Since the thunderously popular animated musical Frozen climbed its way up the snowy box office mountain to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time, it’s no wonder that Disney isn’t quite ready to let it go. In addition to the mountains of merchandising and home video sales, Frozen will also continue in a short film called Frozen Fever, and select characters from the movie are now a part of ABC’s fairytale drama series Once Upon a Time.
Any movie that grosses over a billion dollars is bound to be put up for sequel consideration, but animated Disney sequels don’t have the best reputation. In decades past, they’ve often ended up with much smaller budgets, far worse writing and animation, and relegated to home video release only. Perhaps it’s the awkwardness of stitching an addendum onto Disney’s “happily ever after” endings, but it’s very rare to find an animated Disney sequel that’s actually watchable, let alone good (something like The Rescuers Down Under being the exception that proves the rule).
With that said, Frozen was all about breaking trends. This was, after all, the movie that openly mocked the long-standing fairy tale trope of characters falling in love at first sight and getting engaged five minutes later.
So it’s no surprise that, when asked by The Telegraph whether the rumors of a sequel and a stage musical were true, actor Idina Menzel (the voice of Elsa) replied, “They’re all in the works,” adding that while she’s not signed up for the stage show, she hopes to reprise her role in the movie sequel.
An argument could be made that Disney would be better off focusing its energies on creating a new animated film that’s as original as Frozen, rather than going the sequel route, but the same could be said of the many, many movies that Hollywood was determined to turn into franchises. If Frozen 2 can manage to break the curse of not only animated Disney sequels but also of sequels to musicals in general (we don’t need another Grease 2 or Love Never Dies), it might well be worth making.
Before getting too excited about Frozen 2, it’s important to remember that “in development” doesn’t mean the same thing as “actually going to get made.” From what Menzel said, it sounds like the film is still in the very early stages of development and doesn’t actually have any cast members signed up yet. One possibility is that the movie could move on from Elsa and Anna to focus on their offspring (in the tradition of The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride and The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea), or center on a supporting character like Olaf.
This isn’t the only recent Disney hit that’s reportedly in the process of being sequel-ized, as it were, what with Wreck-It Ralph 2 also being in development at the moment. There’s also a real possibility that a Big Hero 6 followup could await us in the future, in light of that Marvel comic adaptation’s box office success. We’ll see about that, though; in the meantime, be sure and let us know if you think Frozen 2 is a good idea (or if Disney ought to leave this one alone).
We’ll keep you updated on Frozen 2 as development continues.