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Ready to let go of "Let It Go" ? Disney isn't. Mouse has five year plan for "Frozen" franchise

Ready to let go of "Let It Go" ? Disney isn't. Mouse has five year plan for "Frozen" franchise

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You've no doubt already heard about all of the box office records that "Frozen" has broken over the past eight months (With the most recent one being the 16 weeks that this Walt Disney Animation Studios production spent as the No. 1 film in Japan. "Frozen" sold over $240 million worth of tickets in that country before it was finally knocked out of the top spot. Ironically enough by another Disney movie, "Maleficent").  But were you aware of how well the "Frozen" soundtrack has been selling?

To date, an estimated 2.78 million units of the "Frozen" soundtrack have been sold. More to the point, this Walt Disney Records release has topped the Billboard 200 album chart 13 times since January.


(L to R) Bobby Lopez, Idina Menzel and Kristen Anderson-Lopez all hold pieces of artwork
which commemorating the spectacular sales for "Frozen" 's soundtrack.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

And since Disney executives dearly wants to keep this billion dollar franchise front-of-mind with consumers for years yet to come, they've now decided to use "Frozen" 's songs as a way to keep the public excited about this property.

Don't believe me? Then check out the all-new music video version of "Do You Want to Build A Snowman?" which debuted on the Disney Channel just last night. Twenty-six Disney stars came together last month to record an all-new arrangement of this Bobby Lopez / Kristen Anderson-Lopez song which Marco Marinangeli put together. All with the hope that this new music video would then help keep tweens excited about "Frozen" 's tunes.


Disney Channel & Disney XD stars gathered together at Jim Henson Studios last month
to sing an all-new arrangement of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Or -- better yet -- how about the "For the First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration" show. This live stage show is presented seven times daily at Disney's Hollywood Studios as part of this theme park's summer-long "Frozen Summer Fun" promotion. And given the hundreds of little kids & their parents who now stand in the blistering hot Central Florida sun for hours daily just to get the chance to sing along with Anna, Elsa & Kristoff inside the Premiere Theater, these songs still clearly have a powerful hold over a huge audience.

At least what's the folks who run the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood are hoping. Given that they'll be bringing the sing-along version of Disney "Frozen" back to this classic movie palace for two weeks starting on August 22nd.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

And on the consumer products side of the Mouse House, Disney believes that its "Frozen" karaoke album (which just debuted in Billboard's top 20) will be a big seller. And starting in late August / early September, look for a brand-new wave of "Frozen" -themed merchandise to hit stores which will then attempt to capitalize on the continuing popularity of this film's soundtrack.

These items include the Frozen Crystal Kingdom Vanity from JAKKS Pacific (which includes a musical feature where Anna & Elsa magically appear in this vanity's mirror and then singing excerpts from this Academy Award-winning film's score), a "Frozen Sing-Along Storybook" from Disney Publishing which includes a CD as well as the  lyrics to this movie's song, a Frozen Cool Tunes Sing-Along Boombox from Kid Design as well as a Frozen Sing & Swing Olaf plush from Just Play.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. / Feld Entertainment. All rights reserved

And let's not forget about "Disney on Ice presents Frozen," the music-filled arena show that will be premiering at Orlando's Amway Center on September 4th before Feld Entertainment then sends it off on a year-old Northern American tour. Not to mention the stage version of "Frozen" which Bobby & Kristen are reportedly already prepping for Disney Theatrical to produce in the not-so-distant future. And then there's the "Frozen" ride that the Imagineers are reportedly prepping as a replacement for Epcot's "Maelstrom" attraction.

And all of this is being done because Disney CEO Bob Iger -- during a recent quarterly earnings conference call -- identified "Frozen" as one of the Company's top five franchises. "So you can expect us to take full advantage of that over the next at least five years," Iger told investment analysts.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

So while you personally may be ready to let go of "Let It Go," The Walt Disney Company certainly isn't. So you should probably look for the Mouse to seek out all sorts of new ways (EX: Next summer's "In Summer" promotion. Given that Olaf has now been identified as "Frozen" 's break-out character, look for all sorts of snowman-themed beachware to show up on store shelves for Spring of 2015) to extend "Frozen" 's current hot streak.

This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post's Entertainment section on July 20, 2014

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  • I am one of the many people out there who was a huge Frozen fan in November but now finds themselves cringing at the sound and sight of anything regarding this movie. Hating something you Love(d) is a very strange emotion to deal with so months ago I tried figuring out why I feel this way and it came down to two things.

    1) Disney had no faith in Frozen.

    The way Disney is handling Frozen honestly makes me sad. Its no secret that when this film came out they had little faith in it and hoped it would at least come close to hitting Tangled levels of success. But when it started hitting Lion Kings numbers then Disney lost their minds. The forced (rushed) theme park additions, the merchandising, Television. They aren't pushing a product that theyve stood by for years, they're scrambling to capitalize on something that snuck up on them. (Starting today is Frozen Week on Disney Channel and they already kicked it off with a "We are the World"-like collaboration of Disney Channel actors singing "Do you want to build a snowman". Its disgusting.)

    2) Artwork.

    The other thing I discovered that just triggers that disgust for Frozen is rooted in the artwork. There's only half a dozen promotional photos of Frozen characters that they've been using on EVERYTHING. Sure, thats how it works on movie promotions. You have an art pack and you turn it over to merchandising. A problem here is that they've been using the same artwork for 8 MONTHS. And not only that, with a lack of alternate or new artwork then the "Official Disney Store/Parks" products share the same artwork as the 2nd tier licensed/knockoff products. Elsa shooting an ice blast. Anna looking cute. Sisters back to back. Olaf tilting head. Etc.  So if you buy a backpack, puzzle, mug and t-shirt then most likely one of those is a duplicate artwork.( I remember during Easter then Target's official Easter marketing had the sisters pose but in Elsa's hand was an easter basket. That glorious gown that captured out eyes in November just looks cheap because it's being used over and over since thats all they have.)

    I have had my family on a Frozen-hiatus since March when I noticed Disney was going overboard. I know it sounds cruel to do that to my kids but it became very clear that Disney was trying to bleed Frozen dry and the result would be that it would no longer feel "special" to my two girls. At the time I figured "By summer they'll give it a rest and by Winter they'll restart it since thats where it belongs. Little did I know that Disney (with the help of bloggers) would continue to exploit the franchise to this degree and shovel in unfinished products into stores and attractions into parks. Its sickening, but its also Disney. And that makes me sad.

    (Note. My kids are doing just fine without Frozen. There's many wonderful products in disney's catalog of films and merchandise so don't worry about them. They'll survive)

  • I wonder if they'd have Olaf take over that melted ski resort in Orlando too?

  • ""Frozen" ride that the Imagineers are reportedly prepping as a replacement for Epcot's "Maelstrom" attraction."

    Jim:

    Are they only going to re-tool "Maelstrom"? Only re-theme it?

    Aren't the pavillion and the current attraction too small for a billion dollar property? (where are they going to put queue?) Think of the Dwarfs Mine Train's queu: it´s huge! Where are you going to put that in Norway's Pavillion? (If the Mine Trains' line is about 90 minutes long, imagine how long is going to be Frozen's queue).

    Shouldn't this be, at least, as big as the Little Mermaid ride?

    I would love them to do something new and big and amazing, not just do what they did on California Adventure with the Monsters/Limo attraction...

    Shouldn't this be in New Fantasyland instead of EPCOT? New Fantasyland is beautiful. Do you know if they thought about that? Picture an entire Frozen pavillion in New Fantasyland, with shops, a couple of small attractions and an E-Ticket. Something like Rapunzel's area but with shops and attractions...

    Well, either way, if they build something huge, or if they build something small, it's gonna be an enormous hit.

    Great article!

  • I'm still looking to buy the Elsa dress for my 5 year old daughter. That's all she wants. The other Frozen merchandise is uninteresting. She doesn't care for the Anna dress or merchandise (second bill is leftovers). There could be some interest in Olaf. That song about building a snowman is going strong even in the summer. I can imagine tons of households buying an outdoor Olaf lighted display if it goes on sale. An Olaf standing figure will go great next to the Christmas tree.

    I definitely will buy tickets to see the Frozen Ice show. There will be more bad "Let It Go" singing, but I constantly get it right now since my daughter constantly requests it played on my auto stereo no matter where we are going.

  • Instead of putting the Frozen attraction in Epcot, where it does not belong, it needs to be put north of the current New Fantasyland with its entrance between Mermaid and Gaston's Village.  There is plenty of land between it and the Disney Railroad.  They could easily built a proper coaster - Malificent's Revenge using the concept that used for the Dwarf Coaster, but bigger, with five scenes to slow down and observe and a Peter Pan flight similar to Soar'in.  They could then retheme the old Peter Pan and put in Tangled.  Now that is a make-over, the types of which you see at Universal.  Disney had better beware, without investment in attractions, Universal will pass them in terms of being the destination of more and more movie fans.

  • I totally agree with you Kitty... although I still do love Frozen, and belt out "Let It Go" every couple of days, I'm worrying in the way that Disney is exploting the franchise. The "show" at Disney Hollywood Studios made me cringe a little evey now and then because it feels like it was written super last minute... in fact every event or merchandise thing that's Frozen related right now seems super forced and unplanned... which makes me sad because I feel that they are not treating the awesome characters and songs in the way that they truly deserved to be and to their greatest potential. So now part of me kind of hopes that Disney doesn't exploit it so much that people start to hate it, or better yet, I hope that Big Hero 6 is so amazing that people can forget just a little about Frozen.

  • Too bad Mineral King didn't happen. That would have been the perfect place for Frozen Land.

  • If they want to put a new ride in New Fantasyland, they ought to resurrect and re-theme Marc Davis' Enchanted Snow Palace ride.

  • Don't forget Elsa will be appearing in Once Upon a Time this season as well.  She didn't look to happy at the end of last season.  Poor Chip got chilled out.

  • I'm disgusted by the idea of Maelstrom getting replaced.  Another step toward the cartoonization of World Showcase.

    I've never been so sick of a movie that I've only seen twice.

  • Disney has always exploited their properties. Lion King anyone?

    Just please, NO sequel. The fairy tale classic stand on their own (ignore the crappy DTV sequels).

  • As I've said on a recent LinkedIn report, I believe Disney is losing the creative battle to Universal and their blatant attempts to cash in on the surprise hit Frozen are looking increasingly desperate. There is SO much creative talent in the House of Mouse but it is currently being stifled and sidelined by the need to monetize EVERYTHING and try to squeeze ever more revenue out of the same number of guests.

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