MANILA, Philippines – Following news of the Frozen cast gathering for their first live performance, fans of the hit movie have received another treat straight from the source.
The film’s directors Chris Buck, and Jennifer Lee, producer Peter Del Vecho, and husband and wife songwriters Robert “Bobby” Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, teased fans by creating an “Ask Me Anything” session on social website Reddit.
Santino Fontana, who voiced Hans, also joined in the conversation.
Here are some interesting facts, straight from the directors and writers themselves:
1. “Do You Want to Build A Snowman” almost didn’t make it into the film
According to songwriter Bobby Lopez, he was most proud of the “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” scene, where a young Anna (Kristen Bell) sings to her sister Elsa (Idina Menzel), urging her to spend time with her.
Lopez revealed that scene took a lot of work to create, but it was almost not included in the film. “It was so nearly not in the film but I love it. It took so much work to construct but was well worth it.”
Interestingly, Anna’s two younger voices were sung by the writer’s daughter Katie Lopez, and by director Jennifer Lee’s daughter Agatha Lee Monn.
Kristen Anderson-Lopez also revealed that a “crazy troll song” didn’t make the final cut. The song, she said, featured a scene where Anna and Kristoff literally walked in each other’s shoes, causing them to see the world through each other’s eyes. The catch? “It had a lot of lyrics about foot fungus,” she said.
A scene that was not in the film, but will be in the DVD release is an intro for Kristoff, climbing a mountain with pick axes, said director Chris Buck.
2. Another song that didn’t make it into the film? Kristoff’s love song for Anna
“There is a ballad – a love song to Anna that exists in an undisclosed location,” revealed husband and wife Bobby and Kristen, although not disclosing where this secret song lies.
Perhaps fans could expect it in the Broadway version. According to the writers, mountain man Kristoff will be given bigger and longer song numbers onstage.
Despite Tony-nominated singer and actor Jonathan Groff being the voice behind Kristoff, the character had but one song in the film.
To fans wondering why he didn’t have more performances, Lopez and Lee joked, “Jonathan Groff isn’t known for his singing. He’s more known for his naked buttocks.”
But kidding aside, they explained that they worked to get more Kristoff songs, but the character’s introverted nature was a factor in the decisions about his character.
“He’s the type of character who wouldn’t sing until Anna helped complete him and by then we were into action all the way through the film,” they said.
3. Kristoff was originally supposed to punch Hans
One of the most satisfying scenes in the movie was when Anna punched antagonist Prince Hans. Who was the brilliant mind behind it?
They don’t really remember, said director Jennifer Lee, but she does recall “wanting it strongly.”
Directors Lee and Buck revealed that Kristoff originally punched Hans after Anna froze, but they decided against it because it “took away from the moment.”
“We really wanted it to be a POP, to be a surprise,” they said. “He needed to be punched,” said Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
4. Elsa’s character was a lot darker than she turned out to be
Directors said the snow queen once had ‘dark, spiky hair and was colored blue,’ until they let that idea go.
“Elsa was a lot darker for much of the movie until Bobby & Kristen wrote ‘Let It Go,’” said Buck and Lee.
Songwriters Bobby and Kristen revealed that the second half of the song “We Know Better,” which was not included in the soundtrack, showed a darker side to Elsa and Anna’s evolution.
The two sisters split, Elsa uses her powers for evil, and Anna, according to the writers, becomes a “prissy princess.”
But that song, they said, showed them what the movie should not be.
Listen to “Let it Go” here:
Bobby Lopez and his wife are nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song Category. Should they win, Bobby will join an elite group of individuals who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony (EGOT).
A multilingual version of the song, which featured lines in Russian, Thai, Japanese, Cantonese, and more, has also been released.
Also, Tony award winner Idina Menzel will be performing the song live at the Oscars on March 2, reported Hollywood Reporter.
5. Arrested Development references?
Older audiences may have noticed an Arrested Development reference. Anna and Hans’ “It’s like we finish each other’s… sandwiches” moment appears to be a nod to the joke from the sitcom.
In addition, the “chicken dance” by the Duke of Weselton also appeared to be similar to a dance done by one of the characters in the series.
Bobby and Kristen have this to say: “I will carry to my grave that I was eating a sandwich when I wrote that lyric and occurred spontaneously.”
After his brother pointed out the Arrested Development joke, Bobby said they tried replacing the word “sandwiches” with “sausages and sauerkraut.”
6. Where did Elsa and Anna’s parents end up going?
Elsa and Anna lost their parents when they set off to sea, but it remains unknown why they had to journey off.
Jennifer Lee said they were on their way to a wedding, while Kristen Anderson-Lopez said they were on their way to Fantasy Island “to fix the tensions in their marriage.”
Chris Buck, has his own theory, which sounded very similar to the beginning of another Disney (and pop culture) classic, Tarzan.
“They didn’t die on the boat. They got washed up on a shore in a jungle island. The queen gave birth to a baby boy. They build a treehouse. They get eaten by a leopard…” he said.
Watch the Frozen trailer here:
The making of Frozen
Here are some other interesting facts, beyond their Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session:
7. Frozen was 70 years in the making
Frozen is the 4th and final attempt by Disney to adapt Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen, according to Focus Film.
Disney originally slated it as part of a series of animated tales to accompany the biography of Hans Christian Andersen. However, Disney had a difficult time creating a plot for the story that would entice moviegoers. Further attempts to finish the project were made but all were shelved up until Frozen.
In fact, Anna’s servants, named Kai and Gerda, are the names of the children in the original tale.
8. The animation required the invention of new software
The movie Frozen is noted for having spectacular, state-of-the-art visual effects that require much innovation and a lot of labor.
According to Hollywood Reporter, the animation of Elsa’s hair alone had 400,000 CGI strands (20x more than that of Rapunzel) and required the invention of new software called Tonic. The software Spaces was also created for Olaf’s deconstruction and reconstruction sequences. – With Reports from Ira Agting and Ina Sebastian/Rappler.com
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