This month I was blessed to attend the early press day for Frozen 2! What makes this so very special was Frozen was the very first press junket/ press day I attended. At the time I did not know what it meant to be walking onto the grounds of Walt Disney Studios. All I knew was that I wanted to capture that moment forever. After the press day, I began to reflect on where my life is now, 6 years later, compared to where I was when the original release of Frozen hit theaters and I am grateful for how my life has been affected by the Magic that Disney brings into people’s lives on and off-screen.
In Walt Disney’s upcoming film Frozen 2. This time around viewer will join Elsa the Snow Queen and her sister Anna embark as they embark on a journey that will take them into the UNKNOWN Of course they will be joined by friends, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven. Why was Elsa born with magical powers? What truths about the past await Elsa as she ventures into the unknown to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond Arendelle? The answers are calling her but also threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she’ll face a dangerous but remarkable journey. In “Frozen,” Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In “Frozen 2,” she must hope they are enough.
Here are 5 Things to Know About Frozen 2 before seeing it in the Theaters
1) Where are they now?
For FROZEN 2 (Director/Writer/Chief Creative Officer), Jennifer Lee, (Director) Chris Buck and (Producer) Peter Del Vecho started looking really deeply into the characters Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, Sven. Where are they now? What’s going on with them? Where is it left to go? And there were still a lot of questions from the first film that were unanswered, and one of them was why does Elsa have icy powers? How have they grown since Anna saved Elsa’s life? Why was Anna born the way she was? Where were the parents going when their ship went down? And is there really such a thing as happily ever after?
2) The Enchanted Forests & Dark Seas
Bill Schwab, Tony Smeed, Svetla Radivoeva, Trent Correy, Erin Ramos, Hannah Swan shared 4 new characters, in Frozen 2, that live outside of Arendelle.
Earth Giants – The Earth Giants are extraordinary in height, weight, and depth, are asymmetrical and made of rock.
Bruni the Salamander – The main focus with this character was to make him as adorable and cute as possible, he’s precious! Just the sweetest, after you see Bruni, everyone will want one.
Nokk – Nokk is truly magical, breathtaking, to say the least, he is a gorgeous water horse inspired by folklore and mythology from the Nordic region. Although he is a shape-shifting spirit the Directors had decided it’s going to have the constant shape of a horse and the direction was to be as realistic as possible and to not have cartoony, funny expressions. The Nokk lives in the Dark Sea which is another environment that viewers will visit in the movie. So like the Enchanted Forest, the filmmakers want it to feel mysterious but while the Enchanted Forest is enchanting, they wanted the Dark Sea to feel more dangerous and
Gale the Wind Spirit – Is actually the first Character the Director asked (Bill Schwab) to work on, for the film. “The first question I asked myself was what does wind look like because we can’t see it. And so we started to explore what might Gale move around? Leaves, sticks, debris and even thinking about Gale taking the form of an active character, using the environment to create that and also interact with our character… So Annette Marnat was another Artist that worked on this character and she really explored this idea of lighting and how to make Gale more magical, beautiful.” –Bill Schwab
3) Developing the Fairy Tale and Myth
Marc E. Smith shared with us how they develop the storyline develop the story “So, when we started on this movie three and a half years ago, we really took a deep dive into who are these characters and not just who were they at the end of Frozen, but what is the hardwiring that’s going to go all the way through Frozen and into Frozen 2. At the same time, we took our research trip because Frozen was greatly inspired by the Nordic regions and we wanted Frozen 2 also to be inspired by the Nordic regions. So, we took a trip to Finland and Norway, north of the Arctic Circle and then to Iceland, which is super fascinating and felt like a fairytale. It got us to understood why all of their tales are so imbued with magical spirits, forest spirits, magic…. Everywhere you turned you just felt like a tiny little human in the face of nature. So, we started developing these themes of fairytale and myth. But how does that connect to the girls? We had a writer here around that time and he had this thing that he said that fairytales don’t tell you that dragons don’t exist. Dragons do exist. Fairytales tell you that you can slay the dragon. And we’re like, that’s Anna, you know. She is so positive. She believes in a happy ending. She’s such a fairytale character. Whereas in the mythic stories, the characters in those stories always have the weight of the world sort of on their shoulders, right? And they always have, there always working toward some destiny or purpose. Those are all big themes of mythic stories. And when we start this movie, you know, that’s a big question for Elsa is like, I was born with these ice powers. Like, why? What’s the purpose? What am I supposed to do with that? It was really pivotal, this discovery because it really gave us our two main characters that have these complete opposing worldviews. And that really, really helped us to start cracking the story.”
Bonus 4) All Grown Up
Visual Development artist Brittney Lee shared how the team developed the sisters.
“When we meet the sisters when they’re both little girls, they’re both very bright and effervescent, and then you see in the first film, Elsa’s journey as she growing up. Things change a bit and as she gets older and she’s being more secretive and she’s more secluded, her silhouettes change and she becomes more restricted. She gets higher collars and longer sleeves and gloves and her, her hues deepen. She gets much darker and so that is an effort to help the audience know. To tell you the story that she’s being closed off from the world, and it’s not until we ultimately get to see her let it go, that we bring her back to the hues that you meet her in when she’s very little. We’re ultimately saying that through these silhouettes, through these colors, that she is the authentic Elsa. That’s her true self. That’s who she was born to be, but when we meet her in Into the Unknown, she’sin a darker colors, so what does that mean?
Frozen 2 starts at night. Both Anna and Elsa are asleep. We find them in the middle of the night and, of course with bad timing, the voice comes, shows itself again waking up Elsa. At this point in the story, Elsa doesn’t want anything to do with the voice. It’s stirring things in her that she wants to keep quiet. She’s going to use everything around her like bed sheets or pillows to kind of just cover her ears and block it off. It’s not the right time. She just doesn’t want to deal with it, it’s too much.
For Frozen 2 we needed to find a way to blend the magic of a live action performance, whether that’s in the booth or on a Broadway stage, and combine that with what we know to be Disney magic and put that all in a way that the modern audience can appreciate it in a new fresh way, so one of the new things we tried on this film was bringing in a musical director, a vocal coach to come in and actually work with the animators in multiple sessions. They often learn how to do breathing techniques to put it in their bodies.
it’s not just breathing, we are progressing other things so that we can see them in comparison between the top and bottom clips. We’re progressing the tension in the body, the speed of the gestures, the size of the gestures and most importantly, the performance in the face, so in the beginning you could see that she’s definitely not interested in this voice and by the end, she couldn’t be interested in anything but the voice, so our job is to get her from point A to point B safely. As Tom brought up, these songs are meant to reveal change in the characters
and convey a change in the story.”
Guy’s Imonna and I are super excited about seeing this film!“Frozen 2” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2019.
From the Academy Award®-winning team—directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, producer Peter Del Vecho and songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez—and featuring the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad, Walt Disney Animation Studios’.