'Frozen' Princess Elsa Was Almost A Villain & 4 Other Awesome Things We Learned From ABC's 'Making Frozen' Special
As someone who's been obsessed with Disney's beloved Frozen since the minute it hit theaters last November — and to be honest, maybe even a little before I saw the movie — there's not a lot about the movie that I don't know. Nearly a year after its release, we all know a lot about Frozen, and if nothing else, you can at least put on your own impromptu, word for word rendition of "Let It Go" on demand. But Tuesday's "Making of Frozen" special on ABC, appropriately narrated by Josh Gad (the voice behind Olaf), gave us a new insight into everybody's favorite movie that could only be provided by the men and women behind the movie itself. And as it turns out, there are plenty of things I didn't know about the movie, and most of them made me love it even more. No, I'm not crying. That's just a snowflake in my eye.
And while there are still people out there (we'll call them the uninitiated) wondering what the big deal is, there are far more of us who are 25 years old and waited in line for two hours to meet Elsa and Anna at Disney World among leagues of toddlers. Oh, that was just me? Oops. And we were aching to learn these awesome facts about Frozen:
Elsa was originally written as a villain
For a character who so many people identify with, it's hard to believe that she was first created to fill the role of the bad guy, but that's the way she started out. Until the day that executive producer John Lasseter realized that Elsa reminded him a lot of his son, who was diagnosed with diabetes at a young age. Lasseter remembered his son asking, "Why me?" when he was being poked and prodded with needles, which made him think of Elsa. Why was Elsa a villain, if she was just born with her ice powers? And thus Elsa the sympathetic character was born.
"Do You Want To Build a Snowman?" almost didn't make the final cut
When it comes to the music of Frozen, "Let It Go" receives much of the fanfare, but I think "Do You Want To Build a Snowman" is the best song of the movie. It's way underappreciated! So I was super surprised to learn that it almost didn't make the final version of the movie. That is, until early test audiences didn't respond to the movie quite the way the producers hoped. Something was missing, something that would tie the story together... and as it turns out, that something was a musical number that explored the sisterly relationship between Anna and Elsa, and how it slowly disappeared over time.
The songwriters are a husband and wife team, and young Anna? Voiced by their daughter.
One of the big themes in Frozen is family, and that theme was present even through the making of the film. Songwriters Kristen and Robert Lopez asked their daughter to perform the singing voice of six-year-old Anna in "Do You Want to Build a Snowman," and director and writer Jennifer Lee's daughter voiced Anna at nine. Since their children inspired the Lopezes and Lee so much in creating Elsa and Anna, including them in the process worked perfectly.
Kristen Bell gets asked to build a snowman all the time.
And she always says yes.
And by the way, the special totally confirmed that Bell is just as adorable as we all suspected. But that's not news. Can we be best friends?
In the early versions of the film, Elsa and Anna weren't even sisters.
In fact, Elsa (back in her villain days) was an Ice Queen, and Anna was a peasant who ventured out to find Elsa to cure her frozen heart. But as the idea of who Elsa might be evolved, so did the relationship between Elsa and Anna, and the Frozen team quickly realized that they needed a bigger reason behind why these two characters would mean so much to each other. The perfect solution? They're sisters, and that relationship spawned one of the most revolutionary and progressive Disney princess tales to date.
The world always needs more fairytales. And if they're going to continue to promote girl power? I'm in.
Images: Walt Disney Pictures; Giphy (5)