If you made the trek through Black Friday weekend traffic to see Disney/Pixar’s “Coco” last weekend, you were greeted with a nearly 25 minute long “Frozen” mini-movie entitled “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” before the main film started.
“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” is a light hearted, holiday centered, Frozen film featuring some of your favorite characters from the original film. The short follows Olaf as he attempts to find all of the traditions in the kingdom during that time of year. It is the first holiday season since the gates of Arendelle reopened and Anna and Elsa realize they have no family traditions or customs of their own to celebrate.
The film is packed full of music and is fast paced to say the least. It is nearly sung-through, a phrase used in theatre to describe something that features mainly musical numbers. Anna and Elsa lead the way with an opening number anticipating a surprise holiday party for all of Arendelle. The songs are split between Anna, Elsa, and Olaf, with a brief appearance from Kristoff. Strictly speaking about the music, I felt the quality of song writing was far above the average. I actually enjoyed many of the songs more than the original “Frozen” songs we all know already. Maybe that’s just because they are fresh and holiday themed.
While this film is the longest short Pixar has ever put in front of one of its movies, I felt that it was just long enough to feel like a feature film without creating dead spots like so many animated movies. The story moves quickly as there was no need to introduce the characters. It is clearly assumed that the viewer already knows/has seen “Frozen”. The film leaves subtle nods to the original both in song and story. While the story mainly follows Olaf’s adventure through the Kingdom, a good portion focuses on the relationship of the two sisters.
In the first movie, we get to see the family issues that create the sisterly tension, but we don’t really get a backstory on exactly what happened between the years of childhood and frozen ice monsters. In “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”, we learn more about why Anna and Elsa don’t remember any of their family’s holiday traditions and what kept them apart for so long. The songs feature some melodies and lines that mimic those of the original movie. I feel this is a nice touch and brings out the inner “Frozen” fan in me.
While this film is obviously targeted at children, I feel that Disney went especially out of its way to make sure that all ages (including adults) would be entertained by this somewhat lengthy surprise film. In Olaf’s travels, he encounters some of the tradtions that either have weird beginnings or don’t really make a lot of sense. Olaf’s main solo, “That Time of Year” pokes fun at the classic fruit cake and the idea that breaking-and-entering isnt bad if Santa is the one doing it. These types of jokes are clearly meant for the adults. While I am fully aware that Disney drops these Easter eggs into all of their films, I think they were more intentional about creating a product any adult would also want to sit through.
The story really wraps up pretty quickly as Olaf loses nearly all of the tradtions he has collected. However, while their snowman was gone, the sisters found some tradtions of their own. We get a really good glimpse into the relationship of Anna and Elsa. In the end, the kingdom joins for a large feast/holiday celebration and all is well in Arendelle. I think that Disney released this mini-movie as an attempt to gain some traction on the “Frozen” franchise again. With “Frozen 2” scheduled for release in 2019, it’s important for Disney to remind children and parents alike of the characters that will carry the next film.
Overall, I give “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” an 7/10.
I feel that the film is a way too long for a mini-movie and could have been a lot shorter. However, the music and simplistic story create an enjoyable, light hearted, holiday film that I think many will enjoy.
Stay tuned for a FULL “Coco” review! Coming Soon!