Disclaimer: Disney sent me to Los Angeles on an all-expenses paid press trip, in exchange for my coverage of the red carpet world premiere of Cinderella and Frozen Fever in addition to interviews with Frozen Fever Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. All opinions are my own.
To say it’s been a HUGE year for FROZEN Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee is an understatement. AND this week is a HUGE week as well.
Well, Elsa, Anna, and Olaf return in FROZEN FEVER!
It’s a short film that will play ONLY in front of CINDERELLA, which opens in theaters this Friday, March 13th.
Will you be going?
Photo Courtesy of Disney
FROZEN earned Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee Academy Awards – yes, Oscars!
Last summer, during the “Guardians of the Galaxy” Press Trip, I happened to have a chance to see the FROZEN Oscar in person.
With the new short sending children of all ages into a frenzy (who doesn’t want to see it, right?), we had a lot of questions for the directors…..especially one in particular (ARE YOU WORKING ON A SEQUEL?)! More on that later. 🙂
But we wondered how the past year has changed for the directors…….with every little girl dressing up as Elsa for Halloween and all the YouTube versions of “Let it Go”.
But as Chris Buck said, “I still buy shirts at TJ Maxx. Hasn’t changed…..”. And you could tell that while it’s been a crazy successful year, Chris and Jennifer are still both incredibly down to earth and very approachable. The Oscar hasn’t changed that.
One thing I learned in talking with the directors is how much FROZEN has impacted individuals.
Chris said, “Reddit round table is where a woman wrote in saying that she was in a bad place and was gonna commit suicide, and saw Frozen and inspired by Elsa and her journey, and she said, and I’m still here. Thank you”
“So, you know, we’re overwhelmed by that. There are autistic kids that watch Frozen that parents tell us they don’t sit still for anything, and they watch Frozen, and they relate to Olaf. Just a few weeks ago a friend of ours working at a nursing home, and a senior citizen who was sort of internal and not doing much. And she watched Frozen. And then she started drawing again. ‘Because she used to draw when she was younger. And she was drawing the Frozen characters. And her husband was just so grateful she was coming back to life.
“So you get those are the stories that we go oh wow. And that’s how I think our life has changed. In that…we always knew that these films had some influence and power. But this one certainly I’ve never experienced anything like this”.
So you can certainly see why it’s not just little girls who are excited for this Friday to get here fast!
Asked about the new story in FROZEN FEVER, Jennifer Lee explained, “One of our story artists was brainstorming. It would be nice to focus on Elsa more”.
They realized that we all wondered what Elsa was going to be like now.
Jennifer said, “I mean, we end the film. We had this tragic character. We end, she’s free, but we don’t know. But we’d love to play with her magic in a different way, and he just said what if she’s a cold, and the cold wreaks havoc. And we, we just went crazy. I mean, it got ridiculous at some points”.
Photo Courtesy of Disney
And while I admit that I adored the new short FROZEN FEVER, it did leave me wanting more. I wanted it to be a full-length movie…..I needed more. I couldn’t “Let it Go”.
So you knew we had to ask!
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF ANNA AND ELSA?
They told us in no uncertain terms…..they just don’t know.
No, there is not a sequel they are working on now, after all, they only finished the short 2 weeks before this interview. They are working on a Broadway musical, which will feature more songs. YAY!
Jennifer Lee explains, “We’re kind of in that place we get to stop for second and then dream again. We don’t know what we’re gonna come up with”.
Might there be a wedding…..you know Anna and Kristoff?
Jennifer tackles this question, “Hey, you know, I’m trying to teach my daughter to take it slow. So I don’t know”. Everyone laughed, but certainly an Arendelle wedding would be incredible!
UPDATE: FROZEN 2 is in production!
Not 1 week after speaking with directors and this big announcement at Disney’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders this morning by Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company; John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios; and actor Josh Gad, who provides the voice of Olaf from Frozen.
Yes……I get why Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee couldn’t exactly spill the beans last week! This is HUGE!
But remember, you don’t have to wait until Frozen 2 to see your favorite characters!! Friday, March 13th before CINDERELLA!
Photo Courtesy of Disney
ON WALT DISNEY’S INFLUENCE…
Those of us who had watched “The Making of FROZEN” learned about how Walt Disney had always wanted to do a film loosely based on The Snow Queen. I have always been intrigued by Walt Disney’s vision and so I asked the directors if Disney had any direction from Walt at all with what he had originally wanted.
In talking, it was clear there weren’t any transcripts or an early story sessions that might have been recorded. Walt Disney didn’t go too far with it. There was an attraction they were doing down at Disneyland that Mark Davis, one of the brilliant animators and Imagineers, had done designs for. We hadn’t seen those designs until after. Until sort of ‘The Making of Frozen’, and his wife was taking us through the sketches that he had done. That was amazing”.
ON RELEASING WITH CINDERELLA…
You can only see FROZEN FEVER with CINDERELLA, so we wanted to know how the directors felt about this pairing.
Jennifer said, “I have to say it’s huge for me because my first Disney film was Cinderella. And then, once it came on VHS, I think I played it 50, 60 times, so then working for Disney was a dream when I was a kid, so to have everything come together….I was blown away by how much it was in line with the animated film. And yet, you know, it went even deeper, and, it was so beautiful. So there were a lot of very nostalgic tears last night”…(referring to the world premiere).
What an interview. I think Jennifer Lee said it best on describing how FROZEN has changed her life by saying, “I always say I think when I’m very old, the last thing left in my head will be ‘Let it Go’, and that’s just fine with me.”
Now, for that trailer…….
CINDERELLA opens in theaters everywhere on March 13th and will have FROZEN FEVER playing in front of it!
More Cinderella World Premiere posts coming next week, including my movie review, interviews with cast and more!