I didn’t always dislike Frozen. I did cry when Anna turned to ice once upon a time and “Let It Go” is still a genuinely good song, but when I heard the news about Frozen 2, my reaction was “ehh” and when the trailer came out today my reaction was “ehh, here we go again.” Not just because anything is particularly wrong with having a sequel to Frozen, but because we don’t need a return to the dark days of Disney pumping out sequels of their famous movies.
Before Disney started making live-action adaptations of their most popular films as a quick cash-grab, there were the direct-to-video movies Disney movies: The Return of Jafar, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World, The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, Mulan II, and The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning to name a few.
There were over twenty-three Disney direct-to-video prequels, sequels, and (shudders) midquels that plagued this Earth from 1994 to 2008, which doesn’t include the few they actually tried to put in theaters like Return to Never Land and The Jungle Book 2. Despite some of them being good (and by some I mean the Aladdin and Lion King ones) most of them were cheaply done and were either rehashing of the same plot or watching your childhood favorites be bad parents.
Frozen is a fine movie, I prefer Tangled and Moana, but the movie was a huge success and gave us a really great song to sing along to. The story is weak upon rewatches, but that’s fine. My issue is that I think we don’t really need an origin story for Elsa’s power and honestly, Disney doesn’t need another movie about white thin, straight, Disney Princesses (I truly doubt Elsa’s gonna get a girlfriend, but Disney please prove me wrong). And as much as I do love Elsa (bye forever Anna) unless they actually have her go Snow Queen I don’t see what her origin will actually add to the original story.
Disney is at its best when it takes risks and tries to make compelling original films. Even ones that didn’t do well at the time have gone on to be cult classics that are much more appreciated now than in their initial release.
We complain about the lack of original storytelling in films all the time, but we still manage to get sucked into Disney’s white-gloved hands because they make something shiny enough that we can’t resist. Unfortunately, that makes them lazy, and when the studio that has a monopoly on our childhood gets lazy … well, that’s why you end up with Tim Burton’s live-action Dumbo.
We’ll see what happens November 22, 2019.
Until then, which is your favorite Disney pre/se/mid-quel moviw? Mine:
Shout out to all the millennials who had weird crushes on this animated lion.
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