My behind the scenes view of the #DisneyFrozenEvent

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My behind the scenes view of the #DisneyFrozenEvent

As part of my #DisneyFrozenEvent experience I was able to experience a press day where I got a behind the scenes look through the directors eyes for Disney’s latest animation Frozen, coming to theaters on 11/27/13. This meant that we were able to spend some time with Directors Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Producer Peter Del Vecho where we learned how Frozen morphed from storyboard to the big screen. We were able to ask questions about the casting, the behind the scenes research to make the animation more realistic, we learned how the storyline evolved and we even asked questions about how they felt looking at the finished project.

I personally never knew that it took so much work to make an animated film, I was literally exhausted listening to how much went into making this movie. Who would’ve ever guessed that at any given time 70 yes 70 animators could be working on one scene. Learning how much goes into an animation made me further appreciate the magic that Disney brings to each and every one of my favorite movies. Which I have to add that Frozen is now ranking among the top 5 along with Lion King, Mary Poppins, Princess & The Frog, and of course Beauty and the Beast. So let me share with you what we learned:

  • The storyline of Frozen has been a work in progress for almost 5 years.  Normal time frame for an animated movie is about 3-4 years however this storyline was developed from scratch.
  • Frozen is loosely based upon Hans Christian Andersen’s novel “The Snow Queen”.
  • The characters names are Norwegian and they consulted Norwegian Baby Names to come up with the names.
  • Hans Kristoff Anna Sven are the names of 4 characters in Frozen, when you say them really fast it sounds like Hans Christan Andersen who is the author of the Novel Frozen is loosely based upon.  This is a coincidence and was not done intentionally (smile).
  • They visited a Snow Castle in Quebec City to get a feel of what an Ice Castle would look and feel like, so they could depict a more realistic animated version.
  • A real life reindeer was brought into the studios so that they could study how to animate the character Sven.
  • When casting the part of Hans, actor Santino auditioned for the role in a more Gaston fashion singing his version of “I Feel Pretty” titled “I am Pretty”
  • More than 20 versions of the script were written and revised.

This quote during the interview really made me smile,

because not only is it a hint about the movie its so truthful!

We asked Jennifer Lee, how the storyline developed with Anna & Elsa being sisters as in the original book “The Snow Queen” the characters are mother and daughter.  She replied:

Yeah it was really interesting, because the original story she is a villain, she’s just pure evil and you don’t know anything about her. That was really hard for us but I think that’s what’s made that such a challenging story to tell. Um, it has a great theme, the original story, by Hans Christian Andersen about love versus negativity or fear, that we love- we really liked. But The Snow Queen herself was like an enigma. And we kept her a villain for a long time and it wasn’t- it wasn’t resonating with us, it wasn’t the story we wanted to tell. We didn’t want to tell a good versus evil story. And Chris had pitched a wonderful concept of looking at love that could- an act of true love could be a different thing. And, um, and one day we were all in the story room together and none of us remember who it was. I wasn’t even on the project yet. But I was in that session giving notes. And someone said, what if they were just connected more, connected to, connected to Anna, what if they’re sisters. And that was it.

When asked about Improvisation we were told:

Chris Buck: Well I think we always had the, the girl, we always had it in mind. We, we were, always wanted  a heroine that was flawed. That had these imperfections that was somebody like us. You know, that wasn’t this perfect character on a pedestal, um, so that was always our goal.

Jennfer Lee:  Yeah and we had, what we had was we knew her journey, we knew that Anna was going to go from, um, you know, sort of- she’s always got love- she’s an ordinary girl that’s got love as her, her only superpower, really.  And but her journey is going go from not understanding love, because like all of us at eighteen, [LAUGHS] growing up, we don’t. To mature love and the ultimate kind of understanding which is, you know, the sacrifice you’re willing to do for love. And- and we knew that. And so we had all that but what- when we talk about like the improvs and we say we didn’t have the voice, it wasn’t the sound, it was the how does she say what she says. How would Anna, um, do these things? And so for us it’s very easy to come in with that and then play in the room.  And let the actors bring us their voice and their playfulness. And we have the power I guess you call it that, I don’t know if it is, but we have the luxury in an- in animation, of using anything we want of it. We can piece together lines if we want. So it’s the best kind of freedom, and it’s never frustrating, if anything it’s like- it’s like you’re sifting through gold and there’s a ton of it. [LAUGHS] you know, like you’re just kind of- so, um, we, uh, had the best time with her and Josh Gad. And all of them really, but those are our two big improv king and queen I guess you could call it. And, um, it was, it’s never frustrating to do that.

Learning from the Directors and Producers what went into this movie was a pleasure, Plus Disney’s Frozen is definitely not your traditional Disney Movie, and during the press day we truly understood why.  When you see the movie you will be hit with the same realization I was.  Be sure to check out Disney Frozen in your theaters on 11/27/13!



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  1. Loved learning about all the behind-the-scenes creativity that goes into these movies!


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