No denying that the movie Frozen was a huge hit and little girls throughout the world belt out Let It Go (if only they would embrace the message). But it looks like Disney’s desire to squeeze every penny out of parents is not melting and their creativity is frozen in Arendelle. On Friday, the corporation confirmed the rumored plans to build a Frozen ride at Disney World.
Frozen was a sleeper hit at the movies that wound up generating nearly $1.3 billion worldwide ($400 million in the U.S.) in movie ticket sales. In spite of all the tickets sold at kids’ prices, the animated feature has become the fifth-highest grossing movie ever, and that does not include the marketing juggernaut and ways Disney is trying to rake it in through other corporate properties. ESPN and Lucas Films are two of the few areas in the corporation that are not adopting some sort of Frozen marketing plans (although ice hockey season is coming and if there was a desert planet, there could be a Frozen one the a galaxy far, far away!).
- Television: For those who may have missed the hype, the ABC-TV show Once Upon a Time has cast live-action versions of Anna, Elsa and Kristoff from Frozen to appear in Storybrooke during season four starting Sept. 28.
- Theme Parks: The popular princesses greet guests (and take pictures with children) like the other Disney princesses, but the Frozen presence goes much further. No, the dolls in “It’s a Small World” will not start singing Let It Go, although it could be in the works considering there is an icy/snow bound section to the ride. What is known is that until Sept. 28, “Frozen Summer Fun” activities continue at Florida’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios including parades, sing-alongs and snow play areas. At Epcot, the “Maelstrom” ride in the Norway pavilion is being replaced by the Frozen-themed ride announced this week. Cinderella’s castle will soon take on an icy look in the evening.
- Disney Stores and Halloween: While many little girls already play dress up at Anna and Elsa, Halloween should feature a parade of characters from the movie. The Disney Store and other Halloween shops should feature a plethora of options tied to the film.
- Ice Show: Disney on Ice has begun a Frozen national tour. This story should readily lend itself to an ice show (although they did a good job adapting Beauty & the Beast and Little Mermaid into ice shows when my children were younger).
- Future Animation efforts: A Disney short, Frozen Fever, will hit theaters next spring featuring the same characters.
- Broadway: Frozen is a natural for the live-stage Broadway theatrical treatment that Beauty & the Beast and Aladdin got, and Disney has confirmed that it the plan. After all, the movie score and songs (including Oscar winner Let It Go) were written by Robert Lopez and his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who won Tony Awards for Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon.
These are just the marketing efforts at Disney properties. With numerous other companies wanting to slide in on the animated blockbuster’s merchandising sales, expect Halloween and Christmas to be Frozen over.
It remains to be seen how else Disney will try to milk the Frozen cash cow. Hopefully, Disney’s creativity is not so Frozen they are also working on their next major marketing juggernaut.
By Dyanne Weiss