Let me preface this by saying I really REALLY love Frozen (as the Elsa costume hanging in my closet might indicate).
Naturally, when I heard Disney’s yearly Christmas parade would be Frozen-themed, I squeed with delight while bracing for a barrage of whines from nay-sayers and purists who lament the snowball of millions of dollars padding Disney’s pockets. And so, as I sat in front of the TV, I was so excited to see a twist to the classic Disney parade.
That’s not what I got. At all.
After two hours of garbled Ariana Grande juxtaposed with touching reunion blips, the “parade” left me thinking, “What happened?”
Sure, it’s great to see Disney showing off their newer properties. Lucy Hale’s “country-fied” performance fit detail shots of Radiator Springs nicely. Aulani looks STUNNING; not even Disney Channel starlet Laura Marano could ruin the views. (A huge missed opportunity, however, was Samantha Brown’s segments of new and exciting things from the Company. Adventures by Disney could have been showcased extensively in a two-minute segment, but it was reduced to a 30-second commercial.)
However, sparkly close-up shots couldn’t fill the gaping hole in my heart from the lack of Main Street footage. What parade? The “celebration” was an amalgam of performances loosely pieced together with awkward segues (looking at you, Tim Tebow), a handful of floats, and *maybe* a glimpse of a character whose name isn’t Anna, Elsa, or Olaf. Plus, anyone who’s ever been to Magic Kingdom will notice Festival of Fantasy and MISICI floats were poorly converted to Christmas-themed pieces. Clearly, a majority of the budget when to Anna and Elsa’s floats and those 1997-era special effects at the end.
Seriously, guys, Santa is the big reveal at the end.
Why change an excellent structure for one film? It makes no sense to piece together these featurettes with Frozen when it cannot be duplicated another year. Producers could’ve just as easily added Anna and Elsa’s float into the usual parade route, kept the performances (maybe cut Trisha Yearwood’s songs to two instead of three?), and done the traditional commentary from the Main Street hub.
We get it. Frozen was the biggest box office hit for an animated film ever. It won an Oscar it rightfully deserved. Every parent of a 5-year-old kid has a video of them belting “Let it Go.” Again, WE GET IT.
But what happens next year when Frozen fever melts away and you’re left with an awkward production structure? What movie is going to fill that gap? If this is a new precedent for future Disney Christmas celebrations, it’s a dangerous format to follow.
Hopefully, this was a one-time thing. (Please be a one-time thing.)