Disney as a company is in a weird spot right now thanks to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down movie theaters across the world. Not only did it do a lot of damage to Pixar’s Onward in the box office, resulting in the movie’s early push to digital storefronts and the Disney+ streaming service, but the company has had to delay some of its biggest movies of the year, like Black Widow and the Mulan live-action remake. So what is the world’s biggest media conglomerate to do in a situation like this? For at least a few people on its payroll, it’s to release shorts based on the exceptionally good animated film Frozen and its incredibly good sequel Frozen II.
This series of animated shorts, animated by Hyrum Osmond, an animator having worked on films like Frozen, Moana, Zootopia, and Tangled, are called At Home With Olaf, and star the living snowman from the original movies. Today, the first short called “Fun With Snow” went live on YouTube, and stars Olaf in a snowball fight. Osmond is credited as the sole animator of the short, with the only other credit being Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf. Both the animation work and the voice performance were done from Osmond and Gad’s homes as they stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic. In this short specifically, all Olaf really does dialogue wise is laugh and gasp a few times, but since this is a series of videos we might hear Gad get to flex a little more in future installments. Check out the video below:
While there’s no number set for how many of these shorts we might see, the next one is coming out tomorrow, so we might get a sense of just what to expect.
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Frozen II, which now holds the record for highest-grossing animated film of all time, was also expedited to Disney+ during the coronavirus pandemic, and given that a ton of families are being holed up in their homes right now, it’s a pretty good time for them to have a movie like that to keep the kids distracted. But Disney has also made some questionable choices surrounding the streaming service recently, like pulling a television sequel to Love, Simon from its catalog due to it not being “family-friendly” for discussing issues of sexuality and underage drinking. So nobody tell Mickey Mouse about the time that Thanos got decapitated in Avengers: Endgame.
Now that Frozen II is out, Disney and Square-Enix have a new story to possibly bring into the Kingdom Hearts universe, but considering that movie deals with some heavy topics like colonialism and reparations, maybe Nomura and friends should consider a new approach to how the series portrays Disney stories, because this goes way beyond the way it usually discusses issues of good and bad.