Regardless of whether they went to see Pixar’s Coco for its thoughtful, beautifully-rendered yet overdue look at Mexican culture, moviegoers were required to be more patient than usual ahead of their feature screening. In addition to the commercials and coming distractions, Disney tacked on a short film that not only stretched the meaning of that term, but was also offensively dull.
Early in its theatrical run, Coco was preceded by Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, a 20-minute clip that was heavy on crass commercialism (because even magical princesses want to do some Christmas shopping!) and light on fun. It wasn’t just the runtime or the fact that its inclusion was perceived as “culturally tone-deaf,” given that Coco explores the Day Of The Dead holiday that Disney once tried to co-opt. So few people liked it that word quickly spread on how to time your arrival to avoid seeing it.
Now Disney has indicated Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is leaving theaters soon (hopefully to be locked away in that vault the studio always talks about), which looks like a victory for the grassroots organizers who helped limit filmgoers’ exposure to Josh Gad’s voice. But the studio insists Olaf’s Frozen Adventure was always going to have a limited run, telling Entertainment Weekly that the short “was always promoted as a limited run so it’s not really a story—the end of our Olaf theatrical play is coming next week.” (Note: calling the short a “theatrical play” doesn’t make it any more appealing.) But whether or not Disney actually heard the anti-Olaf cries, come December 7, no one else will have to sit through the short’s weird take on scatalogical humor.