... They’ve just written [the sequel] and they’re still doing tweaks, but I think we should be recording this month. The story is great, and they exude quality. What I know about that whole team is that they wouldn’t just put something out to put it out. That’s why it took them so long. ...
If Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had been created in the present corporate age, there would now be a Snow II, Snow III and Snow White IV in various stages of development. Because the original was the highest grossing film of all time in the year after it was made and released.
Think about that. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the Avatar of the late 1930s, and held the box office record for a full eighteen months ... right up to the time Gone With The Wind set a new record for over-stuffed blockbusters records by staying in continuous release for years on end.
Of course, in that quaint, far-off era before World War II, Walt Disney Productions elected not to go forward with a sequel because the company's founder was disinclined to do so. The 21st century Walt Disney Company would never make that kind of corporate choice. Diz Co. is all about brands, tentpoles and maximizing the profits from each and every franchise that it conjures up.
Today's conglomerate is way different than the smallish studio that crowded Hyperion Avenue long, long ago. There is as much chance of Frozen II not getting made as there is of Zootopia being a one-off. It's 2016, people. no self-respecting mega-corporation will ever deny a monster hit its full quota of sequels.
One thing remains constant, however. It takes an animation studio years to make a decent follow-up, just as it takes years to make any kind of decent feature, period. That was as true in 1938 as it is now.