If you chose B, you’ve probably had it with the Frozen synergy train. However, unfortunately for you, Disney Animation pretends everyone is onboard the Olaf Choo-Choo in Frozen Fever, the studio’s newest short film that debuts in theaters before Disney’s Cinderella.
Frozen Fever narrows its audience to those who are familiar with and approve of Frozen, relying on humor and a music style that filmmakers know already works, instead of branching out. The short is a repeat visit to many of the same elements from the film, but this is not necessarily a bad thing and is almost expected given that Frozen Fever has the same directorial duo (Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck) and songwriting team (Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez) as the original film. This means that the original vision of the film’s world is kept in tact. However, so is much of the script material, which is clearly catered toward Frozen superfans. The short sprinkled with moments filmmakers knows good and well will be shared with squeal-toned captions on countless Tumblr pages. This is a different tactic than Tangled Ever After or Mater’s Tall Tales, which are spinoff shorts that focus on one or two characters and broaden their appeal to include first-timers.
However, similar elements can be good and, in the context of a short film that doesn’t aspire to (nor needs to) shatter the emotional infrastructure of its franchise, it’s actually preferable. As someone who appreciates Disney history, but also loves Frozen, I’m happy to see the film make a strong cultural impact and I don’t mind the way Disney implements the property into its many media platforms. Frozen represents Disney Animation finally finding strong footing after a period of disappointment. From this perspective, when watching Frozen Fever, one welcomes hearing Olaf bumble his dialogue, seeing Kristoff strive to impress Anna à la Jim and Pam, and waiting for each main (and secondary) character to make his or her imminent appearance. I smiled through the whole thing and even clapped a few times.
If Frozen Fever were to have a ‘sunburst’ character image at its beginning Elsa would be on it (just imagine that for a minute), though the entire cast shares the spotlight pretty evenly. As Elsa comes down with a cold, she pushes on to make Anna’s birthday the best one yet (especially since the sisters never celebrated birthdays together when Elsa was in her room all the time). The day’s events are strung together with a new song, “Making Today a Perfect Day,” which is snappy and fits with the atmosphere of the short and the backdrop of Frozen’s Arendelle. The biggest addition the short brings forth is the army of ‘snowgies,’ the adorable tiny snowmen that form each time Elsa sneezes. The snowgies bring wonderful kinetic energy and, honestly, would have made a nice short on their own with Olaf and Kristoff (though I’m glad the ensemble approach was taken instead).
Here are Morgan’s thoughts from our YouTube channel:
What did you think of ‘Frozen Fever’? Did it match your expectations? Is there anything you would have changed or added?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes