When the gates open during "For The First Time in Forever," there is a cameo of Rapunzel and Eugene (Flynn) from Tangled (2010). Rapunzel has short, brown hair and is wearing a purple and pink dress (her celebration dress at the end of 'Tangled'), and Eugene is wearing a maroon vest and a brownish sash. They are entering the screen from the left.
Idina Menzel auditioned for the part of Rapunzel in Disney's previous fairytale, Tangled (2010). Even though Menzel didn't get the part, a Disney casting director recorded her audition and two years later, it got her the part of Elsa.
The characters of Hans, Kristoff, Anna and Sven are a reference to Hans Christian Andersen, the author of "Snedronningen" ("The Snow Queen"), which is the inspiration for Frozen. Say the names quickly in sequence to hear the similarity.
According to Jennifer Lee, Anna is 18 years old in the film, while both Elsa and Kristoff are 21 years old and Hans is 23 years old.
During Olaf's song, his dance with four seagulls is a nod to Bert's dance with four penguins from another Disney movie: Mary Poppins (1964).
HIDDEN MICKEY: There is a plush Mickey Mouse on one of the shelves in Wandering Oaken's Trading Post and Sauna.
According to actor Josh Gad, a handful of Olaf's dialog in the film was improvised to make the producers laugh.
A live reindeer was brought into the animating studio for animators to study its movements and mannerisms for the reindeer character, Sven. Co-director Jennifer Lee said it was the best moment during production for her.
While Arendelle is covered in snow, two townsmen are seen arguing over the correct way to stack firewood, bark up, or bark down. This refers to a heated debate in Norway (part of Scandinavia, where the film is believed to be set) that was sparked in 2013, after a 12-hour TV program on firewood aired. It included 8 hours of a live fireplace, and the network received dozens of texts complaining about how the firewood was stacked. The complaints were split evenly between people who were upset about bark facing up, and those who were complaining about bark facing down.
In a magazine interview, Idina Menzel claimed her young son boasted to his classmates that his mom sings the songs in Frozen. To this, another child replied, "So does everyone else's."
When the King pulls the book off the shelf to figure out where to find the trolls, the book is written in Nordic runes, originating from Scandinavia where the film crew drew much inspiration. These runes were the basis for the dwarf-runes used in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. A map that falls out of the book resembles the map of the Lonely Mountain seen in The Hobbit.
Elsa is the second animated Disney princess to become a Queen during a film, and the first animated Disney princess to be crowned Queen on-screen. (Princess Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) was first but her coronation happens off-screen.)
As of April 11, 2014, Frozen (2013) became both the highest grossing animated and musical film of all time and the ninth highest grossing film of all time with a worldwide box office gross of $1.097 billion.
In an interview on "Fresh Air with Terry Gross," Josh Gad (Olaf) said that when he took his older daughter (then about four years old) to her first-ever movie in a theater (Monsters University), there was a trailer beforehand for Frozen. The trailer didn't contain any of Olaf's lines or songs, but did feature the brief sound of Olaf laughing. Gad said that as soon as his daughter heard that laugh, she said, "That's Dada, more Dada." Gad started crying in the movie theater.
In early designs, the giant Snow Monster that Elsa creates was a giant version of Olaf, who addressed him as "little brother." But it was later decided that although it was cute and kind of funny, it ultimately looked a bit dumb.
In addition to being the first woman to direct a full-length Disney animated feature film, Jennifer Lee also became the first woman to solely write an entire screenplay for a Disney animated film since Linda Woolverton for Beauty and the Beast (1991).
Upon winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, Frozen (2013) became the first full-length Disney (non-Pixar) animated feature to win this award, after four previous nominations. Frozen is also the first Disney animated feature film to win a Golden Globe since Tarzan (1999), also directed by Chris Buck.
Like her Frozen co-star Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell also auditioned for the part of Rapunzel in Tangled (2010).
Elsa's ice castle changes color with her emotions. Blue is happy, red is fear and yellow is anger.
For the song "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?", three different actresses respectively provided the singing voice of Anna: Katie Lopez as Young Anna, Agatha Lee Monn as Teenage Anna, and Kristen Bell as Anna. Agatha is the daughter of the film's writer/director Jennifer Lee and Katie is the daughter of its songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. In fact, Katie and her sister, Annie, sang the film's deleted song, "Spring Pageant", along with their parents. The song can be found on the film's two-disc Deluxe Edition Motion Picture Soundtrack.
Kristen Bell stated that with this film, she has fulfilled a dream that began in her childhood, when she saw The Little Mermaid (1989) and Aladdin (1992): to voice an animated character. When she was around that same age, she recorded a voice box where she sang a couple of songs from The Little Mermaid, including "Part of Your World." Her Little Mermaid vocal tracks were part of the reason why she got the part of Anna, as director Jennifer Lee said to her that if she hadn't recorded her own vocal tracks from Mermaid, it would've been very difficult to the find the right one to play Anna.
The production crew went to Norway on a two-week long trip before production begun, and the movie was largely informed by that trip. The landscape, clothes, music, buildings and names resemble those of Norwegian culture. The Arendelle castle is loosely based on Akershus Fortress in Oslo; the town of Arendelle is inspired by Bryggen in Bergen, a west-coast Norwegian city; and the landscape around Arendelle is similar to the Nærøyfjord, also on the west side of Norway. The towns name, Arendelle, strongly resembles the name of the Norwegian city Arendal. The names Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Sven, Kristoff and Hans are Scandinavian (or Scandinavian-sounding) names. And of course, trolls are a well-known characteristic of Scandinavian culture.
The film spent 16 consecutive weeks as the number one film in Japan ever since it was released in that country on March 13, 2014. It eventually broke the record set by Spirited Away (2001), as the highest grossing animated film in Japan, as well as the second highest grossing film in that country behind Titanic (1997).
Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez wrote "Let It Go" within a single day. It originated with the story outline they were given, which called for "Elsa's Badass Song" at that point. The two began by envisioning the song with an "emo" undertone. According to Anderson-Lopez: "We went for a walk in Prospect Park and threw phrases at each other. What does it feel like to be the perfect exalted person, but only because you've held back this secret? [Robert Lopez] came up with 'kingdom of isolation,' and it worked." Lopez was able to improvise the song's first four lines on the spot. They went home and composed the rest of the song by alternating between improvising melodies on a piano and brainstorming lyrics on a whiteboard. Musically, the song was written to accommodate Idina Menzel's vocal range. "Let It Go" went on to break a number of pop music records; becoming the first song from a Disney animated musical to reach the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 since "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas (1995) peaked at number four. The song is also Menzel's first single to reach the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making her the first Tony Award winner for acting to ever reach the top 10. On March 2, 2014, "Let It Go" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 86th Academy Awards, where it was performed live by Menzel.
In addition to Eugene and Rapunzel's cameo during the scene where Anna is singing "First Time in Forever", there is a second "easter egg." When Anna dances through the room full of paintings, she stops in front of 'Jean-Honoré Fragonard''s "The Swing", which was the inspiration for the visual style of Tangled (2010).
Elsa is the third Disney vocal role for Idina Menzel. In the television series of Hercules (1998), she was the speaking and singing voice of the sorceress Circe. In Enchanted (2007), she played the live action character Nancy who made a brief cameo as her animated alter ego.
Kristen Bell improvised the line "Wait, what?" that Anna says at one point during her first meeting with Hans.
Much of the U.S. had a colder than average winter in 2013, prompting many jokes about the powers of Elsa and Disney's marketing department.
In the musical number "In Summer," Olaf is on the beach and passes three different sand sculpture. The first one he passes furthest on the right is a nod toward the Coppertone sunscreen girl. Instead of a dog pulling down her bathing pants, the movie uses a seagull.
Frozen (2013) is the first Walt Disney Animation Studios motion picture to win an Academy Award since Tarzan (1999) in 2000 (also directed by Chris Buck); their first motion picture ever to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year; and their first motion picture to win multiple Academy Awards (Best Original Song and Best Animated Feature Film) since Pocahontas (1995) in 1996.
The minor characters Kai and Gerda are named for the main characters of the original story of The Snow Queen.
During "Let It Go," Elsa releases the clasp on her purple cape, which the wind promptly takes away, far from the mountain. Purple is the traditional color of royalty; this moment can be seen as her "letting go" of the responsibilities of being a queen.
Santino Fontana auditioned for the role of Flynn Rider for Tangled (2010). Later, Santino was called back for Hans (when the movie was still known as The Snow Queen, in 2010).
Visiting Norway was obviously essential in coming up with the design aesthetic for Frozen (2013) in terms of color, light, and atmosphere. According to Michael Giaimo, there were three important takeaways from the research trip in making Frozen (2013) unique to the Disney canon: the fjords, which are narrow inlets surrounded by massive vertical rock formations, and serve as the setting for the secluded Arendelle kingdom; the medieval stave churches, whose rustic triangular roof-lines and shingles inspired the castle compound; and the rosemaling folk art, whose distinctive paneling and grid patterns informed the architecture, decor, and costumes (the most elaborate in Disney history, designed by Brittney Lee).
Walt Disney Animation Studios attempted several times before to develop Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale "The Snow Queen" into a film in the 2000s but it never worked. They first tried it in 2002, but it was scrapped when master animator Glen Keane famously quit the project. "The Snow Queen" resurfaced again in 2009 and John Lasseter recruited directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale (Beauty and the Beast (1991), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)) to helm the project. Producer Don Hahn and writer Linda Woolverton also signed on to the project, alongside Alan Menken and Glenn Slater who were commissioned to write the songs. In 2010, the film was placed on hold, rather than being put back in "development hell" again, as Disney devised a way to make the story work.
Idina Menzel called Frozen (2013) "a bit of a feminist movie for Disney." "I'm really proud of that," Menzel tells Zap2it. "It has everything, but it's essentially about sisterhood. I think that these two women are competitive with one another, but always trying to protect each other - sisters are just so complicated. It's such a great relationship to have in movies, especially for young kids." Kristen Bell said, similarly, "I'm really excited to show it to people. I became a part of the kind of movie I wanted to see as a kid. I always loved Disney animation, but there was something about the females that was unattainable to me. Their posture was too good and they were too well-spoken, and I feel like I really made this girl [Princess Anna] much more relatable [sic] and weirder and scrappier and more excitable and awkward. I'm really proud of that." Director Jennifer Lee shared the same feeling in a March 21, 2014 interview with CBS This Morning (1992), wherein she noted that although they're princesses, Anna and Elsa are more modern than the titular character in Cinderella (1950): "These girls are very different from Cinderella. Their wants and goals and dreams are much more, I think, contemporary. And I think you'll keep seeing that shift."
Michael Giaimo, the film's art director, is well known for his exuberant art direction for Pocahontas (1995), which was the last time he served as art director at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Frozen (2013) marked his return to the studio after being fired when Home on the Range (2004) was received very poorly by critics and audiences -- it caused massive layoffs and the short-lived demise of traditional animation.
Visual development artist and WDAS-contracted art director Brittney Lee is the sister of the film's writer and director Jennifer Lee; their relationship partially served as an inspiration for the relationship of Anna and Elsa.
The horses featured in the film are all Norwegian Fjord horses. They are one of the oldest breeds and have been used in Norway for hundreds of years, and as the film shows, are known for their distinct dark stripe that runs through the center of the mane. Manes are typically cut to a Mohawk-like crescent shape to emphasize this feature and the breed's neck. The one minor liberty taken in the film is that this is a very short, if robust, breed; horses in this film are shown to be a good 4-6" taller than their real-life counterparts.
Frozen adds another Disney adaptation of the works of Hans Christian Andersen, a famed and influential Danish fairy tale poet and author of "The Red Shoes", "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Ugly Duckling", "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", "The Little Match Girl", "The Little Mermaid", and "The Snow Queen"; the last of which this movie is based on. Previous adaptations of Andersen's fairy tales into animated short or feature-length films: The Little Mermaid (1989), The Little Matchgirl (2006), "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" segment in Fantasia 2000 (1999), the "Ugly Duckling" plot element in Lilo & Stitch (2002), and the title of The Emperor's New Groove (2000) is derived from that of "The Emperor's New Clothes."
The first non-sequel animated film to cross the $400 million mark since The Lion King (1994).
The male trolls wear blue or green crystals, while in contrast the female trolls wear pink or red crystals.
The two snowmen, Olaf and Marshmallow, represent Elsa's personalities when she made them. Olaf, who was built by Elsa when she played with Anna as a little girl, is friendly and affectionate. While Marshmallow (the Golem-like creature), who was made by Elsa when she wanted Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf to leave her castle and never return, is rough and fierce.
Hans' horse, that prevents Anna from falling in the water early in the movie, is named "Sitron," Norwegian for "lemon."
During preproduction on the film, the film's production, art, lighting, and design leads teams went to Wyoming, Quebec, and Norway in order to study and gain an appreciation for the environment for the film, such as walking through snow (Wyoming), make observations of how light reflects and refracts on snow and ice (Quebec), and to gain an inspirational natural look on ice, mountains, water, and other elements needed for the story (Norway). "We had a very short time schedule for this film, so our main focus was really to get the story right but we knew that John Lasseter is keen on truth in the material and creating a believable world, and again that doesn't mean it's a realistic world - but a believable one. It was important to see the scope and scale of Norway, and important for our animators to know what it's like," Peter Del Vecho, the film's producer, said. "There is a real feeling of Lawrence of Arabia (1962) scope and scale to this," he finished.
The Duke of Weselton is the second consecutive Disney character to be voiced by Alan Tudyk following King Candy in Wreck-It Ralph (2012).
Grandpabbie is the only troll to wear a different colored crystal necklace: yellow.
As Elsa is creating her ice palace, one line of the song "Let It Go" is "My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around". 'Fractal' is the term applied to certain mathematical geometries which have the property that a fractal structure looks the same at all levels of magnification. Snowflakes and other ice artifacts exhibit fractal geometry, and certain artificial fractal objects are nicknamed "snowflakes" because of their resemblance to them. The application of fractal mathematics to computer-generated images was one of the first major breakthroughs in the creation of realistic three dimensional landscapes in computer graphics, enabling films like Frozen (2013) to be made.
At the beginning of the movie, when the town of Arendelle is shown and Kristof and Sven (grownup) are sharing a carrot, a few people are raising a green pole (Maypole) with 2 big green rings/circles. This is famous in Sweden during "Midsommar", to celebrate the summer.
During the song "In Summer", there are two hidden outlines of Olaf's body: one in his drink cup formed by ice cubes, and one formed by the clouds in the sky when he's lying on the picnic blanket.
In this movie, Princess Anna is berated by her older sister, Queen Elsa, (as by her friend Kristoff) for falling in love and getting engaged after knowing someone for only one day. This is similar to a plot point discussed by several characters in Enchanted (2007) which also starred Idina Menzel.
After Oaken throws out Kristoff during the "Big Summer Blow-out" scene, Oaken offers Anna "Lutefisk" which appears to be fish in a jar. Lutefisk is a traditional dish of Nordic countries e.g. Sweden, Norway and Finland. It is whitefish soaked in lye and is served in northern states (e.g Minnesota, Wisconsin etc.) during the holidays and enjoyed by the people of Nordic descent in the United States.
Santino Fontana, the voice of Hans, originally auditioned for Kristoff. After the movie was changed, he auditioned for Hans.
When Anna, Kristoff and Olaf arrive at Elsa's ice castle, Anna tells Olaf to give her a minute with Elsa alone. Olaf starts counting, with Kristoff joining the count shortly thereafter, as Anna enters. When Olaf enters, we hear him say "60" and it has indeed been one minute between when he started counting and when he enters.
When Elsa is holding the scepter and orb, the bishop proclaims (In Icelandic): "Sem hón heldr inum helgum eignum ok krýnd í þessum helga stað ek té fram fyrir yðr..." In English this means: "As she holds the holy properties, and is crowned in this holy place, I present to you... Queen Elsa of Arendelle." In the script, it reads: "Sehm hon HELL-drr IN-um HELL-gum AYG-num ok krund ee THES-um HELL- gah STAHTH, ehk the frahm FUR-ear U- thear..."
During early development of the film, when Elsa was still meant to be the villain of the film, the design of Elsa was inspired by Bette Midler.
HIDDEN MICKEY: When Anna sings "Do You Want to Build a Snowman"' and is laying on the floor in front of the clock, there is a Mickey sitting on the top left hand corner of the book shelf.
Frozen's soundtrack has spent thirteen nonconsecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard 200.
When the snow monster scares Hans and the other men, the monster's initial gesture and facial expression are almost exactly like Sully's when he scares Boo in Monsters, Inc. (2001).
The first Disney animated feature to have a soundtrack release on vinyl record since Oliver & Company (1988)
Many viewers have wondered how Kristoff was suddenly able to travel in a winter sled in what was, until a few minutes ago, the middle of summer. The junior novelization explains that the sled is convertible and can be fitted with wheels or runners as desired, presumably like changing a spare tire by the side of the road.
In the beginning of the movie, when Ana bursts out of her room stating it was coronation day, the pictures on the wall show a series of pictures that can relate other Disney movies, such as "Rapunzel", "Beauty and the Beast," and "Cinderella."
On December 22, 2011, Disney announced that "The Snow Queen" had been put back into development, now entitled Frozen (2013), with a different crew, and was scheduled for the 2013 holiday season release. It was, however, uncertain whether or not the project was still going to be in hand drawn animation or switch to computer animation. Twenty days later, on January 11, 2012, it was announced that the film was now going to be computer animated, based on the how successful Tangled (2010) was Computer Animated, along with the fact that they'll be stopping with Traditionally Animated Films completed after their 2 attempts to return to Traditional Animation with The Princess and the Frog (2009) and Winnie the Pooh (2011) did not do as well as they hoped.
Producer Peter Del Vecho explained the English title change from "The Snow Queen" to "Frozen": "The title Frozen (2013) came up independently of the title Tangled (2010). It's because, to us, it represents the movie. Frozen plays on the level of ice and snow but also the frozen relationship, the frozen heart that has to be thawed. We don't think of comparisons between Tangled and Frozen, though. The decision to call the film Frozen was the filmmaker's decision. The studio's decision to then call it the Snow Queen overseas was because that just resonated stronger in some countries than Frozen. Maybe there's a richness to the Snow Queen in the countries' heritage and they just wanted to emphasize that." As he continued to make his statement, "We're telling a story about family and relationships and that in itself can be very complicated. A lot of times what you perceive something to be isn't what it turns out to be - Elsa has to hide for her whole life who she is, even from her sister. That clearly affected her and made her into the character she is. Hopefully, if you look at the story through Elsa's eyes, you'll be able to understand what she does, or if you look at it through Anna's eyes, you'll be able to understand why she does what she does, but they're all complicated relationships. We don't think of it as a Princess movie. They happen to be Princesses, but we don't think about it that way, so I always get a bit thrown when people talk about this. But I can say we want to make them really believable and not set them up on a pedestal. Our version of these characters should feel really real and be relatable to things you might go through in your life."
When Oaken is standing talking to Anna within his Trading Post, you can see small figurines of the original concept art for Frozen's Trolls. They appear on the right side; looking a bit like fur-balls with eyes, legs, big noses, and arms. Pictures of the concept art can be found in "Disney; The Art of Frozen."
Michael Giaimo's production design and art direction for Frozen (2013) is greatly inspired by the works of Mary Blair in Cinderella (1950) and Peter Pan (1953), and that of Eyvind Earle in Sleeping Beauty (1959).
Santino Fontana told The Hollywood Reporter that the biggest challenge of working in animation "is that you have no idea what it's gonna look like. Any acting in front of a camera or on stage, you have to be aware of the whole arc, the whole through line, whereas in animation the script is constantly changing, so you are really only responsible for that scene. That's a huge difference and a huge weight off your shoulders. You don't have to get something right, because it's going to change and they are going to edit it, so that's great."
Santino Fontana sang his own version of "I Feel Pretty" from the musical West Side Story (1961) for his audition for the role of Prince Hans.
A line from "Let It Go" was originally written, "Couldn't keep it in, God knows I tried." The lyricists were ultimately not allowed to use the word "God" in that context, hence the switch to "Heaven knows I tried."
The words "door" and "anymore" form a rhyming couplet five times in the songs, once each in "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" (I never see you anymore, come out the door), "For the First Time in Forever" (The window is open, so's that door, I didn't know they did that anymore), "Love is an Open Door" (Say goodbye to the pain of the past, we don't have to feel it anymore, love is an open door), "Let It Go" (Can't hold it back anymore, let it go, let it go, turn away and slam the door), and "For the First Time in Forever (reprise) (Please don't slam the door, you don't have to keep your distance anymore).
Initially assigned only to be a screenwriter, on November 30, 2012, Disney announced that Jennifer Lee had joined veteran animator/director Chris Buck [Tarzan (1999), Surf's Up (2007)] as co-director. Given the short schedule for this production, a second director was necessary, and after her acclaimed work on Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Lee was a natural choice. When she came on board, she quickly understood the story, worked well with everyone associated with the film, and had a passion for the material equal to Buck's. Lee became the first woman to direct an animated feature made and produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. In a March 21, 2014 interview with CBS This Morning, speaking of this offer, Lee said that "it's a change that was long overdue and hopefully leads to more shifts in front of and behind the camera." She went on to say that she hoped that her "success will lead to a shift in the type of stories told and who tells them. We need more women in creative leadership. We just do, so if it inspires anyone to say, 'Well, I can do that' or just casually think, 'There's no reason I can't,' I mean, then great, so let's keep talking about it until there's the day where we don't have to anymore."
It appears that the statue head that Anna tosses in the cake during the song First Time In Forever is the same as that of Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid (1989). There is even a fan theory that claims that the King and Queen's ship that sinks in the beginning is the shipwreck where Ariel has her collection of human objects in The Litte Mermaid. Mermaid directors John Musker and Ron Clements thought the theory was "interesting", but did not know if this was the intention of the makers of Frozen.
While it was still a more straightforward adaptation of The Snow Queen, Alan Menken was originally going to write the songs for the movie. He even wrote a song called 'Love Can't Be Denied'. However, it didn't stay in the score, because Menken left the project.
According to Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the film's songwriters' voice notes on the outtakes featured in the deluxe version of the soundtrack, some of the previous rewrites of the script included plot elements like -A prophesy made by the trolls about an evil queen that would freeze the land (mentioned in the cut-out songs "Spring Pageant" which is sung by their daughters Katie (who sings 5-year-old Anna's part in "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?") and Annie, and "Life's Too Short" (a song ultimately replaced by "For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)") -A whole plot regarding Elsa and Anna being seen as the heir and the spare (mentioned in the cut-out "More Than Just a Spare", Anna's "big introductory song" at the time according to Kristen Anderson-Lopez, similar to "For the First Time in Forever")
Michael Eisner, then-CEO and Chairman of The Walt Disney Company, was very interested in "The Snow Queen" project when it was in early development in 2002. Even though he had much less involvement in production of Disney movies in the 2000s than he had in the 1980s and 90s, he had a special passion for the story and characters of the Snow Queen. Eisner offered his support to the project and even suggested doing the film with John Lasseter at Pixar Animation Studios, when the two studios would get their contracts renewed.
The highest grossing animated film of 2013 (third overall, just behind The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) and Iron Man 3 (2013)). Also the most successful Disney animated classic to date since The Lion King (1994).
In a August 10, 2013 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee that giving Frozen (2013) a timeless feel was important to them. In the article, it reads: ""What makes something a classic film is there is that quality that it speaks to you whether it is 1930 or 2013," said Lee, admitting that Cinderella (1950) and The Little Mermaid (1989) are still her favorite Disney animated features. For Frozen (2013), she related that the directors aimed to make the film both "timeless and timely. ... We just kept pushing to make sure there are themes in this movie that make it relatable." Lee (also a writer on the film) noted that at its heart, the feature is a story about sisters, and John Lasseter helped to elevate that point. "When we were still just discovering the story we'd show John [the work] he'd say 'you have to go deeper.' That is the key to John -- you have to have worked each scene to the point where you know exactly what it means and why, and you got the most out of it." Buck, whose favorite Disney animated film is still Pinocchio (1940), added that Lasseter would "also keep us on track... with so many people and voices in the room, you can start to stray." Incidentally, the two went to CalArts together and "have that same love of Disney... I love that classic feel; it is ingrained in me."
Co-director Jennifer Lee, who has no prior animation experience, was given the task to develop the characters and story with more complexity on screen.
With the release of Frozen, Idina Menzel became the first person to voice/play two different Disney princesses. She voices Elsa in Frozen and Nancy, the "alternate princess" in Enchanted (2007).
The original Danish fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, on which this film is based, is a personal favorite work of Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark Margrethe II.
Peter Del Vecho explains the decision of having two directors: "In story planning we're always together. That's myself, the head of story, the songwriters and Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck; you can't do anything until you get that story working. But after that, we have the ability to keep Jen working on story while Chris is working on animation, and then they come together again in editorial. The idea of two directors is that they can come together to bounce ideas off each another when they need to but also split their duties a little bit so that, essentially, they can get more work done in a straight day."
Olaf's name is a clue to his character's purpose in providing comic relief. It can be interpreted to mean "oh laugh."
Regarding the look and nature of the film's cinematography, Michael Giaimo, who also helped with the cinematography, was greatly influenced by the legendary Jack Cardiff's work in Black Narcissus (1947), which lends a hyper-reality to Frozen (2013). "Because this is a movie with such scale and we have the Norwegian fjords to draw from, I really wanted to explore the depth. From a design perspective, since I was stressing the horizontal and vertical aspects, and what the fjords provide, it was perfect. We encased the sibling story in scale." In fact, Ted D. McCord's work on The Sound of Music (1965) was another major influence: "The juxtaposition of character and environment and the counterpart of how they played in terms of cinematography was brilliant in that film," Giaimo added. The cinematography is also equally inspired by Freddie Young's work in Doctor Zhivago (1965). It is also Giamo's idea that Frozen (2013) should be filmed in CinemaScope, which was "warmly approved" by John Lasseter. This was mainly to capture the scope, scale, and depth of the film's ambitious story and direction. It marked the first time that a full-length motion picture was filmed in CinemaScope in years, as well as the first Disney production to be filmed in CinemaScope since the animated short In the Bag (1956) to be filmed in CinemaScope and the first Disney animated film since Lady and the Tramp (1955). Frozen (2013) joins among other few Disney animated feature films that were filmed in the 2.39: 1 widescreen format or wider: Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty (1959), The Black Cauldron (1985), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), Brother Bear (2003), and Wreck-It Ralph (2012).
Made over a billion dollars in the worldwide box office. It is the second animated film to do it after Toy Story 3 (2010) and (as of 2016) the highest grossing animated film of all time.
There are many similarities between Elsa and Elphaba, the main character played by Idina Menzel in the stage adaptation of the novel Wicked by Gregory Maguire. They both are (eventually orphaned) daughters of influential parents. They both have special powers that they try to hide, yet they manifest them unwillingly in front of crowd. Eventually, both Elsa and Elphaba embrace their magic talents - and become objects of public hatred and outcasts from society.
The names 'Sven' and 'Olaf' from Frozen are the same names as the characters from Titanic (1997) from whom Jack wins his Titanic Tickets in a poker game.
In an article, psychotherapist Dr. Jill Squyres diagnosed Elsa as suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. Interestingly, Jennifer Lee stated on her twitter account that it was intentional to show Elsa as having anxiety and depression.
Anna was originally (at one point) going to be named Greta which the name was loosely after Gerda, the heroine of The Snow Queen.
In the song "Love Is An Open Door", Hans says the line "we finish each other's..." and then Anna finishes his sentence with "sandwiches!". A joke almost identical to this appeared in the Arrested Development episode "Family Ties" in 2006.
This is not the first time Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff work together. They previously acted in Glee (2009) together. Groff as Jesse, a Vocal Adrenaline performer as a recurring character. Menzel as Shelby, Vocal Adrenaline coach and mother of a main character, also a recurring character.
When Anna and Hans are singing "Love is An Open Door" in front of the clock the clock is a parody of Big Ben in the 1953 Disney movie "Peter Pan".
Idina Menzel, the English voice of Elsa, was in the original cast of the musical Wicked, and won a Tony in 2004 for her portrayal of Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West). Dutch actress and singer Willemijn Verkaik, who provides Elsa's voice in the Dutch and her singing voice in the German version of Frozen, originated the role of Elphaba both in the German version (Stuttgart, 2007) and in the Dutch version (Scheveningen, 2011) of the musical. She later went on to play the same role in English on Broadway in 2013 and in London in 2014.
Alan Tudyk played the Duke of Wesselton (mispronounced as Weaseltown) in Frozen (2013), and then went on to play Duke Weaselton in Zootopia (2016), an actual weasel.
The scene from the trailer involving Olaf and Sven tussling for possession of Olaf's carrot nose does not appear in the finished movie.
All of the songs in the movie were written by the same people and on the same day. That is why the songs have a similar melody and have some of the same rhymes such as door and more.
In February 2016 Disney Theatrical Productions announced that "Frozen" will join "The Lion King" and "Aladdin" on Broadway in Spring 2018. A pre-Broadway try out for "Frozen" is scheduled at Denver Center for the Performing Arts in August 2017.
Lino DiSalvo blocked out most of Olaf's performance in traditional hand-drawn animation, then simply duplicated it on the final CG character.
This has became the first animated movie to sell over ten million tickets in South Korea.
Jessi Corti, who voices the Spanish Dignitary, was the voice of LeFou in Beauty and the Beast (1991). Josh Gad, who voices Olaf, would later play LeFou in the 2017 live action remake.
Jack Whitehall was cast as one of the trolls, but his one line was removed from the final version.
Elsa's mountaintop has taken its unique silhouette from one of the iconic landmarks of Whistler, British Colombia, home of the Alpine events during the 2010 Olympic Games. The peak is well known to Whistler Blackcomb skiers as the "Black Tusk".
The film was theatrically released with a Mickey Mouse cartoon Get a Horse! (2013).
The song "For the First Time in Forever", in the verse where Anna sings about meeting her potential true love, originally contained the line, "I hope that I don't vomit in his face." Disney deemed the line unacceptable, as it contained a reference to bodily fluids, and asked that it be changed. It was Katie Lopez, the young daughter of songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who came up with the replacement line, "I wanna stuff some chocolate in my face."
In the song "Love is an Open Door", when Anna says "I see your face," it hints that she does not see the real Hans but only the face he shows to the outside.
Santino Fontana, who voices Prince Hans, also played Prince Christopher in the Broadway version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella".
Olaf appears to suffer from hay fever, because every time he smells flowers, he sneezes and it results on losing his carrot nose. This was shown in the film's first look trailer and the climax of this film.
In the scene where Anna is dancing with the Duke of Westleton, he claims to be like a chicken, and briefly does a chicken dance with his hand on top of his head. This is the same chicken dance done by Lindsay Bluth on Arrested Development. The Duke was voiced by Alan Tudyk, who also voiced HeiHei, the chicken in Moana (2016).
When Elsa's Snow Monster tosses Anna, Christoff, and Olaf out of the ice castle, we get a brief shot of Sven with his tongue frozen to the ice staircase.
Kristoff and Anna were originally children called Kai and Greta, which can still be seen in early concept art. Eventually as the story changed they were aged up to adults and renamed Kristoff and Anna. Kristoff himself is based on both Kai and the Robber Girl from the original tale, whereas Anna is based on Gerda and the Summer Witch, whom according to some adaptations of The Snow Queen, is the title Queen's sister.
Josh Gad's second animated film. The first being Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012).
The chandelier in Elsa's ice Castle is similar to the nature inspired chandeliers and lamps by the Danish designer P.H, Poul Henningsen.
The music director for this movie, Christophe Beck, also provided as music director in the movie Pitch Perfect (2012).
Anna reveals that Hans isn't the right person for her in the lyrics of "For the First Time In Forever" when she says, "I suddenly see him standing there, a beautiful stranger, tall and fair" Although, fair can also mean 'light or pale complexion' which could describe Hans.
The third computer animated film of the 21st century to win the Oscar for Best Original Song, the first two being Monsters, Inc. (2001) and Toy Story 3 (2010).
Paul Rugg, in his Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy voice (Dave the Barbarian (2004)), was considered for the role of the Duke of Wessleton.
The second animated film directed by Chris Buck to be nominated for Best Animated Feature, the first being Surf's Up (2007). But while Frozen won it, Surf's Up lost it to Ratatouille (2007).
The second computer animated Disney movie to earn an A+ Cinemascore, after Tangled (2010).
The fifth Walt Disney Animation Studios' computer-animated film to be rated PG by the MPAA, after Dinosaur (2000), Bolt (2008), Tangled (2010) and Wreck-It Ralph (2012).
Aaron Dell, back up goaltender for the San Jose Sharks professional hockey team, has the village of Arendelle painted on the back of his helmet due to the similarities between the pronunciation of his name and fictional setting of Frozen
During the opening of the movie, when the traditional Disney castle credit is shown, the word Disney is made of ice
Demi Lovato sang a single version of the song 'Let It Go', previously sung by Idina Menzel in the film.
The name given to the ice monster is marshmallow. Kristen Bell starred in the TV show Veronica Mars (2004). Her devoted fans are called "marshmallows".
The second Walt Disney Animation Studios film to be in a widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio after Wreck-It Ralph (2012), although the Blu-Ray and DVD releases are opened up to a slightly taller 2.24:1 aspect ratio which closely matches the 70mm aspect ratio of 2.20:1.
The second Disney's animated film to gross a billion dollars worldwide, after Toy Story 3 (2010).
It's Disney's animated CGI musical film since the previous animated musical film Tangled (2010).
The second animated film to star Kristen Bell and Alan Tudyk together, the first being Astro Boy (2009).
Research market showed that "The Princess and the Frog" did not do as well as Disney had hoped because words like "princess" alienate boys, that is the real reason why "The Snow Queen" was renamed "Frozen"
Josh Gad (Olaf) and Alan Tudyk (Duke of Weselton) have also collaborated in Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) released a year ago.
This is the first Walt Disney Animation Studios film to gross a billion dollars worldwide.
The third Walt Disney Animation Studios film of 2010s to be rated PG by the MPAA, after Tangled (2010) and Wreck-It Ralph (2012).
This is the first Walt Disney Animation Studios film to be win of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
The eighth Disney's animated film to be win of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, after Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), Ratatouille (2007), WALL·E (2008), Up (2009), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Brave (2012).