Pulling “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” From Theaters Doesn’t Fix Disney’s Big Mistake

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Disney)

“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” is one of the biggest mistakes in Disney’s history.

Disney knows it. Critics and viewers know it. Plenty of parents are painfully aware of it. There’s no escaping the fact that this short movie was handled very poorly, and now, Disney has made a move to try and attempt some damage control.

According to Reddit (so, yeah, grain of salt time, but let’s assume this is legit), from December 7 onwards, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” will be ending its cinematic run. It’ll no longer be available in theaters, and won’t play in advance of Pixar’s “Coco”.


Olaf Frozen
Source: Disney

In all fairness, there is absolutely nothing wrong with “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” itself. It’s a sweet little twenty-one minute cartoon that’s the perfect stop-gap for kids who are desperately waiting for a true sequel to “Frozen” that’s expected to appear in about two years.

The movie even attempts to be relatively inclusive – despite being a Christmas movie, it also makes token efforts to include references to Hanukah and Solstice, if only to help Disney tick some diversity boxes.

As a short, sweet TV movie, this would have been perfect. Alas, John Lasseter (who is quickly become a major embarrassment for Disney) decided that “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” should play before “Coco” instead.

There are several problems with this, which we’ve already explored in a previous article. Chief among them is that parents are having a difficult time getting their kids to sit through a twenty minute detour before “Coco” actually starts.

It ruins people’s enjoyment of the new movie when Olaf has already meandered his way across the fjords for almost half an hour of jokes about the laxative properties of fruitcake.

This is no doubt why the animated short has been pulled from before “Coco”, immediately before Christmas. It doesn’t exactly solve all of Disney’s problems, though.

Now, the company has a bunch of merchandize in stores for a movie that no kids can see. Disney has a film that could have been enjoyed by millions of children around the world, which has gained a reputation as being the dumb, pointless thing that got in the way of people enjoying “Coco”.

Frozen Toys
Source: Disney Store

By attempting to gatekeep what is essentially a big advertising campaign for their latest range of “Frozen” toys, Disney has limited the appeal of the “Frozen” brand in general.

Plus, if they wait until next year to roll out “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” for another festive season, bringing it to Blu-Ray or simply putting it on TV where it belongs, the company has lost an entire year of this being the hot new “Frozen” story before “Frozen 2” comes along and somewhat steals its thunder.

Considering just how big and powerful Disney has become in the past ten years, it feels kind of satisfying to see the company blow a sure-fire hit this badly. Heck, Disney already pretty much owns the festive season thanks to their annual “Star Wars” movies, so at least they’ve managed to ruin their own chances of also controlling the three-year-old-girl market this year.

With Disney literally demanding additional money from all movie theaters before they’re allowed to show “The Last Jedi”, it does feel a little like this company deserves its lost earnings.

For those of us who actually enjoy “Frozen”, or who have family members who are young enough to appreciate it with unbridled innocent enthusiasm, the poor handling of “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” feels like an opportunity for plenty of facepalming and eye-rolling.