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Production Notes
Venturing into the unknown, even for a strong queen like Elsa, calls for courage, passion, grit, imagination-and a little magic.

Elsa has a gift-the power to create ice and snow. She's only recently learned how to control her magic, and only recently revealed her powers to her kingdom after years of keeping them hidden for fear she'd be persecuted for her differences. "Elsa is a fascinating character with this miraculous ability to harness the power of nature," says director Chris Buck. "Her connection to nature has always been there. But she has no idea why."

So, no matter how happy Elsa is to finally embrace her powers and be with her sister, Anna, their friends and the people of Arendelle, she finds herself unsettled. Says director Jennifer Lee, who also penned the screenplay, "Elsa hears a voice calling that no one else can hear. She tries to block it, but it won't stop. It shows her pieces of the past. It promises answers about why she is the way she is, so it's both epic and a mystery, and she's compelled to find that voice."

The answers promised by the calling also threaten the kingdom and everything Elsa and Anna ever wanted-including the bond between them. So, when Elsa faces a dangerous journey into the unknown to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond Arendelle, Anna is determined to go with her, be by her sister's side, and help uncover the mystery-along with Kristoff, Olaf and Sven. In "Frozen," Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In "Frozen 2," she must hope they are enough.

According to producer Peter Del Vecho, the characters long ago became more than characters to the filmmakers. "It's like they are family," he says. "They are endearing in that they are both flawed and aspirational, and there is so much more to their story. And like a lot of storytellers, we found we couldn't get them out of our heads. We wanted to know more-go deeper in exploring this relationship between two sisters."

"If 'Frozen' was happily ever after," says Lee, "then 'Frozen 2' is the day after happily ever after. Life gets in the way. It throws you curve balls. So, this is about learning to fight for your place in the world, do what's right-all of the grown-up things you have to do. There's still fun and humor, but it's a deeply emotional story about finding out who we are meant to be."

According to Buck, in "Frozen," the world had just opened up for the characters. "They were trying to figure out who they were," he says. "But it feels like they've graduated college now. They're getting their lives together. But there is also so much that is unknown ahead of them. We wanted to know what that means for each of them. "The world gets a little grittier for our characters-a little tougher," continues Buck. "There's a lot of change in the movie-it's a theme you can see within the story and even in the look of the film. Autumn reflects the maturity we see in our characters and with the change of seasons comes a beautiful new palette of rich autumnal colors we've never explored before. If you take a single frame from 'Frozen,' the colors alone would tell you that it's 'Frozen.' And now, the same is true for 'Frozen 2.'"

"Frozen" hit theaters in 2013, introducing the compelling pair of sisters, a charming mountain man and an unforgettable snowman who loved summer. It became the highest-grossing animated film of all time in worldwide box office. It won an Academy Award for best animated feature film of the year. The film's iconic song, "Let It Go," with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, won an Oscar for best original song.

The Lopezes returned for "Frozen 2," writing seven all-new original songs that capture the emotion, fun and intrigue in a compelling and forever-contagious way. They credited their daughters for inspiring a lot of the music in the first film, and it seems that perhaps some things never change. "Anna and Elsa are growing up," says Anderson-Lopez.

"And our own girls are growing up, too. Our daughters are around the same age as Jennifer Lee's daughter. They informed the choices we made with 'Frozen,' and have also informed the choices we made together with 'Frozen 2.' As the girls get more independent and have to walk their own paths and face their own moments of crisis without us there to protect them, it's ushered in a new era of parenting for us, which also made its way into the film."

Adds Lopez, "I feel like all of our songs lean into the theme of growing up. And the epic tone of the new movie set by Jennifer and Chris was something we wanted to hit right from the beginning."

Much like the first film, which was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's 1845 fairy tale "The Snow Queen," "Frozen 2" embraces the tenants of fairy tales and stories within mythology that were often written to explain the inexplicable. The all-new story takes place three years after the conclusion of the first movie: Elsa is queen and Anna is happy to have everyone she loves-Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven-under one roof. The bond between sisters is strong-and anchors the story. But, according to the filmmakers, there is an underlying current of unrest and angst that ultimately leads to a great adventure-one that will bring clarity to everything we know about these characters. "'Frozen 2' is even bigger and more epic than the first," says Buck. "But most importantly, in the end 'Frozen' and 'Frozen 2' work together to form one complete story."

"Some things never change. Like how I'm holding on tight to you."

Story Unfolds as Filmmakers Develop Deeper Relationships with Characters Filmmakers set out to deepen their understanding of their main characters in an effort to uncover the answers to questions that lingered after the conclusion of "Frozen." They found themselves delving into the innerworkings of both fairy tales and myths. "We realized that in the first movie, we had both a myth and a fairy tale going on at the same time," says producer Peter Del Vecho. "Elsa was definitely a mythic character, which generally carries the weight of the world on their shoulders and do things the rest of us can't. They also typically suffer a tragic fate-which might have happened to Elsa in the first film were it not for Anna."

Director Jennifer Lee says Anna is the fairy-tale character. "She's the optimist," says Lee. "These characters are only human. They're not magical, but often enter into the dangers of a magical world. They go into the belly of the beast, suffering hardship and loss with great struggles, yet rise triumphant."

When it came to designing the characters for "Frozen 2," filmmakers naturally began with their look from the first film. "We wanted to stay true to the design language of the first film," says Bill Schwab, art director of characters. "It has to feel like we are still in the same world, but we also want to put a new spin on that, creating new costumes and new characters to support the story.

"The film takes place three years after 'Frozen,' so we aged the characters slightly," continues Schwab. "It's almost indiscernible, but there's definitely a maturity to all of the characters. They're older, more experienced. We leveraged that in their costuming and even in their hairstyles."

The technology that helped usher in the characters in "Frozen" has advanced to such a degree since the film was released in 2013, the artists and technicians responsible for bringing even established characters like Anna and Elsa to life essentially had to start from scratch. "We had to honor the original vision, but technically we were able to do it better," says Alexander Alvarado, character look development supervisor.

ELSA is the perfect mythic character-magical and larger than life. Grateful her kingdom now accepts her, she works hard to be a good queen. But deep down she can't help but wonder why she was born with powers. The mystery leads to a journey to uncover a buried truth about the past. Elsa ventures deep into an uncharted and mysterious land, where her powers will be tested to their limits. Along the journey, she will discover the life she was meant to live, but in so doing, risk losing everything, including herself. "Elsa has always been a fascinating character, but it's her connection with nature that we get to explore this time," says director Chris Buck. "She not only has a connection, but she can actually harness the power of nature with her icy powers. But there's more to it, we learn, as she's forced to deal with the spirits of nature: wind, fire, earth and water."

While Elsa learned to harness her magic in "Frozen," her magic is maturing with her. "Her magic is still tied to her emotions," says head of effects animation Dale Mayeda. "A lot of her magic will look familiar, especially when she's happy. It's lyrical with S-curves and her signature swirls."

But everything begins to change when Elsa feels that she's being beckoned by a voice from far away. She tries to ignore it, but the calling is strong and becomes irresistible in the course of the original song "Into the Unknown." "When Elsa starts hearing the call, she wants to avoid it," says director Jennifer Lee. "But it won't stop and it shows her pieces of the past and it shows her what her magic could be."

"The voice is haunting her-aggravating her at first," says Idina Menzel, who returns as the voice of Elsa. "She needs to understand who she is and why she has powers. Deep down she knows she'll find those answers if she goes into the unknown and follows this mysterious voice."

As the song progresses, Elsa begins to see imagery alluding to what's in store for her- all depicted within her own magic. "These ice visions are very delicate at first," says Mayeda. "It's made out of particulates. And while it's Elsa's magic, it seems to be taken over by these icy visions. She's not necessarily controlling it. As it grows, it becomes lacy and more tangible. Later, her magic gives her more visions with different characters that continue to evolve during her journey. Her magic evolves as she does-but she finds that nature challenges her."

"Mythic characters are magical," adds Lee. "But it's not aspirational, it's about the hard answers and truths that we face. There can be a tragic aspect, too, so in that way, they teach us about ourselves."

Says Menzel, "I love what Elsa represents. I think anytime we are able to see a woman personified who is embracing how strong and powerful she is, that's a good thing. She's not apologizing anymore for her power. She owns it and has a sense of pride about it."

"Her power and its link to nature emerges over time," adds Buck. "She leans into Olaf's theory about water having memory, for example. She's able to bring the water out of certain items and reveal memories and she's never been able to do that before."

That connection to nature is reflected in her wardrobe. According to visual development artist Brittney Lee, Elsa's wardrobe is not limited to real-world fabrics. "She can create clothing out of ice with her magic," says Lee. "So we didn't feel like we had to restrict her to materials available in Norway at that time. She has more sheer fabrics that are very ethereal."

Says production designer Michael Giaimo, "The key word is maturity. And this time they're going on a journey. We had to figure out what Elsa would wear out there in the enchanted forest. She can't wear a floor-length gown-neither can Anna. They must be pragmatic, so they both wear pants-something along the lines of riding pants."

Brittney Lee adds that the color palette for Elsa's clothing remained cool. "If we go too warm, it inherently feels like something's off."

ANNA is the perfect fairy-tale character; unflappable, she is the forever optimist. Anna is fine as long as she has her family, Arendelle is safe, and she never has to be alone again. Her positive spirit is reflected in a song she begins in an effort to assuage Olaf's uncertainty about the ever-evolving world around him. The song, "Some Things Never Change"-which features Anna, Kristoff, Elsa and Olaf-introduces the idea of change to the story, and despite its title, it's also a promise that change is on the horizon. So, as life seems to feel blissfully unalterable to Anna, Arendelle is threatened and Elsa is being called to solve a dangerous mystery about the past: Is there buried truth about their family's past? "Anna had nothing to lose in the first movie," says Buck. "But now she has everything to lose because she got everything she ever wanted. While Elsa finds herself yearning for answers, Anna is trying to hang onto everybody and everything. She might wonder why they can't just be happy and live in the castle together for the rest of their lives. But that's not real life, is it?"

Kristen Bell once again lends her voice to Anna. "Anna is just as spunky as she's always been," says Bell. "She is incredibly excited to have a family foundation that has been built with her sister."

Indeed, Anna has a big heart and she's devoted to her sister. So, when Elsa declares she needs to venture into the unknown, Anna is determined to go with her-every step of the way. As Anna journeys with Elsa to the enchanted forests beyond Arendelle, along with Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she wonders if they can ever return to the happiness they once knew. "Anna realizes this voice is pulling her sister away and it terrifies her," says head of story Normand Lemay. "This is new for Anna, she's always seen the positive. She tries so hard to hold on tight-too tight-to Elsa."

Inevitably, Anna struggles in "Frozen 2," hitting a very low point in her journey that's shared in the song "Do the Next Right Thing." "That's actually a mantra that I have in my life when I'm anxiety-ridden or depressed-that's the only thing you can do-the next right thing," says Bell. "It's baby steps for anyone who has experienced a hardship or is flat on the floor and feels they can't pick themselves up."

Adds Lemay, "It's only when she finds herself at her lowest point that she realizes what she-Anna-is capable of doing."

Anna's look is more mature, but stays within the language established in the first film. Says visual development artist Griselda Sastrawinata-Lemay, "With Anna, it is all about Arendelle. For the first dress, it was very important to show the scallops that are Anna's signature. The lighter color shows the lightness of her personality-she's so happy as the film begins. But for her travel outfit, we go much darker-deep cranberry, fuchsia, gold and black-which foretells the darkness she finds in her journey."

Adds head of characters and technical animation Gregory Smith, "Anna had playful double braids in the beginning-like the first film-but for the most part, her hairstyle is much more mature."

According to technical animation supervisor Christopher Evart, Anna's hair built on learnings during "Moana." "Moana's hair has a lot of tight coils," says Evart. "But Anna's hair is very styled so we have to maintain really art-directed curls-it's a different challenge for sure."

"Frozen 2" is the first feature to utilize new proprietary software-a hair solver simulator called Beast. "It's much faster than what we had for 'Moana,'" says Evart. "That just means we can simulate more and more hairs for the same time per frame."

Though he's told no one but Sven, KRISTOFF is ready to take the next steps with Anna and propose. "Anna and Kristoff fell in love at the end of the first movie," says producer Peter Del Vecho. "In 'Frozen 2,' we get to see how their relationship evolves."

According to Del Vecho, Kristoff's efforts to pop the question go awry-often because Anna is distracted by what's happening to Elsa. Anna loves Kristoff deeply, but is completely unaware of his plans for the future. And when Arendelle is threatened, Kristoff doesn't hesitate to be there for Anna and Elsa as they journey into mysterious lands that even this well-traveled iceman has never seen.

Jonathan Groff once again provides the voice of Kristoff. "I had butterflies in my stomach on my way to record the first day," says Groff. "I couldn't remember how I had done Kristoff. Then when I got into the session, there was Jenn [Lee], Chris [Buck] and Peter [Del Vecho]. They're all the same people from the first movie. There's this familial connection that we all have. We've grown up together. Getting the opportunity to record the second one felt like a homecoming, and I felt freer and more creative than I did even during the first one."

Groff was tapped to sing the song "Lost in the Woods" for "Frozen 2." "It's a power ballad," says head of animation Tony Smeed. "We grew up on power ballads, and Jonathan Groff gave the song a bit of an '80s vibe. But yet it's so sincere, so genuine- it gets me every single time. So within the animation, we really wanted to strike a good balance between drama and sincerity."

According to technical animation supervisor Christopher Evart, Kristoff gets the '80s music video treatment, too, for "Lost in the Woods." "We have a wind dial available for the entire sequence," he says. "We went through the whole song to decide when to give him music video wind-that signature romantic breeze."

It's been a little over three years since Elsa made OLAF, and with his new permafrost, courtesy of Elsa's magic, he can really enjoy summer. His bond with his family-Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Sven-is as close as ever. He's absolutely fascinated with the various wonders of life: Did you know that men are six times more likely to be struck by lightning than women? And did you know that water has memory? With his new curiosity for knowledge, and his "stop-and-smell-the-flowers" approach to life, Olaf is a source of hope in dark times.

All of the characters have matured in years since Elsa became queen and Olaf is no exception. "He's 3 years old and he can read now," says director of story Marc E. Smith. "He looks to the adults around him like, 'Wow, this is a confusing world.' And he has complete faith-blind faith-that they have it all figured out."

"He's full of questions," adds director Jennifer Lee. "He's contemplating life and death and existence-much like any kid would, but he's doing it the Olaf way."

As the epic adventure gets underway and the characters find themselves in the enchanted forest, Olaf faces a series of inexplicable events, illustrated in the song "When I Am Older." Says head of animation Tony Smeed, "He gets separated from the rest of the characters and comes into contact with all of the spirits: earth, wind, fire and water," he says. "He can't make sense of it." Despite the mystery and dangerous realities coming to life before his eyes, the lovable snowman is convinced that one day, he'll understand everything.

Josh Gad again provides the voice of Olaf. "What I find so endearing and wonderful is the collaborative spirit that allows me to play," says Gad. "The directors are never precious about their dialogue. They're never precious about their ideas. They want the artists to get in there to talk through those ideas and fully explore them. They are always willing to hear input and see what works as they strive to never settle for anything. That is a luxury that you don't often find.

Gad says Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez absolutely rose to the challenge of writing songs for the follow-up to a film known around the world for its music. "What makes the music of 'Frozen 2' so special is that it's not trying to be 'Frozen.' It is doing its own thing and adding to an already incredible tapestry of music.

"I want to apologize ahead of time because I think a lot of these songs are going to be earworms," Gad continues. "I've played them once or twice in my own household and my kids will not stop singing them. I look forward to a whole new slate of YouTube videos with people singing these incredible songs."

Trusted reindeer SVEN remains Kristoff's best friend. Although Kristoff now has the love of his life with Anna, he still finds himself leaning on Sven as a best friend and a confidante, especially as Kristoff's attempts to propose to Anna go awry. "Sven is Kristoff's wingman," says producer Peter Del Vecho. "He tried to tell Kristoff the best way to do things and often convinces him he's approaching it all wrong."

As the voice of Kristoff-who often gives voice to Sven-Jonathan Groff helps bring the trusted reindeer to life. "Sven is Kristoff's moral and emotional compass," says Groff. "Kristoff does that insane psychotic voice to express what he believes to be Sven's feelings and emotions-and sometimes they are. But I feel more often Sven really knows what's going on and is a little bit more grounded and aware than perhaps even Kristoff-especially when it comes to Kristoff's emotional Intelligence."

Mother to Anna and Elsa, wife to King Agnarr, QUEEN IDUNA loves her daughters and wants to protect them at all costs-especially from the secrets of her past. But as young Elsa's powers and questions grow, she begins to wonder if her own past may hold the answers for her family. Unfortunately, it's not a journey she can make for her daughters, but one they must do themselves when they're older...and ready to face their destinies. Evan Rachel Wood was cast as the voice of Queen Iduna. "There was something about Evan's voice that we really zeroed in on," says Del Vecho. "Her voice sounds like there's something underneath it-something hidden from the past."

Adds Lee, "Her singing voice sits beautifully between Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, which was an amazing discovery."

According to Wood, audiences will get to know Iduna more in the second film and how she inspired her daughters. "You can see why Anna and Elsa love to sing so much," she says. "The lullaby she sings is beautiful. I love it because it leaves such an impression on her daughters. Although she left them too soon, she's still very much present in their hearts and in their spirits. I think she's still there to guide them."

The haunting lullaby Iduna sings, entitled "All is Found," is about a river that holds all of the answers. "All of the clues and metaphors and big ideas of where the story is going are contained in that lovely lullaby," says head of story Normand Lemay.

For years, Lieutenant Destin MATTIAS loyally protected his homeland of Arendelle against their enemy, the Northuldra. But, in doing so, he became trapped by a magical mist, where he's been for more than 30 years. He's never forgotten his sworn duty to Arendelle, but the arrival of Queen Elsa and discovery that she has magical powers is just the first of many challenges to his long-held beliefs.

Filmmakers called on Sterling K. Brown to provide the voice of Mattias in "Frozen 2." Says director Chris Buck, "Sterling is so incredible. He was truly invested in his character and the journey he takes in the story. There is a lot of Sterling in Lieutenant Mattias."

According to Brown, there's something for everyone in the movie. "It's very jam-packed with action-it's very kinetic," he says. "You get the laughs that you expect and the heart you always get from a Disney flick, but it's almost like an adventure film, which I really appreciate about the whole thing. And there is a maturity to the writing that allows both young and old to appreciate the film simultaneously."

Adds head of characters and technical animation Gregory Smith, "The soldiers have all been wearing their uniforms for 30 years. But they're soldiers-they'd take care of their uniforms. So while there's a lot of wear in Mattias' uniform, it's not shabby or dirty." The mythical water spirit, the NOKK, takes the form of a horse with the power of the ocean in the charge of a stallion. The Nokk is a warrior and guards the secrets of the forest fiercely. In order to get past the Nokk, a person must prove they are worthy and earn its respect-an almost impossible task.

"The Nokk is from Nordic folklore," says director Chris Buck. "It can be very beautiful and wonderful, but also scary and dangerous and very powerful if you don't measure up. We played with the power of nature and how it's hard to harness. But Elsa finds that she can connect."

According to co-production designer Lisa Keene, finding the right look for the Nokk was challenging. "What exactly does a water horse look like?" she asks. "It's a legend-a myth. We had a black sky, a black sea, and we had to make this water horse pop. So, we did a lot of artwork to find our Nokk, which has a volume inside and a bit of a shimmer against the dark background."

Visual effects supervisor Steve Goldberg says the look and execution of the Nokk was collaboration between multiple departments, artists and technicians. "We pulled these groups together," he says. "We just picked a place to start and then started to refine. Then we go back and iterate. It was probably an eight-month process of testing and iteration before we got it right. That's the beauty of the studio that we can take that time to do the exploration."

According to head of animation Rebecca Wilson Bresee, the Nokk's movement was based largely on that of a horse. "Some of the animators took horseback riding lessons and several met with a horse trainer," she says. "We learned what movements like an ear flick might convey and what kind of weight we'd need to give it so that Elsa would feel its power."

The Nokk is not a solid mass, however, like a horse. It's made of water. But filmmakers wanted it to have more stability than the ocean had, for example, was in "Moana." They decided to add water effects to a well-defined silhouette. Says effects supervisor Erin Ramos, "The effects team was responsible for giving the Nokk a surface quality that felt like liquid. We gave the mane and tail qualities that mimicked crashing waves-with mist and bubbles and spindrift-so that our Nokk would feel like a strong and stormy creature."

KING AGNARR, the son of King Runeard, is married to Queen Iduna, and is Anna and Elsa's father. King Agnarr loves his family, and would do anything to ensure his daughters' well-being and safety. Alfred Molina lends his voice to King Agnarr.

BRUNI is a curious and cute salamander who inhabits the enchanted forest. Though shy at first, Bruni can't help but be drawn to Elsa's icy magic and enjoys the cool snowflake treats she creates. According to head of animation Rebecca Wilson Bresee, Bruni and Elsa have a special connection. "He's misunderstood," she says. "Elsa can relate to that."

YELANA is the unspoken leader of the Northuldra. She is fiercely protective of her family and community but is known to soften when people show an understanding of nature and their environment. According to head of animation Tony Smeed, Yelana's performance reflects her status as an elder in the community. "She's stoic and wise," says Smeed.

Martha Plimpton was called on to bring Yelana to life.

HONEYMAREN, a member of the Northuldra, is a true free spirit and wants nothing more than to bring peace to the enchanted forest. She is bold and brave, with a reverence for the magic of nature. According to Bill Schwab, art director characters, that connection to nature is reflected in the costuming for Honeymaren, and all of her fellow Northuldra. "We really wanted to contrast with Arendelle," says Schwab. "The Northuldra are self-sufficient. So their clothing comes from materials they'd have from nature."

Rachel Matthews provides the voice of Honeymaren.

Eager and fun, RYDER, Honeymaren's brother, embraces life with optimism. Ryder's love of reindeer might just rival Kristoff's-but unlike Kristoff, Ryder has never roamed the great plains outside of the enchanted forest. He longs to embrace the world and venture beyond the magical mist.

Jason Ritter lends his voice to Ryder.

GALE, the wind spirit, isn't easily seen, but has no trouble making her presence known. Gale can be curious and playful, or rage with a tornado's force. According to technical animation supervisor Christopher Evart, after doing a number of tests for Gale, filmmakers landed on a specific approach. "We found that less is more with Gale," he says. "We thought we'd need to throw everything at it to let the audience know where Gale is and what he's doing, but we realized we could imply a lot by having Gale interact with a character's clothing and hair."

Adds head of effects animation Marlon West, "Sometimes Gale is completely invisible, but then it moves through a bush or against a character moving leaves, dust or someone's hair," he says. "We gave character animation the tools to actually perform with an ultimately invisible rig that resembled a little comet. They were able to sell the performance that way, indicating Gale's speed and later driving our effects simulation. We also used old-fashioned key framing to let leaves and debris represent Gale. "Gale has a lot of personality," continues West. "Gale gets mad. She's whimsical. She can be helpful. She's not just the wind blowing in one direction or another. Gale is very laser-focused. In the sequence when Gale is like a giant dust devil, she's strong enough to lift our five main characters, including Sven, into the air and spin them around."

That, says technical animation supervisor David J. Suroviec, didn't come easily. "When our characters are caught up within a spinning tornado, we had to make sure their performances would still read, while also maintaining the right look for grooms and costuming."

EARTH GIANTS, the earth spirits, are massive creatures formed by the earth. They form the rocky riverbanks when sleeping, but when they are awakened, they're capable of intense destruction-uprooting trees at will and hurling giant boulders at those who anger them. The earth giants were both characters and environment-calling for collaboration. While some are sedentary, sleeping along the riverbanks, others are fully animated as they make their way through the enchanted forest.

"There's a lot of complexity in the way they move," says head of animation Tony Smeed. "They're very restricted because they're made of rock. They had a long rigging process to make sure when we move the characters that we didn't see solid rock penetrating solid rock. They had to collide and stop or separate. The restrictions make it more fun. They can't move very quickly because they're so heavy and big."

Adds head of effects animation Marlon West, "Our job in effects was to generate rocks that would fall out of the joints as they moved. We had to be careful that the rocks weren't a distraction. We also had to shake the trees as they walked through the forest-but since they're nature spirits, they don't leave a path of destruction in their wake."

FIRE SPIRIT is a tiny, fast-moving flame that can wreak havoc in the forest in a matter of seconds. "It's like a fireball zipping around," says visual effects supervisor Steve Goldberg.

Director of cinematography Mohit Kallianpur worked hand in hand with the effects team to light the fire spirit. "It's magical fire being generated," he says. "It's magenta and blue-it doesn't have the same colors as traditional fire, but it still had to instantly read as fire."

Like the wind spirit, the fire spirit has a range of emotions that affect how big or how dangerous the element becomes. Says West, "There's curious or playful fire all the way to super angry, totally engulfing flames. But it's magical fire: It emits heat-we add heat distortion to show that-but it doesn't emit smoke. It ignites the forest, but doesn't char or destroy it."

"Every day's a little harder as I feel my power grow! Don't you know there's a part of me that longs to go... Into the unknown?"

Filmmakers Trek to Norway, Finland and Iceland to Garner Inspiration Walt Disney Animation Studios filmmakers trekked to Africa to help populate the world of "Zootopia," traveled throughout the islands of the Pacific to garner inspiration for "Moana," and took a field trip to a racetrack to inform the Slaughter Race sequences in "Ralph Breaks the Internet." Research is the root of every story.

Many of the filmmakers behind "Frozen" ventured to Norway and studied fjords, architecture and garb, among other areas-but since "Frozen 2" continues the story, taking Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven far from Arendelle, filmmakers needed to go back. And in September 2016, they did just that, embarking on a two-week trip to Norway, Iceland and Finland. "We were deeply inspired by the beauty of these places," says producer Peter Del Vecho. "It's amazing to me how much of that research trip made it into 'Frozen 2': the fall colors of Norway and Finland, the waterfalls, the stark beauty of Iceland."

Filmmakers also referenced old Norse myths and folklore of found across the Nordic lands, discovering connections to nature that led them to what would become their story. But the key to their story was discovered-at least in part-during that epic trip. Says director Jennifer Lee, "'Frozen 2' is ultimately a mythic fairy tale about home and family, self-discovery, courage and the power to never give up."

The idea of myth versus fairy tale took root somewhere between Norway and Iceland. "There was a beautiful fairy-tale feel to the forests in Norway and Finland," says director Chris Buck. "Iceland was different. It felt dangerous-mythic. We felt small there. Nature was definitely in control in Iceland."

Another major theme in the story, change, is illustrated by the autumn setting of the film. So, the September timing of their travels was strategic in an effort to envelop the filmmakers in the unique foliage that Anna and Elsa might find on their adventures.

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