Editor's note: Nora digs up what's new in the world of fairy tales and movies in her first column for EC. We hope you'll take her up on her offer to chat, and she's offered plenty of nifty details.
|"Winter," by Margaret Macdonald, artmagick.com|
Frozen will be directed by Chris Buck, who brought us Tarzan in 1999. It features the vocal talents of Wicked’s Idina Menzel, and Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell. In the tradition of classic Disney films, this one is a musical, with songs by Broadway composers Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, of Book of Mormon and Avenue Q fame.
Frozen is a film with quite an interesting history. Originally titled The Snow Queen, this project has been in various stages of production for over 10 years.
|Nora Stasio's avatar, by Nora|
In the early years of the new millennium, The Walt Disney Animation Company was nearing the end of its "Renaissance" period, which had started in 1989 with The Little Mermaid, also an Andersen adaptation. Throughout the 90s, 2D animated films based on fairy tales and classic stories, such as Beauty and the Beast Aladdin, and Tarzan, had brought the studio great box-office success. There were whisperings that an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale was in the works, but by 2002, the project had been shelved. Some of Disney’s more recent animated films hadn’t been well-received, films like Atlantis: The Lost Empire(2001) and Treasure Planet(2002). The company was interested in pursuing a new direction, moving away from fairy tales and hand-drawn animation.
Everything changed in 2010 when Tangled was released, an adaptation of the classic fairy tale, “Rapunzel”. It was animated using CGI, like all modern films, but Tangled was a musical fairy tale, like a classic Disney film. It achieved huge success, becoming Disney’s second highest grossing film worldwide (The Lion King being the first.)
This is when The Snow Queen came back off of the shelf. It was renamed Frozen and will be animated in CGI. Our main characters are Princess Elsa and Princess Anna.
Disney recently released this synopsis for the film:
“In 'Frozen,' a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, so Anna (voice of Bell) must team up with Kristoff, a daring mountain man, on the grandest of journeys to find the Snow Queen (voice of Menzel) and put an end to the icy spell. Encountering Everest-like extremes, mystical creatures and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction."
This plot doesn’t seem to bear much resemble to Andersen’s story, which follows a small girl (Gerda) trying to save a small boy (Kai) from an evil enchantment. The Snow Queen is a powerful spirit, who takes the enchanted Kai to her palace, and Gerda chases after them. She fights to redeem her best friend’s soul and bring him back home.
Perhaps it’s only fitting that the title of the film was changed, since the two stories have turned out to be so different. Would you prefer to see a closer adaptation of Andersen’s “The Snow Queen,” or are you excited for Frozen nonetheless? Will you be seeing it this Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments!
Bio: Nora writes, "I have been a lover of creative writing and fairytales for basically my entire life! I just graudated Cum Laude from Rutgers where I completed a minor in English, with a focus in Creative Writing and Shakespeare (I majored in Psychology)."