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A decade after the film’s release, it remains a hot, multi-faceted property.

Jane Neal

December 7, 2023

8 Min Read
The Ice Castle set.
The Ice Castle set. LEGO

At a Glance

  • “Frozen” Location-Based Experiences
  • Consumer Products for All Ages
  • New ‘Frozen’-Inspired Licensed Products

November marked the 10th anniversary of the theatrical debut of Disney’s “Frozen.” In honor of the celebration, Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing shared a “Frozen” anniversary retrospective with License Global, touching on the film’s continued popularity and plans to celebrate the milestone. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 53rd animated feature film, “Frozen,” had a limited opening before Thanksgiving in 2013. Once it opened worldwide, it earned $67.4 million in its first three days, setting an opening weekend record for Walt Disney Animation Studios films. The film, which follows beloved characters, Anna and Elsa, in an epic adventure, has inspired sequels, toys, video games, books, sing-alongs, recipes, hairstyles and immersive live experiences – including a hit stage show. 

Disney attributes the movie’s continued popularity to its timelessness. With themes of self-discovery, bravery, empowerment and sisterhood, the story resonates with people of all ages. Defined by many young adults as their childhood landmark film, “Frozen” quickly gained critical acclaim in the industry. Even today, the film maintains an impressive 90% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes. It has received multiple awards, including wins for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song at the 2014 Academy Awards. There’s no denying the film has left a deep impression. A study commissioned by Disney from Dr. Sarah Godfrey, associate professor, art and media, University of East Anglia, “Lessons From Arendelle: The Cultural Phenomenon of Disney’s Frozen,” details its impact on society – from a tourism boom in Norway increasing by 20% as a result of the country being the real-life inspiration for Arendelle, parents desperate to get their hands on must-have products for Christmas, to the rise of sing-along videos on YouTube, including 3.2 billion views of “Let It Go” and popularity of the name, Elsa.

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“‘Frozen’ is a global phenomenon, which pervaded popular culture in a way we can’t ignore, having a massive impact on everything from the names we call our children, to inspiring multiple viral trends such as Elsa hair tutorials, celebrity lip-synch battles to the popularity of the sing-along concept on YouTube and TikTok,” says Godfrey. “It was the first time many young girls saw an act of sisterly love given more prominence over a romantic one. Elsa and Anna have been crucial in creating spaces for new female characters, not just within the Disney canon but in cinema and media culture more broadly.” 

“Frozen” Location-Based Experiences 

Since its release, Disney has developed its “Frozen” IP across many areas, including Disney Parks, with attractions, character appearances, a new dedicated land and more. Entertainment offerings include the world’s first “Frozen”-themed land, World of Frozen, which opened its gates Nov. 20 at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. World of Frozen presents the kingdom of Arendelle as a fully immersive travel destination with captivating stories, beloved characters, stunning landscapes, enchanting music and cutting-edge technology. “Frozen” premiered on Broadway in 2018 and the Tony-nominated musical is currently on tour. A Disney on Ice show, featuring “Frozen” and “Encanto” has just finished a run in North America. 

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Consumer Products for All Ages

A huge story for avid “Frozen” fans is the anniversary celebrations. These include a movie re-release, new podcast series of a standalone adventure set after “Frozen 2,” fan-favorite content on Disney+ and updates to the hit musical. With over 10 years to celebrate and a decade-worth of new content, it only makes sense that a major highlight of the anniversary celebration is a whole new range of products, toys and costumes. The campaign includes a vast array of Disney products such as toys, apparel and costumes from Mattel, the LEGO Group, Funko, Jakks Pacific, Disguise, Janie and Jack, Hanna Andersson and more.

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“‘Frozen’ is a timeless film that resonates with fans of all ages and has been developed across many areas of The Walt Disney Company including consumer products,” says Rob Michaelis, vice president, licensing, hardlines, Disney and Pixar. “From collector dolls and plush to building sets, role play and more, our innovation and creative storytelling at Disney allow us to open the door to even more product development to come.”

New ‘Frozen’-Inspired Licensed Products

  • Disney Collector “Frozen” Anna and Elsa Dolls (Mattel) – Inspired by the special sibling bond between Anna and Elsa, the sisters are shown in their iconic outfits from the first film. 

  • Disney “Frozen” Snow Color Reveal Dolls (Mattel) – Bringing innovation to creative play, inspiring new play patterns and ways to experience the film and its characters. 

  • Pop! Elsa (Funko) – This collector Funko Pop! depicts Elsa in her icy blue gown while celebrating both “Frozen’s” 10th anniversary and The Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary (featuring Disney100 branding). 

  • “Frozen” Apparel and Accessories (BoxLunch) – New products for fans who grew up with “Frozen” and are now grown adults, as well as select products for new younger fans who are being introduced to the franchise for the first time. With this collection and others, Disney is reaching young adult fans more than ever – an opportunity to continue exploring as the audience ages and grows with the franchise. 

  • The LEGO Group’s “Frozen”-inspired building sets continue to be fan-favorites. They bring the magical world of Arendelle to life, allowing fans to recreate their favorite elements from the film: The Ice Castle, Anna and Elsa’s Magical Carousel and  Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Wonderland.

The “Frozen” Saga Continues 

Since its premiere in 2013, Disney Publishing Worldwide has sold over 300 million “Frozen” books. From read-along storybooks and young adult novels to sticker books and illustrated collections, “Frozen” books have reached audiences around the globe. In August, Penguin Random House released “The ‘Frozen’ Saga: Anna and Elsa’s Journey,” featuring “Frozen” and “Frozen 2” combined and retold for the first time in a deluxe jacketed hardcover storybook. 

For those looking for a new spin on the franchise, there’s a new book that tells untold tales from Anna and Elsa’s childhood. “All Is Found: A ‘Frozen’ Anthology” features creative stories by 10 authors to celebrate the 10 years of “Frozen.” In the book, Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Sven journey together through the “Frozen” universe while greeting old friends and making new ones. 

Disney Publishing Worldwide, in collaboration with ABC Audio and Walt Disney Animation Studios, has launched the podcast, “Disney ‘Frozen’ Podcast: Forces of Nature,” extending the storytelling of the film as an audio-first offering, complete with new characters and a standalone adventure set after the events of “Frozen 2.” Fans can listen to the first season, “Forces of Nature,” on their favorite podcast listening platform now.

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Upcoming ‘Frozen’ Product Categories 

“Frozen” merchandise continues to be in high demand, and Disney is always exploring ways to bring the product that fans crave to life in new and exciting ways. Tytan Tiles, one of Disney’s newest licensees, is taking “Frozen” to a new level with a fun STEM/STEAM activity. The Disney “Frozen” Castle Magnetic Tiles Building Set includes a magnetic tile building set, a learning workbook, dry-erase decals and markers, stickers and more. 

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With more than 4.3 million units of “Frozen”-inspired products (licensed and vertical) sold on average per year over the last decade on shopDisney, Disney’s online retail store, the demand for new products is significant. New arrivals include a “Frozen” Throw Blanket and 10th Anniversary Anna and Elsa Accent Pillow, a new assortment of products designed by “Frozen” costume designer, Griselda Sastrawinata-Lemay, “Frozen” plush, dolls and more. 

“Creating ‘Frozen’ products with our licensees allows us to take a beloved story and turn moments of happiness into memories for fans to treasure and share for the years ahead,” says Michaelis.

Dress-Up and Role Play

“Frozen” has inspired a new wave of consumer engagement in role play, with fans including adults and children choosing to dress as their favorite sister duo, Anna and Elsa. shopDisney has sold more than 2.3 million units in role play across all channels. In 2014 and 2015, eight of the top 10 items sold on shopDisney were inspired by “Frozen” – including an Elsa-inspired costume, which was the top seller in 2014. Every year, “Frozen” continues to be one of the most popular costume inspirations for Halloween – with licensed costumes such as the Elsa Snow Queen Gown by Disguise, as well as vertically developed role-play pieces from Disney.

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This article featured in December's issue of License Global. Read the issue now ...

About the Author(s)

Jane Neal

Content Editor, License Global

Jane Neal is a Content Editor for License Global. Working remotely in the great state of Wisconsin, Jane specializes in retail and pop-culture trends.

She has worked extensively in the communication field as a managing editor, advertising copywriter, technical writer and journalist. She detoured for several years into academia where she taught journalism, English and humanities at the college level.

A complete Marvel nerd, she enjoys food, films, fishing, friends and family … and alliteration.

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