Quickly breaking box office records is Walt Disney’s “Frozen 2” as it is Disney’s 6th movie to hit 1 Billion dollars this year, according to an article published by CNBC. What does it take to make an animation film as successful and dynamic as Frozen 2? These questions and more were answers by creators of the film during a press event at Disney Animation Studios.
From Elsa and Anna’s costumes designs, to creating the enchanted forest, animators wanted to ensure that the film was beyond the normalcy of Disney animation. In order to break cinematic boundaries, animators had the rigorous task of making each character and their environment into something people haven’t seen thus far.
Animators broke down several elements of the film making process during the press event. They gave examples of how both Elsa and Anna individually went through twenty different costume designs to make sure the outfits throughout the film flow realistically, and how each tree in Frozen’s enchanted forest all have very specific color schemes.
“The costumes in this film are unlike anything we have done at Disney before. The layers in the material, the silhouettes and shapes and the performances that they are going to have to do in terms of motion were all beyond where we have been in previous months,” said Gregory Smith head of characters and technical animation of Frozen 2.
While the creative process in making Frozen 2 was unique in many ways, there was inspiration from past Disney films. For instance, animators said Disney’s film “Sleeping Beauty” inspired much of the forest in Frozen 2.
Staying true to traditional Disney story telling while creating something new and exciting is something that the creators of “Myth: A Frozen Tale,” were able to accomplish as well. Myth: A Frozen Tale is a virtual reality experience that takes place in the Frozen universe.
The idea behind Myth came after film director and screenwriter, Jen Lee, approached Jeff Gipson, director of Myth, wanting him to create a short VR film for Frozen.
During the press event, Gipson expressed how he was nervous to create the film and wanted to make this story special because to the studio, the world of Frozen is extremely important. Gipson started to get inspiration through thinking of his childhood.
“I started thinking about stories that affected me growing up, and how can I bring this personal inspiration to a film like this,” said Gipson.
This new VR film takes the audience along a storybook journey of the four Earth elements, (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water). The variety of stunning colors, several realistic looking mythical creatures and amazing music played throughout, all blend perfectly to make this 360 film an overall truly magical experience.
While enjoying the film you will notice that it has elements of realism, yet it still takes on the traditional Disney storytelling of story pop up books. The old school design is something Gipson expressed and was key to this short VR film being created.
“I think what I am most proud of is kind of bringing this classic Disney aesthetic. Like Britteny Lees beautiful art direction with hand drawn animation and marrying that with computer graphics and kind of like this hybrid kind of piece that is true to Disney but also our world of Frozen and bringing audiences into that world,” said Gipson.
What guides the audience during the linear VR story is the changing colors schemes that represent the nature of the world you’re experiencing.
“Color plays an extremely important role in this film every element has two color themes and we new that we needed them to reflect the environment,” said Mike Anderson VR environmental lead and Disney Animation Studios.
So far there isn’t a time frame on releasing the film into the general public, though it is something that the creative team is currently trying to figure out.
“We are working on some ideas on how we are going to release this to the public its kind of one of our high priorities right now. But it will be at sun dance,” said Gipson.