Interview With Frozen Directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck

During my recent interview with Frozen Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, I came to realize none of us have really ‘let it go’. It’s been over a year since the Disney animated mega blockbuster was brought into the hearts of girls and boys worldwide. Just when we thought we were letting it go Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee are back at it again with the adorable animated short Frozen Fever being exclusively shown in front of Cinderella in theaters March 13thAnna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf back for Anna’s birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are planning to give her a huge celebration until Elsa catches a cold and everyone is at risk.

I don’t know about you, but getting to interview the directors of Frozen was like EPIC for me. I mean, it’s because of Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck I am able to have the memory of my son belting out a theatrical performance in the shower. It’s funny how they have a hand in my daily life and they don’t even know it.

The Frozen fever Featurette with Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee:

It’s no secret, Disney’s Frozen is the fifth highest grossing film of all time and the highest grossing animated film earning more than $1.27 billion globally. We’ve all been a part of the craze. Even our little boys are singing “Let it Go”, I know mine is. This Christmas season we saw Frozen on just about anything you could print it on, and we bought the crap out of it. So, it seems like only a natural transition to make Frozen Fever. After seeing Frozen Fever at the Hollywood red carpet World Premiere of Cinderella, I can tell you, you’re all going to have the fever.

Frozen Fever by Walt Disney Pictures 5

Disney

Don’t miss my other interviews on the cast and filmmakers of Cinderella! get the on Cate Blanchett and Lily James now! More to come in the coming days!

Interview with Frozen Directors

What’s life like after Frozen?

Lee: How are our lives now? Let’s see…Uh, we thought they’d be less busy, but they’re not. So…

Buck: I still buy shirts at TJ Max. Hasn’t changed…

Lee: I still find myself going “I have to buy another dress?”. So yeah. So nothing’s changed, really.

Buck: It’s been overwhelming, the year. We still get Youtube sent to us. I mean, I got one just yesterday…It’s actually very funny. Um, so I just,  It’s been overwhelming. It really has. Starting with the Reddit… Round table. Reddit round table is where a woman wrote in saying, um, that she was, uh, in a bad place and was gonna commit suicide, and saw Frozen and inspired by Elsa and, and her journey, and she said, and I’m still here. Thank you. So, you know, we’re overwhelmed by that.

There are autistic kids that watch Frozen that parents tell us they hadn’t… They don’t sit still for anything, and they watch Frozen, and they relate to Olaf. Um, just a few weeks ago, uh, a friend of ours working at a nursing home, and a senior citizen just, she wasn’t really [STAMMERS] She sort of internal and not doing much. And she watched Frozen. And then she started drawing again. ‘Cause she used to draw when she was younger. And she was drawing the Frozen characters. And just, and 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. Sort of seeing what… We always knew that these films had some influence and power. But this one certainly I’ve never experienced anything like this. So you really do…

Lee: Still a surprise every day. It’s still……surprising us.

Are You Sick of the Song?

Lee: No

Buck: Yes!

Lee: We actually have parents coming up to us going, “thanks”. You know? And so we just go “sorry”. Like, kidding. 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.

Buck: There was a Youtube just, uh, Choke Frozen. Have you seen that one…it was just a woman and she was dealing with the snowed in kids, and you just hear in the background ” …hear in the background, let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go.” It’s very funny.

Frozen Fever by Walt Disney Pictures 5

Disney

How’d you come up with the idea of Elsa sneezing and snowmen come out?

Lee:  One of our story artists, he was one of the head story artist on Frozen Fever… I mean Frozen itself. And we were brainstorming all, whatever could be, you know. Blue sky. Anything. And, we thought It would be nice to focus on Elsa more. What’s she like now? I mean, we end the film. We had this tragic character. We end the film, she’s free, but we don’t know. And, but we’d love to play with her magic in a different way, and he just said what if she has a cold, and the cold wreaks havoc. And we, we just went crazy. I mean, It got ridiculous at some points in.

Buck: Some of the ideas started with…you know, she would have this stuff, but then suddenly, like, spikes would show up…

Lee: And a sneeze does this, and blowing your nose does that. Like, we had all of these crazy ideas… Does she know? Does she not know? So there were still hours of what do we do? What if? We just… You felt it when he suggested it. We all just went yes.

Buck: And it gave us license to have fun with Elsa.

places from fairy tales

Arendelle in Disney’s Frozen and the West Fjords of Norway, Bergen.

What Brought You to Norway to be Inspired by Norway for Frozen?

Buck: Well, our art director knew it would be a Scandinavian area. He was just going through books, and, he’d seen a lot of internet stuff too. He was posting all these pages on Scandinavia you know, beautiful scenery and architecture, and almost all the post-its were Norway. So he said okay. Well, you know, we need our trip to Norway. 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 there are ideas in Norway, we’d never have come up with on our own, the, the stave church, which was very beautiful.

Lee: And there’s a real warmth and intimacy to the to the villages, and then when you get out to the vast Fjords, the contrast is great. And so it really just lent itself to these beautiful extremes.

What’s the future of Frozen and Elsa and Ana? Is there anything else coming up?

Lee: No. We, we just finished the short, like…two weeks ago.

Buck: We really didn’t have much of a break before we started on this…after the, the whirlwind of the feature.

Lee: But we’re working on the Broadway musical. We’re kind of in that place of, of, uh, got to stop for second and then dream again. We don’t know what we’re gonna come up with.

Buck: ‘Cause we’re also involved with thing at the parks and all that…We’re very Frozen busy. So we’ll, we’ll see what’s next.

About the Upcoming Broadway Musical

Lee: We’re in the very early stages. I mean, there will be more songs, and Bobby and Kristen, of course, have a lot more to do with, with that than I do in that the Broadway musical tends to have the opposite structure where a film has 20 to 25 minutes of song and the musical flips that. So, you know, there’ll be a lot of great stuff coming, but we’re really just getting started.

What does Cinderella and Frozen Fever coming together mean for you?

Lee: Well, I have to say it’s huge for me. I was blown away by Cinderella last night, how much it was in line with the animated film. It went even deeper, and it was so beautiful. My first Disney film was Cinderella. Once it came on VHS, I think I played it 50, 60 times. Working for Disney was a dream when I was a kid, so to have everything come together…There were a lot of very nostalgic tears last night.

Frozen Directors

Missed the Cinderella Trailer See it Now:

Disclaimer: I was flown by Walt Disney Pictures to Hollywood for the World Premiere of Cinderella where I was given hotel, meals, attended press events and interviewed the cast and filmmakers of the movie and the Frozen Directors. This in no way shaped my opinion of the Cinderella or Frozen Fever short film.

 


About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day.

“It’s never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams.” -Christa Thompson

3 Comments on this post

  1. […] Check out the interview with Frozen Directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck here […]

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