Frozen is a cultural phenomenon and if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably watched it about 1,000 times by now.
The movie was a massive commercial success, earning nearly $1.3 billion worldwide, and is currently ranked as the highest grossing animated film of all time. Years after it’s release, it is still capturing the imagination of kids and adults all across the world.
Here are 15 facts you might not have known about this fantastic ‘Frozen’ fairy tale.
- The film is based on “The Snow Queen,” a fairy tale written by the prolific Hans Christian Andersen who also wrote The Little Mermaid, and Thumbelina. The original tale follows two childhood friends who are separated when the boy, Kay, gets splinters from a shattered demonic mirror stuck in his eye and his heart, and runs away with a mysterious and powerful woman called the Snow Queen. His friend Gerda decides to pursue him and bring him home, and has many adventures along the way.
2. “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” almost didn’t make the cut. It was taken out, put back in, taken out, put back in, etc. “It was not put back in the film until the witching hour before we released it,” says Kristen Bell, who voices Anna in the animated picture. “Thankfully, at the very last moment, someone made the call of putting it back in,” she added. “I think it’s one of the best songs in the movie.” We agree.
3. 50 people worked on the technology for the scene where Elsa builds her ice palace. One frame of the scene took 30 HOURS to render – yet it only takes Elsa about 36 seconds to create the entire palace in the film.
4. Elsa’s impressive braid is made up of 420,000 CGI hairs and required a new software called Tonic to create. For perspective, there’s about 100,000 hairs on the average human head and Rapunzel in Tangled only had around 27,000.
5. In the early stages of constructing the character of Elsa, the original plan was to make her much less appealing and much more dark. Her powers made her haunted as she had the ability to harm, whether she liked it or not. Wanting to play on that element, Frozen designers began painting Elsa in a different light. One artist, Claire Keane released drawings from the early stages of the Disney film’s development imagining Elsa with Amy Winehouse in mind. Thankfully the production said, “no, no, no.”
6. Frozen was the first Disney feature to be directed and written by a woman, Jennifer Lee ( she shares a co-director credit with Buck).
7. Producers had Idina Menzel, who voiced Elsa, and Kristen Bell, who voiced Anna, read their scenes together to add to the chemistry. I think it worked out well for them.
8. Animators acreated a snowflake generator program to build 2,000 different snowflake shapes that they could use for the film.
9. The names of the characters Hans, Kristoff, Anna and Sven are a tribute to “The Snow Queen” author, Hans Christian Andersen. If you say the names quickly in the sequence above, you can actually hear the tribute played out perfectly.
10. When Anna sings “Love is an Open Door” with Prince Hans, this is actually the first time a duet is ever performed with a Disney princess and a villain.
11. When Anna visits Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post, notice someone mixed in with all the merchandise? Yeap, hidden Mickey.
12. The beach scene in Olaf’s “In Summer” song is a play on the popular Coppertone sunscreen ad.
13. There is a hilarious note in the end credits of Frozen that says Disney doesn’t necessarily agree with Kristoff’s views that all men eat their own boogers.
14. Rapunzel and Flynn from Tangled make a brief appearance at Elsa’s coronation.
15. Anna and Elsa weren’t sisters in an initial version of the movie. Anna was a peasant who journeyed to ask Ice Queen Elsa to freeze her broken heart.