“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” was a delightful glimpse of the holiday season in Arendelle. All of the colors, snow, outfits, and traditions were exactly what we needed to get us in the mood for the holidays! With only a couple more days until the new year, let’s take a look at some of the visual development art created to bring “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” to life. You’ll also get to hear from some of the artists at Disney Animation that made it all happen:
“Frozen has a very elegant style, particularly the color palette. For ‘Olaf’s Frozen Adventure,’ we wanted to embrace the holiday, which calls for lots of celebratory colors—we had to push the palette to be a little louder,” said production designer Mike Giaimo.
“We had some severe winter weather in [Frozen]. This is the first time we could create a beautiful picture-postcard holiday winter scene in Arendelle. Elsa’s ice is still there, but we had an opportunity to make it romantic,” he added.
Here is a glimpse at Arendelle in the featurette:
“We were asked to make every single house happier,” said Hans-Jörg Keim, head of environments for “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.” “We added traditional holiday décor throughout the village—inside and out.”
The environments team was also responsible for building Olaf’s massive and versatile sleigh, inspired by this piece of concept art:
According to Keim, “there are 109 elements on that sleigh. We had to fill every space and make it look good from every angle.” Elsa and Anna’s gowns, pictured below along with Kristoff, were designed by Mike Giaimo and character design lead Griselda Sastrawinata-Lemay:
“I wanted to unify them as sisters,” said Giaimo. They did this through the use of a complementary color palette in both of their gowns.
“Elsa’s gown is dusty gray-blue with a jeweled bodice that also features a special emblem—three arms of her signature snowflake that reflect the Frozen blue-violet color palette,” he added.
Check out another piece of concept art for Elsa’s warm winter look – an early design by Giaimo:
When it came to translating this beautiful vis dev to fully-realized CG characters, “A lot of work went into the big crystal that forms her emblem to get the reflection and refraction working,” said Claudia Chung Sanii, head of characters & technical animation. “There are also diamond-shaped gems all over her dress that we wanted to be clear and sparkly with realistic facets. They rendered so well, the sparkles were almost distracting so we had to find the right balance.”
Anna’s outfit, pictured in the concept art below, was very strategically designed:
“We also did a lot of elaborate embroidery, some fur detail and we introduced elements of Kristoff’s look to show that they’re a unit now,” said Griselda Sastrawinata-Lemay. “Anna’s sash is actually a pattern of Kristoff’s semi-sash.”
We hadn’t noticed that upon our initial viewing of the featurette, but that is just the kind of attention to detail we have come to expect from Disney artists that makes us appreciate their work even more than we already do!
Side note: it’s very good to know Sir Jorgenbjorgen was this adorable at every stage of the design and animation process:
As were the kittens wearing sweaters and mittens! But that’s pretty much a guarantee:
Now, let’s talk about the star of the featurette: Olaf!
Aside from this incredibly cozy scarf look, Olaf also wears a number of new accessories throughout “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.”
Claudia Chung Sanii said about Olaf: “He goes through several costume changes. That’s unique for Olaf, who is rarely seen with any accessories. But part of his adventure involves trying on all the different traditions.”
“Olaf gets a couple bowties,” added Giaimo. “Elsa fashions the first from a holiday wreath early in the featurette. Later she makes another from ice, which mirrors the design of her signature snowflake.”
Speaking of Elsa’s signature snowflake, check out this gorgeous concept art of the ice tree Elsa creates at the end of “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”:
This is absolutely stunning! We want this in our backyards. Or maybe we should just move to Arendelle?
You can now get into the winter spirit whenever you want by owning “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure,” along with 6 classic Disney shorts, on digital and Movies Anywhere!