Thursday, January 23, 2014


It may or may not strike. But a financial mag speculates.

Will Disney Make 'Frozen 2'?

Under normal circumstances, a film like Frozen would normally be all-but-guaranteed to get a sequel. ... But Frozen isn’t just any normal film. It’s a Disney animated film. Over the last 76 years, only five of Disney’s theatrical animated features have merited genuine sequels that played in theaters. ...

Writer Scott Mendelsohn expounds at length on the exceptions: Rescuers Down Under, the many direct-to-video sequels to classic features that don't count because ... well, because they're direct-to-video (although some were released theatrically in foreign venues), or Winnie-the-Pooh movies, or whatever. So there! ...

But all this is silly.

Sequels get made because they have a guaranteed marketability factor and therefore higher odds of turning a profit. And movie companies always like better odds.

But Disney Feature Animation has never had a great need to do sequels. For instance, a sequel could have been made of the mid-fifties hit Lady and the Tramp, but developing and producing 101 Dalmations got the studio over the same goal line: another highly successful cartoon feature with dogs.

It's the same now. Walt Disney Animation Studios could have made Tangled 2; instead it produced Frozen #1 with a different princess and got itself another hit.

Disney's formula is much like the old studio system. One Clark Gable picture was much like another ... but not a sequel. One Dick Powell musical was very similar to the previous candidate, with Dick smiling winningly and singing his heart out to a Warner Bros. ingenue, but playing a different character.

And Republic Pictures didn't make sequels to John Wayne's cowboy blockbusters. It just made another cowboy picture with the Duke, giving him a new name and a fresh hat, a new love interest and different set of villains. There was no need to make a sequel, because all the same ingredients were in place for another money-maker.

The same thing happens with the Mouse's Princess pictures. It's the formula, not the sequel, that's important.


Kenneth Elliott said...

Too bad Lasseter couldn't follow these rules when it came to the Cars franchise.

Jeremy Darensbourg said...

I think Big Hero 6 will determaine if WDAS will do a sequeal to Frozen. If BH6 "Underpreforms" at the boxoffice, that could lean DIsney towards a Frozen sequeal. Also, i'm having doubts about their 2016 film Zootopia. Clearly that film isn't gonna do the same kind of business that Frozen & Tangled did. SO why would Disney spend $100+mil on that film that resembles Chicken Little when they can do a sequeal to Frozen instead. WDAS are looking for theiir films to do Tangled/Frozen like business. Even Wreck It Ralph, which grossed over $470mil worldwide is all but forgotten now. Giants should be the one film WDAS should be focused on right now. Can you imagine: From the creators of Frozen & Tangled, Giants, released over the Thanksgiving holiday, that has hit written all over it.

Kevin Klonyon said...

"Zootopia" resembles Chicken, exactly? Because the characters are talking animals?

What exactly have you seen of the movie, other than the released early development pic? If that's all you've seen, I'd say you have nothing to base your "analysis" on.

Ryan said...

I think Steve hit the nail on the head. Why do a sequel when you can do another princess movie? New princess = new merchandise.

Jeremy Darensbourg said...

Than why is Zootopia getting a March 2016 release date Kevin? WDAS release their films in November, not since Meet the Robinson has Disney opened an animated feature in March & we saw the box office results for that one. You have a world where anthropomorphic animals live & no humans exist. First thing that reminded me of was Chicken Little.
You can also throw in Kung-Fu Panda if you want. Also, Zootopia is suppose to go up against Dreamworks Bollywood Superstar Monkey. I hope Zootopia is a hit though, I just don't see this film doing Frozen/Tangled like BO numbers. Not even Wreck-It Ralph could do that.

Ryan Rosendal said...

Than why is Zootopia getting a March 2016 release date Kevin?

Disney changes release dates all the time. Remember when The Good Dinosaur was supposed to come out this year?

Don't get too worked up about this stuff. It's always in flux.

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