In February, I got the chance to visit the Disney Animation Studios in Los Angeles, California to chat with Frozen‘s producer, Peter Del Vecho and director, Chris Buck.
If your family hasn’t had the chance to check out this snow-filled, Oscar-winning film (Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song), you’ll get your chance on Tuesday, March 18 when it comes out on Blu-ray and DVD.
When I sat down with producer Peter Del Vecho (who also worked on The Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh), we talked about the theme of love in Frozen and how there are four different kinds of love at play throughout the story. “There is the love between sisters, the love between friends, the innocent love, as presented by Olaf, and, of course, romantic love—love at first sight vs. true love,” he says.
Another aspect I was excited to speak to Del Vecho about was the Canadian angle of the production. The art director, and his lighting team, were sent down to visit the Ice Hotel in Quebec City. They studied how the snow reflected off the ice, as well as brainstorming ideas on how to construct Elsa’s ice palace. “They learned you can put relief in snow by carving it, so they went back at night and saw how the lighting changed dramatically and realized they could have light and the look of the ice be effected by Elsa’s mood,” Del Vecho explains.
Director Chris Buck (Tarzan and Surf’s Up) traveled to the Ice Hotel back in 2009. “It was so cold,” he recalls. “It’s even colder inside than outside. The thing that was amazing about it was how the light would come in through the ice walls and the reflection and refraction of the ice became the inspiration for Elsa’s ice palace.”
Here’s a sneak-peek at one of the newly created Frozen-themed rooms at Quebec City’s Ice Hotel.
Buck explained how he originally pitched this film to Disney’s Animation Studios more than five years ago. His original inspiration comes from the 1845 story The Snow Ice by Hans Christian Andersen. As Buck was developing his vision of the fairy tale, he was changing key elements to make it more his own. One of the areas of the film that interested me was the surprise twist of Anna’s “prince charming” not being her actual true love. Buck explains, “I was playing with was the idea of ‘real love vs. romantic love’ and how real love is messy—not flowers and roses and that kind of stuff. And so it become Anna’s journey to realize what real love is, and that sort of jumped to the idea of redefining what true love is—and if we as Disney could redefine it a little bit.”