The Disney Pixar short Olaf’s Frozen Adventure makes its broadcast television debut as part of Disney|ABC Television Group’s 25 Days of Christmas celebration on Thursday, December 14 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. The airing, first announced during production in early 2016, follows Olaf’s Frozen Adventure‘s recently completed limited theatrical run in front of Disney·Pixar’s hit feature Coco. The featurette includes four new original Frozen songs and welcomes back the beloved characters (and cast) who won over audiences worldwide in the 2013 Oscar(R)-winning feature, Frozen, the top-grossing animated film of all time. Disney Animation’s Emmy Award-winning holiday special Prep & Landing airs 8:30-9:00 p.m. EST.
In Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, Olaf (voice of Josh Gad) teams up with Sven on a merry mission. It’s the first holiday season since the gates reopened and Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) and Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) host a celebration for all of Arendelle. When the townspeople unexpectedly leave early to enjoy their individual holiday customs, the sisters realize they have no family traditions of their own. So, Olaf sets out to comb the kingdom to bring home the best traditions and save Anna and Elsa’s “first Christmas in forever.”
This Frozen short actually caused a bit of controversy, with fans who showed up to see the Dia De Los Muertos musical Coco surprised to see a 21-minute Frozen short, which some thought was originally supposed to be a TV special, which is actually correct. There had been plans to air this as a stand-alone holiday special before the decision was made to place it in front of Coco, which seems to have been ill-advised. We reported last week that Disney sent notice to theaters to stop playing Olaf’s Frozen Adventure in front of Coco, starting today, December 8, which seems to coincide nicely with today’s announcement of the short debuting on ABC next week. Here’ what Academy Award-winning producer Roy Conli (Big Hero 6) had to say in a statement.
“We are thrilled to be part of ABC’s 25 Days of Christmas festivities. While making the film, our crew was so inspired by all of the great television holiday specials of the past. It’s a dream come true for all of us.”
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure features the original cast of Arendelle characters, including Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad (Marshall, Book of Mormon); Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell (Frozen, Bad Moms); Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel (Broadway’s Wicked, Rent and If/Then; Fox’s Glee); and Kristoff, voiced by Jonathan Groff (Broadway’s Hamilton, Netflix’s Mindhunter). Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is directed by Emmy-winning filmmakers Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (Prep & Landing) and is produced by Oscar winner Roy Conli (Big Hero 6). The featurette includes a screenplay by Jac Schaeffer and four original songs by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson. The ABC special will help keep Frozen fans occupied as they continue the long countdown towards Frozen 2, which will hit theaters on November 27, 2019.