Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017) sets out to kick off the festive season.
In the United States, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” has been released along with “Coco” but, as we have to wait an extra couple of months here in the UK, we at least get the opportunity to watch this latest Disney short for the Kids’ Club ticket price of £3 (or thereabouts) plus the opportunity (should you want to – plenty of families in our screening didn’t) of watching “Frozen” for the three-thousand, eight-hundred and twenty-seventh time.
On the eve of the conspicuously non-specific holiday season, Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) realise that due to their unconventional childhood, they don’t – unlike the rest of the population of Arandelle – have any family traditions of their own. Not willing to see his best friends sad over the holidays, Olaf (Josh Gad) sets out to gather the best family traditions he can find.
The animation is as polished as you’d expect and certainly, the leap to the big screen doesn’t betray this entertaining short’s roots as a proposed TV special. Although ‘Christmas’ is never named (at least as far as I can remember), visually, it’s as Christmassy as it could be (with a healthy side order of Hanukah and a nod to Winter Solstice), finally placing “Frozen” at the heart of the holiday with which is most erroneously associated (the original movie takes place in summer). It’s been four years since we first travelled to Arandelle and with a year and a half already gone by since “Frozen Fever” and with two years still to go before “Frozen 2”, it’s nice to catch up with the gang again. Gad’s overly cutesy Olaf voice again masks a sharp comic timing and a wickedly sly line delivery, meaning the snowman steals the best lines and most of the scenes but it’s great that the entire voice cast return for this short. It’s the four forgettable musical numbers, though, which let the side down. They’re not written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez and while they’re perfectly serviceable, they lack the instant catchability and staying power of the likes of “Let It Go” or even “Making Today a Perfect Day”.
“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” is a perfectly adequate bit of fun in the run-up to Christmas and while it may not reach the heights of the previous adventures for these characters, it’s undoubtedly going to be wearing out DVD players, and parents’ patience, in the months to come before the proper “Frozen” sequel finally lands.