Disclaimer: Not everything I say in this blog is 100% factual. I will use a mixture of facts and observations to present my ideas. I will try not to include my opinion on these films in this blog.
I'm sure we all know that Frozen is one of Disney's most loved animated films, but also one of its most hated. A large part of the hatred for the film comes from the overwhelming amount of merchandise that it has generated, with Frozen placing 3rd on TheRichest.com's list of movies that sold the most merchandise (http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/most-popular/10-movies-that-sold-the-most-merchandise/). In this blog, I will try to explain why there is so much Frozen merchandise on the shelves, and draw comparisons to other films.
First and foremost, one thing needs to be established: merchandise is mostly aimed towards kids. I'm not saying it's bad for an adult to buy merchandise for themselves, but in general, merchandise is usually for young children.
Another thing to make clear: young girls love princesses. The more princesses, the more money - in 2012, the Disney Princess franchise made $3 billion (http://www.mcngmarketing.com/how-disney-princesses-became-a-multi-billion-dollar-brand/#.WUpnpGjyvIU). Frozen had two princesses, therefore giving it an advantage over other individual films. Frozen also had two princes, two sidekicks and two villains, not to mention the songs and the outfits. To put it simply, Frozen was easy to merchandise. Put these factors together with the enormous success of the film, and you have a hugely successful franchise.
Now at this point you might be thinking "What about Zootopia? That was successful - why isn't there more Zootopia merchandise?" For my theory on this, we will have to go back to my earlier point: merchandise is usually aimed towards kids. I feel like Zootopia was such a phenomenon because it had a great appeal to adults as well as kids. Most Disney films don't have as big of an attraction towards adults as Zootopia did (I'm not saying that adults can't like other Disney films, or that children can't like Zootopia). I have no doubt that Zootopia was also popular amongst young children, but the political message behind it and the pop culture references to Breaking Bad and The Godfather make it more mature than most Disney films. As I said earlier, adults are less likely to buy merchandise than kids. Furthermore, for some reason, animals don't seem to sell merchandise very well. TheRichest.com's top 10 list doesn't feature a single non-superhero animal movie franchise. Princesses and superheroes seem to be the most popular forms of merchandise. Animal films don't usually feature stuff such as unique outfits, accessories or hairstyles. Think about it: in Zootopia, Judy wears a police uniform, and Nick wears a green shirt, beige trousers, and a striped tie. These things aren't unique to Zootopia, whereas Anna and Elsa's dresses distinctively relate to Frozen. Zootopia can sell toys, but that's about it. Frozen can sell toys, dolls, dresses, models of the castles etc.
So why isn't there more merchandise for other princess films? Well arguably there is. As said above, the Disney Princess franchise makes an absolute tonne of money, with $3 billion being made in 2012 alone. Most of the successful princesses go into the Disney Princess lineup, meaning that the money made from the sale of princess dolls will go to the Disney Princess franchise instead of that film's franchise. For example, an Ariel doll will not count towards The Little Mermaid franchise, but towards the Disney Princess franchise. Therefore, the individual films do not make as much in merchandise. But what about Moana? She isn't in the Disney Princess lineup (yet), so why doesn't she make as much in merchandise? Firstly, you could argue that Moana isn't really a princess, with her being the daughter of the chief. Even if she is, she doesn't have a very "princess-like" appearance, with her hair being a little more wild and messy than most princesses, and her outfit doesn't have the same grace or elegance as Cinderella's or Elsa's dress. Secondly, Disney has tried to release some Moana merchandise, and has found themselves in a bit of controversy. Shortly before the film's release, a Maui outfit appeared on a Disney store website. This outfit featured brown skin and traditional islander tattoos, leading some people to accuse Disney of cultural appropriation (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3798362/Brown-skin-not-costume-Outrage-Disney-sells-Moana-Halloween-costume.html). Additionally, non-Polynesian cosplayers have been subject to criticism for cosplaying Moana. The whole subject of Moana merchandise seems to be such a minefield. Outfits are difficult to sell as they could be seen as cultural appropriation, and cosplayers are discouraged from buying Moana outfits to avoid hate from the internet. These factors could have caused Moana merchandise to become less popular.
So, now I have established why I think Frozen merchandise sells better than most other film merchandise. From here, it shouldn't be too difficult to see why there is so much Frozen merchandise on the shelves. To put it simply, there is loads of Frozen merchandise because it sells. Stores will only buy merchandise if it sells, and Frozen's clearly does. The stores are meeting the demands of the customers. TheRichest.com's article mentions a famous shortage of Frozen dolls at Christmas 2013, leading to high prices and complaints. The only way that we'll see less Frozen merchandise in stores is if it stops selling. You might say "but Disney could just stop making Frozen merchandise" but why would they? Disney is a company just like any other. They're going to strive to make as much money as possible. The Frozen merchandise will only stop once it stops selling. Similarly, the only way we'll see more merchandise for films like Zootopia or Moana is if it starts to sell more.
Anyway, that is where I'll finish it off. I hope that this blog didn't seem too opinionated or biased towards/against Frozen. Remember that these are my ideas and not necessarily factual. If you have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment. Goodbye :)