It's been a year since Disney's "Frozen" hit the big screen, and even Disney apparently didn't anticipate the film to become one of its top franchises in such a short period of time.
"When the movie first came out we did some research at retail channels and were struck by how few consumer products there were in general," said Wynne Tyree, president of Smarty Pants, a market research and consulting firm in Advertising Age. "I don't think Disney expected the property to be so wildly successful. Now they're trying to give it as many legs as they can."
The New York Post reported a mother paying $1,200 for an Elsa doll after promising her child one but not being able to find it anywhere last April.
Disney has caught up to the demand with myriad "Frozen" products for consumers. The Snow Glow Elsa Doll "is perhaps the most popular toy of the season," according to New England Cable News. "Raise Elsa’s arms and she’ll sing the hit song “Let It Go.” Touch her snowflake necklace and it will light up as Elsa says 15 phrases from the film. Elsa can even speak and sing in English and Spanish."
Elsa has less screen time than her sister Anna in the hit film, but it's she who consumers most identify with.
“Elsa outsells Anna because firstborns rule at everything — they get all the accolades, they’re the presidents of the United States, the astronauts, the CEOs — anywhere that perfection pays off, you’ll find the firstborns,” said Kevin Leman, a psychologist and author of the “The Birth Order Book,” in The Wall Street Journal.
The same article pointed out, "parents are puzzled by Elsa’s outsize influence. Elsa doesn’t really do anything but sing this great song and, let’s be honest, she’s kind of a jerk,” says Jill Walsh, of Newton, Massachussets, whose 4-year-old daughter, Maeve, often dresses up as Elsa. “A lot of moms try to push for Anna — she’s the go-getter of the two.”
USA Today reported that code.org recently teamed up with Disney to launch an interactive tutorial centered around both Anna and Elsa. The tutorial "lets young programmers help (the) 'Frozen' sisters … make ice fractals and skating patterns using basic coding skills."
"Frozen" is an anamoly, it was released a year ago and yet it's popularity is even higher than when it held the No. 1 spot at the box-office.
"Disney said earlier this month that it had already sold 3 million 'Frozen' dresses in North America, which, as it happens, is roughly the number of 4-year-old girls in North America. In January, 'Frozen' wedding dresses go on sale for $1,200," The New York Times reported. "Next summer, 'Adventures by Disney' is offering tours of Norwegian sites that inspired the film’s animators at prices starting north of $5,000. The company is also rolling out 'Frozen'-branded 'apples and grapes, juice, yogurt, bandages and a complete oral-care line.’ ”
Disney chief executive Robert A. Iger told CNBC that he expected holiday sales to be "very, very hot."
With a forthcoming "Frozen" theme park attraction at Epcot and a "Frozen" broadway musical, Disney won't be letting go of this powerhouse anytime soon.
According to CNN, "Disney CEO Bob Iger said 'Frozen' was one of Disney's top five franchises ever. 'So you can expect us to take full advantage of that over the next at least five years.’ ”
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