Friday, July 12, 2013

"Frozen" Character Intros & Official Word On How Much of HCA's Snow Queen Survived

Anyone notice the white streak in Anna's hair? (aka story clue)
Let me start off with a quote from an interview, just to show you I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this news here (because it will be everywhere else and this is not a "Disney blog", though I'm more than happy to talk Disney-and-fairy-tales any time).
Movietalk: Where did the initial inspiration for the story come from? 
Co-Director Chris Buck: Well, our initial inspiration is from the Hans Christian Andersen story, "The Snow Queen." But we took off from that. I think the only thing we really have left from that is the character that is a snow queen type of character, but we made it our own. So, it’s loosely inspired. And we’ve moved on and made it quite different, and for today’s audiences too. 
(FTNH: emphasis mine.)
I'm glad they're being up front about that.

My main interest (and I assume yours in being a regular reader here), is in seeing if this new "Disney fairy tale" actually has anything to do with fairy tales - either old (ie Hans Christian Andersen's "Snow Queen") or if they're creating a brand new one, OR if it's something else again.

Already there's a lot of disappointment at not seeing anything of HCA's beloved tale survive the Disney-machine BUT if the intent was just to spring board and make a whole new and different story, that's fine (as long as that's understood). As long as it's not going to be marketed as "Disney returns to Hans Christian Andersen's tales for the first time in almost 25 years" or attempts to lure in people who love the fairy tale via false advertising, connecting it directly to the classic, then I'm totally OK with that.
✒ ✒ ✒  ✒ (click the "Read more" link below this line) ✒ ✒ ✒ ✒ ✒ 

Just don't call it "a new take on a classic fairy tale" if it isn't. We've yet to see the US posters and trailer and the marketing division tends to work pretty separately from the animation one so, despite Chris Buck's honesty here, we've yet to see how this will be billed.

So it would seem this is more a fantasy film overall than a fairy tale. And there's nothing wrong with that. You should probably think of it as an Ice Princess movie with a sister story at the center, rather than a retelling of The Snow Queen though, otherwise it will be difficult to view and enjoy it on it's own merits.

Very quickly, since we're already here, some additional bits and pieces from the character unveilings and the (much longer) interview:
So, talk to me, we’re doing the next great Disney adventure, Frozen. What do fans need to know? 
Co-Director Chris Buck: It's a big, epic, comedy. It's set in a Scandinavian type environment. Big adventure; it really is; it's a lot bigger than I thought this movie was going to be in scope and size. (Edit FTNH: the rumors and previews of the storybooks being released use "An Icy Adventure" as a subtitle so the emphasis will be on a journey.)
At the beginning of the interview, you said that this film became bigger than you first thought it would be.  
Co-Director Jennifer Lee: Shoutout to our art director, Mike Giaimo. We had a whole team that went to Norway to study the fjords there particularly and the look of that area is just stunning and the costumes, and everything is so specific and special and yet again, all set against this giant winter landscape. Part of it too as everyday we see more and more of all the shots coming together. The amount of detail, it makes this world come alive in a way that you don't realize how big it’s going to be when it's just on the page.
From the nine character descriptions released, these are the most interesting bits (to me):
ELSA: From the outside, Elsa looks poised, regal and reserved, but in reality, she lives in fear as she wrestles with a mighty secret—she was born with the power to create ice and snow. It’s a beautiful ability, but also extremely dangerous. Haunted by the moment her magic nearly killed her younger sister Anna, Elsa has isolated herself, spending every waking minute trying to suppress her growing powers. Her mounting emotions trigger the magic, accidentally setting off an eternal winter that she can’t stop. She fears she’s becoming a monster and that no one, not even her sister, can help her. 
ANNA: Anna is more daring than graceful and, at times, can act before she thinks. But she’s also the most optimistic and caring person you’ll ever meet. She longs to reconnect with her sister, Elsa, as they were close during their childhood. When Elsa accidentally unleashes a magical secret that locks the kingdom of Arendelle in an eternal winter, Anna embarks on a dangerous adventure to make things right. Armed with only her fearlessness, a never-give-up attitude and her faith in others, Anna is determined to save both her kingdom and her family. 
OLAF: ... Sprung from Elsa’s magical powers, Olaf is by far the friendliest snowman to walk the mountains above Arendelle...
MARSHMALLOW, the snow monster we saw in the real trailer, is also made from Elsa's powers but he's more bodyguard for her ice castle than a snow man with a dream.
There are many more character descriptions which you can read at the link HERE.
Since it's pretty clear we're heading for a fantasy adventure with very little fairy tale material I won't be posting every Frozen announcement from here on out BUT since we're all still hoping some essence of fairy tale has made it's way into the movie (on it's slog through years of development, a total image overhaul x 3 or more, being flopped from CG to hand-drawn then being re-imagined once again in CG), I will let you know of anything that might seem important. 
The whole interview can be read HERE and the run down of character profiles and extra teeny story details can be found HERE.
Today's Frozen bonus: 

I did find these 2D images of soon-to-be released books for Frozen. I don't mind the hand drawn version of these characters quite as much, though they don't look "Disney" so much as Bluth (especially the sticker book version shown at left). They would have been REALLY nice had they pushed these designs even further into a classic or timeless style. Unfortunately, these characters still look way too much like a cross between the Barbie movies and those cheap DVD rip-offs released right before the real films are released (except with perhaps a couple more passes in rendering). -sigh-

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