Here it is, over two years after the world got its first taste of the two sisters at the heart of Disney’s Frozen, and there is still no sign of its popularity slowing down. In fact, we’re actually in the uphill swing of a new epidemic of Frozen fever, as the sequel announced last year is currently in development. And now fans of the icy franchise can rejoice, as ABC has announced an all-new animated TV special will serve as the next chapter in the characters’ tales, although it won’t be coming out until the 2017 holiday season.
Thankfully, this will be a faithful follow-up and not just a splintered-off story, and viewers can expect to see all of the film’s characters. As well, the original cast will be lending their voices for the special, including Kristen Bell as Arendelle’s Princess Anna, Idina Menzel as Snow Queen Elsa, and Josh Gad as the goofy snowman Olaf. Iceman Kristoff and his reindeer Sven are also set to appear, so we can probably anticipate Jonathan Groff to be heard.
As this is just the announcement of said Frozen special, there’s no telling what viewers can expect from it, with the plot not yet getting disclosed. In fact, it’s not even clear who is penning the special, and it was revealed that the films directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee would not be behind this one. Taking over the direction will be Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton, the duo behind the Disney holiday special Prep & Landing.
The to-be-announced release date for this special is most interesting to me, and presumably many others. The press release specifically states “Holiday 2017” as the release window, which almost definitely means prior to Christmas 2017, 22 months from now. At this point, there isn’t a date set for Frozen 2, although it’s expected to come out either in later 2017 or early 2018. It wouldn’t be completely flabbergasting if Disney decided to put out the Frozen TV special and the film sequel relatively close together on the release schedule, but studios usually spread things apart to keep the buzz going as long as possible, as Disney did when the short film Frozen Fever premiered around 16 months after the original flick.
Frozen made its way to the small screen elsewhere in the past couple of years, as some characters appeared on ABC’s Once Upon a Time. And then who can forget Channing Tatum on Lip Sync Battle? Answer: no one.
ABC will likely release more news about the Frozen special before it airs in 2017, and we’ll be there when it does.