The “Coco” director is explaining that confusing “Frozen” short, and now we totally get it

Finally, Disney insiders are sorting the controversy surrounding the pairing of Pixar’s Coco and the Frozen short, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. When movie-goers hit up screenings of Coco, many were confused to see such a long “short” featuring the Frozen world. Some thought they were in the wrong theater. Others were dismayed they had to sit through twenty minutes of it at all. But now, Coco director Adrian Molina is addressing those concerns and explaining why the short proceeded the film to The Huffington Post. And it actually kind of all makes sense.

According to Molina, the pairing of the Frozen short and the culturally rich Disney•Pixar film Coco was a bit of the luck of the draw. “I think it was early on in 2017 we had heard that Disney was working on this Frozen short and made the decision to pair the two at that point,” Molina said. And Cars 3 had already claimed the shortLou for their production, he explained.

Pixar fans know to expect the production company will air a 10-ish minute short film before its headlining picture in theaters. But a 20-minute short film coming before the highly anticipated film? Yeah, that didn’t sit well with a lot of viewers. Like, was the decision to air a Frozen short about Christmas traditions starring an all-white cast before the Latino tale, deliberate? Did Pixar not have enough faith that a film starring an all Latino cast could stand on firm on its own?

Molina recognizes that the short was significantly longer. But he insists that it is simply “a little bit of an experiment.” Which brings us to the top critique facing the pairing.

Why pair the Frozen short with Coco in the first place?

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Some fans didn’t quite understand why Olaf’s Frozen Adventure — a story about a white family — proceeded the Latino cultural tale. After all, the story of Olaf helping Anna and Elsa learn about themselves has no cultural significance to Coco. Or does it?

"We’ve always, even at the conception, liked this idea that these are two stories about family traditions," Molina explained. "And understanding what your family traditions are."

The Huffington Post interview helped to point out that the two films do, in fact have their similarities. Both films explore familial traditions. Coco is about Miguel exploring his family’s Diá de los Muertos celebration. And the Frozen short shows Olaf introducing Anna and Elsa to potential traditions to acknowledge.

It doesn’t sound like there was any foul play on this one. However, the critics prevailed: Pixar is removing the short from theaters starting December 8th.