Celebrating 10 Years of Disney Animation’s ‘Frozen’

On November 27, 2013, Walt Disney Animation Studios released its 53rd feature film, Frozen—which quickly snowballed into an Oscar®-winning, $1.29 billion blockbuster that continues to enchant fans around the world a decade later. Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (who also wrote the film), Frozen tells the tale of two sisters, Anna (Disney Legend Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Disney Legend Idina Menzel), who—with the help of the outdoorsman Kristoff (Disney Legend Jonathan Groff) and the magical snowman Olaf (Disney Legend Josh Gad)—battle the elements to save the kingdom of Arendelle from Hans (Santino Fontana).

The film’s seismic soundtrack, featuring original music by songwriting duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, had Frozen fans asking each other, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” The song “Let It Go,” in particular, became an anthemic cultural phenomenon that received multiple accolades, ranging from an Academy Award® to a Grammy® Award.

Reflecting on the impact of “Let It Go,” Menzel says, “It’s been this incredible gift in my life. What’s so beautiful is that not only does Elsa connect with a young audience, but she gives us all permission to be our greatest selves. And because I get to perform the song over and over, she never goes away. When I’m feeling down or insecure about my own power, she reminds me to harness that. So, it’s really been this constant gift that just keeps on giving.”

Since the original film’s release, there has been an avalanche of Frozen films, shorts, and specials released—not to mention top-selling consumer products, highly anticipated theme park attractions and lands, stage productions, and more. Sample highlights include:

  • In 2016, the Frozen Ever After attraction opened at EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Guests are invited to voyage to Arendelle aboard an ancient Nordic vessel as they take a musical tour of the wintery world of Frozen.
  • Frozen opened on Broadway in 2018 and is currently on tour across North America. The Tony®-nominated musical is an unforgettable theatrical experience filled with stunning special effects, striking costumes and sets, and powerhouse performances.
  • A follow-up film, Frozen 2, had a record-breaking opening weekend in 2019, earning $358.4 million globally. The film went on to gross $1.45 billion, making it the No. 1 animated film of all time. The making of the film was chronicled in the six-part docuseries Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2, streaming exclusively on Disney+.
  • In 2023, Disney Publishing Worldwide launched Disney Frozen Podcast: Forces of Nature. Featuring favorite Frozen characters and introducing new friends, it finds Anna and Elsa working with a neighboring queen to solve a mystery in the forest.
  • With themes of bravery, empowerment, self-discovery, and sisterhood, the story of Frozen continues to resonate with people of all ages. As such, the 10th anniversary celebration includes a new range of products, toys, and costumes from brands including BoxLunch, Disguise, Funko, Jakks, LEGO, Mattel, Ravensburger, and TOMY.
  • Since 2013, Disney Publishing Worldwide has sold over 300 million Frozen This year, in August, Penguin Random House released The Frozen Saga: Anna and Elsa’s Journey, which retells both films for the first time in a deluxe jacketed hardcover storybook, and in November, Disney Books released All Is Found: A Frozen Anthology, which features short stories by 10 authors to celebrate 10 years of Frozen.
  • Most recently, World of Frozen—the world’s first Frozen-themed land—opened its gates at Hong Kong Disneyland in 2023. The theme park’s largest and boldest expansion since it opened in 2005, features three all-new, fun-filled attractions: Frozen Ever After, Playhouse in the Woods, and Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Fans are feverishly awaiting more Frozen films, and the creative minds inside Walt Disney Animation Studios are currently developing projects for the big screen. “We are deeply excited about the story we are shaping together,” Lee says. “And it’s so epic, it may not just fit into one film.”

That’s just fine with the voice actors, who have become like family over the past decade. “The Frozen family is actually very close,” Bell says, “and my castmates are like my siblings.”

Frozen has also played an integral role in Disney’s commitment to help reimagine the patient experience in children’s hospitals around the world, inviting kids to embrace the power of play and partake in a normal childhood experience from the safety of the hospital. For the first time in forever, the non-profit Starlight Children’s Foundation, in collaboration with The Walt Disney Company, celebrated the 10th anniversary of Disney’s Frozen at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago on Friday, November 17. Young patients were the first in the nation to see and wear the newly redesigned Frozen-themed Starlight Hospital Gowns and Pants, featuring the beloved characters Elsa, Anna, Sven, and Olaf. The fun-filled day included activities; film screenings; a delivery of Frozen-themed toys, books, and costumes; and a very special visit from Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

“We’re honored and grateful to have a longstanding relationship with Disney in helping us achieve our mission of delivering happiness to seriously ill kids and their families,” said Adam Garone, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation. “Together for 20 years, we’ve been transforming the hospital experience through programs that entertain and provide comfort to kids at a time when they need it most.”

That’s why voicing Olaf—who’s starred in several shorts on Disney+—has meant so much to Gad. “Seeing kids all over the world respond to this optimistic bundle of naivete and childlike wonder—that’s what you hope for, right?” he says. “You hope your work stands the test of time, and it’s been incredible to watch this film that I’m so proud of strike a chord with so many people. I’m blown away by it, and I’m also humbled by the response to Olaf.”