If you’ve seen Pixar’s latest offering, Coco, in the theater, you were likely greeted by a new short featuring Olaf from Frozen that is meant to bridge the gap between Frozen and its sequel that is set for release in 2019. While it seems like it was a good idea to place Frozen in front of Pixar’s latest film to maximize the audience, the response to this decision has been negative at best. There are few rare slices of praise for Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, but most are having none of its 21-minute runtime or its musical view of the holidays.
According to most of the critic responses online, the short was not screened ahead of time and almost came as a surprise for some after Coco was released. Some are even trying to determine how late you can show up to see the film and miss the short entirely.
But it shouldn’t have been a surprise if they had listened to audiences in Mexico who had similar complaints about the short. Several reports indicate that fan reactions in Mexico to the short led to its removal ahead of Coco, with Cinemex confirming theaters were now showing a version of the film without the short included.
According to animator/artist Julieta Colás, she waited until the short was removed from the film in Mexican cinemas before seeing the film and had heard many complained about the length of the featurette compared to the shorts attached to Pixar films in the past.
Some reports seem to note that it might be a limited engagement in theaters alongside Coco, but that is unconfirmed. What is sure is Olaf’s Frozen Adventure was meant to be a television special for ABC before the decision was made to include it with the Pixar film, due to the popularity of Frozen and the apparent connection it will have to Frozen 2. No matter what the intentions are, audiences who went to see Coco didn’t seem too pleased by its inclusion.
And others expressed their desire to see more separation between Disney efforts and Pixar efforts, something that seems like a longshot considering Disney is in charge here.
It is safe to say that nobody would be complaining if they got a 21-minute Avengers: Infinity War prologue here instead of Frozen, so maybe it is just Frozen exhaustion. We’ll see when the sequel is released in 2019.