For the past four years, my family and I have celebrated the Holiday by going to see a Disney movie at the El Caption Theater in Hollywood California. Last month, I was blessed to join a group of wonderful mommy bloggers, at Press Day, for Disney “Frozen”. I’m so excited about the release of this movie, I can’t wait to take the family, to see it on November 27th, when it opens in theaters everywhere. I love this movie and was amazed by the technology used to bring this movie to life! I thought, it would be neat to share with you my favorite fun facts from Disney “Frozen“.
- SO SAMI – The character of Kristoff was largely influenced by the Sami people, who are indigenous to parts of northern Norway.
The Sami are known for herding reindeer, which may explain why Kristoff’s best buddy is a reindeer named Sven. At one point, filmmakers named the reindeer Thor, but later changed their minds due to the sudden popularity of the name around the company
- NO WAY! – Art director Mike Giaimo and his team traveled to Norway to soak up the atmosphere, check out the architecture, research the local culture and mythologies, and garner inspiration from the environment for their fictional kingdom of Arendelle. Via cars, trains and boats, they visited fortresses, castles, shops museums, cathedrals, fjords and glaciers.
Artists took boat tours in the Geirangerfjord and Sognefjord, which at 205 kilometers, is the longest fjord in Norway (and third longest in the world). Fjords are a well-known spectacle of the Norwegian landscape. In fact, the Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord are on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
- REINDEER DAY – Filmmakers invited a real-life reindeer into the Walt Disney Animation Studios, observing the animal’s physical makeup and mannerisms, which were later caricatured in the making of Kristoff’s reindeer buddy Sven in “Frozen. The reindeer showcased an unexpected technique for taking care of an itch on his ear: he used his back legs—like a dog might do. Sven later adopted the technique.
Well adapted to snow and cold, reindeer can lower the temperature in their legs to near freezing levels, to keep their core body heat consistent in extreme weather. They are also surprisingly fast; a new reindeer calf can easily outrun a man, which explains why Kristoff relies on Sven when he needs to get to Anna quickly.
- ICE HOUSE – Several members of the production team traveled to Quebec to experience the Ice Hotel as inspiration for Elsa’s ice palace featured in “Frozen.” Though the artists were inspired and wowed by the icy architecture, none opted to spend the night in the chilly abode.
In an effort to perfect Elsa’s icy magic, filmmakers called on Dr. Thomas Painter, a scientist from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena known as “Dr. Snow” to learn about snowflakes from a molecular level.
- THAT SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT – To pepper the script with authentic Norwegian words, accents and phrases, filmmakers called on Jackson Crawford, who teaches Old Norse, Scandinavian mythology, Vikings and sagas at UCLA. His research focuses on the history of Old Norse and Norwegian.
The scene in which Elsa walks out onto the balcony of her newly constructed ice palace is 218 frames long, and includes the film’s longest frame to render. The single frame took more than 132 hours to render (that’s more than five days).
- STYLIN’—To achieve Elsa’s look once she flees the kingdom, filmmakers invited celebrity hairstylist Danilo to the Burbank studios to experiment with various styles and capture Elsa’s new-found boldness.
The average animated film features special effects in about 45 percent of its shots. However, since most of “Frozen” takes place in the midst of a winter storm—and snow and ice are considered special effects—“Frozen” can be considered extra—almost entirely—special.
- EVERYTHING’S COMING UP ROSES – Rosemaling, a style of decorative folk art found throughout Norway’s history, appears throughout the film—on clothing, within the architecture and is even evoked in Elsa’s magic and her icy creations.
Art director Mike Giamo blends traditional Norwegian folk clothing with old Hollywood panache and a bold color palette to create a unique look for the wardrobe in “Frozen.”
- DING! – During animation dailies, individual animators would sit in a red “hot seat” and present their shots to directors for feedback. If the directors were happy and had no further notes, they would ding a bell—approved!—and everyone would applaud.
FROZEN opens in theatres everywhere on November 27th!