Disney is continuing to find clever new ways to exploit the vast value of its icy blockbuster, Frozen, announcing that ABC will air The Story Of Frozen: Making A Disney Animated Classic at 8 PM Sept. 2. The special comes after ABC already tied Frozen into its fantasy drama Once Upon a Time, plunking characters from the record-setting animated feature onto the live-action TV show.
Back in January, when the film had grossed a mere $669 million worldwide (it since has crossed $1.1 billion to set the all-time mark for an animated film), Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger announced that the film would be spun off into a Broadway musical, a natural extension of the brand. Disney has been mum about a feature sequel, though that may be answered as part of the making-of special, which ABC said would include “announcements about the next chapter of Frozen,” as well as preview what happens to the characters Anna, Elsa and Kristoff in Once Upon A Time.
As well, the company has struggled for months to get enough Frozen licensed merchandise on store shelves to meet overwhelming demand, even though consumer products executives there have said they initially ordered more products for the franchise than for any in the studio’s history. As recently as a month ago, long after the film’s Thanksgiving debut, Disney was still holding weekly lotteries to determine which stores got additional product.
The making-of special is being produced in collaboration with Lincoln Square Productions and Walt Disney Animation Studios, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the origins and evolution of the Oscar-winning blockbuster.
Viewers will get a look inside Walt Disney Animation Studios, hear from Frozen stars Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, the directors, songwriters, producer and artists and Disney Animation chief creative officer John Lasseter — the team who turned the Hans Christian Andersen story into a big-screen animated musical.
The special will feature a journey to the Norwegian villages and landscapes that inspired the look of the kingdom of Arendelle, and offer images and footage from the research trips to Norway, Quebec and other locations that helped create the film’s look and feel.
And, never missing a chance for further cross-promotion, the special will feature an exclusive sneak peek at Disney’s next animated comedy-adventure, Big Hero 6, which is in production at Walt Disney Animation Studios but has been kept under wraps.
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