The new Disney animated movie short Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is making a quick leap from the big screen to TV. Olaf, of course, is the lovable snowman voiced by Josh Gad in Frozen, the blockbuster 2013 movie musical starring the voices of Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell. It earned more than $400.7 million domestically and $875.7 million in foreign territories for a staggering global cume of $1.276 billion. Not surprisingly, fans demanded more Frozen, but because animated films generally take so long to produce, Frozen 2 is set to open in theaters on November 27, 2019, exactly six years after the original.
To keep fans happy in the interim, Disney has treated the Frozen faithful to two film shorts about the continuing adventures of sisters Elsa (Menzel) and Anna (Bell). The first was Frozen Fever, an eight-minute short that played before the smash, live-action version of Cinderella in 2015, and the film was very well received. However, the next animated short, the 22-minute-long Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, wasn’t completely met with open arms, and in fact, created some confusion and dismay. Fans, naturally, have been treated to animated shorts before most of Disney-Pixar’s releases, but not one that was three times longer than the usual.
Playing ahead of the new Disney-Pixar hit Coco, fans got frustrated with the long wait for the main feature while sitting through 22 minutes set in the Frozen universe. As a result, it created a backlash against Olaf’s Frozen Adventure on social media. Ten days after film’s release, Disney responded to the outcry by announcing that it was pulling Olaf’s Frozen Adventure from theaters altogether.
While Olaf’s Frozen Adventure disappeared from the public eye Friday, it won’t be gone for long. According to ABC Action News, the short is resurfacing as a prime-time special on ABC December 14. The short is being touted as a “half-hour special” as part of ABC’s “25 Days of Christmas” celebration, which producer Roy Conli says the film is “thrilled to be a part of.” He says:
“While making the film, our crew was so inspired by all of the great television holiday specials of the past. It’s a dream come true for all of us.”
It only makes sense that Olaf’s Frozen Adventure eventually finds its home as a TV special. That’s what it was intended to be in the first place, but instead Disney apparently took initiative to drop it in ahead of Coco in a bid to capitalize on the franchise’s popularity (plus, by having a run in theaters, it qualifies for Best Animated Short honors for the likes of the Oscars, etc.). When things didn’t go as planned, the studio quickly moved onto Plan B, and things should work out beautifully.
The timing is right since the story of Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is set during Christmastime, and certainly it won’t hurt with the holiday shopping season in full-swing that fans en masse will be exposed to four new original tunes from the likes of Menzel, Bell and Gad, and be urged to seek out the new merchandise associated with the short. Best of all, the 22-minute length of the short will fit perfectly in the half-hour time slot, giving ABC the standard eight minutes it needs to sell advertising in and around the TV event. Sure, the piping hot Coco and the new Frozen short didn’t quite mix in theaters, but by presenting Olaf’s Frozen Adventure as standalone event, Disney and ABC are making one very cool move that won’t leave viewers feeling chilled.
Source: ABC Action News
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