With the recent release of Walt Disney’s Frozen on bluray and dvd, the people of the world have Frozen Fever…and who can blame them? The characters in this animated feature are engaging, the musical score is memorable, and the artistic look of the film is stunning. But how did this film develop, where did the characters come from, and what influences helped dictate the final look? All of these questions and more can be answered by reading “The Art of Frozen” authored by Charles Solomon with a preface by John Lasseter.
This coffee table book is worth every penny of it’s over $30 price tag and is a great wealth of knowledge. The authors utilize in depth interviews with the multiple decision makers of the feature in order to pain an accurate picture of the film’s genesis and original Snow Queen story line. Moody and though provoking pre-animation story board artwork is interspersed throughout the book’s beginning. These visual aids help set the tone and demonstrate to the reader the immense care that was given to the film’s artistic theme. I greatly enjoyed looking at the accompanying art and seeing how the look of Frozen changed, matures, and developed in conjunction with the story line and characters.
Once the story, character, and artistic seeds have been planted, the authors whisk the reader to Norway with the film’s team who traveled to this foreign land to specifically research the Norwegian culture, architecture, and natural landscape; all of which were utilized in some form in the finished picture. Personally, this section was the highlight of the book as it includes pictures of Norway taken during the research trip as well as various artwork. I felt that this particular section had quite a bit of interesting facts about the look of Frozen and made a strong connection between the importance of the Norwegian culture and the finished film’s artistic choices.
The final section of “The Art of Frozen” details both the lead characters (Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and others) and ancillary characters. It is not as text heavy as the previous two sections. Instead, the artwork, model sheets, and character development sketches speak for themselves. This section should be relaxingly enjoyed so as to truly appreciate the creative process that is designing even the smallest character choices. Colors, clothing patterns, facial features, and even distinguishing characteristics are all explored on these pages and I found it fun to imagine what the film would have looked like if different choices were made.
“The Art of Frozen” is an excellent addition to any Disney library and is a book that should be enjoyed over various sittings. Take the time to really look at the artwork presented, understand what is trying to be communicated, and allow yourself to enjoy the experience. Like myself, I don’t think you will be disappointed and you will be looking forward even more to your next viewing of Frozen!