FSM Media

by Dianna Ranere

Interview: Directors Chris Buck and Jenniffer Lee Talk FROZEN FEVER #CinderellaEvent #Frozen #FrozenFever

Interview: Directors Chris Buck and Jenniffer Lee Talk FROZEN FEVER #CinderellaEvent #Frozen #FrozenFever 1

Photo Credit: Jana Seitzer of MerlotMommy.com

Photo Credit: Jana Seitzer of MerlotMommy.com
Photo Credit: Jana Seitzer of MerlotMommy.com

As the Directors of the most popular animated feature walked into the room we wondered, how has your life been this past year? Both Jennifer and Chris to our surprises, said that it really has changed much, Chris saying, “I still buy shirts at TJ Max. Hasn’t changed…” was interesting. They did say they were busy, Jennifer stating “l still find myself going I have to buy another dress? So yeah. So nothing’s changed, really.” And by nothing has changed, they mean they are still as super busy as they were a year ago.

You often wonder if Directors and movie makers look at the stuff that is created from their movies, like all of the countless videos on YouTube of Let It Go, and the answer came straight from Chris’ mouth, they get YouTube videos sent to them ALL the time and they do look at them. But it’s not all fun and games , along with the videos and parodies, Chris shared the following “during a Reddit round table a woman wrote in saying she was in a bad place and was gonna commit suicide, then saw Frozen and was inspired by Elsa and her journey, and she said, and I’m still here. Thank you.”

Peter Del Vecho, Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

He went on to say that “We’re overwhelmed by that. There are autistic kids that watch Frozen that parents tell us that they don’t sit still for anything, and they watch Frozen, and they relate to Olaf. Just a few weeks ago a friend of ours working at a nursing home, and a senior citizen just, she wasn’t really communicating. She was sort of internal and not doing much, then she watched Frozen and she started drawing again. ‘Cause she used to draw when she was younger. And she was drawing the Frozen characters. Her husband was just so grateful she was coming back to life. So you get those are the stories that we go oh wow. And that’s how I think our life has changed. In that regard.”

Of course we had to ask about Let It Go and if they, as the Directors of this movie, were sick of the song. Jennifer said that she does have a lot of parents that still come up to her and say “thank you” in a sarcastic way, and she apologizes, kidding of course. She said, “I always say I think when I’m very old, the last thing left in my head will be Let it Go, and that’s just fine with me.”


Having seen the Frozen Fever short, we asked about Elsa sneezing and how they came up with the idea of her sneezing and little snowmen come out? Jennifer answered, “One of our story artists, head story artist on Frozen itself, and I were brainstorming and we thought it would be nice to focus on Elsa more…….we’d love to play with her magic in a different way, and he just said what if she’s  got a cold, and the cold wreaks havoc?  And we just went crazy.” 


When asked what they were working on now, they both stated that they had just finished the Frozen Fever short two weeks before and they really never got a break. They did assure us that they are very busy working on the Broadway musical, and helping out in the studio and with other Frozen themed projects. (The Broadway musical is in the very early stages).

They spoke about how Frozen was inspired by a Hans Christian Anderson’s story originally. “Now we don’t say that it’s set in Norway. But it helps to have something specific to kind of draw from. So it makes the world very believable. And the ideas in Norway, we’d never have come up with on our own, the church, which was very beautiful….. Jennifer continued, “there’s a  real warmth and intimacy to the villages, and then when you get out to the vast Fjords, the contrast is great. And so it really, in the wood, it just lent itself to this beautiful extremes.”


Jennifer again assured us how loosely based Frozen was based on the Hans Christian Anderson’s story. “We knew the Snow Queen was a compelling idea, but in the book she’s evil, and you know nothing about her. She’s very one dimensional, and represents evil. We found the theme through the book. The theme and in the book it’s sort of love versus negativity, but we translated that in more extreme to literally to fear. So that came from the book, but it’s a very different kind of a story, one that is beautiful in prose, but it’s not necessarily the most cinematic in terms of structure and things like that. So we wanted to have really three dimensional characters, and go deep into them. So we made it our own.”

As stated, they had finished the short just two weeks before this interview took place but they had started back in June 2014 with brainstorming, then recorded the voices and started animation and layout in August. They both stated that when they saw the Elsa shot, they both weren’t expecting to feel the way they did seeing her “alive” again on the screen. It was a bit overwhelming but great to see


A cute little antidote, Chris said of the storyline of Frozen Fever where Elsa gets a cold was a play on the song and how kids would sing “A cold never bothers me anyway” instead of “the cold” so they took that and ran with it for the short.

In the short Kristoff also finally tells Anna that he loves her so we wondered if that was a hint towards a wedding maybe and Jennifer replied, “Hey,  I’m trying to teach my daughter to take it slow. So I don’t know. I’m like, it’s been a year and a half and he finally just said I love you. So, so I don’t know.”

Of course we wanted to know if there were any Easter eggs in the film since Disney is known to do them in every film and Chris stated that there was one but that he couldn’t tell us what it was. He did say “there is one if your can find him” so there’s that little clue. He also said that the animators could have added more, so you will need to look closely when it arrives in theaters on the 13th in front of Cinderella.


We asked what it meant to be paired with Cinderella? Jennifer said, ““It’s huge for me because my first Disney film was Cinderella, and once it came on VHS, I think I played it 50, 60 times. Then working for Disney was a dream when I was a kid, so to have everything come together………. I was blown away by how much it was in line with the animated film, and yet it went even deeper, and it was so beautiful. So there were a lot of, like, very nostalgic tears last night…” Chris agreed that after seeing them together at the premiere, that…it felt like sort of the perfect match.”



Photo Credit: Jana Seitzer of MerlotMommy.com
Photo Credit: Jana Seitzer of MerlotMommy.com

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