Disney spent the late 2000s regaining all the ground they had lost in the previous decade. In the mid-2000s, their name was no longer synonymous with quality, and they had a tendency to churn out dud after dud, with an obvious eye on profit over strong storytelling. Things started to turn around for them around 2008 with the release of Bolt, which was the first Disney animated feature under the new leadership of Pixar’s head honcho and creative genius John Lasseter. And it was quite the step in the right direction.
Disney’s re-ascent to the top, however took a bit longer to gain steam. The films’ qualities and box office performances mostly saw an upward trend, but it wasn’t until perhaps 2013’s Frozen that it became clear that we were witnessing a brand new renaissance for the entertainment conglomerate. Even now, Frozen permeates the pop culture zeitgeist in a way that no other Disney film has since the days of Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. In today’s age of franchises, a sequel for Frozen was inevitable, and it didn’t take long for the studio to announce this would be the case.
But the idea of sequels is a tricky one. To be frank, Disney has a bad track record with their animated sequels. Back in the late ‘90s and early ’00s, they seemed to make them left and right, opting to release them straight to DVD. Pretty much, they’d make a hit, then hand it over to DisneyToon Studios to create an inferior sequel that they can capitalize on the name with, utilizing fewer resources to make a quick buck. Nowadays, DisneyToon Studios tends to handle their own stuff, rarely dabbling in the traditional theatrical properties.
So how will Disney handle this Frozen sequel? Well, for starters, they’re not rushing it. The film currently has no release date, and when speaking with EW, producer Peter Del Vecho stated that the story itself is still continuing to grow and change, as all stories do throughout the course of the process.
“We’re working hard on it. We’re in the development writing process and are very excited by it. Like all movies, it will evolve.”
But although it’s still in one of the earlier stages, that didn’t stop the producer from giving a little tease.
“Now that we’ve been involved in it for awhile, what’s exciting is it feels like it builds on the first movie. You understand things better in the first movie after you’ve seen the sequel.”
As someone who liked the first Taken movie, I can attest that it’s very possible for a sequel (Taken 2) to make the original film look bad in retrospect. It happens all the time, so it’s increasingly important that filmmakers are able to make films that enhance the original. It’s experiences like that that make it all worth it for film lovers like us.
Let’s hope they can pull it off!
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