NEW YORK — Let it go (on)!
The Walt Disney Co. on Thursday announced plans to make a sequel to the animated mega-hit "Frozen." Bob Iger, Walt Disney Co. chief executive, and John Lasseter, head of Walt Disney Animation Studios, joined in officially announcing "Frozen 2" at the company's annual shareholders meeting in San Francisco.
The sequel had been widely expected for a film that has become a juggernaut for Disney. Since its release in November 2013, "Frozen" has made nearly $1.3 billion globally at the box office, generated a massive merchandising revenue stream and won the Academy Award for best animated feature.
Disney didn't announce any details on the sequel's plot or a release date, but said directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck will be returning.
"We enjoyed making Frozen Fever so much and being back in that world with those characters," said Lasseter. "Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck have come up with a great idea for a sequel and you will be hearing a lot more about it and we're taking you back to Arendelle."
Though a sequel was always only a matter of time, fans have waited eagerly for the announcement. Most big box-office hits generate sequel announcements within weeks of opening.
But any delay in a "Frozen" sequel has been easily assuaged by the film's unabated popularity. "Frozen" is by far the biggest grossing animated film ever, and its soundtrack, led by Idina Menzel's "Let it Go," remains ubiquitous. A "Frozen" short is to play in front of Disney's latest release, the live-action "Cinderella," which opens in theaters Friday.
Josh Gad, the voice of the snowman Olaf, was on hand for the announcement Thursday and will be returning for the sequel. But no other returning characters were announced.
At the shareholders meeting, Disney also announced a release date for "Star Wars: Episode VIII": May 26, 2017. Rian Johnson ("Looper") is confirmed to write and direct.