Frozen fans get ready, Walt Disney Animation Studios is bringing Olaf’s Frozen Adventure to the big screen, in front of Disney-Pixar’s original feature film COCO for a limited time beginning November 22nd.
Featuring four new original songs, the 21-minute featurette welcomes the original cast and characters back to the big screen, including Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), who is on a mission to harness the best holiday traditions for Anna (voice of Kristen Bell), Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) and Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff). Directed by Emmy®-winning filmmakers Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (“Prep & Landing”), produced by Oscar® winner Roy Conli (“Big Hero 6”), with original songs by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson (“Between the Lines”).
While in Los Angeles for the Disney/Pixar Coco Press Event, we went to the Walt Disney Studios Animation Building for a private screening of Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, followed by an open behind the scenes discussion with Directors Stevie Wermers-Skelton and Kevin Deters, Producer Roy Conli and Songwriters Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson.
For this film being a “short” it sure has a lot of heart. The animation is stunning. Just wait until you see Elsa’s holiday dress. The way it flows on screen, it just might be the prettiest animated piece of clothing I have ever seen. There is a knitting scene that also really stands out, I discovered during our discussion that each thread was hand painted, frame by frame. Trust me, it shows. The story packs just the right amount of music, comedy and heartfelt moments to appeal to the whole family. I love the story of family traditions, and what it means to the characters. OLaf’s Frozen Adventure is a delightful, and whimsical feature that I can easily see families enjoying again, and again every holiday season.
Sitting in a room with (Emmy winning) Directors Stevie Wermers-Skelton and Kevin Deters, (Oscaar Winner) Producer Roy Conli and Songwriters Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson, you know you are among some really talented people. Which could be very intimidating, but they’re not. In-fact they were super nice, and came across relaxed, and genuinely happy to have us there. Together, they displayed this great working chemistry, kind of like a family. Which is perfect for this project.
They were each so generous during our discussion. Below are some of the highlights they shared about the making of this movie.
Traditions you see when Olaf goes door to door (looking for a family tradition), in the movie are inspired by real traditions found around the world (Norway, Scandinavian, etc.)
When it comes to the holidays and religion – Embracing the idea of all of us being one, and keeping the theme on family was important. So, it has a little bit of everything in it, but stays non denominational. After all the world of Frozen is fictional.
Keeping with a fun Disney tradition, there are several Easter Eggs hidden throughout the film. Find them if you can! I can tell you one hint, if you look closely in Olaf’s sleigh you just might find Baymax’s fist tossed in the mix. A little nod to Big Hero 6 (2014), a film Producer Roy Conli won an Oscar for.
Songwriters Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson lived in the world of Frozen for months to stay inspired while writing the new songs. They were also sent sketches and written pages from the storyboards from the writers.
The most challenging song to write, Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson both agree, it was “When We’re Together”, because it was so emotional. Both writers brought they own personal inspirations to the song. At one point, the song had four or five different versions – they were told no pressure, but write the next Silent Night. Yeah, no pressure.
Behind the scenes challenges – sounded like the biggest challenge was keeping the movie within the shorter length (21 minutes). It was not easy, but once they collaborated, moved the story forward, heard the songs, and even removed an original character, they realized they could fit in more than they thought and the film came together.
Yes, in-case you weren’t sure, it’s true – Frozen 2 is in the works!
OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE & COCO open in theatres everywhere on November 22nd!
ABOUT DISNEY•PIXAR’S “COCO”
Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself magically transported to the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s.
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Visit the official COCO website here: http://movies.disney.com/cOCO