Disney feeds 'Frozen' frenzy with news of sequel

Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:59pm EDT
 
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By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Walt Disney Co has started work on a sequel to "Frozen," the best-selling animated movie of all time and a global merchandising phenomenon that helped push the media giant to record profits.

Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee are returning for the sequel, Disney said on Thursday. No release date was set for the follow-up to "Frozen", a surprise smash in 2013 that brought in nearly $1.3 billion in global ticket sales.

Disney also said it will release the eighth episode in the "Star Wars" sci-fi film series on May 26, 2017. A spinoff film called "Rogue One" debuts on Dec. 16, 2016, shortly after the release of highly anticipated seventh episode, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

The company made the announcements at its annual shareholder meeting in San Francisco, where investors re-elected 10 board members including Chief Executive Bob Iger and defeated a proposal to split the roles of CEO and chairman.

The news of a "Frozen" sequel comes hours before short film "Frozen Fever" opens for Disney's live-action "Cinderella" movie, which debuts Friday.

"We enjoyed making 'Frozen Fever' so much and being back in that world with those characters," said John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios. "Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck have come up with a great idea for a sequel."

Lasseter spoke alongside Josh Gad, who provided the voice of the snowman Olaf in "Frozen." Iger said Olaf will appear in the second film.

"Frozen" tells the story of two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa, in an icy Nordic kingdom. Kristen Bell voices Anna, and Idina Menzel is Elsa.   Continued...

 
Elsa is seen in this still from Frozen. REUTERS/Disney/Handout