I was honored to be invited to the #PixarCocoEvent, a Disney press junket for Disney Pixar COCO, Big Hero 6 Baymak Returns, Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, Designated Survivor, and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. As a guest, my expenses were covered in return for a series of articles about my experiences and reviews of the programming.
If you are any kind of fan of Frozen you no doubt know that Frozen 2 has been in the works for a while. And while we are all anxiously awaiting its own release the Disney Animation team has given us a Frozen short, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, to hold us over until that time.
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure will ONLY be available for a limited time in theaters. Beginning November 22, you can see it with Disney Pixar COCO. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure will show first, to be followed by COCO. As part of the #PixarCocoEvent press junket, we were one of the first groups to see Olaf’s Frozen Adventure in its entirety. I laughed, cried, and had my heart melt multiple times over. Here are the moments that melted my heart and what I learned from our interview with Directors Stevie Wermers-Skelton and Kevin Deters, Producer Roy Conli and Songwriters Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson.
About Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
Olaf (voice of Josh Gad) teams up with Sven on a merry mission in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 21-minute featurette “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.” It’s the first holiday season since the gates reopened and Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) and Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) host a celebration for all of Arendelle. When the townspeople unexpectedly leave early to enjoy their individual holiday customs, the sisters realize they have no family traditions of their own. So, Olaf sets out to comb the kingdom to bring home the best traditions and save this first Christmas for his friends. Directed by Emmy®-winning filmmakers Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (“Prep & Landing”), produced by Oscar® winner Roy Conli (“Big Hero 6”), and featuring a screenplay by Jac Schaeffer and four original songs by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” opens in front of Disney•Pixar’s original feature “Coco” in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.
NEW video from Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
“That Time of Year” clip
8 Ways Olaf’s Frozen Adventure will Melt Your Heart & Make You Smile
Every family has a tradition, doesn’t it?
What happens when princesses are kept separated and the gates to the kingdom closed for what seems like an eternity? In Anna’s and Elsa’s case they want to celebrate their ‘first’ Christmas in a big way. They plan an elaborate celebration that Olaf can hardly wait for. But as the yule bell rings and the royal family of Arendelle want to welcome everyone into the castle, the townspeople leave to go home to celebrate their own traditions. Anna, Elsa, and Olaf are left puzzled and surprised wondering what traditions their own family has for celebrating the holidays. You will feel a range of emotions as you follow Olaf in his adventure to find and bring back holiday traditions to Elsa and Anna.
Christmas is not the only winter holiday
One pleasant surprise from Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is how Disney Animation incorporated a range of winter holidays in the movie. As Olaf goes door to door, we learn how families celebrate Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, Feast of St. Lucia, and other traditional holidays celebrated in the winter.
The Olaf’s Frozen Adventure soundtrack
Yes, we will hear Do you want to build a snowman? again. We’ll also get introduced to 4 new Frozen songs, created from seeing scenes from the Disney short, Ring in the Season, The Ballad of Flemmingrad, That Time of Year, and When We’re Together. My favorite is When We’re Together. Songwriters Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson were inspired and motivated to write a song that had a strong emotional feeling. They said, “It was the most challenging and time-consuming song to write. It went through 4-5 different versions. It was casually said, ‘No pressure, but write the next Silent Night.'”
Ugly Sweater Moments
There’s been quite a fun movement in the last few years to celebrate ugly Christmas sweaters. That movement has found its way into a Disney movie with Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. Laugh out loud at the fun daydream of Olaf’s that’s set to music and told in ugly Christmas sweaters. We learned, from the directors, that each thread in this stop-motion sequence had to be handpainted for each of the frames of those ugly sweater scenes.
You can’t have a Disney movie without Easter eggs
Yes, there are Easter eggs in Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. While I won’t spoil all of them here’s a few Olaf’s Frozen Adventure Easter Eggs I will share with you. Watch closely for them, because even after I knew to look for them I had some trouble finding them.
- There is a part of Baymax in Olaf’s sleigh along with other toys that pay tribute to characters in other Disney films.
- Songwriter Elyssa is the voice of one of the two kittens in a tree.
- Songwriter Kate Anderson is the cookie lady.
- Olaf makes a reference to the Wreck It Ralph movie.
- Landing from Prep and Landing are in 3 shots on a mantel.
- Nessie from the Ballad of Nessie is in the sled scene.
- Children of the directors play different characters.
A dress like no other
Elsa’s dress in Olaf’s Frozen Adventure was so exquisite I just had to ask the directors about it. This dress is so stunning that if it becomes available for sale it won’t just be a dress little girls want, teens and grownups will want it too. It is dark blue velvet with a fur-lined cape with a beautiful ice pattern on the sides and a Christmas-tree motive on the back. Kevin Deters, director, said about creating Elsa’s dress that he wanted to work with a color palette that complemented Anna’s dress. Kevin wanted to try a different material for the dress such as velvet but didn’t realize that velvet can be extremely hard to animate because of the way it moves. The cape is also a very iconic part of her costume as well. Between the type of material and the level of detail, it did take some time to animate the dress to move and look the way it did in Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. The dress is available at the Disney Store.
Elsa’s magic is perfect for the holidays
There is no better time of year than winter to have the magical abilities Elsa has. Prepare to be awed as you see Elsa transform ice into a beautiful Christmas tree complete with lights and ice-made ornaments.
The love of a family never grows cold
Elsa’s ability may have kept her, Olaf, and Anna apart for years, but that did not affect their love for each other. Their family ties remained strong and they found ways to communicate. Without revealing too much, we see just how they showed their love for each other through those lonely years. Have the tissues ready because while Olaf might love warm hugs he also has a way of getting us all teary eyed.
See Olaf’s Frozen Adventure in theaters with COCO beginning November 22, 2017. But remember you’ll only be available to see it in the theater for a limited time, so don’t wait too long to get to the theaters.
Learn more about Disney Pixar COCO in this movie trailer and these links
The final COCO movie trailer.
Click over to read more from our #PixarCocoEvent series
For more information about COCO visit the COCO Official Channels
COCO and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure open in theatres everywhere on November 22, 2017!
Are you prepared to have your heart melted in Olaf’s Frozen Adventure?