It started like coverage would for any animated film: watch for news, report on it when it comes. Except in the case of Frozen, it didn’t come. At all.
As the months inched closer to Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 53rd release, the only items that could be scraped up about Frozen were unofficial, rumored, or leaked. Practically nothing from Disney itself. And as other animation studios rolled out sneak peeks for their projects and as films far more into the future than Frozen started their publicity, many animation fans wondered why. Why was Disney being so mum about Frozen? Where are the posters? The stills? The teaser trailer? We know this film is coming, but what is it? What is this movie even about?
And that was the brilliance of the whole thing. Yes, the curious case of Frozen came in anticipation becoming so unbearably high simply because nobody knew what the heck to expect. Mystery piques curiosity, I suppose, and even though at first it seemed like Disney Animation took a vacation in marketing Frozen, it turns out they were just preparing for possibly their most clever promotional campaign ever. Look around at how excited the animation community is for this film. Would that hype be at such an energized level if we hadn’t been chomping at the bit for anything (and I mean ANYTHING) Disney said about the movie when Frozen was still being hidden in the shadows?
First came the leaked posters for Anna and Elsa that turned out to be fake.
Excitement level: 4.
Yes! A first peek at the movie and its fully rendered characters! But then once we saw said posters: excitement level: 2. She looks just like Rapunzel! Come on, Disney!
And then the posters were said to be fake… excitement level: 4. Ok. We’re all good.
Then… not much. So imagine everyone’s utter delight when we learned that the first teaser would be released online in June. Yippee! Finally!
Excitement level: 7
Then when the trailer came, many folks were downright disappointed. Wasn’t this supposed to be a musical? And about sister princesses, no less? What’s up with the snowman and the reindeer fighting over a carrot?
Excitement level: 4
Thus sparked endless Interwebs debates surrounding the effectiveness Disney’s marketing for Frozen. Personally, I think it was smart to sell the film’s broad, non-demographic-specific characters first. Even though this happens to be a movie with princesses in it, if Disney billed it as a princess movie upfront, they’d loose a chunk of their audience (namely young boys) because of the stereotype that a princess movie brings, which may or may not be true. BUT! Frozen‘s directors promised trailers to come that would show the true scope and scale of the film. While we waited…
Excitement level: 5
It was around this time that it became clear that anticipation for this film was not normal. Fans were clamoring for news, and the Rotoscopers writing team did our best to keep track of it all. It was coming fast and furious, and to celebrate the notion that Frozen was raring up to be a flasgship film for Disney Animation, we started #FrozenFriday, posting Frozen-releated posts and videos each Friday to get you, the fans, pumped up for this movie! Let’s review the best one below, shall we?
Excitement level: 6
And then… it came. September 26. The first full-length trailer. OH MY GOODNESS. Yep, that’s some scope all right. Patterned much after the theatrical trailer for Tangled, this first true Frozen trailer presented the film as an adventure-comedy. Still no sound bites of the film’s original music, though, and one character was suspiciously absent.
Excitement level: 7
AND THEN CAME THE ELSA TRAILER LIKE WHAT IN THE FREAKING CRAP I CAN’T. The snow queen herself was the star of the final Frozen trailer, released October 21, in which we learned her real backstory, got a taste of the song “For the First Time in Forever,” and read the woah-Nellie self-proclaimed announcement that Frozen is “the greatest Disney animated event since The Lion King.” Wow. Like, woah. Indoor plumbing. It’s gonna be big.
Excitement level: 8
Next, we learned that Demi Lovato would sing the end-credits version of “Let It Go,” Elsa’s song from the film. First off: Demi Lovato? Cool! Secondly: It’s actually a song from the film being used in the credits and not a random new song? You mean, just like Disney used to do with Christina Aguilera for Mulan and Elton John for The Lion King? Ummm, awesome!! So we got our first glimpse of Frozen‘s soundtrack, and it was pretty darn nifty.
Excitement level: 7
In a flurry of stills, interviews, and announcements, that followed, Frozen news became a saturated expectation, not a rare endangered species. Somewhere in there, we decided to host #Frozember, an entire month with Frozen posts every day right here on the Rotoscopers! Meet & greets with Anna and Elsa in the Disney theme parks, film clips, and character bios were among the highlights. But by far the individual snippet that stood out in the midst of all of that was the full version of “Let It Go,” as performed by Idina Menzel as Elsa. Uploaded by Disney to its “For Your Consideration” website spotlighting prospective award-season contenders, it was safe to say that hype couldn’t get much bigger after hearing Elsa belt out this tune. Yowza, that ice princess can sing. We had already heard the song itself from Demi Lovato, but hearing it in its final movie version with such a phenomenal orchestration… yowza.
Excitement level: 9
And now, here we are! Just mere days away from Frozen finally releasing in theaters. All the excitement, all the anticipation all the waiting has led to this moment. It’s here. We are about to live Disney history as we experience the film that quite possibly could define animation for a generation.
Excitement level: 10. Wouldn’t you agree?