Double Oscar-winner Frozen has passed the $1bn mark at the worldwide box office to become the highest grossing Disney animated film of all time.

It has surpassed the record set by 1994's The Lion King – which pulled in $987.5m (£593m).

Frozen has been in cinemas longer than expected due to its immense popularity and its awards season contention.

The film, directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, won the Best Animated Feature prize at this year's Oscars, Golden Globes and Baftas. Its lead song Let It Go, written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and performed by Idina Menzel, also won the Best Original Song prize at the Academy Awards.

Only Toy Story 3 has grossed more than Frozen, but that film is made by Pixar Animation Studios which despite being owned by Disney, operates on its own.

With Frozen yet to open in Japan however and numerous special sing-a-long screenings popping up around the world, it is looking like it could surpass even Pixar's beloved threequel.

In the UK Frozen has pulled in an impressive £38m and remains in the box office top 10 even three months after its initial release.

Frozen becomes only the second 2013 film to cross the $1bn mark, alongside Iron Man 3. In 2012, Avengers Assemble, Skyfall, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Dark Knight Rises all reached the sought-after total.