Success of 'Frozen' Embarrasses Elites, Sets Animation's Future
Frozen was one of last year's biggest box office
hits, thus impacting future animated releases. Political elites are far from pleased.
Leading up to Frozen's production was tremendous pressure
from political elites (within Hollywood) for Disney to dump its
trend of returning to "traditional family value concepts" in animated films. As Sensei, I found this effort disturbing.
Instead of continuing with riskier features, like the box office bomb Treasure Planet, Disney returned to the vein of mega-hits like The Lion King.
Naturally, those same elites weren't pleased. They pressured Disney to create more political advocacy fare like Happy Feet (which included global warming) or the environmental-themed The Lorax, which even left wing site The Slate admitted was political.
The pressure got so bad that Disney even announced "the end of fairly tale based stories." At the time, it looked as if the elites had succeeded in making their political fare the "the future of animated
features, that the genre featuring traditional values had run its course, would no longer make money, and that
such projects were also important to children's viewing."
Translation: Now they can brainwash them while they're young.
Luckily, Disney completed and released the film anyway. Frozen turned out to be one of its most traditional based concepts. And the box office, oh, the box office.
Frozen is now the highest grossing animated film of all time, earning more than $1 billion worldwide. The film earned more box office than Happy Feet, Happy Feet 2, and The Lorax - combined. Not shockingly, calls for Disney to abandon its traditional story-telling have all but disappeared.
But even more significant is the future of animated features. Thanks to Frozen's box office success, "advocacy" based animation has been severely impacted. It also didn't help that the previously mentioned Happy Feet franchise bombed horrendously with Happy Feet 2, which earned only $150 million worldwide.
One billion or $150 million (and an earned "flop" status)? Oh, it gets better.
Frozen is still making money at the box office, despite being in theaters for 30 weeks,
and being available on DVD and Blu-Ray. Its soundtrack also has been the #1 seller on the music charts. What was that about
shaming Disney into shifting narratives again?
Not surprising, other studios have been quick to do the box office
math. The future of "advocacy" based animated features is already in
trouble. Maybe they'll release Happy Feet 3 and end up with even more layoffs.
If so, I hear Disney is hiring.