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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

i swear by my pretty floral bonnet i will end you

Disney Reveals Its 2013 Holiday Movie, Frozen (Which Is Not About Dinosaurs)

There was a small bit of confusion when Disney said it would be making an announcement about its new feature set for November 2013. During the D23 Expo, we learned about two new Pixar movies, one of which would be about dinosaurs. The other was said to be about going inside the human mind. Well, this movie is neither of those, nor is it PIxar — it’s called Frozen, and is based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, The Snow Queen. And we already have a picture — of the villain, at least. Because here’s what we can start getting psyched about: a new Disney heroine.

Let’s go back to a less chilly time: August. The D23 Expo took place in middle of that month, and it was then that we learned about Disney Pixar’s lineup for the next couple of years. They didn’t have a whole lot of details, but they did announce two movies for 2013 and 2014, to be directed by Pete Docter and Bob Peterson. Docter’s movie, then known as The Untitled Pixar Movie About Dinosaurs, was scheduled for November 27, 2013 while Peterson’s movie, known as The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside The Mind, was lined up for May 30, 2014. But The Snow Queen, as it was formerly known, was nowhere on the radar — at least it wasn’t in August. Now, all of a sudden, we might have ourselves a new Disney heroine? Here is a summary of the original story (not the movie) from Geek Tyrant:

“They live across an alley from each other and happily chat, play, and tend their lovely rose garden. The children are happy until tragedy strikes Kay. His eye and heart are pierced with fragments of a mirror, and the loving boy Gerda knew vanishes. The Snow Queen has put him under her spell and taken him to her palace of snow and ice. It is up to Gerda to find him and bring him home to the love that awaits him.”

We’ll take this moment to acknowledge the whole “they renamed yet another Disney movie with a female lead to attract more boys to the movie and now it’s an adjective” thing.

When the press started catching on to a possible announcement from Disney about a movie called “Frozen” that was going to be released on November 27, 2013, some wondered if this was still going to be the movie about dinosaurs. Perhaps the end of the dinosaurs? A theory that the Ice Age ended the dinosaurs? Yeah, probably not. But now, it’s this is obviously not the dinosaur movie. At all. And if you’re wondering if there’s any news on that dinosaur movie (or the human mind one), well, we’ve got nothing. We do know that Frozen will be a computer-animated movie and that it will be released in 3D. As of right now, there is no director attached, but it seems like this story has been on Disney’s wish list for a while.

The good news is that we have another Disney heroine to look forward to! The bad news (which isn’t, honestly, that bad) is that we still know nothing about the dinosaurs.

ETA: This is not a Pixar movie. We apologize for the error.

Previously in Disney Pixar

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  • Lauron Haney

    This was one of my favorite stories as a child (I had the Mary Engelbreit illustrated version). I am so excited by this news!

  • Anonymous

    According to everything else I’ve read, this is not a Pixar movie.  The thought was that the announcement would be for Pixar’s Dino movie but it was actually for Disney Feature Animation’s newest project (their Tangled follow up if you will).  I’ve also heard that there’s debate as to whether it’s 2d or 3d.  The animators currently working on it are hoping for 2d but with how well Tangled did in 3d no one’s sure

  • Kath

    As for the naming, I think it’s problematic that they’re “de-girlifying” them, but I also think it… works. Pixar/Disney movies like that have short snappy titles – Up, Tangled, Brave, Cars – they’re easy to remember, stick in your head and work brilliantly.

  • Francesca M

    Tangled wasn’t pixar. It was one of the Disney titles.

  • Alyssa Norton

    I hate the title. No offence to Pixar but they should just keep it The Snow Queen. Frozen just sounds bad. I’m crossing my fingers that they will change it soon.

  • Maiasaura

    I misread the post title and thought it WAS about dinosaurs, and was expecting a holiday Snow Queen dinosaur mashup extravaganza.  And then kinda disappointed to realize I read it wrong.  Haha.

  • Anonymous

    Why is no one talking about Pixar’s Planes? I had never even heard that this movie existed until I saw the preview for it on my son’s Cars 2 DVD.

    I understand that no one was in love with Cars 2 (except children with toy vehicle obsessions), but I always felt like the proper sequel to Cars would have been something like Trucks, or Boats… something that expanded the Cars world without relying too heavily on the same cast. And lo and behold… we have Planes! I’m really quite excited. It’s a movie that could actually be fresh and good in its own rite. I’ve always been a fan of the first Cars film, though many have called it one of Pixar’s weaker outings. I disagree with that assessment, and have always felt it was just different type of story.

    Now… Disney does seem to have a way lately of naming their movies to appeal to a weird Neutral gender (John Carter having its Princess and mention of Mars removed, Tangled, Brave, now Frozen, etc.) but in a way, it almost feels like they’re trying to get away from the pink, frilly princesses only vibe that some of their older films evoke. 
    Pixar, for the most part, you can trust to create a fun, almost gender-bias-free, heart-felt movie that will surprise you at least a few times each time. The marketing department is generally not an OBVIOUS (I am glaring at you, Cars 2) not a part of their creative flow. I think hard to market films like Up and Finding Nemo have proven this.

  • Anonymous

    I also noticed that this was a renaming of the story, a la Rapunzel -> Tangled, but I didn’t see it as an attempt to hide that it’s a girl main character, more that the story’s been jazzed up so much that it’s almost another story, more irreverent than the dark Grimm tale. 

    Because odds are, like they did with Little Mermaid, we’re not going to see too many of the dark and ose bits of the original Andersen story make it to the film. 

    That’s a Disney tradition - I don’t recall the stepsisters cutting their toes off in their version of Cinderella.

  • George ‘El Guapo’ Roush

    I wish writers would stop writing about Pixar/Disney Animation as if they’re one entity when they’re not. “Frozen” isn’t a Pixar movie and there’s been no confirmation on 2D, 3D, hand drawn or CGI. 

    And no one is talking about Pixar’s Planes because Pixar isn’t doing Planes. Disney Toons is.

  • Kaarel Jakobson

    Renamed or not, I don’t think “Frozen” sounds very good. Surely there’s a better catchy alternative…

  • Rachel Banzhaf

    I kept wondering when they’d finally move forward on The Snow Queen. I’ve never been a big fan of the story, partly due to the long difficult journey format and partly because it makes me cold just reading it. But I’m curious what Disney will make of it. 

  • Anonymous

    I don’t mind them changing titles – I actually think Tangled is better than Rapunzel, as it’s more dynamic and gives a better sense of what the movie is like – but Frozen just doesn’t sound right to me. I expect Disney movies to be cute and fun. Frozen does not sound cute and fun.

  • TKS

    Thank you!  That was bugging me.

  • TKS

    Mary Sue, I’ve read on a couple of places that Frozen isn’t Pixar, but Disney Animation.  Shouldn’t you check in on this and possibly make the correction if it’s true?  Just because something is CG and released by Disney doesn’t make it Pixar.  (Bolt, Tangled.)

  • Francesca M

    Cars was actually really good. Haven’t seen the second one yet, but I agree I’m a fan of it.

  • Francesca M


  • Anonymous

    Well, they have the same marketing department, which would be the entity doing the naming.

  • Kath

    I came to the same conclusion that you did with regards to the last paragraph. It seems like they’re moving to titles that explain the film in a fairly basic way – Let’s assume Pixar and Disney have their films named by the same groups, or within the same guidelines.

    “Up” is simple, and it’s about an old man who makes his house go “up” into the sky with balloons
    “Tangled” is about a girl with very long hair, and Flynn becomes “tangled” in her problems with her kidnapper mother.
    “Brave” appears to be about a girl who is “brave” in that she possibly goes against the gender norms (that’s a massive assumption on my part, as it’s not out yet :p)
    “Cars” is… uh… about cars, oddly enough

    You get the idea. It’s more about summing the films up, or hinting to their plot/content, in a single word.

  • Nick Gaston

    I kinda liked the live action TV version they did a couple of years ago, weird as it was…Meghan Black was delightfully vicious in her role, as usual!

  • A Talbot

    I read through some comments and noticed a lot of you guys don’t like the name “Frozen”. I don’t think that you guys have anything to worry about really. It sounds like not much has really been decided yet and it may change. If not, it may make sense as the story develops. They’re probably shooting from the same angle as Tangled. The name is gender neutral and more inviting to everyone while stating that this is not exactly the fairy tale you know and love, because it has been developed into a more “Disney” format. Keep in mind that the story was not a happy one and does take place in a freezing climate, giving birth to the name “Frozen”.

  • Rose Jones

    Same here, it’s a beautiful story and I hope Disney-Pixar does credit to this enchanting tale which I consider a bit more “grown up” than other fairy tales we were raised on.

    This isn’t the first time they used a Hans Christine Anderson story though. Regarding “The Little Mermaid” Disney tweaked the ending into “happily ever after” because the original ending is tragic for the mermaid (Prince marries someone else and she becomes sea foam). But the “Snow Queen” story has the female protagonist rescue her friend/lover from the villain and they make it back safe and sound so hopefully they won’t need to change the storyline too much.

  • Rose Jones

    Fierce Snow Queen vs. Badass Dinosaurs. Sounds like an epic battle to me ^^

  • TKS

    “ESPN’s upcoming movie, The Avengers, is expected to make quite a big box office impact.”

  • Bianca

    I don’t mind the name changes. I mean is Rapunzel even really a girl’s name? I think they are trying to be easier for kids in general, not just girls. I am imagining a 4-6 year old girl, and I can see how “Tangled” with the image of all that hair would resonate more soundly with a girl who hates having her hair combed at night, than “Rapunzel”. At least in my house, with my daughter, it would.  

    The Snow Queen doesn’t sound like something a little girl would want to see either – a movie about a mean ol witch? No thanks. Instead its something snappier, and I am sure the images will be of a plucky young miss darting about in the snow. They didn’t make the Princess and the Frog “Frogged” or something like that, (though that might have made more sense, since there wasn’t really a princess, and more frog action than people, but I digress) so I don’t think its as serious as suggested.