TIME movies

Frozen Director Now Apologizes to Parents for ‘Let It Go’

FROZEN
Disney

Jennifer Lee understands your "Frozen" fatigue

You’d think the woman behind the most successful animated film of all time would be thrilled that kids are still so enchanted by it more than a year later. But Jennifer Lee, the director of Frozen, says she now finds herself apologizing to parents whose kids are still obsessed with the film and its Oscar-winning song “Let It Go.”

“A year ago, I’d meet people who, when they found out who I was, they’d say, ‘Oh, we love the songs! We sing them all the time.’ Now they’re like, ‘Yep, we’re still listening to those songs,'” Lee told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve gone from, ‘Thank you,’ to, ‘Sorry!'”

The popular anthem was sung by Idina Menzel in the film and went on to be a worldwide hit, breaking the top ten in numerous charts including the Billboard Hot 100.

[THR]

Read next: Frozen Meets Christmas Vacation With Holiday Lights Synched to ‘Let It Go’

TIME Music

Taylor Swift Threatens To Outsell Frozen

Taylor Swift attends the Jingle Bell Ball on December 7, 2014 in London, England.
Taylor Swift attends the Jingle Bell Ball on December 7, 2014 in London, England. Tim P. Whitby—;Getty Images

Shake it off

The cast of Frozen will just have to let it go — Taylor Swift’s 1989 is catching up to the Frozen soundtrack as 2014’s biggest seller.

According to the New York Times, Frozen, which was released in late 2013, has sold almost 3.4 million copies since January. 1989 has been out for six weeks and totaled over 2.7 million sales.

1989 is at the top of the Billboard albums chart again this week, bringing its total up to five weeks at number one.

MONEY Shopping

You May Already Be Too Late for the Hottest Holiday Toys

141210_EM_HottestToys
If your kid wants Disney's Frozen Castle & Ice Palace Playset, let's hope you bought it already. Richard Drew—AP

Favorites from Frozen, Legos, and more are gone from store shelves or going fast. Expect to pay up if you don't want to disappoint.

If you still have Disney’s Frozen Castle and Ice Palace Playset on your holiday gift list this year, you may already be out of luck.

With Christmas approaching, the $119 toy—made by Mattel Inc—is sold out. Of course, you can find it at resellers for about $225 and even as high as $700 on eBay. There are still plenty of other Frozen-themed toys available—but only for now.

Industry analysts, poring over results from the Thanksgiving holiday week, say the hottest 25 toys have already hit their price lows and will only get more expensive as Christmas nears and the remaining inventory flies off stores’ shelves.

The silver lining? Retailers made a huge bet on toy inventory this holiday season—ordering twice as many shipments of Legos as last year, for instance, according to research firm Panjiva.

Expect fierce price competition at major retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corp, which carry thousands of toys, notes Jim Silver, editor-in-chief of Time to Play Magazine.

“There will be huge promotions going on,” he predicts.

The sales will not be nationwide shopping events like Black Friday, but will pop up sporadically, culminating in major sales on Dec. 20, the Saturday before Christmas which experts expect to be an extremely heavy shopping day.

“One by one, either loudly or quietly, they will be rolling out some amazing deals,” says Panjiva CEO Josh Green.

Early Birds Get Hot Toys

Consumers love sales, but Silver notes they may be very disappointed if they can’t find the hottest toys.

Besides the sold-out Frozen Castle, there are 12 to 15 items which are currently hard to find, including the Max Tow Truck. It is listed currently around $128 on Amazon.com, depending on color—well above its list price of $59.99. Another hot item is the Imaginext Supernova Battle Rover—currently available for $109.99 at Toys R Us, slightly below the list price of $119.

There are also about 25 to 30 toys that will sell out in the next two weeks, Silver says, especially the most popular new toys in the Lego, Barbie, My Little Pony, FurReal Friend, and Nerf lines.

Toys with a movie or popular culture tie-in drive demand, while interactive pets tend to be short-lived fads (think Zhu Zhu Pets or Furby).

“There are clear bets by retailers—orders for Frozen toys and My Little Pony toys are up massively versus 2013,” says Green.

Most hot toys hit their price lows on Cyber Monday, according to data firm MarketTrack. This year, for example, the FurReal Friend Get Up & GoGo dog, which has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $59.99, was being offered for $49.99 at most stores in early November. It went down to $39 just before Thanksgiving and hit $27 on Amazon on Cyber Monday.

The very next day, the dog, which responds to commands from a remote-control leash, was back up to $39. The price is now fluctuating at most stores because of limited supply.

Similarly, the My Little Pony Friendship Rainbow Kingdom Playset, which lists at $39.99, was on sale for $35 at Target on Black Friday and bottomed out at $19.99 on Cyber Monday on Amazon for a half-price sale. It is now back up to $34 at Wal-Mart and Toys R Us.

What should shoppers do if they want the hottest toys?

“Grab the hot items early and then get bargain toys when you can,” Silver says. But you may have to wait until next year to employ this strategy.

 

TIME movies

Frozen Meets Christmas Vacation With Holiday Lights Synched to ‘Let It Go’

Even Clark Griswold would be impressed

The Storms family of Austin, Texas, has raised the bar for holiday light displays so high that even Clark Griswold would be impressed.

But, perhaps the most awesome aspect to this tribute to Frozen is the cost. While it might look like a million bucks, Christmas light maestro John Storms says the display costs roughly $6 to operate – for the entire season. How? It uses LED lights, not the traditional ones you see on most houses.

Storms, who told The Huffington Post that work on this year’s display began last February, has been combining lights with music since 2010. The family’s YouTube page, Listen to Our Lights, shows off the various songs they’ve incorporated into their Christmas displays.

And to complete the pop culture loop, also check out the lights synched with the theme song to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME royals

Little Frozen Fans Meet Kate Middleton

When the pre-schoolers heard they'd be meeting a princess, they thought it would be Anna or Elsa

One lucky class of young Frozen fans got to meet Kate Middleton when she visited their classroom Monday in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.

“They thought she was the princess from Frozen,” school administrator Rose Ann Harris said of the Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Harlem’s Northside Center for Child Development. When a classroom of 3-4 year olds were asked if they knew who was coming to visit, one little girl shouted “Princess!”

The Duchess, in town with Prince William, visited the Northside Center—which specializes in educating children with developmental issues—with New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray. The pair joined administrators, volunteers and donors to wrap Christmas presents, including several toys from Frozen.

The Duchess and McCray were assigned to wrap a toy flower and a toy butterfly, but at the last minute, Harris suggested the Duchess wrap a toy Princess Elsa. “Does everybody agree she should be wrapping the princess?” she said. Sadly, Harris was overruled, and Kate wrapped a singing butterfly instead.

Northside Center for Child Development was founded in 1946 by civil rights leaders Dr. Kenneth B. Clark and Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark, who co-authored the famous “doll studies” that found that African American children preferred to play with Caucasian dolls. Their findings, which suggesting that black children had internalized many of the racist attitudes of the early 20th century, especially if they attended segregated schools, were instrumental to the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, which de-segregated American schools.

While the Duchess visited Northside, her husband Prince William was meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington D.C. This is the couple’s first official visit to the United States. Kate is five months pregnant with the couple’s second child. Their son, Prince George, stayed home.

Read next: If Kate Middleton Were a Disney Princess …

TIME movies

Frozen Short Will Play Before Cinderella

FROZEN
Disney

That’s a surefire way to get people into theaters

More Frozen is coming to theaters soon. No, not a sequel (yet), but the Frozen Fever short, which Disney announced today will play in front of the upcoming live action Cinderella. (As predicted.) That’s a surefire way to get people into theaters March 13, 2015. The official synopsis for the short? “In Frozen Fever, it’s Anna’s birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but Elsa’s icy powers may put more than just the party at risk.” Hopefully this means there will be a “Let It Go” reprise. Frozen Fever is a product of the original Frozen team including directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

The Kenneth Branagh–directed Cinderella stars Downton Abbey’s Lily James as the titular character and Cate Blanchett as her wicked stepmother.

This article originally appeared on Entertainment Weekly

TIME

The 15 Most Influential Fictional Characters of 2014

Featuring Elsa, Kim Kardashian, King Joffrey and more

Welcome to TIME’s ranking of the onscreen figures that made the biggest impact on the news and our lives this year, for better and sometimes for worse. (See last year’s list here.)

  • 15. Hello Kitty

    The Hello Kitty Con 2014 at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA on Oct. 31 2014, in Los Angeles.
    Ringo Chiu—Zuma Press/Corbis

    What does it mean to be human? It’s a question philosophers have debated for millennia—and the Internet debated this year, thanks to Hello Kitty (who turned 40 this year). According to her official bio, which went viral in August, the iconic toon is not actually a cat; she’s a human girl who lives with her family in suburban London. That revelation made waves on social media, forcing parent company Sanrio to clarify that Hello Kitty is actually an anthropomorphized animal, like Mickey Mouse.

  • 14. “The Mother,” a.k.a. Tracy McConnell

    Last Forever Part One
    Ron P. Jaffe—20th Century Fox Television

    After almost a decade of speculation, How I Met Your Mother fans were thrilled about the debut of said mother (played by Cristin Milioti). But the twist ending—that she had (spoiler alert!) died of an unnamed illness before the story of how Ted met her got told—prompted massive outrage on social media and, then, a spirited debate over what, if anything, show creators owe their fans.

  • 13. Amy Dunne

    GONE GIRL, Rosamund Pike, 2014. ph: Merrick Morton/TM & copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All
    20th Century Fox

    As the titular Gone Girl, the movie version of Amy (played by Rosamund Pike) brought to life Gillian Flynn’s complex protagonist and launched an impassioned discussion about why dark female characters are often labeled “crazy” and “evil” while dark male characters get to be “antiheroes.”

  • 12. Mr. Poo

    In an effort to thwart public defecation—a huge problem in India, where roughly half the population doesn’t use toilets—UNICEF released a surprisingly charming public service video. Its star: Mr. Poo, an anthropomorphized piece of poop that dances around and sings about using toilets. It may sound bizarre, but it seems to be working: more than 1 million people have already pledged to, as the ad puts it, “take the poo to the loo.”

  • 11. Rust Cohle

    HBO's "True Detective" Season 1 / Director: Cary Fukunaga
    JIm Bridges—HBO

    The True Detective lead (played by Matthew McConaughey) delivered some of the Internet’s most-quoted pearls of wisdom this year (see: “Time is a flat circle”) and his references to the work of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert W. Chambers sent obscure books, such as The King in Yellow, rocketing up Amazon’s charts.

  • 10. Thor

    Marvel

    Sure, the big-screen version (played by Chris Hemsworth) has raked in more than $1 billion at the global box office. But this year, it was Marvel’s printed comic that made waves—after it relaunched with a woman wielding the hammer. It’s not the first Thor recast; in fact, a frog once held the role. But putting a woman at the center of a comic franchise that’s not explicitly about femininity or sexual wiles sent a powerful message about the need for superhero diversity, amplified by the debut of a black Captain America.

  • 9. Annalise Keating

    VIOLA DAVIS
    Craig Sjodin—ABC

    How to Get Away With Murder‘s no-nonsense defense attorney and law professor (played by Viola Davis) kickstarted a charged debate about race and television, after a New York Times TV critic likened her—alongside Shonda Rhimes, the show’s executive producer—to “an angry black woman.” “I’m going to need to put down the internet and go dance this one out,” Rhimes tweeted in response. “Because ish is getting real.”

  • 8. Hatsune Miku

    A figure of computer-generated pop star Hatsune Miku at the venue of the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group in Tokyo on Oct. 9, 2012.
    Toru Hanai—Reuters

    The computer-generated Japanese musician, whose “singing” comprises many short samples of actual human voices, not only launched a debate about the nature of artistry and performance (Hatsune Miku means “first sound of the future” in Japanese), but also performed via holograph at Madison Square Garden on Lady Gaga’s tour and on The Late Show With David Letterman—all without having a body.

  • 7. Katniss Everdeen

    SS_D8-3267.dng
    Murray Close—Lionsgate

    The Hunger Games heroine (played by Jennifer Lawrence) has already secured her status as a feminist role model and a box-office powerhouse. But Katniss is more than a movie icon now: Her three-fingered salute, used in Mockingjay as a signal of rebellion against the Capitol, has become a rallying symbol among pro-democracy protesters in Thailand and Hong Kong.

  • 6. Maura Pfefferman

    501B9620.CR2
    Amazon Studios

    The transgender matriarch (played by Jeffrey Tambor) did for Amazon’s streaming service what Frank Underwood did in 2013 for Netflix: Prove that a compelling personal journey can singlehandedly shore up the fortunes of a new network. But Maura’s story, on the show Transparent, was meaningful in other ways, too: She is the first transgender person to headline a TV show, capping a landmark year for trans visibility.

  • 5. King Joffrey

    HBO

    The mad boy-king (played by Jack Gleeson) was the defining character on Game of Thrones this season, first for his sadism and then (spoiler!) for his absence. That ongoing drama cemented Thrones‘ status as HBO’s most popular show of all time—with some 18.4 million viewers on all platforms each week—and may have helped prompt the network to spin off its HBO Go service for non-cable subscribers. If only the power-mad tot were here to enjoy his reign.

  • 4. Stephen Colbert

    "The Colbert Report" Salutes The Troops
    Comedy Central

    In March, “Colbert,” the fictional conservative blowhard created by comic and talk-show host Stephen Colbert, sparked a national conversation about prejudice with a joke about the Washington Redskins’ team name and Asian stereotypes. (It spawned the #CancelColbert campaign.) But his most impressive achievement, of course, was getting his real-life counterpart hired to replace David Letterman as host of The Late Show on CBS.

  • 3. Star-Lord

    Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy..Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)..Ph: Film Frame..?Marvel 2014
    Marvel/Disney

    The self-deprecating space captain (played by Chris Pratt) didn’t just help Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy avert an intergalactic disaster. He also saved the summer box-office here on Earth, which had been sluggish until Guardians debuted with a massive $94 million in the U.S. (on its way to a $771 million global haul), and launched Pratt into superstar status. The Guardians soundtrack—modeled after a “mixtape” of oldies left to Star-Lord (real name: Peter Quill) by his mother—also reached the top of the Billboard 200.

  • 2. Kim Kardashian

    Kim Kardashian Hollywood
    Glu Games

    Real-life Kim Kardashian owes a good deal to her animated avatar—more than $200 million, to be exact. That’s how much industry analysts estimate the blockbuster mobile game Kim Kardashian Hollywood convinced users to spend on fake clothes, jewelry and more, all in an effort to climb the A-list and become best friends with a fictional version of Kim herself, who spouts lines like “You’re a natural in front of the camera. You should get a ‘momager.’”

  • 1. Elsa

    elsa-upon-a-time-disney
    Disney

    Hollywood’s reigning ice royal (played by Idina Menzel) first charmed audiences in 2013—leading Frozen to a massive $1.27 billion worldwide gross—but this year, she became a bona-fide icon. Elsa’s Oscar-winning anthem about liberation and self-acceptance, “Let It Go,” dominated the Billboard Hot 100 this spring; her debut on ABC’s Once Upon a Time (played by Georgina Haig) led to a 31 percent ratings increase; and her singing figurine just outpaced Barbie as the best-selling toy in America. Next up: a Frozen attraction at Epcot, where Elsa will greet young fans—and a likely Frozen sequel.

    Read next: Top 10 of Everything 2014

TIME

This Company Drove Baby Name Trends in 2014

"Orange Is The New Black" Season 2 Photocall
Jason Biggs, Taylor Schilling and Laura Prepon attend a photocall to launch season 2 of the Netflix exclusive series "Orange Is The New Black" at Soho Hotel on May 29, 2014 in London, England. Karwai Tang—WireImage

Pornstache has yet to crack the list, thankfully

A close look at BabyCenter’s top baby names of 2014 doesn’t suggest anything out of the ordinary. Anyone who’s walked past a gaggle of nursery schoolers wouldn’t be surprised to see names like Sophia, Olivia, Liam and Aiden topping the lists. But dig a little deeper and you will find that for as much as parents-to-be weigh factors like honoring family names and improving junior’s chances for an Ivy League diploma, Netflix is as big an influence as anything. Yes, Netflix.

Parents looked past the crimes of Litchfield Correctional Facility’s inmates and instead reaffirmed the humanity of Orange Is the New Black’s characters. Galina, better known as Red, rose 67 percent in popularity, while Piper cracked the top 100 names for girls. Nicky, Alex, Dayanara and even the ever-unpopular Larry enjoyed a greater share of this year’s baby name pie.

House of Cards held sway in baby nurseries as well, despite the unsavory motivations that drive so many of its characters. Frank, Remy and Zoe all jumped between 10 and 20 percent from the previous year.

The influence of popular culture on name trends extends, of course, beyond Netflix. In a nod to two of 2014’s other major cultural phenomena — Frozen and Shonda Rhimes — Elsa and Hans saw a healthy boost, Olivia kept her top three spot and a handful of names from Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder made their way onto more birth certificates.

Judging by Netflix’s upcoming offerings, 2015 might just be the year of Marco Polo.

TIME Videos

When It Comes to Frozen, This Dog Can’t ‘Let It Go’ Either

Whether he hates it or loves it, he just can't stop singing it

Oakley the dog is no fan of Charli XCX’s “Boom Clap” and has an uncanny ability to sleep right through the catchy track. But, the pup’s catnap comes to an abrupt halt when the opening dulcet strains of Frozen track “Let It Go” start up.

On the first note the dog’s ears perk up, turning this way and that like adorable satellite dishes seeking a signal. By the time the opening bars have started, Oakley’s eyes are wide open and when Idina Menzel begins to sing, the pup’s head is up and he is seemingly trying to sing along with the chorus of the omnipresent song.

While in the commentary on the video, the puppy’s owner claims this is Oakley’s favorite song, it’s unclear whether he is actually enjoying the tune or trying to make the dreaded earworm stop — at least until the Frozen sequel, which is still only a rumor, hits theaters.

Either way, Oakley is still better at singing “Let It Go” than Ben Affleck.

 

TIME russia

Watch Dozens of Passengers Help Push a Frozen Russian Plane

A group of intrepid passengers helped push a plane stuck on a Russian tarmac despite freezing temperatures

Though it sounds like a punchline of a joke, scores of passengers at an airport in Igarka, Russia, located about 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle, tried to push a frozen aircraft that was stuck on the tarmac on Wednesday. It wasn’t an easy task. The New York Times reports that the temperature in Igarka was -47.2°F (-44°C) and the aircraft, a Tupolev-134 jet, weighed 70-tonnes.

Oksana Gorbunova, a spokeswoman for the West Siberia Transportation Prosecutor, told Tass news agency: “In order to deliver the plane to the taxiway, the passengers were invited to leave the plane and move to a bus parked nearby. After that, some of them arbitrarily left the bus and approached the plane trying to assist with the use of physical force.”

A video of the mission was recorded and uploaded to YouTube where it quickly went viral.

Though there have been conflicting reports on why the plane broke down — and who was responsible for the mishap — the transportation prosecutor told the New York Times in a statement that the aircraft’s braking system had frozen and another key part had stalled. The statement added that prosecutors “will assess the legality of the actions of all those involved.”

[NYT]

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