#53: Frozen

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Dis­ney Revival

# 53: BCDB List of Disney Animated Films

Frozen is a Dis­ney 3D CGI musi­cal adap­tion of The Snow Queen by Hans Chris­t­ian Ander­sen. Ear­lier sched­uled for release on Novem­ber 27, 2013.

Dis­ney has long played with doing this story. It was a story that Walt him­self con­sid­ered doing, but never actu­ally got off the ground. In 1943, Walt Dis­ney and Samuel Gold­wyn had col­lab­o­rated an idea to pro­duce a biog­ra­phy film of Hans Chris­t­ian Ander­sen, where Goldwyn’s stu­dio would shoot the live-action sequences of Andersen’s life and Dis­ney would cre­ate the ani­mated sequences of his sto­ries. The ani­mated sequences to be included were The Lit­tle Mer­maid, The Lit­tle Match Girl, The Snow Queen, Thum­be­lina, The Ugly Duck­ling, The Red Shoes and The Emperor’s New Clothes.

While they found saw great cin­e­matic pos­si­bil­i­ties with the source mate­r­ial, the Snow Queen char­ac­ter (among other prob­lems) proved to be too big a hur­tle for the stu­dio, and the project was shelved. Gold­wyn went on to pro­duce his own live-action film ver­sion in 1952, enti­tled Hans Chris­t­ian Ander­sen, with Danny Kaye as Ander­sen, and the Dis­ney Stu­dios revis­ited many of the ani­mated sequences, mak­ing at least two into pre­vi­ous ani­mated fea­ture films. The Lit­tle Match Girl also became a short from the studio.

A new ver­sion was con­sid­ered in 2002, but the project was scrapped com­pletely in late 2002, when Glen Keane noto­ri­ously quit the project. By 2010, Dis­ney shelved that project, then changed its sta­tus to “on hold.” The film gained new life in late 2011 when Dis­ney announced a new title for the project (Frozen), and com­mit­ted to a 2013 release date.

Dis­ney had unspec­i­fied prob­lems with the project with Chris Buck as direc­tor. Rather than out­right replace him, the stu­dio brought in Wreck-It Ralph writer Jen­nifer Lee as “co-director”.

Shown in the U.S. with the Mickey Mouse short Get A Horse!.

Frozen blew away every pre­vi­ous record for an ani­mated film open­ing from Dis­ney. The ani­mated musi­cal grossed a gar­gan­tuan $26.9 mil­lion on Fri­day (this after earn­ing $26.3 mil­lion on Wednes­day and Thurs­day). The film will end at about $68 mil­lion over the week­end frame, which would give it about $97 mil­lion after its first five days in wide release.

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