While Disney World and Disneyland remain closed due to concerns over the novel coronavirus, Disney+ is releasing Frozen 2 three months early. "Surprise! #Frozen2 is coming early to #DisneyPlus. Start streaming this Sunday," read a tweet from the official Disney+ account on Friday, March 13. As many across the globe remain in cautionary self-quarantine and continue to practice "social distancing," The Walt Disney Company noted in a press release the same day that the move was their attempt to provide families "with some fun and joy during this challenging period."
Last year’s sequel to the 2013 animated original movie, which features voice performances from Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad, will be available to Disney+ users in the U.S. on March 15, with subscribers in Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand able to stream the film beginning on March 17.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek added in a statement: "Frozen 2 has captivated audiences around the world through its powerful themes of perseverance and the importance of family, messages that are incredibly relevant during this time, and we are pleased to be able to share this heartwarming story early with our Disney+ subscribers to enjoy at home on any device."
Meanwhile, Disney also made Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker available for purchase on digital platforms late Friday evening — four days ahead of its scheduled Mar. 17 release. The ninth movie in the Star Wars saga is available on all major platforms including Amazon, Google Play, and iTunes in HD for $19.99 and in 4K Ultra HD for $24.99, per Variety.
Anaheim, California’s Disneyland announced its closure on March 12, with Disney World in Florida following suit beginning March 16. As noted by Entertainment Tonight, production has been halted on multiple live-action Disney films, including The Little Mermaid, Shang-Chi and The Legends of the Ten Rings, Home Alone, The Last Duel, and Nightmare Alley. Pre-production for Peter Pan & Wendy and Shrunk has also been put on hold, per the outlet.
Frozen 2‘s moved-up release date also stands in stark contrast with the several TV shows and movies that have been delayed in an effort to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Netflix’s Stranger Things Season 4, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and The Bachelorette, Apple TV’s The Morning Show, and The CW’s Riverdale are among the major projects to shut down production. Meanwhile, premieres of films including the latest James Bond installment, No Time To Die, as well as the Quiet Place Part II, have been pushed back.
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