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Disney’s “Frozen” and the Benefits of Homework

Olaf from Disney's FrozenBy now you have probably heard of Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf, the various characters that star in the upcoming film Frozen from Walt Disney Animation Studios, but there is someone else that deserves equal billing — or something, as the case may be. I’m talking about snow. It’s not just for scenery these days.

The amazing talents at Disney have taken snow above and beyond anything that has ever been seen in an animated film before and created something so realistic and wonderful that you may want to take a sweater to the theater.

I recently had the opportunity to spend time at Walt Disney Animation Studios and spoke with several of the people involved in making Frozen. Their passion for the film was clear, and their dedication to their respective crafts was inspiring. Disney loves what they do, which is why they do it so well. See how that works?

The Frozen team studied everything, and they combined their lessons with knowledge, experience, and a collective desire to better themselves. Every aspect of the film was a new step toward bigger goals, whether it be technology, art, direction, acting… you name it. Disney even brought in a guy (among other experts) called Dr. Snow, and no, he isn’t a super villain.

And that’s the wonderful world of Disney for you. They do their homework. They did it in the days of Walt Disney, and they do it now under the guidance of John Lasseter — in fact, he insists upon it. Granted, their homework is not nearly as hard as fourth grade math, and twice as fun, but still, practice makes perfect. And attention to detail!

A good number of the creative team for Frozen went to Norway to study the details of the land, from the fjords to the rosemaling, and every twig and bend between. They explored it all, and it shows.

FROZEN

Head of Animation Lino DiSalvo, Animation Supervisor Wayne Unten and Animation Supervisor Becky Bresee

FROZEN

Producer Peter Del Vecho and Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

FROZEN

Effects Supervisor Marlon West, Principal Software Engineer Andy Selle, Animation Technology Manager Evan Goldberg and Effects Supervisor Dale Mayeda

FROZEN

Assistant Art Director Lisa Keene, Art Director Michael Giaimo and Visual Development Artist Britney Lee

FROZEN

CG Supervisor Frank Hanner, Character TD Supervisors Keith Wilson and Gregory Smith

FROZEN / GET A HORSE!

It is that passionate dedication to study that makes Frozen the breathtaking film that it is. It is that Disney commitment to detail that gives us snow that rolls, crumbles, sinks, and falls with the unique personality of flake after flake. It is a living thing, not the blanket of bleak absence against areas left blank and shallow degrees of tint-less white brushed across the frigid films that have gone before. Snow is no longer just a backdrop, it is deeper than that.

Winter is coming, and it looks fantastic.

Frozen opens in theaters on November 27th.

Photos by: Rich Polk, ©2013 Disney.

 

Whit HoneaRead more from Whit Honea at his site Honea Express. You can follow Whit on the Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).

 

 

 

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