When Walt Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger showed up at the premiere of filmFrozen on Nov. 27, he was already sure that the animated musical about two sisters was something special, a return to the magical essence that made Disney, well, Disney. By the time he got to the credits, he had choked up. "I was glad I was wearing [3-D] glasses," he says. "It was my proudest moment as the CEO of the Walt Disney Company."
Frozen is melting Iger's heart not just because of the cold, hard, cash it's generating -- it has grossed $669 million so far, and it hasn't even opened in China or Japan -- but also because the success of the film, the third in a row for the studio after years of disappointment, appears to show that Disney Animation Studios is finally, finally back in the groove. "I realized, 'My goodness, Disney Animation is where it rightfully belongs,'" he says. "The exhilaration was profound. It's not about the bottom line. The bottom line is for the quarter. This is for something bigger and longer."
The tale of two estranged sister princesses who must come together to de-ice their homeland,Frozen is racking up the big numbers. It was the No. 1 all-time Disney animation debut, and it is expected to soon pass The Lion King in overall box office; it's been nominated for two Golden Globes and may get an Oscar nod; it's the No. 1 album on both Amazon and iTunes. (Apparently, the "polar vortex" helped; people didn't seem to mind watching a story about an icy world when they were actually living in one.)( Oh great.Collapse )