Disney's new animated film short Olaf’s Frozen Adventure has finally gotten the warm reception it was looking for - on TV. Ever since 2013's Frozen became a blockbuster, earning more than $1.2 billion worldwide and Oscars for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (for "Let it Go"), to boot, fans have been clamoring for more of ice queen Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), her sister, Anna (Kristen Bell), and their snowman pal, Olaf (Josh Gad). Disney, of course, is trying its best to keep the faithful satisfied as it toils away at the sequel Frozen 2, which is set for a November 2019 release, and figured that a pair of short films dropped in-between the two releases would the solution to fit the bill.
At the beginning, it appeared that the strategy worked. Playing in front of Disney's live-action version of director Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella, the first short, Frozen Fever, clocking in at 8 minutes, was welcomed with open arms. But when the second film short based on the characters, the 22-minute Olaf's Frozen Adventure, became the opening short for Disney-Pixar's Coco, Olaf, Elsa and Anna faced some intense heat on social media from a cadre of disgruntled fans.
Coming in at three times the length of Disney and Pixar's customary animated shorts, fans made it loud and clear that they wanted nothing of the new Frozen adventure – at least in front of the critically acclaimed and box office hit Coco – and Disney did something about it by yanking the short from theaters and scheduling it for a TV special instead. Now, it appears that Disney's uncharacteristic move to find a new home for Olaf's Frozen Adventure was a good plan. According to The Wrap, the animated short was a solid hit in its debut as a holiday special Thursday in an 8 p.m. ET time slot, attracting 5.7 million viewers on ABC.
Not surprisingly, the special came in behind the CBS ratings juggernaut The Big Bang Theory in the same time slot, which pulled in 13.5 million viewers, and held up considerably well against NFL's Thursday Night Football, which drew an average of 7.7 million viewers throughout the night on NBC. Coming in a distant fourth was the Fox holiday special, the Showtime at the Apollo Christmas special, which attracted 3.3 million viewers in the eight o'clock hour.
While Olaf's Frozen Adventure came up short of besting its competition, Disney will no doubt feel vindicated by airing the film short in the medium that it was intended for at the very beginning. And while the Christmas-themed film took its lumps (of coal) in its brief theatrical run, it will most certainly benefit by having 5.7 million extra sets of eyeballs belonging to people looking to purchase toy items for the holiday season. Though Olaf's Frozen Adventure was shunned by some fans in theaters, there may be some theatrical love coming for the film yet, since its debut in movie houses will qualify it for a Best Animated Short nomination when Oscar voters cast their first-round ballots next month.
Source: The Wrap
- Frozen 2 (2019) release date: Nov 22, 2019