Production Notes (Continued)
Filmmakers spent time in Oslo, where they met with experts in cultural
studies and the
history of the region. Deeply inspired by Nordic folklore, filmmakers saw
several nods to
the traditional storytelling, including trolls.
Up north in Karasjok and its surrounding areas, filmmakers met with Sami
ethnographers, cultural practitioners and joikers. Filmmakers learned about Sami
history, culture and art. They visited the Norwegian Sami Parliament and
RiddoDuottarMuseat, a Sami museum, and attended a traditional reindeer herding
"We were deeply touched by our time with the Sami in their homelands," says Del
Vecho. During production, filmmakers continued to seek consultation with a Sami
working group known as the Verddet on elements within the film that were
their visit. "We are so grateful to the Sami for their continued collaboration,"
The landscape in northern Norway inspired production designer Michael Giaimo.
throughout northern Norway, we saw beautiful fall foliage," he says. "The height
trees is incredible-and that works so beautifully in the 'Frozen' language,
based on verticality. It was truly striking."
According to Buck, it wasn't just the trees that featured the striking
colors. "The ground
cover was just gorgeous and something we hadn't really expected. It was really
and is reflected in the film."
The filmmakers also visited TromsÃ¸, spending time at the botanic gardens,
regional plants-which proved valuable when filling the enchanted forest. They
to the Lofoten Islands as well.
The team explored Lake Inari in Finland, passing the sacred Sami island
Filmmakers also visited the Sami Siida Museum and sat with Sami scholars and
They also took a pivotal eight-mile hike in Finland forests to Pielpajarvi
Church-an experience that proved a valuable source of inspiration for what would
become the film's enchanted forest sequences, as well as the characters and
would inhabit it. "My first impression was how still and quiet it was," says
story Marc E. Smith. "Most of the birds had migrated south, so there was no
the sound of our footsteps. The deeper into the forest we traveled, the more it
felt like a
meditation. But I couldn't help but feel as if we were quietly being watched."
"It was as if the forest was alive," adds Lee. "The giant boulders we saw
seemed out of
place-out there by themselves, as if they'd really been thrown by the giants
so much about."
Filmmakers heard stories about nature spirits in the forest. "We joked that
seem to like me," says Lee. "I fell down and ripped my pants. Everything went
me-while Chris was just skipping along."
Says Buck, "I had a great time. Norway and Finland felt like a fairy-tale
world. It's very
cozy and warm and wonderful."
Iceland inspired filmmakers in a different way. According to Buck, Norway and
contrast with Iceland struck the filmmakers and fueled their burgeoning concept
fairytale and myth. "We found that the fairy-tale settings of Norway and Finland
Anna-she'd feel at home there," he says. "Elsa, on the other hand, strangely
home in dark, mythic Iceland."
Lee, it turns out, could relate to Elsa. "I felt like I was home," she says.
completely fine with things that should've scared me. 'I'll go into the
volcano,' I said. 'I'll
walk on that glacier.' I knew I could slip and die if I fell into the crevasse,
but I wasn't
According to Smith, one of the other key learnings in Iceland was the
nature. "When we saw the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, the weather turned from a few
scattered clouds to a deluge of rain and hail in such a short time while we were
he says. "At Gljufrabui-a hidden waterfall-we had to remove our shoes and walk
through an ice-cold stream of water to get to the waterfall. We could've been
on jagged rocks and not known it because our feet were so frozen. Unlike Elsa,
does bother me!"
Filmmakers also visited the black-sand beach Reynisfjara on the south coast
which would serve as reference for Elsa's monumental entry point into the dark
Says Smith, "I remember thinking to myself how dramatic the setting was and how
though Elsa has enormous powers, nature is perhaps more powerful."
Smith says their walk on Solheimajokull-a glacier in southern Iceland,
volcanoes Katla and Eyjafjallajokull-"really brought home the power of nature."
For Buck, the power of Iceland was overwhelming. "I love adventurous things, but
preferred the cozy, fairy-tale place," he says.
"Growing up means adapting.
Puzzling out your world and your place."
New Story Unfolds Against Fall Backdrop
When "Frozen" debuted in 2013, it largely reflected the icy ideas that might
a movie named "Frozen"-cool tones, snow and ice-despite the fact that it took
during summer. But "Frozen 2" is rooted in change, so production designer
Giaimo embraced the idea. "Anna and Elsa go on very specific journeys in 'Frozen
and they both grow and mature in the process," says Giaimo. "Little by little
peel back layers, revealing more and more depth and dimension in these
For me, that meant removing the layers of snow and getting down into the earth."
According to Giaimo, the new palette in "Frozen 2" embraced the colors of
season that's symbolic of change. But traditional colors seemed counter to the
"Frozen" world. "A fall palette means an incredibly vibrant environment with
colors that I was initially concerned would pull focus from our characters, or
look like a
new place and time," he says. "But we were able to create a 'Frozen' version of
still felt cool. We minimized the yellows in favor of oranges, orange-reds and
It's distinctive to our world."
"Frozen 2" also introduces the four elements-water, wind, earth and fire-that
be connected to the calling. Each element is associated with a color throughout
Says co-production designer Lisa Keene, "Fire is represented by hot magenta,
greenish-blue or cyan, earth is a darker purple-bluish hue, and air or wind is a
blue. The colors are more or less saturated as needed."
According to Keene, the representation of the elements also includes a
"We see diamond-shaped ice crystals at the end of 'Into the Unknown' with the
of the elements inside," says Keene. "The diamond motif is also in Queen Iduna's
shawl, as well as at the entrance to the enchanted forest."
The story begins in Arendelle where Elsa hears the voice calling her,
compelling her to
embark on an adventure that will take her-as well as Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and
a host of new places, including a mysterious enchanted forest, a black-sand
dark sea, a paralyzing cavern and a climactic locale alluded to in Queen Iduna's
David Womersley, art director of environments, says that since Arendelle was
for a mostly winter environment, his team had to ensure it would look good in
"When buildings are covered in snow, it creates a specific graphic look with
he says. "Some of the buildings were originally designed to look good against
ice. Not only did we have to remove the snow from those we wanted to reuse, we
upgrade several buildings with new colors and details so they'd look good
against a new
backdrop that included not just trees and leaves, but fall decorations."
The Arendelle community went through a bit of a renovation-buildings received
color scheme, banners were placed in celebration of the fall season, roof
details filled in
where snow might have been. But the real update happened in the computer. "The
technology changed so much since the first film that we had to do a lot of
says Womersley. "We get a lot closer to some of the buildings, so we wanted to
them look as good as possible."
Crowds supervisor Yasser Hamed and his team were responsible for populating
Arendelle. "Anna walks through Arendelle and she's really happy as she interacts
the crowd," he says. "The crowd has to feel alive and dense. And now that
open, there are people from around the world living there."
The film is largely set in an enchanted forest-a location filled with foliage
underscored in magic. "I don't know if you know about enchanted forests, but
places of transformation," says director Jennifer Lee, "whether you like it or
Relationships are tested. Everything you thought you knew proves to be wrong.
that were once too strong for the world are suddenly not enough. It's easy to
According to Giaimo, the fact that this forest is enchanted heavily influenced
the look of
the forest. "It is a beautiful place that's entirely surrounded by a wall of
mist," he says.
"We differentiate what fall looks like inside the enchanted forest versus
are no blue skies in the enchanted forest. And since there is a wall of mist,
deep layers of atmosphere that are filled with mystery."
Artists were inspired by the artist Eyvind Earle, who was a celebrated part
Animation in the 1950s and behind the ethereal backgrounds and color choices in
"Sleeping Beauty." Says head of environments Sean Jenkins, "When you look at his
work, it's all about silhouette and shape and negative space-but how do you
that in 3D?"
Adds Keene, "The way he grouped his trees in his landscapes was compelling
loved his verticals. I also liked how turn-of-the-century Russian painters
depicted light in
their landscapes. Their work is just beautiful. It speaks to a palette we don't
here in Southern California. There's a lot more atmosphere in those paintings."
According to Womersley, artists consulted a botanist from Oslo, Norway, to
were populating the forest with appropriate vegetation. Among the 10 varieties
is the aspen, which features predominantly in the film. "Our enchanted forest is
from what most people might expect," says Womersley. "It's not the oak forest
'Snow White' where everything is curved and convoluted, because aspens have
Adds Keene, "Fall is also on the ground. In fact, often it's more on the
ground than in
the trees, because they're so tall. There are beautiful ground covers that
hue in the fall. Add that to the trees and we ended up with an explosion of
was something we had to monitor to ensure we didn't lose our characters."
Examples of the ground cover include bearberry, crowberry and bracken fern.
one was fireweed," says Keene. "Fireweed is a really beautiful plant. It's very
the spring, it's green-leafed with little purple flowers on top. In the fall,
seed out like a dandelion and the leaves turn a brilliant cranberry red. It was
decorative, so we used it a lot."
According to Jenkins, artists also explored textures within the forest in an
achieve authenticity. "We really wanted to add life to the items we placed in
he says. "The rock faces have history-water has run through them, there's a
dirt, organic material growing on them and leaves that have fallen on top of it
The enchanted forest was enveloped by a mysterious mist three decades ago-a
product of the resident spirits who were angered by a fierce battle between
soldiers and the Northuldra. They've resided inside an impenetrable dome ever
"It's almost alive because it's constantly moving," says effects supervisor
"The shape is always evolving, which was a big challenge for us. And the way it
to light looks magical and cool."
The mist, by design, is a volume that features some sparkle-to showcase the
it all-as well as the colors of the elements. "It had to look both soft and
believably impenetrable," says Marlon West, head of effects animation. "It opens
closes when Elsa and Anna arrive. But once they're inside, the sky is altered to
that they are encased in an enchanted forest."
According to Mohit Kallianpur, director of cinematography lighting, if the
mist were to lift,
his team would create an entirely different look for the forest setting. "We'd
beautiful shafts of light to create a sense of warmth, beautiful clear skies and
a lot of
light bouncing around the trees and coming through the leaves."
BLACK-SAND BEACH & DARK SEA
Inspired by the black-sand beach and the basalt column cliffs in Reynisfjara
south coast of Iceland, this coastal set is the launchpad for what is one of the
parts of Elsa's journey. According to Keene, the set was designed devoid of
color. "It's a
transition," she says. "She's leaving a lot behind to move forward, and she's
with no idea what lies ahead."
According to Womersley, it is a volcanic beach, which seems appropriate for
sequence. "It needed to be a very bleak location," he says. "We decided to make
almost like a black-and-white movie-the only color on the beach is her, and
later in the
Dark Sea, only Elsa and the Nokk have any color."
According to Scott Beattie, director of cinematography layout, the camera is
part of the storytelling. "The sequence is meant to be dramatic and dynamic," he
"We wanted to add energy to the camera-most of it has a handheld feel."
Lighting scenes that feature so much darkness presented Kallianpur's lighting
a few challenges. "Our job was to support Elsa's emotional journey at that
says. "We wanted to make the background really subdued and gray, but we did make
sure that she popped. No matter how small she is in frame when she's running
the water, we introduce quite a bit of color around her. Whether it's through
that she's stepping on-the ice crystals that generate light-or just her clothing
she reads no matter what the action is, and there's a lot of action."
Elsa's magic takes on a less lyrical form in the Dark Sea. "She's in a battle
Nokk and the ocean," says effects supervisor Erin Ramos. "She's pretty
built a giant castle in the first film. But in this case, she's battling the
forces of nature.
She is really stretching herself."
Adds head of effects animation Dale Mayeda, "In the first film, when she
fjord, it was very stable with snowflakes beneath her feet. This time, it's not
stable. Sometimes she falls down. Her magic in this sequence is reactionary-last
moment efforts to save herself. The shape language is sharp and jagged. We can
see her signature snowflake shapes within it, but this is what you might call
When Anna and Elsa get separated, Anna ends up in a dark cavern with no clear
out. According to Keene, the sequence brings to light-so to speak-Anna's own
journey. "This is also a transformation," says Keene. "She's enduring some
stuff, actually. She's dark emotionally and everything around her is dark, which
Beattie and his team used layout to help establish the mood. "We wanted to
make it all
feel uncomfortable as we get into the sequence," he says. "Then it was just a
subtle push-ins and moves to add height and emotion to what's going on. We kept
everything pretty wide so that it felt empty and Anna would feel more alone and
According to Kallianpur, his team had to be strategic to light a dark
which the main character is dressed largely in black. "We had to make sure that
would read and that we could see her acting," says Kallianpur, who adds that the
of light is elusive. "We make it feel believable, even though it is coming from
impossible source. But from a story standpoint, that is one of the lowest points
Kallianpur says that leading up to the sequence in the cavern, filmmakers
drained the color. "Apart from the Dark Sea, it's probably our grayest and
darkest sequence. But there is actually a dark side and a hopeful side, so when
look at the sequence you will see if you're facing Anna, it's really dark on
On screen left, we have a little bit of light, which represents hope. As Anna
gets up and
realizes she needs to do the next right thing, we slowly bring in a little bit
"Where the Northwind meets the sea, there's a river full of memory. Sleep my
safe and sound. For in this river, all is found." The lyrics in the lullaby
sings to young Anna and Elsa-while mysterious and ethereal-offer clues to
that the devoted mother knows Elsa may someday seek. In "Frozen 2," Elsa
where she needs to go, but she has no idea what she'll find there.
Ultimately, the sequence, which is largely accompanied by the song "Show
features a stunning setting and a host of revelations. But for the storytellers,
technicians responsible for conceiving and executing the climactic locale, it
complicated. "It's really the focal point of the whole movie," says Giaimo-but,
that's all he'll reveal.
"Up is down, day is night when you're not there. Oh, you're my only
landmark, so I'm lost in the woods, wondering if you still care."
STRIKING THE RIGHT NOTE
"Frozen 2" Features Seven Original Songs from Kristen Anderson-Lopez &
Robert Lopez, Score by Christophe Beck, Plus End-Credit Artists Include Panic!
At The Disco, Kacey Musgraves and Weezer
Walt Disney Animation Studios' upcoming feature film "Frozen 2" features a
soundtrack, including original songs from Oscar- and GRAMMY-winning
Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, original score by GRAMMY nominee
Christophe Beck, and end-credit artists Panic! At The Disco, Kacey Musgraves and
"The music of the Lopezes and Christophe Beck are part of the DNA of
director Chris Buck. "We couldn't imagine building 'Frozen 2' without them. They
such a rich, emotional understanding of the world and characters, and through
incredible music we have been able to really deepen and expand the story."
"The songs and score of 'Frozen 2' reflect the growth of the characters and
deepening of their story," adds director Jennifer Lee, who worked alongside Buck
the Lopezes as she penned the screenplay. "The music is fun but emotional,
yet powerful, intimate but also epic. Kristen, Bobby and Christophe have
outdone themselves and taken the music to brave new heights."
ORIGINAL SONGS BY KRISTEN ANDERSON-LOPEZ & ROBERT LOPEZ
Seven all-new original songs were written for "Frozen 2." "From the beginning
collaboration with Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck and Peter Del Vecho, everything
created has come from big questions-what is the story that we all as artists,
individually and collectively, need to tell?" says Anderson-Lopez. "Bobby and I
the story through the lens of which moments of our story lead to big
so strong our characters can no longer talk but need to sing."
Adds Lopez, "Our tradition of songwriting comes from the world of musical
where songs must always forward the story in a fresh and surprising way. Every
has to take a character on a journey."
ORIGINAL SONGS - TRACK LIST
"All is Found" - performed by Evan Rachel Wood
"It is an epic melody in disguise," says Lopez. "It's really Queen Iduna's
to Elsa, and it serves as a road map to the mythology of the story."
Adds Anderson-Lopez, "Evan Rachel Wood has a warmth to her voice, so it's
to give her this mysterious and intimate song."
The song and its message are so important to the story that the theme recurs
orchestrally in critical moments as a reminder of Iduna's relationship with the
"Some Things Never Change" - performed by Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh
and Jonathan Groff
Anna, who is finally where she wants to be, is reassuring Olaf in the song
everything has to change-in part because that's what she wants deep down. She
her family together-including Elsa-and as she says in the song, "I'm holding on
According to Buck, the title is misleading. "Our gang confronts change in
'Frozen 2,'" he
says. "In the end, nothing will ever be the same."
"Into the Unknown" - performed by Idina Menzel (featuring Norwegian singer
The song forces Elsa to ask herself some important questions: Where does she
belong? What is her purpose? The nature of her journey is epic, which is
reflected in the
songs. "There is something pulling, almost seducing Elsa," says Anderson-Lopez.
voice that only she can hear."
Adds Lee, "She starts off saying 'I hear you, but I don't want to.' But she
herself. It's this wonderful tug-of-war and ends up with her surrendering as she
the edge of a cliff. It's the catalyst for change."
Del Vecho agrees. "The song really starts Elsa's personal journey beyond
really a show-stopping song that drives the entire story forward."
Menzel inspired the songwriters. "She's our muse," Anderson-Lopez says. "Her
can go from low into a charged, passionate place-it's so exciting. And in 'Into
Unknown,' she's really vulnerable-it's a side of Elsa you haven't heard yet.
mature. It's questioning. It was so fun to explore with her."
"When I Am Older" - performed by Josh Gad
'When I Am Older' actually does double duty," says Lopez. "We get to see
that Olaf is
changing, and we get to explore more of the enchanted forest, which is a big
part of the
Adds Anderson-Lopez, "Olaf is alone in the forest, but this forest is unlike
he's ever seen. Things catch on fire, the wind takes him for a ride, there are
footprints, and he sees eyes looking up at him from the water."
Olaf, of course, is optimistic, believing it'll all make sense when he's
Anderson-Lopez, "There's an important theme in the bridge of the song: 'Growing
means adapting, puzzling out your world and your place.' That's really what all
characters are doing."
"Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People (Cont.)" - performed by Jonathan Groff
Groff revisits the ditty he so eloquently sang in "Frozen," continuing its story
what Kristoff is going through this time.
"Lost in the Woods" - performed by Jonathan Groff
The song channels '80s glam rock, illustrating Kristoff's struggles to move
forward in his
relationship with Anna. "He doesn't know why Anna left without telling him,"
director Jennifer Lee. "The song is hilarious because it represents what he
love. Plus, he's accompanied by singing reindeer, which makes complete sense
because it's Kristoff's fantasy. It's genuine, too. He's singing about his love
Says Anderson-Lopez, "He's a guy's guy who's falling into a bit of a crisis
true love isn't understanding what he's trying to do. The 1980s was that brief
music when men were allowed to sing those big power ballads-and to be vulnerable
while doing it."
Groff does the voices of all the reindeer, too. "An entire crew of reindeer
says head of animation Rebecca Wilson Bresee. "They sing at the top of their
Crowds supervisor Yasser Hamed and his team were responsible for animating
reindeer crowds. "We have never animated quadrupeds in crowds before," he says.
'Zootopia,' the animal characters were actually bipeds. So this was new. Then
add to it
the fact that they're singing."
"I have always been so different. Normal rules did not apply. Is this
the day, are you the way I finally find out why?"
- "Show Yourself," "Frozen 2"
"Show Yourself" - performed by Idina Menzel and Evan Rachel Wood
The song marks the moment Elsa finds her true purpose. "Elsa discovers what's
the voice that's been calling her," says Anderson-Lopez.
Adds Menzel, "Everything culminates for Elsa within this song. She tames the
rides the water horse to Ahtohallan. It's a mythical, spiritual, amazing moment.
comes to really love herself."
"The Next Right Thing" - performed by Kristen Bell
The deeply emotional song is the last song of the film. "Anna needs to choose
over despair," says Lopez. "It's a completely different tone from the first
Adds Anderson-Lopez, "I had recently watched people close to us go through the
unimaginable. As a lyricist and a mother, I looked at their strength and courage
wanted to break that down to figure out what it takes to get over something like
all have seen darkness. In the hands of our eternal optimist Anna, what would it
You break it down into the next breath, the next step."
PANIC! AT THE DISCO, KACEY MUSGRAVES & WEEZER TAPPED FOR END
According to executive music producer Tom MacDougall, who won a GRAMMY for
"Frozen" soundtrack, the "Frozen 2" soundtrack features a wide range of songs
eclectic mix of artists performing the end-credit versions. Panic! At The Disco
"Into the Unknown," Kacey Musgraves was called on for "All Is Found," and Weezer
does a version of "Lost in the Woods."
"While we can't wait for the world to hear these songs, we feel like we got a
of how people will react with how quickly our end-credits artists signed on," he
"Their excitement for the 'Frozen' world and these songs is represented in their
creative takes on each of their versions."
ORIGINAL SCORE COMPOSED BY CHRISTOPHE BECK
Beck, who's behind the score for "Frozen," returns to Arendelle for "Frozen
ensured a cohesive musical thread throughout the film, weaving elements from the
original songs into the score. Beck once again utilized traditional Norwegian
to showcase the unique setting of the film-"magical, but rooted in real
well as the Norwegian female choir Cantus, who were recorded in Norway.
According to the composer, the new score reflects the evolution of the
"Similar to how Elsa and Anna have grown up since the last film, the new score
matured and introduces more sophisticated musical concepts and thematic
he says. "The story's emotional arc is more complex and intense than the first
wanted the score's thematic concepts and instrumentation to follow suit. I
exploring extreme dynamic contrasts, harmonic complexity, intricate textures
vibrant colors, and hugely expressive melodic moments."
For "Frozen 2," Beck created a new theme for Elsa that underscores her
journey of self-discovery and determination to understand her powers. "Her theme
reflects this sense
of yearning with her strong perseverance and becomes very abstract and intense
she interacts with magical elements," says Beck, who also wrote themes for the
Northuldra people and the four elements, as well as a special theme to celebrate
bond between Anna and Elsa. "Their relationship is the heart of our story, so I
reflect their special bond in the score," says Beck. "The new theme embodies
strength and tenderness when they're together but also their melancholy and
dissonance when they're apart."
According to Beck, the score was recorded with 91 of Los Angeles' finest
largest he's ever recorded with. "I wanted to push the boundaries of what they
play together," he says. "They delivered an incredibly virtuosic and technically
demanding performance to create this epic sound.
"I particularly wanted to feature woodwinds in this score because they add so
color and richness to the orchestra," continues Beck. "They are often
contemporary film scoring, so I'm happy I was able to highlight their special,
impressionistic qualities throughout."
"Frozen 2" digital deluxe soundtrack
1. Introduction - Christophe Beck and Frode Fjellheim
2. The Northuldra - Christophe Beck
3. Sisters - Christophe Beck
4. Exodus - Christophe Beck
5. The Mist - Christophe Beck
6. Wind - Christophe Beck
7. Iduna's Scarf - Christophe Beck and Frode Fjellheim
8. Fire and Ice - Christophe Beck
9. Earth Giants - Christophe Beck
10. The Ship - Christophe Beck
11. River Slide - Christophe Beck
12. Dark Sea - Christophe Beck
13. Ghosts of Arendelle Past - Christophe Beck
14. Gone Too Far - Christophe Beck
15. Rude Awakening - Christophe Beck
16. The Flood - Christophe Beck
17. Free Again - Christophe Beck and Frode Fjellheim
18. Reunion - Christophe Beck
19. Epilogue - Christophe Beck and Frode Fjellheim
According to Beck, while the score underscores the drama, emotion and action,
fun. "It really leans into the lighter, comedic moments and serves as a breath
of fresh air
to counterbalance the story's emotional depth and intensity," he says. "I
wanted to reinforce Olaf's wise-cracking humor by carefully crafting the music
his performance. For example, during one of his long hilarious monologues, I
page from Carl Stalling's book by scoring the literal action on screen - quickly
between brief musical references and bringing back short snippets from the first
actual Mickey-Mousing if you will!"
The "Frozen 2" soundtrack is available from Walt Disney Records beginning
2019. The "Frozen 2" vinyl cast songs soundtrack and "Frozen 2" digital
deluxe soundtrack, including score by composer Christophe Beck, are also
"How to rise from the floor when it's not you I'm rising for?"
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