Disney is playing very savvy in bundling the first new official Frozen material since the hit film was released in front of its live action telling of Cinderella. The new short is just that: a 7 minute story in the Frozen world, set after the events of original film.
Frozen Fever takes a fairly traditional children’s program staple – it’s someone’s birthday! – but winds it into a fun and diverting piece of work, that gives you a whistle stop tour of the characters from the original film. You’d be remiss to say it actually adds much, but it’s barely got the time to. Olaf, of all the characters, gets the most fun here (and the best laugh), but the central narrative is of Elsa organising a birthday surprise for Anna.
What glues it together though is a new song, from Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who previously devoured the ears of the world with the Oscar-winning “Let It Go.” Amoeba from Saturn, no less, are reported to have bought a copy off iTunes of it. I’m no judge of just how well the new tune will go down – ask any 10 year old in about three months time – but it seemed solid-to-good to me, although given that it’s doing different narrative work, it feels less of a showstopper than Frozen‘s biggest numbers.
Aside from Olaf’s scene-stealing, right until the last frame, returning directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee pack as much and as many faces in as their brief running time affords. Plus, they try one or two new variants on Elsa’s powers – beware magical people who sneeze, for they shall make merchandise – which are both entertaining, and set to flood your local Disney Store in due course.
There’s not too much else to say: Frozen Fever is what you want and expect it to be. A short, sweet excursion back to Arendelle, where everyone is living life until someone within Walt Disney Animation Studios cracks a story for Frozen 2 (which we suspect it might just have done, given this recent announcement). It’s hard to argue too much with that.