Disney fans, rejoice, because we finally have a new look at concept art from the studio’s upcoming animated project Frozen. The film is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen and is due out on Nov. 27, 2013. We haven’t seen much from the movie to date, but the above new concept art offers a good idea of what fans can expect.
The image shows Anna (Kristen Bell) and her friend Kristoff walking through the snowy world that Frozen is set in. The woman behind the cold is Anna’s sister Elsa (Idina Menzel), better known as the Snow Queen. Co-directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck opened up about the project in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“We wanted to push it to the extreme,” Lee said of the scene shown in the concept footage. “The unnatural quality of the ice emphasizes this is not, you know, sky-made ice, but ice made by someone.”
She added, “Anna is a very relatable character to those of us who are not superheroes. She’s wonderfully flawed, but fearless. And wants to do the right thing. Those are the characters I love. … From the Kristoff angle, we were trying to get at what it’s like to be a guy, trying to understand women — basically,”
Here’s the official plot synopsis of the film:
When a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, Anna, a fearless optimist, teams up with extreme mountain man Kristoff and his sidekick reindeer Sven on an epic journey to find Anna’s sister Elsa, the Snow Queen, and put an end to her icy spell. Encountering mystical trolls, a funny snowman named Olaf, Everest-like extremes and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction.
So. Anna is a princess instead of a commoner. I’d be more interested in the Scandinavian portrayal aspect had they kept her name from the fairy tale, “Gerda”, instead of switching to a more neutral “Anna”. That tells me that I shouldn’t expect much if anything in the way of an interesting cultural slant. Seriously though, “Elsa”, “Kristoff”, “Sven”, “Olaf”, “Anna”? One of these things is not like the others.
I was also hoping the aspect of the Snow Queen as a semi-neutral force of nature or fae-esque queen might be kept, but I guess that was too much to ask. Another beautiful, older woman with power is obviously evil and therefore must be destroyed plot for the impressionable young minds then. Watch, despite being Anna’s sister and Kristoff also having blonde hair — indicating it must be a genetic norm in the area, the queen will probably have black hair. Because having the same coloring as the protagonists is unheard of for Disney villains. We need our clearly born as either black or white/good or evil mentality.
The latest synopsis also kills any straggling hope I held for the inclusion of the Witch with the flower garden, the Clever Princess, and the Robber Girl. It looks like all the purposes they served in Gerda’s story have been co-opted by male characters in Anna’s story. What was originally a fairy tale steeped in the strength of women seems to have removed them from the equation as much as possible. I hope I’m wrong and reading too much into very little info though.
And the bit about Kristoff trying to understand women, like we’re some sort of strange and exotic animal? Oh yeah, that’s never been done before. Please drop that BS.
I’ll still see it, because goodness knows I love me some Disney fluff, but I’m a bit disappointed because it could have been something so different and I love the original Snow Queen myth.
I hold hope that this time Disney won’t waste having Idina Menzel on cast for one of their musical features (coughEnchantedcough) and have her sing a couple of songs.