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Disney releases new 'Frozen' shorts recorded remotely

Animated characters Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) and

Animated characters Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) and Olaf (Josh Gad), appear in a scene from Disney's "Frozen II." Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Josh Gad, who voices the impish snowman Olaf in Disney's animated feature "Frozen" and its sequel, has teamed remotely with the studio's animators to create a series of online shorts starring the cartoon character.

"Starting this week, enjoy an all-new original Disney Animation digital series with everyone's favorite snowman, Olaf. #AtHomeWithOlaf created at home by Hyrum Osmond. Voiced from home by Josh Gad," Disney Animation tweeted, promising "more #AtHomeWithOlaf from Disney Animation every day this week!"

"Delighted to announce the new Olaf Shorts series that I was privileged to write and direct," tweeted Osmond, who was the supervising animator for Olaf on the original "Frozen" (2013). He acknowledged the uncredited "many artists working from home that helped make it possible."

The first two of 20 "At Home with Olaf" shorts, "Fun with Snow" and "Alone in the Forest," each roughly 40 seconds long, were released early Monday and noon Tuesday, respectively. In the first, Olaf throws snowballs with one of his snow-babies. The second features Olaf performing ballet to "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker."

The shorts appear at the Walt Disney Animation Studios YouTube channel and social-media accounts and at Video.Disney.com.

Gad, 39, tweeted Monday that Osmond and "Frozen" and "Frozen II" co-writer and co-director Jennifer Lee "called me up one day & asked me if I would be able 2 record some dialogue & sounds as Olaf from home. These little shorts done from home by Hyrum & the @DisneyAnimation team are so charming & hopefully provide a smile during these scary times."

Minutes later, he posted a photo of himself wearing earphones and sitting before a microphone. "Here's a behind the scenes look at me recording new Olaf dialogue from home for #AtHomeWithOlaf in conjunction with @DisneyAnimation led by @mrhyrum and the geniuses all working from homes to bring these new shorts to life," he tweeted, adding jokingly, "Also, guys, I'm now a sound engineer too!!"

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