It’s been a big week for the latest Disney hit Frozen, which came out in theaters in late November. After snagging the Golden Globe for best animated film Sunday night, the chairman and CEO for Walt Disney Bob Iger announced Monday that the movie will be another Disney film to come to life as a Broadway musical.
The movie Frozen has already grossed over $669 million at the box office and has yet to open in the large Asian markets of Japan and China. It beat out all previous comers in the opening weekend and was Disney’s top animation debut of all time. It is believed that Frozen will soon surpass The Lion King, which currently holds the Disney record for overall box office numbers. The Disney soundtrack is also currently the top album on iTunes and Amazon, something that hasn’t happen in the days since Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. The score was co-written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, his wife. Lopez has previous won a Tony for his music in The Book of Mormon and was also responsible for the popular Muppet songs in Avenue Q.
The storyline of Frozen follows two princess sisters, Anna and Elsa, who grow up together in a castle. Elsa has the gift of frozen magic and is able to emit snow and ice from her fingertips. A childhood accident injures Anna and leads to a memory wipe, making Elsa’s gift a secret from all, including her younger sister. When the girls grow up, another accident reveals Elsa’s secret to the kingdom, causing her to run off. In untypical Disney style (but which should become the norm), Anna goes off to save her sister herself, leaving the dashing Prince she has just met at home to take care of the kingdom while she has an adventure. And now Anna and the rest of the cast of Disney’s film Frozen are headed for another adventure on Broadway.
The Disney movie stars Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel as the sisters, with the voices of Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Santino Fontana lending their talents to the film as well. Menzel has already paid her Broadway dues while starring in the hit musical Wicked, though one wonders if she might come back to the stage to play the older sister Elsa, who she lent her voice to for the film. However, the age difference might make this unlikely.
This is not Disney’s first foray into the stage business. They have also turned cartoon characters to life in other more classic Disney hits such as Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. At least in this version, the Broadway stars will not have to come up with creative ways to bring too many animals or mermaids to the stage. There is, however, a friendly reindeer and a magical come-to-life snowman to capture.
Iger has reported said that there is no date yet attached to their hopes for the Disney Broadway musical, saying that they are going for excellence over speed and that plans are still quite early in development. However, there is no doubt that Disney’s film Frozen is headed for Broadway once the writers find another way to capture the spirit of the big screen on a smaller stage.
By Marisa Corley