Ultimate Facts: Frozen

frozen ardenalle

– The production crew went to Norway on a two-week long trip before production begun, and the movie is largely inspired by this trip. The landscape, clothes, music, buildings and names resemble a lot of Norwegian culture. The Arendelle castle is loosely based on Akershus Fortress in Oslo, the Arendelle town 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 names Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Sven, Kristoff and Hans are normal or resemble Norwegian names. And of course; trolls are one of the well-known trademarks of Norwegian culture.

frozen sled

– Frozen is credited with an increase in tourists to Norway as travel agencies have reported hotel booking have increased by 37% since the film’s release.

– In the beginning of the movie when showing the town of Arendelle and you see Kristof and Sven (grownup) sharing a carrot you also see a few people raising a green pole (Maypole) with 2 big green rings/circles, it is famous in Sweden during “Midsommar” to celebrate the summer.

– Filmmakers hired Jackson Crawford, a professor of Old Norse and Scandinavian mythology at UCLA, to help fill the script with appropriate Norwegian words and grammar.

forzen kristoff

– 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.

– 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 this a very short, if robust, breed; horses in this film are shown to be a good 4-6″ taller than their real-life counterparts.

– The official crest of Ardenelle is a crocus which is a symbol of spring and rebirth.

hans horse

– Hans’ horse, that prevents Anna from falling in the water early in the movie, is named “Sitron,” Norwegian for “lemon.”

– 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.

– 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.

– 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.

– Over 24 minutes of the film is dedicated to musical sequences.

– “Let It Go” was written within a single day.

– A line from “Let It Go” was originally written, “Couldn’t keep it in, God knows I tried.” The songwriters were ultimately not allowed to use the name of the Lord in that context, hence the switch to “Heaven knows I tried.”

– The original titled concept for “Let It Go” was “Elsa’s Badass Song”.

– 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.

elsa concept art

– Before “Let it Go” was written Elsa was the villain in the movie. After listening to it’s inspirational message Disney rewrote the film to make Elsa a tragic hero instead of altering the song. Her early design was inspired by Bette Midler and Amy Winehouse.

– 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.”


– Frozen’s soundtrack has spent 13 non-consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard 200.

– Frozen is the first Disney animated feature to have a soundtrack release on vinyl record since Oliver & Company.

– Michael Giaimo, the film’s art director, is well known for his exuberant art direction for Pocahontas, which was the last time he served as art director at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Frozen marked his return to the studio after being fired when Home on the Range disastrously and embarrassingly bombed with critics and audiences – it caused massive layoffs and the short-lived demise of traditional animation.

frozen hug

– Animators attended a “sister summit” to better understand what sister relationships are all about.

– Kristen Bell and and Idina Menzel taped their lines together in the same room to increase the sisterly chemistry in their performance which is a rare practice among voice recorders.

– Since the movie’s release Elsa and Anna have become popular baby names for girls with Elsa breaking into the top 100 girl names for the first time ever.

tangled frozen

– When the gates open during “For The First Time in Forever,” there is a cameo of Rapunzel and Eugene (Flynn) from Tangled. 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.

anna the swing frozen

– The painting in the palace gallery Anna poses in front of is a representation of Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s The Swing.

– Elsa’s braided hair has  420,000 stands of animated hair. More than even Rapunzel had in Tangled and required the development of a special program called Tonic just to animate it.

– Dr. Kenneth Libbrecht, aka the snow doctor, was brought in top teach animators about the properties of snow and snowflakes.

frozen snowflakes

– Some snowflakes are alike. A special snowflake program was created to give animators 2,000 different snowflakes to use in the film.

– Often in Disney animated films, the good guys wear light colors and the bad guys wear dark colors. In order to throw off the audience, Hans (the villain) wears light colors while Kristoff, Anna, and Elsa (the heroes) wear dark colors.

Trolls frozen

– 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.”

– Frozen film took 600 people 2 and a half years, or three million hours to complete.

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