Into the Unknown: Making Frozen II Season 1 Ep. 1: A Year to Premiere

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 25: Title placard of the Disney film "Frozen 2" at a new Disney "Frozen 2" window display at The Disney Store Century City on February 25, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 25: Title placard of the Disney film "Frozen 2" at a new Disney "Frozen 2" window display at The Disney Store Century City on February 25, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images) /

Viewers get to look behind the scenes of the making of Frozen II.

Making a film takes a team of talented and creative people. Disney Plus has graciously allowed it’s audience a look behind the scenes in Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2.

Can Frozen 2 live up to the success of it’s predecessor?

What happens in Into the Unknown: Making Frozen II Episode 1?

The first episode begins December 2018, 11 months until the Frozen 2 World Premiere. The film’s director and writer Jennifer Lee states that they have been working on the film for over three years.

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She details that, “Every three months or so, we screen the film for our fellow directors.” They receive feedback that they apply to the film.

There are several time jumps throughout the episode detailing specific stages that occur before the film’s release.

At 10 months until the film’s World Premiere, husband and wife duo Bobby and Kristen Lopez, discuss the song, “Some Things Never Change”.

They are the songwriters from Frozen I and work diligently together to make sure the lyrics and notes are to their liking as they practice from their Brooklyn N.Y studio.

At 9 months until the film’s World Premiere actors Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, and Josh Gad record the song “Some Things Never Change” while Jonathan Groff is recorded from NY.

Kristen and Bobby guide the actors as they record providing some very interesting insight into how songs are recorded.

We are then introduced to Wayne Unten the Animation Supervisor for “Elsa”, who describes the animators are, “like the actors, and we move around a digital puppet. And each of those characters, they have hundreds of controls in them, and the animators give the life to the character in the performance.”

He adds that possibly around 70 animators will work on a character. One of those animators is, Malerie Walters.

She praises Wayne and finds Jennifer to be a role model because, “it takes a really long time for change to happen, in any industry, and I think Jenn is one of the pioneers of the industry when it comes to women in leadership.”

Malerie works diligently on animating Elsa at the end of her song, “Into the Unknown.” Called “dailies” her work is shown to the directors of the film who make suggestions and provide details for improvement.

After having her boyfriend video tape her mimicking Elsa’s movements, Malerie uses the footage to replicate in animation form.

Idina Menzel’s visit surprises some of the animators and she is able to see firsthand the work Malerie has been doing.

The highlight of the episode is when, as Bobby Lopez explains, “…this is the day where we record over everything synthesizer and replace it with real instruments.”

Watching and listening to the live music play alongside the vocals of “Into the Unknown” was powerful and emotional to say the least. The looks on everyone’s faces as they are watching the orchestra play, including Idina’s is worth the watch.

Conductor Stephen Oremus explains, “This point in the process, they’ve recorded the vocals, most of the vocals, for the songs and just demo versions of the orchestrations. We then come into the studio and have a 90-piece orchestra play.”

The episode shifts gears to Wayne passing a hallway of framed letters written from fans of Frozen. He chooses to read one aloud about a girl who found a way to fight through her struggles because she was inspired by Elsa and her song “Let It Go”.

The first episode concludes at 8 months until the World Premiere with Director of Story, Marc E. Smith.

He explains that, “We storyboard the film, between six and 12 times. The job is basically to get the directors’ vision up on the screen.” His team conducts a video chat with Bobby and Kristen, to pitch the song, “Show Yourself”.

Unfortunately Bobby and Kristen do not like where it is at, which means it will have to be redone.

Overall the first episode was beautifully executed in giving viewers a glimpse of the hard work and passion it takes behind Frozen II. Being able to see, even briefly the world of filmmaking and animation is unique and something more Disney films should continue to do.

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What did you think of Into the Unknown: Making of Frozen II Episode 1? Leave your answers in the comment section below!

Into the Unknown: Making of Frozen II is streaming on Disney Plus.