Posted on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 by Germain Lussier
Everyone in Hollywood loves sequels. Except Disney Animation. While their partners at Pixar have had no trouble coming up with worthy follow-ups to some of their biggest films, most all of the classic Disney animated films never got theatrical sequels. Even with that fact stated, it’s still a bit of a surprise to hear Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn admit the company hasn’t even begun to think about a sequel to their biggest animated film of all time, Frozen.
The Hollywood Reporter and others wrote about Horn’s recent, revealing discussion with Bloomburg TV. Here’s the relevant sentence:
Horn told his audience that Disney’s sole focus at the moment was getting the Frozen musical ready for Broadway and that a sequel hadn’t even been discussed.
Broadway musicals can take almost as long as animated films to get together, so this makes sense. It’s just an adaptation/expansion of the original story that they know already works.
But in an era where sequels can regularly get greenlit before a film even opens, the lack of talk about Frozen 2 is pretty surprising. Almost everyone assumed a sequel was a completely logical, forgone conclusion. That is, until, you look at Disney’s history. They’re much more comfortable milking, riding and re-releasing their proven hits for decades rather than taint them with sequels that don’t live up to the original. (Of course, many Disney classics were followed by direct to video sequels, but those were not made by Disney Animation).
Frozen, which will cross $400 million in the U.S. very soon and has earned well over $1 billion internationally, was a bit of a surprise for the company. They expected it to be good, but the huge audience response, not to mention becoming a cultural phenomenon, was unexpected. That’s evident in the lack of supply for merchandise (leading to incredibly high demand) and the long, long waits at Frozen-themed meet and greets in theme parks. (At Disneyland, the wait is usually 2 hours and rumor says it’s sometimes double that in Florida). If people care that much about this film, sure they’d show up for a sequel, but there’s a chance a mediocre sequel could taint the allure of the original.
That’s not to say there won’t be a sequel eventually. Rumor has it Disney Animation is quietly developing a sequel to Wreck-It Ralph. There is absolutely no rush, however, when they are still printing money based on the original.
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