Wednesday 12 June 2024
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D23 Expo Part Two: “The Art of Frozen” Panel

At ten thirty in the morning, about one hundred fans of animation piled into the Stage 23 conference room to get a sneak peak at the new Disney movie, Frozen, in the “Art of Frozen” panel. Michael Giaimo, the art director of Frozen (and Pocahontas!), treated us to a special explanation of how the film came to look the way it does and where the team got their inspiration. We were shown photos of the creative team trekking through Norway, boating through the fjords, and wearing dresses in the snow. Giaimo explained at length how the aesthetics of Frozen were largely inspired by Norway–The stave churches inspired the architecture, and the fjords inspired the environments.

After his passionate speech, Giaimo finally showed us four never-before-seen clips from the movie; the clips in which Anna meets a prince, in which Anna meets a snowman (Olaf!), in which Sven is serenaded by Christophe, and one in which Elsa loses her cool (pun intended. You will get it when you see the movie. Then you will laugh. I hope.)
In addition to seeing the exclusive clips, we were also given a peek at behind-the-scenes processes. 3D animators will often create test clips of various characters in the early stages of animation, usually doing something simple, like walking, sometimes with a flourish of personality. This gives the animators an idea of how to go about portraying the characters’ personality while at the same time making it look natural. Attendees to this panel were given the opportunity to see these practice clips for the four main characters of Frozen: Anna, Elsa, Christophe, and Hans. Being able to see the early stages of these characters’ development was extremely neat– it made me feel very much on the down-low!
Attendees to the “Art of Frozen” panel were shown the various stages of development for Anna’s and Elsa’s physical appearance– it was striking to see how much Elsa’s final look has changed from her original concept. Elsa started with very short hair and a much different face and wardrobe, but she now has long hair, a lovely face and beautiful
shimmering gowns.

Frozen hits theaters this November, and the D23 Expo has turned me into a fan of it already! I’m sure you can tell who will be first in line for this new Disney Animation Studios movie come Thanksgiving-time!

Want more D23 Expo news? Check out the other articles in Grace’s Mini-D23 Expo series!
Part Two: “The Art of Frozen” Panel
Part Five: “To Infinity and Beyond” Panel
Part Six: Coming Soon…