Photo: A scene from Disney's "Olaf's Frozen Adventure," seen before every screening of "Coco."
Parents and moviegoers – and especially moviegoer parents – were pretty steamed last weekend. They just wanted to pack their Thanksgiving weekend with a viewing of “Coco,” the well-received new Disney/Pixar film steeped in Mexican Dia de los Muertos traditions. Instead they were subjected to Disney's Christmas-themed short, a 21-minute "Frozen" takeoff titled “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.”
Here's what Minnesota moviegoers had to say about the short:
Coco made me cry like for real. But if you go see it, show up like a half hour late. For real. The “short” at the beginning is 20 mins long and SUCKS.— sean mansheim (@seansheim) November 28, 2017
It's about 25 min (!) of cheap emotion and cheap jokes and cheap sentimentality. If I were Coco, I'd be really annoyed this were my warm up act.— Sarah Gioia (@sarah_gioia) November 26, 2017
My daughter (loudly) after the first few disgusting minutes of Frozen. “I THINK WE’RE IN THE WRONG MOVIE, WHERE IS COCO?!” No one disagreed— jb (@2nickeldropper) November 28, 2017
Coco is a good film preceded by a Frozen short film that I wish I could have traded for a new Pixar short film.— Kyle Hilliard (@KyleMHilliard) November 25, 2017
Last weekend, I was among the thousands of American moviegoers who helped "Coco" reign at the box office. I took my 5-year-old daughter to a Sunday afternoon showing and found myself involuntarily sitting through "Olaf's Frozen Adventure." After about five minutes, I started rolling my eyes at the cheesy songwriting (sample lyric: "When we're together/I have everything on my list"). I checked the time. I fidgeted in my seat.
The biggest problem is the "Olaf" short's run time. Fans enthusiastically received previous animated shorts such as Pixar's 2003 "Boundin'" (seen before "The Incredibles") and Disney's "Inner Workings" (screened before 2016's "Moana"). But these shorts lasted just five or six minutes, with the typical Pixar short averaging fewer than ten. At 21 minutes, "Olaf's Frozen Adventure" is a serious inconvenience for families on a tight schedule for meals and bedtime. Not to mention: Moviegoers bought tickets for a colorful movie set in Mexico, only to be force-fed the Nordic scenes of Arendelle.
Finally, I consulted Google to make sure we hadn't stumbled into the wrong movie. (The Star Tribune's Colin Covert failed to warn us, because reviewers like him didn't see “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.") That's when I discovered some of the dissenting voices above. I only wish I spotted their helpful tidbits a little sooner:
Apparently there's a 20 minute Frozen short in front of Coco? I'm glad I caught a screener... Show up late, and bring Kleenex!— Kyla McT (@KylaMcT) November 28, 2017