Disney’s Frozen Blu-Ray Falls Flat … Will the Television Special Give Us What We Want?



Sven, Kristoff, Elsa, Anna, Hans
 (c.) 2013 Walt Disney Animation Studios

Don’t get me wrong, I loved Disney’s 2013 winter hit, adore the soundtrack (2 disc deluxe edition for me), and grab what merchandise I can (when I can justify it or the price).  There are many good things to be said about this Oscar winning best animated feature film, whether it be the breaking of the romance-focused “true love” stereotype Disney Princess movies are famous for to showcasing how Walt Disney Animation Studios isn’t dead.


However many of us Frozen fans were disappointed with the "icy thin" bonus features the Blu-Ray contained.  With less than an hour’s worth of extras on the Blu-Ray edition, it makes me wonder, was there anything included on the DVD edition?  (Edit: Just looked it up and the DVD contained only the Mickey Mouse short and some music videos.)  Considering that this is from one of, if not the biggest animation film company in America and the most highly acclaimed animated film from Disney in recently history, this is simply, absolutely pathetic!  


Granted, the 1080p film quality and sound are amazing.  But honestly, were they just too nervous of revealing company secrets or technology to have a legitimate behind-the-scenes documentary or an audio commentary?  I’ve noticed a lot of the Blu-Rays of recent Disney animated films were a bit … lacking in bonus features.  While Tangled is one of my favorites, the best bonus feature we had was a “making of” featurette (and again, no audio commentary).  Frankly, I’m glad I waited to buy it second-hand.  


It seems only “special anniversary edition” Blu-Rays, such as the over 50 years old titles Alice in Wonderland or Dumbo have substantial bonus features, featurettes, and documentaries.  Since animation is a competitive field, I can understand why the “hush hush” –however, my other most recent Blu-Ray purchase, How to Train Your Dragon, contained hours worth of bonus features and behind the scenes featurettes.  Granted, DreamWorks Animation's more recent The Croods (also released in 2013) barely featured substantial extras either.  So this could just be a trend for home releases in general and not a Disney money-making scheme to release “special editions” and “anniversary editions” of already released films. 


As someone with a creative undergraduate degree, even though I don’t have an animation background, I love seeing how these types of films are made, reading “the art of” and “behind the scenes” movie books.  Therefore, I’m am very excited to forget “The Making of Frozen” the horrible joke (#NotFunnyDisney) music video tease given on the Blu-Ray and am ready to watch “The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic” set to air tomorrow on ABC (8:00pm-9:00pm, ET)The official blog of Disney, Disney Insider promises interviews with voice actresses Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel along with ...

“…the directors, songwriters, producer and artists and chief creative officer John Lasseter — the team who dreamed of making a cherished Hans Christian Andersen story into a big screen animated musical.” 

Though not mentioned by name, this presumably would include directors Chris Buck (Tarzan; Surf’s Up) and Jennifer Lee (Wreck-It-Ralph) and producer Peter Del Vecho (The Princess and the Frog; Winnie the Pooh).   

Though the hour long special is also to promote Big Hero 6 and the upcoming season of Once Upon a Time, if they do offer us a true, substantial “Making of Frozen” featurette, I’m entirely ready to set up my DVR and tell my bitterly cold feelings on the Frozen Blu-Ray to just “let it go.”

So, Frozen fan or not, will you be watching this special tomorrow?  What do you think about bonus features (or the lack of) on a Blu-Ray or DVD?  Happy Labor Day everyone!


Disney’s Frozen Blu-Ray Falls Flat … Will the Television Special Give Us What We Want? Disney’s Frozen Blu-Ray Falls Flat … Will the Television Special Give Us What We Want? Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 9/01/2014 10:43:00 AM Rating: 5

6 comments:

  1. Well put... I agree that the blu-ray was completely lacking in any decent features! Even if Disney wanted to refrain from giving away any new top-secret animation methods/technology, they could have at least put in full interviews with each of the voice-actors, as well as a blooper reel on-set (in the recording areas, etc). Haven't gotten a chance to watch "The Story of Frozen" yet, but I can't wait to see it soon!

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    1. I love voice acting blooper reels --they're just as good as the "animated blooper reels" that some studios put out. Interviews would be good. I enjoyed the special, though ... I really still think it could have been included in the blu-ray. I hope you can watch it soon! =)

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  2. I loved the special!! Thought it was excellent. I think they should add it to the DVD special features.

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    1. It was very well done. If anything, I wish I could have seen more of the animation process and development (it's the art/animation geek in me), but for the amount of time they had, it was a good overview. The bits of concept art, storyboard, and early digital renderings we did were great. And the behind-the-scenes stories, of course! Like the ice palace background --animators don't get enough credit for what they do and come up with!

      There is that "sing-a-long" version DVD coming soon that they mentioned in the special, I hope they can add it to that disc or maybe make it a downloadable extra ...

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  3. Surpised the blu-ray and dvds were so lacking for such a popular movie!

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    1. Yes, it was definitely surprising --I haven't yet figured out if it was a Disney thing or just a reflection of the current home media trends ... =)

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