The Art of Frozen
author : charles solomon
pages: [hardcover] 160
In Disney’s Frozen, fearless optimist Anna sets off on an epic journey—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven—to find her sister, Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.
Taking inspiration from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen” and the culture and landscape of Norway, the artists of Frozen have created a dynamic, other-worldly icy setting filled with striking background work and detailed costumes. Featuring stunning artwork from the film’s creation—including sketches, storyboards, colorscripts, and much more—The Art of Frozen is the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at the research and artistry that went into the making of this wintry action-packed adventure.
I love these art books–I think this is the third I’ve read about an animated movie. For me, I get them partly to look at gorgeous concept art, partly because I like to see how they’ve developed the story. I’m not an artist by any means, but I like to think that I’m a storyteller, and in case I want to get into something like this industry, I want to see how the story is developed.
I’d heard some stories about how Elsa was originally going to be the villain in Frozen until writers decided that storyline wasn’t working out and made Anna and Elsa sisters. I thought it was fun to see some concept art of when the two were butting heads and Elsa’s magic was used for something a little more sinister–though I think she was still supposedly redeemed in the end, so I’m not sure how that would work out.
I really loved seeing the hand-drawn pencil sketches that were in this book, though admittedly most of the art was digital. Although digital creations can be gorgeous and magical, I still think that there’s nothing that beats the original pencil. I’m going to miss things being animated that way instead of in CG–though, as explained in the book, so many aspects ofFrozen would have been different. For example, Anna and Elsa’s outfits would have been made much simpler, because the detailed designs on their dresses would have taken ages for an artist to render over and over.
My favorite images were the big scenery designs, I think. The sweeping landscapes, the intricate designs, the attention to detail–I was so impressed by the effort these artists went into to make something that is a perfect balance between realism and magic.
I think that any fan of Frozen would enjoy this book because it shows the backstory and development of a movie that’ll go down as one of the most beloved in Disney history (though, to be honest, Tangled is still my favorite). Artists will like to see the stages that went beyond the original conception of the characters, up to the finalized versions we see in the movie. Writers will love seeing how storylines can change–over and over and over again, yes, but ending ultimately in something better and amazing.