Given the phenomenal level of success enjoyed by Frozen, a follow-up of some sort was inevitable. And while a full sequel was recently announced by the Frozen’s creators, we already have a sequel-of-sorts in Frozen Fever, the new animated short showing before Cinderella. The seven-minute short reassembles the team behind Frozen, including the directors, cast, and songwriters, to deliver a fun update to what Arendelle’s queen and princess have been up to now that Elsa’s ice has thawed.
Frozen Fever tells the story of Anna’s birthday, her first since the sisters were reunited following years of isolation, and Elsa wants to make up for lost time. She’s planned an enormous party, putting Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf in charge of keeping everything perfect (and keeping Olaf away from the cake) while Elsa takes Anna on a birthday scavenger hunt filled with all of Anna’s favorite things and all of the activities they missed out on doing together while they had that pesky door between them. They ride their bicycle through the halls, eat sandwiches, climb towers, and would be having a blast if it were not for one small problem. The cold may not bother Elsa, but she’s clearly suffering from a cold, and being sick causes some interesting side effects regarding Elsa’s ice powers. Every time she sneezes, a handful of miniature snowmen are magicked into existence, and they all seem as obsessed with devouring Anna’s cake as is Olaf.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Frozen without an excellent song by duo Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, so Frozen Fever is anchored by “Making Today a Perfect Day,” a catchy, fun song that is melodically reminiscent of some of their deleted music that was released on the deluxe Frozen soundtrack. The story the directors have crafted is simple enough to fit well into the brief running time, while still allowing for some funny gags, cameos from some minor characters, and even some development of the character relationships that formed the core of Frozen. Of course, a lot of the charm of the short simply comes from its connection to its predecessor, and it’s incredibly sweet to watch Elsa try to make up for all of the lost years by giving Anna a birthday filled with everything they missed.
Frozen Fever doesn’t offer any clues as to where the story might go in an eventual sequel, but it does remind us that there’s more to Frozen than endless Youtube videos of people singing “Let it Go” over and over. The short hits all of the things we loved about Frozen, while still feeling like it adds something to the story and the world these characters inhabit. And, of course, it’s always great to hear Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad singing together once again. It may not be of any great consequence, but it’s a fun way to catch up with the characters to whom we’ve become so attached, and it continues the recent resurgence of quality animated shorts opening new Disney films. To me, that’s definitely a win.