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.