. With the sequel, I feel there is a big amount of room for improvement, and more character development. Hopefully the tone will be a little more even this time, too.

Song work, on the other hand, has yet to come...

"No, not yet. We record all the time for different parks or different parks that open overseas, we’ll do a mashup for the rides. So we actually get to go in — Josh [Gad] and Idina [Menzel], Jonathan [Groff] and I — all the time and record new bits of the music. When Epcot center opens we’ll record a bunch of new music. So we have little bits of Frozen in our life at all times, but I’m excited to get started on the new movie."

It's also worth noting that the Broadway version of the film opens in 2018, so I can see the sequel coinciding with that.

One thing, however...

Moana is the studio's next, it's a princess story/big musical in the vein of the 90s films. That opens this coming Thanksgiving. What's after that? Gigantic, in spring 2018. That's a fairy tale that doesn't seem to have a princess (thankfully, for it doesn't need one), but it will be a big 90s-style musical. Then if Frozen 2 hits in fall 2018, it'll make for a trio of big 90s-style Disney animated films. All back-to-back. Overkill much?

I was personally kind of hoping that the familiar musical/Renaissance-y stuff like Moana, Gigantic, and Frozen 2 would be spaced out a bit while fresher pictures similar to Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia came out between them. Break it up a bit, ya know? Repetitiveness is the tiger trap Disney Animation was pushed into in the mid-90s, and audiences started to see the formula and got tired of it... And yet the studio had to keep repeating it in some way or another thanks to executive orders, to the point where it did more harm than good. Some of us don't want that to happen again.

Two back-to-back is probably alright, considering that we got two completely different stories - Big Hero 6 and Zootopia - back-to-back, but three 90s Renaissance-style films in a row? I'm not sure how to feel about that. Though I suppose it won't be a big deal, if a Ralph/Hero/Zootopia-type picture follows Frozen 2 and hits in 2019.

When do you think Frozen 2 will end up coming out?


  1. I think two back-to-back 90s Renaissance-style films in a row is too much! Honestley I prefer Ralph/Hero/Zootopia-type pictures. I mean, I am still waiting for Disney to announce Wreck-It Ralph 2. And I cross my finger to be released in 2018. I think Disney CGI princess are being overestimated. A lot of princess will be tiring.

  2. I just wish that Disney doesnt start to make sequels. That was the grat thing about the direct-to DVD sequels, if they dont do it, they can focus more on original ones

  3. I Remember those days when I belive that they will anounce th release date on the Disney Sharehold meeting.
    Well that was a disapointment

  4. I figured that Frozen 2 would be out in November 2018 because in Zootopia, Duke Weaselton's bootleg DVD of it was places right next to Gigantic.

    "I even got movies that aren't playing in theaters yet!"

  5. Here's what I think is going to happen, based on what we've been told so far and what I can infer from Disney's scheduling habits.

    2018: Frozen 2. This much is all but confirmed, thanks to the joke in Zootopia and Kristen Bell's comments. Nothing to note here.

    2019: Wreck-it Ralph 2. As of 2015, this film is still happening, but nothing official has been confirmed yet. But that's OK--it also took a long time for Frozen 2 to get confirmed. I expect it will get released right after Frozen 2, to provide a change in genre.

    2020: Original movie. After two sequels, it's unlikely that WDAS is going to commit straight to a third. My hunch is that this will be either the long-awaited Mickey Mouse film (appropriate, since this will be the 60th film in the Canon) or the rumored "space-race" movie.

    2021: Zootopia 2. If Zootopia does as well as I think it will, a sequel is all but inevitable. In this scenario, there is a 5-year gap between the release of Frozen in 2013 and that of its sequel in 2018. Applying that hear places the release of Zootopia's sequel no earlier than 2021.
    After 2021, I have no idea what Disney will do.

    1. With that in mind, I can kinda see Disney Animation getting two out in 2021: Zootopia 2, and an original, be it Dean Wellins' film, or Stephen J. Anderson's project. Or the Mickey film, if it's still a thing. But yeah, that does sound about right.

    2. A Mickey film being the 60th film in the Disney canon would be HUGE. I could imagine it outgrossing even Star Wars if it came out, because it's frikkin' Mickey Mouse for crying out loud! He's one of the most well-known cartoon characters in the world, and it could be a monster hit if it were released (as long as the story is good).

    3. have you noticed that all the films from the revival era is getting sequels? Tangled and Big Hero 6 will get a series, Frozen and Wreck It Ralph will get new movies. Personally, I don't like it. Because if they start making sequels they won't focus on new features. That's why I'd rather if they made a TV Series for Zootopia. It's almost confirmed it'll get a sequel, it doesnt matter if it's a film or a series. This film will reach U$800.000.000+

    4. Personally , I don’t want and don’t see to Frozen 2 being released in 2018 . One reason is, as you said Gray, Disney's scheduling habits.
      It may have nothing to do with the rest of the Disney late (not Marvel or Lucasfilm), but look at this.

      Every 6 years.
      Alice 2010 is getting a sequel, this 2016.
      Pirates 2011 will get a sequel next year, 2017.
      Maleficent 2014, well… It’s not confirmed yet, but I read news the other day which said that it could be released at any time in 2018.

      Besides, Kristen Bell said that, but the production of an animation movie could last a good time. And remember, Lasseter shouldn’t be putting pressure on his team in Disney, he should give their time.
      Perhaps some of you will tell me that 5 or 6 years is a long time, but look the gap between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 (11 years), Monsters, Inc and Monsters University (12 years), Finding Nemo and Dory (13 years), The Incredibles two movies (15 years).

      Another reason, Disney could find a way to make a Disney Animation movie compete with Pixar Animation at the Oscars. Exactly like this very year: Zootopia vs Finding Dory. (Remember Brave vs Wreck-it Ralph, Frozen vs er.. well… it could’ve been MU, but wasn’t nominee). I 'm pretty sure if Coco is a high quality movie (like Wall -E, Up, Toy Story 3 , Inside Out), will take an Oscar next year. Nobody, having such a faith, will believe Cars 3 will win an Oscar (Sorry, fan Cars).

      But, Gigantic against Frozen 2 competing in 2019? Two princess fairy tales? I don’t think so. I’d prefer to see Gigantic o a possible Wreck-it Ralph sequel against Toy Story 4. And Frozen 2 vs The Incredibles II in 2020. That would be fair and nice for both studios. Each studio would’ve the same opportunities to show what they having and getting awards.

      You see? Princess vs. Non-princess.

      2016: Zootopia – Finding Dory – Moana
      2017: Cars 3 – Coco
      2018: Gigantic – Toy Story 4 – Wreck-it Ralph 2
      2019: The Incredibles II – Frozen 2
      2020: Pixar – Pixar – Disney (Big Hero 6 sequel?)
      2021: Disney – Pixar – Disney
      2022: Zootopia 2? – Pixar

      In conclusion, it’s just my opinion , it’s a personal theory. These days, anything can happen.

    5. A lot of Pixar's sequels took a while to come because of several factors. One of which was very, very complicated legal issues with Disney (remember the Eisner sequel drama?), and originals moving ahead of them. Also, it's a matter of when they move forward. (i.e. Pixar began work on MU in 2008, movie was released in 2013, 5 years in the works.) 'Incredibles 2' is a case of Brad Bird not wanting to make it until coming up with a good story, which he must've concocted in 2013/2014. He may have had various ideas between 2004 and then, but when something enters active development is important.

      Things change constantly, but I won't be surprised if 'Frozen 2' ends up opening the same year as 'Gigantic'. As for the Oscars, Disney only cares about getting it either way, whether one or another WDAS film takes it home, or the Pixar film. The Oscars are pretty much meaningless when it comes to determining the quality of a film.

    6. @ Vinicius - If a few sequels are on the slate, originals will still be a high priority. It's just a matter of when they are scheduled.

      I just wonder if the studios will ever try again with setting up Orlando-esque units to get more originals out, and lower-budget films at that. (Pipe dream.)