Monday, April 7, 2014

Frozen II: It's Happening (Probably. Maybe. They're Thinking About It.)

Frozen in the Style of Mucha by Yar'Tzana-Serenade
Yes, it's true! There are rumors... but that's still as concrete as it is for now.
It's becoming more and more likely that, thanks to the film's monumental success, Disney will return to Arendelle for further 'Frozen' tales.Some fans might be a tad perturbed at the thought of a sequel, because the original is so adored, but the film's directors, Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, have admitted that the folks over at Disney are just as concerned. (Source)
Talk about a Frozen sequel, addressing the "discourse" of the fans is definitely happening amongst all the official-Frozen people but it's still early days of Frozen's success, historically speaking and it's still a "new movie". Though Frozen has just become the most successful animated film of all time (yep - broke the billion barrier!) it doesn't guarantee we'll be seeing sequels. It's pretty clear that any consideration of a sequel will want to avoid the (generally) lower quality writing and/or animation of the direct-to-dvd crowd. If they do take a stab at this, it's likely it will be big screen all the way.

Here's as much official word about it as was discussed in a recent interview (posted 4/4/14) the directors had with Den of Geek:
Fan made poster for Broadway Musical
We're past the age of straight to DVD sequels now, that much is thankfully clear. And obviously there's been talk about sequels to this, a musical... but how closely do you stay now as guardians of it? How do you stop The Jungle Book 2 happening to it? How do you protect these characters, or do you have to accept that it's someone else's now? 
Chris: ...I think with John Lasseter being there, he's such a guardian of the movies now... especially of Frozen, he really was such a big part of it. And the characters too. I think we'll be right there, but he's the 800 pound gorilla who says no, our characters don't do this. They don't go there. 
Jennifer: Right now, I certainly feel very protective of the characters, and it'd be very hard to see that happen. Having said that, the fans have seen different things in the film, some of which wasn't our intention, but they're responding to it, and there's a discourse going on. 
There really is. 
Jennifer: It's flattering. They're talking about our film at a deeper level than just it was good, it was bad. And that in itself means a lot. You don't want to take that away from fans. There is that balance of wanting to stay involved and protecting the characters, certainly going forward, but also liking the world that each person is making.
Basically, "yep we're thinking about it but don't get too excited, we're still feeling precious about this relatively new film." (You can read the whole interview HERE.)
Earlier this year Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, hinted that a follow-up to the animated behemoth is already in the pipeline as he told a conference call with investors that the film "has real franchise potential." (Source)
So, yes. They're definitely thinking about it. But the real question is: why am I blogging about it on a fairy tale news blog? Well Frozen has officially forever altered the way The Snow Queen will be considered; The Snow Queen as a character, the manifestation of snow, ice and Winter powers and also of the fairy tale. At least it retains the idea of strong women which is so prevalent in Hans Christian Andersen's story, though I'd love to see that connection strengthened a little more.
The Four Seasons - Tapestry artwork by Brittney Lee- Character artwork by Bill Schwab
It's a complete dream on my part, but now that the Disney-ness has been dealt with, with regard to this fairy tale rewrite, and certain cliches have been, at least, bent, if not broken in Frozen, I can see it paving the way to tap more of the original Snow Queen story and themes in a sequel, especially the idea of seasons and maturation, which is one of the reasons I really love the depiction of the Disney characters as shown in the image at the head of the post - there's more of an echo of the fairy tale than the artist probably realizes. The development art, immediately above by Disney artist Brittney Lee, shows the concept of applying the seasons to the story, themes and characters isn't foreign to them either, so you never know...

Whatever the case, Frozen and all associations with The Snow Queen (whether we like them or not) are not going away any time soon. Fan art, stories and theories are only continuing to grow and take some interesting - and fairy tale friendly directions (more about that soon, hopefully). Speculations are already growing about the film's transition/morph into a Broadway production, despite the fact that Disney has made it clear they are taking it slowly and carefully on that project and that we are unlikely to see anything for a few years yet.

So what do you think? Excited about a possible sequel? What do you think are the chances of fairy tale elements involved if there is? (And what if they're NOT from Snow Queen?)


  1. I just watched Frozen and Tangled last week. I thought the Rapunzel retelling was beautiful and done well. Frozen is not my favorite. But it does have wonderful music and my granddaughter can sing the entire song list. She's only 3!!!!!!! LOL!

  2. I am personally excited about it, and don't think they'll do a bad job. There's so many questions they still have to answer, about Hans for example, and his brothers. Someone mentioned that he is basically, just a mirror (like the one in the original story that was broken and shards went flying) of every character he meets. First he is just the Prince Anna was dreaming of meeting. Then at the party he acts just like she would. The Duke is mean, Hans is threatens him right back. Being left in charge of the castle, Hans does exactly what Anna would do. He gave out coats to people and gave them shelter.
    He mirrors the guy who is about to shoot Elsa with an arrow, except he makes it look like he's trying to save her.
    Anna deceived herself by thinking that she was wrong about Elsa, that Elsa had somewhat betrayed her by hitting her with ice. She even told Hans "I was wrong about her."
    That's when he betrays her, and mirrors that idea.
    There's a very very long post about it on Tumblr, but it does make sense, for the most part. And it's fascinating, and I do hope it was what the writers intended. Many subtle things in Frozen are interesting, plus the way that Tangled and Frozen take place in the same world (and perhaps the Little Mermaid too, with that sunken ship and all).