Disclosure: This post is part of my all expense paid trip to Los Angeles, CA provided by Disney, in exchange for coverage. However, typos, misspelled words and opinions are 100% mine.
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is a short of everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf! As part of my recent trip to Los Angeles for the #PixarCOCOEvent red carpet and junket, we also got to screen of Olaf’s Frozen Adventure over at the amazing Walt Disney Studios Animation building (my first time there!). It had everything I could ever want in a short and then some. With the ever hilarious, Olaf, back on the screen and better than ever, this short is hilarious and heartwarming. And you can only see it from your seats at the theater because it can only be seen as part of a trip to see COCO.
Limited Time! Fun Facts about Olaf’s Frozen Adventure Premiering Before Pixar Coco Nov. 22
About Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
Olaf (voice of Josh Gad) teams up with Sven on a merry mission in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 21-minute featurette “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.” It’s the first holiday season since the gates reopened and Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) and Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) host a celebration for all of Arendelle. When the townspeople unexpectedly leave early to enjoy their individual holiday customs, the sisters realize they have no family traditions of their own. So, Olaf sets out to comb the kingdom to bring home the best traditions and save this first Christmas for his friends. Directed by Emmy®-winning filmmakers Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (“Prep & Landing”), produced by Oscar® winner Roy Conli (“Big Hero 6”), and featuring a screenplay by Jac Schaeffer and four original songs by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” opens in front of Disney•Pixar’s original feature “Coco” in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.
What struck me about this short is that it’s not just for a Christmas celebrating audience. It’s a holiday adventure in the truest sense, with many different holidays of the season featured in one way or another, which I think was so smart!
Talking Olaf’s Frozen Adventure with Big Time Insiders
In addition to being treated to a full screening of Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, we got a chance to sit down and talk about the film with some of the minds behind the short. We were lucky enough to interview directors, Stevie Wermers-Skelton and Kevin Deters; producer, Roy Conli; and songwriters, Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson. It was really fun to hear about the goings-on behind the animated screen, and how they put it all together.
On the Frozen Franchise’s Take on Family
“One of the themes of the Frozen stories,” said Bryan Kesinger, head of the story, “Family is how you love, not necessarily who you’re related to. This is continued in Olaf’s Frozen Adventure and was one of the messages that touched home the most for me. As someone who has several different blended families including a step-child of my own, a family has never been about blood at my house and our holidays have always had an “everyone is welcome” policy. While our princesses may no longer have parents or other blood relatives, they have now had Olaf, Kristoff and Sven as their family, even if Olaf jokingly advises about Kristoff, “’You’re a princess, you don’t have to settle.’”
On Olaf’s First Christmas
“While ‘Frozen’ is technically set in summertime, the featurette takes place in the winter as the holiday season gets underway,” says director Kevin Deters. “It just made sense to let Olaf take the lead. He’s made of snow, after all, and his childlike personality reflects the wonder of the season.
“This is the first Christmas in forever for Anna and Elsa,’ said songwriter, Elyssa Samsel, “and it’s the first in Arendelle since Elsa opened the gates. They are bringing back the kingdom’s old tradition of ringing the Yule Bell to mark the start of the holiday season. Anna is just bursting with enthusiasm, while Elsa is happy but more controlled. We wanted to stay true to the characters with the established musical vocabulary. Kristen [Bell] has quicker, shorter, bouncier phrases, while Idina [Menzel] has some long notes that make you feel like your heart will burst.”
“Olaf is just taking it all in,” said fellow songwriter, Kate Anderson. “This is his first Christmas ever, and he has a lot of questions.”
Changing it up for Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
One of my favorite things they did in the film was used wardrobe to continue to tell the story. Using some fun new wardrobe, the characters were given more depth symbolizing their unity. The sisters dress in colors more closely related in this short to show that they’ve grown closer together. Anna and Kristoff wear coordinating outfits (like all couples, right?), and even Olaf gets a new look. He goes all out for the holidays with a hat, bowtie, scarf, candy cane, and more little touches that are just SO fun. So adorable!!!
Olaf’s Frozen Frozen Adventure Easter Eggs
Our interviewees gave us clues on some amazing Easter eggs. While I spotted some of them, but I also totally missed some! I’m so glad they gave us the scoop. It makes the short so much more exciting. So be prepared. Spoiler alert.
Be on the lookout for goats on Anna’s dress and in various parts of scenery and decor. They come directly from the tradition of the Yule Goat. Most people say the Yule Goat comes from worshiping the Norse god, Thor (we all know him) who rode a flying chariot drawn by two goats.
You’ll also see part of Baymax in Olaf’s sleigh, as well as other toys that call back to other characters in Disney films.
-Songwriters Elyssa and Kate are both voices in the film. Elyssa is the voice of a kitten in a tree, and Kate is the cookie lady.
Olaf references Wreck-It Ralph, which is so awesome!
Look for Landing for Prep and Landing in three photos on a mantel.
You’ll see Nessie from the Ballad of Nessie in the sled scene.
Super cute fact: The directors’ kids all have voices in the film.
Elsa’s cape has a design of a Christmas tree, pay attention.
See Olaf’s Frozen Adventure When You See COCO
COCO opens in theaters everywhere this November 22nd. And before you see COCO, you’ll be treated to just over 20 minutes of heartwarming hilarity with the short, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure! I had such a wonderful time watching it, and I know your family will, too. So make sure you’re there for Olaf’s Frozen Adventure and COCO!
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