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Frozen - Disney's Million Dollar Hit Helped By Social Media

Disney runs the social media show with Frozen!

Disney are used to rolling out hit after hit, but in their most recent animation Frozen, they used social media as a way to promote the film and keep the hype going beyond its release. In 2011, Disney approached Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez to work on their new animation after spotting their great credentials. The two had previously worked on Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon. The newest entry into the Disney franchise would tell the story of two orphaned princesses: Anna, a loving, optimistic princess, and Elsa, her jealous, spikey-haired sister. 

Frozen animation by Disney
Source: sweetlulli.deviantart.com

The Lopez family saw things differently to the vision proposed and to them, Elsa was a frightened girl struggling to control and come to terms with her gift that allows her to shape things out of ice. When they came to write the script, they penned the hit 'Let it Go', and decided to create as Anderson-Lopez described, “An anthem that said, ‘screw fear and shame, be yourself, be powerful.’”

On the basis of this powerful track, the whole film had to be re-written in a way that displayed Elsa in a more positive light. The new story was one of sisterly love. This turned out to be one of the best decisions in film history, as the movie became a huge hit.

As well as picking up Academy Awards for best-animated feature and best original song, plus a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and five Annie Awards, Frozen has been a phenomenal financial success. In the UK, it is already the highest grossing animated movie of all time, and has also passed the $1 billion dollar mark (the first Disney animation to do so) and even leapfrogged Toy Story 3 to become the largest grossing animated film of all time. In addition to all this 3.2 million units were sold on the DVD release day, and the soundtrack beat Beyonce’s album to the top of the charts in December. All this has resulted in a massive franchise that Disney can make millions from, and there is now talk of a Broadway musical in the works.

Frozen animation by Disney

Critically the film was well received, but there was nothing out of the ordinary reported, just a feel-good family adventure. The real reason that Frozen is an unstoppable force is the reaction from the public.

A simple Google search of ‘Frozen fans’ will take you into a world full of blogs, videos and articles relating to the animated picture. There is also a lot of fan art, and fan fiction across the web, and a good example of this is many tutorials on YouTube recreating the hairstyles of the two princesses. Twitter is also being taken over with fans and you’ll find #TheColdNeverBotheredMeAnyway used as a badge of devotion by hard-core fans.

The song 'Let it Go' has been a worldwide mega-hit. It’s actually bigger than that, it’s just monumental. It has been recreated online, with some versions creating a sense of emotion, whilst some focusing on humour. The film’s makers have received message after message from fans that it has helped through tough periods such as cancer, divorce, crisis of confidence, and many more.

For Jenifer Lee, the response has been overwhelming, and for her the experience must be fantastic as she is the first female director of an animated movie. She said “at night my daughter and I go online and see what’s new.” This is a new experience for Lee and the emotion is felt as fans are connecting with the movie on many levels as she explains: “One girl did an ‘autism version’ of 'Let it Go', about accepting that the thing she thinks is the most negative about herself is actually a positive. That really moved me.”

The film has many things going for it, for one it has two strong female leads, but many will be accusing Disney of maximising their merchandising by creating two princesses in one hit.

One thing is for sure, Frozen is a great movie and has utilised social media in order to create success. It shows once again how powerful the Internet can be, especially for people who wish to voice opinions about certain topics (the girl with autism). Hopefully, Disney will leave this franchise alone and not do a Pixar in relying too heavily on sequels.

Alex is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently a content writer at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF.

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Frozen - Disney's Million Dollar Hit Helped By Social Media Reviewed by Alex Carson on Tuesday, April 08, 2014 Rating: 5
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