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'Frozen' secrets: Disney reveals 15 things you may not know

Disney's "Frozen" became the top grossing animated film of all time, beating out Disney/Pixar's "Toy Story 3."

Most families can recite every line in the movie, "Wait, what?" and know where Arendelle is located. Kids as young as two are singing the lyrics to Idina Menzel's "Let It Go" as well as "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" and "Love Is An Open Door." Children's play rooms are filled with plush toys, figures and games featuring Anna, Elsa and Olaf. There have been endless parodies of parents relentlessly singing their own versions of the movie's hit songs.

It's hard to argue that "Frozen" has taken this year by storm. And while you may think you know everything there is to know about this classic fairytale, think again. Disney recently revealed 15 fun facts about the epic movie.

Anna says, "Wait, What?"

One of Anna's favorite phrases —
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

One of Anna's favorite phrases — "Wait, what?" — was added to the script, compliments of Kristen Bell.

Olaf: Pure, simple, fun

When the story team was developing the character
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

When the story team was developing the character Olaf, the possibilities were endless. It was when they asked, "How would a snowman think?" that they found Olaf: pure, simple, innocent. His humor ultimately comes from the simple way he thinks.

Elsa's Norwegian glam

Art director Mike Giamo blends traditional Norwegian folk
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

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.” 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. Also, 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.

Sven reindeer for a day

A real-life reindeer spent the day at the
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

A real-life reindeer spent the day at the Walt Disney Animation Studios so filmmakers could observe the animal’s physical makeup and mannerisms, which were caricatured in the making of Kristoff’s reindeer buddy Sven. The reindeer showcased an unexpected technique for taking care of an itch on his ear: it used its hind legs — like a dog or cat might do. Sven took on that trait. Another surprising reindeer fact: They are 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.

'Frozen's' Arendelle based on reality

To come up with the fictional kingdom of
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

To come up with the fictional kingdom of Arendelle, art director Mike Giaimo and his team traveled to Norway to check out the architecture, research the local culture and mythologies, and garner inspiration from the environment. They visited fortresses, castles, museums, cathedrals, fjords and glaciers. Arendelle's castle was influenced by Oslo's medieval Akershus Castle and the city of Trondheim’s Stiftsgården Royal Palace, one of the largest wooden buildings in Scandinavia; it cost about 9 million pounds to build in 1778.

Elsa the Snow Queen vs. villain

In the earliest sketches, Elsa looked completely different.
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

In the earliest sketches, Elsa looked completely different. She originally had light-blue skin and short, spiky blue hair. In the book, "The Art of Frozen," Jennifer Lee, director and screenwriter said: "They kept calling her the 'villian.' But there came a point where we said, 'We can't use that word anymore.' You care about someone who's been forced to hide who they are. Elsa's not a villain, she just makes some bad choices because she's in a very difficult situation." Business Insider reported that a big push for the character's redesign came from songwriter husband and wife duo Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who were working on a song to go with the character, according to the ABC special "The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic."

A 'Frozen' hot seat

During animation dailies, individual animators would sit in
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

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.

Elsa's five-day frame

The scene in which Elsa walks out onto
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

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).

Kristoff influenced by the Sami of Norway

The character of Kristoff was largely influenced by
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

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. Filmmakers visited a Sami-owned reindeer husbandry business in Roros, Norway. Another fun fact: At one point, filmmakers named the reindeer Thor, but later changed their minds due to the sudden popularity of the name around the company.

'Frozen' animators go deep for inspiration

Animators and effects artists traveled to Jackson Hole,
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Animators and effects artists traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to experience deep snow. They donned various attire — including long skirts — to capture the impact created by their steps and how snow interacts with clothing.

Elsa's magic, snow, more

In an effort to perfect Elsa’s icy magic,
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

In an effort to perfect Elsa’s icy magic, filmmakers called on Dr. Thomas Painter, a scientist from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California who is known as “Dr. Snow,” to learn about snowflakes from a molecular level. Although the eternal winter, which suddenly fell on Arendelle, probably rivals any snow record, the greatest single-day snowfall recorded was 6.3 feet in Silver Lake, Colorado, in 1921. Higher numbers are assumed in areas more remote, but nobody has been around to record them.

'Frozen' filmmakers icy trip

Several members of the production team traveled to
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

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.

Special effects in 'Frozen'

The average animated film features special effects in
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

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.

Norwegian inspiration

To pepper the script with authentic Norwegian words,
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

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 film also features authentic Norwegian kulning, a melodic herding call utilized by farmers to beckon goats and sheep from mountain pastures. Native Norwegian singer and aspiring film composer Christine Hals was tapped to perform the distinctive vocals for the film.

It's a lemon

Hans' horse, which keeps Anna from falling in
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Hans' horse, which keeps Anna from falling in the water before the coronation, has a name: Sitron, which means "lemon" in Norwegian.

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