Just two weeks ago, I sat in the newly renovated Roy E. Disney Animation Building for the coldest event of the year!
I’m talking about a screening of the brand new “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”, followed by an exclusive interview with the directors and songwriters. This is part of the Frozen franchise after all, so you know the songs will be brilliant (and sung by kids for years to come)!
Disclaimer: Disney*Pixar invited me to California on an all-expenses paid trip, in exchange for my coverage of events. Affilate link in post.
Where Can I See “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”?
I know that is the first question on everyone’s mind, and I have great news! You can go see “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” this week!
The 21-minute featurette opens in front of Disney*Pixar’s original movie “Coco” in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.
TIP: “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” is playing in front of Coco for a limited time only, so don’t wait to see the film.
Read my Coco Movie Review for any questions you might have. No worries, there are NO SPOILERS!
The Original Cast is Back
Last time we spotted our favorite friends from Arendelle was in the short film, “Frozen Fever”, playing before “Cinderella”. Back then I had the chance to interview Frozen Fever Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. <– Head on over there to see the “Frozen” Oscar I spotted! Of course, shortly after that interview the big announcement was made – “Frozen 2” was in production!
I’m grateful that we don’t have to wait until “Frozen 2” releases to see the cast once again on the big screen.
Yes, the entire original cast is back! Featuring the voices of Jonathan Groff, Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Josh Gad, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” will not disappoint. How do I know? I watched it not once, but TWICE!
But before I screened the short film earlier this month while at Walt Disney Studios, I was able to get a sneak peek of it during D23 Expo. In fact, there was a surprise guest onstage that might have sung a few bars! I knew right then and there that this would be another outstanding adventure, one our kids couldn’t wait for.
A New Christmas Tradition
In Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure,” Olaf goes door to door in Arendelle in search of the best holiday traditions to bring home to Anna and Elsa, who are celebrating their first Christmas in forever.
“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” takes place just 6 months after “Frozen” left off. Not much time has passed at all, helping children to follow along.
The film is visually stunning. Everyone who has seen “Frozen” knows how beautiful Arendelle is, whether in winter or spring, so you can imagine the Christmas decorations, though you see reference to other holidays celebrated. The opening scene features the Arendelle castle with such vibrant colors. I was in love – it reminded me of seeing “Beauty and the Beast” the first time. I was mesmerized.
From candy canes to stockings and more, children will giggle with delight as Olaf learns about holiday traditions. The kids will no doubt uncover a few traditions they’d never even heard of before. I know I did.
Humor and So Much Emotion
We were fortunate to sit down with Directors Stevie Wermers-Skelton & Kevin Deters, Producer Roy Conli and Songwriters Elyssa Samsel & Kate Anderson, after viewing the short film.
Fun Fact: Directors Skelton and Deters were the team behind the Emmy®-winning television special “Prep & Landing.”
I have to admit that I am so surprised at how much of a story they were able to convey in just 21 minutes. It’s full of humor, a task at hand, and quite a bit of emotion. The fact that this team can make you tear up in just a few minutes – that’s talent.
Tears? Well, not everyone will cry, but the emotion is there. You see, Anna and Elsa realize they have no holiday traditions. Elsa recalls the holidays spent with their parents, and to be honest, that was pretty emotional for me. In fact, later that afternoon when I had a chance to talk privately with the songwriters, I told them how much they hit the nail on the head with their lyrics. I cried as I shared my own story of holidays without my mom, having lost her too soon.
But though the emotion is conveyed, the team does an incredible job with the story, as everyone moves forward to discover what really matters and what they discovered their tradition to be. No spoilers here folks.
It’s that emotion that John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios, is known for. When the directors pitched various options for the short film, Lasseter knew it was the family traditions storyline that would work.
“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” Easter Eggs
I love looking for those hidden “Easter Eggs” in a film. This film is no exception and keep an eye out for the following:
- Carved “Prep & Landing” mantle pieces in different scenes, as a nod to Directors Skelton and Deters.
- In Olaf’s sleigh full of items, look for Baymax’s fist.
The New Christmas Music We’ll All Be Singing
The film features four new original songs written by Elyssa Samsel (right) and Kate Anderson (left). What a wonderful opportunity it was to to meet them.
Fun Fact: Kate Anderson is the sister of Kristin Anderson-Lopez, part of the husband/wife duo who wrote the songs for “Frozen”, for which they won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, “Let it Go”. They both were at the “Coco” premiere, as Kate was there for “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” and Kristin was there as songwriter for “Coco”. Talent runs in the family!
The songs are integral to this film, especially since they are needed to convey so much emotion and information too in such a short timeframe.
“When We’re Together”—a song in which Kristoff, Anna, Elsa and Olaf realize that being together with loved ones is the best part of the holiday season, took the longest to write. I mean when John Lasseter tells you, “No pressure, but write the next Silent Night“…..I can only imagine.
I think the Samsel/Anderson team got it though. I know this because the very next morning, having seen the film twice, I woke up singing the tune to “When We’re Together”.
Fun Fact: The SOUNDTRACK IS AVAILABLE NOW! You can listen to a sampling there too! A must to play for this holiday season!
TOYS: You have got to see the cutest toys and books from the movie too!
Let’s take a look at OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE…
OLAF’S FROZEN ADVENTURE opens in theatres everywhere on November 22nd in front of COCO for a limited time only!
MORE FROM THIS DISNEY/PIXAR/ABC PRESS TRIP (MORE COMING DAILY):
Pixar Coco Movie Review – No Spoilers, but parents questions answered!
Hollywood Coco Premiere – My red carpet experience!
Interview with Benjamin Bratt from Coco
Interview with Gael Garcia Bernal – Hector from Coco!
6 Things to Know about Big Hero 6 The Series – premiering Nov 20th!
Interview – Kevin Probably Saves the World – Politics, Religion, and Jason Ritter!
Interview – Designated Survivor – Italia Ricci and more!