It’s been out for less than a week, but Coco has already proved it’s the heartfelt movie the world needs right now. The Disney-Pixar film is earning rave reviews from critics and moviegoers for its exploration of Mexican traditions, its eye-popping animation, and its culturally-conscious storytelling (12-year-old Miguel is Pixar’s first-ever minority lead). One thing Coco audiences aren’t thrilled about? The *21-minute* Frozen short that plays before the movie.
Pixar’s tradition of pairing its films with charming shorts that play beforehand has typically been a big hit among fans.
Remember Geri’s Game? Piper? That one with the adorable puppy that ate everything? Classic! But that’s not the case with the Coco screenings. People aren’t thrilled with Olaf’s Frozen Adventure for a lot of reasons: It’s the same length as a TV sitcom, they’re not impressed by the plot, and there’s a product-pushing vibe. But most of all, it’s the decision to air a short about Christmas traditions starring all-white characters ahead of a groundbreaking movie that celebrates people of color and Latinx culture that upset viewers.
“@Disney just couldn’t let brown people have their moment,” one Twitter user posted. Others pointed out the short would have made a lot more sense if it had aired as a holiday TV special as it was originally supposed to, and that by airing it ahead of Coco, it took something away from the movie’s already important legacy. A few people on social media even said that in Mexico, the backlash to the featurette was so fierce, the theaters have stopped playing it. Disney-Pixar hasn’t commented on the controversy.
It’s a bummer to see anything getting in the way of Coco‘s big moment.
And that’s especially because the original Frozen was so thoughtful in its messages of female empowerment. We’re hoping these issues will be acknowledged and addressed well before Frozen 2 hits theaters in 2019. In the meantime, if you prefer your Coco experience Olaf-free, you might want to show up to the theater about 20 minutes late.