Disney’s ‘Frozen’ Fun Facts

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It’s always fun to learn more about the making of process of a movie and to learn more about why certain decisions were made during the production of a movie. In this article you’ll discover some Frozen Fun Facts you might already know or you might not now yet. All the Frozen fun facts are spoiler free so you can also read them if you haven’t seen the film, if the fun fact contains a small spoiler, than there will be a spoiler alert.


One of Anna’s favorite phrases—“Wait, what?”—was added to the script compliments of Kristen Bell.




When the story team was developing the character of Olaf, the possibilities were endless. It was when they asked, “How would a snowman think?” that they found Olaf: pure, simple, innocent. His humor ultimately comes from the simple way he thinks.



The character of Kristoff was largely influenced by the Sami people, who are indigenous to parts of northern Norway.

The Sami are known for herding reindeer, which may explain why Kristoff’s best buddy is a reindeer named Sven. Filmmakers visited a Sami-owned reindeer husbandry business in Roros, Norway.

At one point, filmmakers named the reindeer Thor, but later changed their minds due to the sudden popularity of the name around the company.



Hans’ horse, who keeps Anna from falling in the water before the coronation, has a name: Sitron, which means “lemon” in Norwegian.





Art director Mike Giaimo and his team traveled to Norway to soak up the atmosphere, check out the architecture, research the local culture and mythologies, and garner inspiration from the environment for their fictional kingdom of Arendelle. Via cars, trains and boats, they visited fortresses, castles, shops museums, cathedrals, fjords and glaciers.


Animators and effects artists traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyo., to experience deep snow. They donned various attire—including long skirts—to capture the impact created by their steps and how snow interacts with clothing.


Filmmakers invited a real-life reindeer into the Walt Disney Animation Studios, observing the animal’s physical makeup and mannerisms, which were later caricatured in the making of Kristoff’s reindeer buddy Sven.

The reindeer showcased an unexpected technique for taking care of an itch on his ear: he used his back legs—like a dog might do. Sven later adopted the technique.

Well adapted to snow and cold, reindeer can lower the temperature in their legs to near freezing levels, to keep their core body heat consistent in extreme weather. They are also surprisingly fast; a new reindeer calf can easily outrun a man, which explains why Kristoff relies on Sven when he needs to get to Anna quickly.



Several members of the production team traveled to Quebec to experience the Ice Hotel as inspiration for Elsa’s ice palace featured in “Frozen.” Though the artists were inspired and wowed by the icy architecture, none opted to spend the night in the chilly abode.



In an effort to perfect Elsa’s icy magic, filmmakers called on Dr. Thomas Painter, a scientist from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena known as “Dr. Snow” to learn about snowflakes from a molecular level.

80 percent of Earth’s fresh water is frozen in the form of ice or snow. Snow is colorless and clear, but light reflected evenly on snowflake crystals gives it its white appearance.

Although the eternal winter which suddenly fell on Arendelle in “Frozen” probably rivals any snow record, the greatest single-day snowfall recorded was 6.3 feet in Silver Lake, Colo., in 1921. Higher numbers are assumed in areas more remote, but nobody has been around to record them.


To pepper the script with authentic Norwegian words, accents and phrases, filmmakers called on Jackson Crawford, who teaches Old Norse, Scandinavian mythology, Vikings and sagas at UCLA. His research focuses on the history of Old Norse and Norwegian.

The film also features authentic Norwegian kulning, a melodic herding call utilized by farmers to beckon goats and sheep from mountain pastures. Native Norwegian singer and aspiring film composer Christine Hals was tapped to perform the distinctive vocals for the film.


The average animated film features special effects in about 45 percent of its shots. However, since most of “Frozen” takes place in the midst of a winter storm—and snow and ice are considered special effects—“Frozen” can be considered extra—almost entirely—special.

IT’S A LONG STORY – (Mild Frozen spoiler)

The scene in which Elsa walks out onto the balcony of her newly constructed ice palace is 218 frames long, and includes the film’s longest frame to render. The single frame took more than 132 hours to render (that’s more than five days).





Art director Mike Giamo blends traditional Norwegian folk clothing with old Hollywood panache and a bold color palette to create a unique look for the wardrobe.


To achieve Elsa’s look once she flees the kingdom, filmmakers invited celebrity hairstylist Danilo to the Burbank studios to experiment with various styles and capture Elsa’s new-found boldness.


Rosemaling, a style of decorative folk art found throughout Norway’s history, appears throughout the film—on clothing, within the architecture and is even evoked in Elsa’s magic and her icy creations.



During animation dailies, individual animators would sit in a red “hot seat” and present their shots to directors for feedback. If the directors were happy and had no further notes, they would ding a bell—approved!—and everyone would applaud.

What’s Your favorite fun fact from the this list?

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About Max

Max is an animation addict from The Netherlands. His favorite animated movies are Beauty and the Beast and Ratatouille, and he is a big fan of everything Disney, Pixar or DreamWorks related. He loves reading and collecting art books and one day he hopes to work for a major animation studio. Follow his art blog: http://maxdenhartog.tumblr.com
  • JoAnn James

    Wow! I really like how the makers went and studied not only the style of clothing and the language, but also Elsa’s hair! Elsa is personally my favorite character from this movie (because of the snow and ice), so learning that an expert helped design her new hair style. It’s awesome!

    • Wes Nelson

      I kinda have a crush on Elsa.

  • Maria

    Wow, I just love the amount of research that went into this film, I can’t wait to see how it’s integrated in the movie. 😀 And dang, five days to render each frame? That’s hardcore. Seriously, if I see one more person say thr CGI animation is just a lazy way to make money, I’m going to slap this article right in their face. XD

    • AnthonyA

      Well, when CGI artists report “rendering took X hours”, it has a different meaning than for portraiture artists working with oils. In this case, the artist sets up the scene, usually in wire-frame or very low resolution, then pushes the scene as a series of frames to the “render farm” – racks of computers that change each outlined frame to the finished version – complete with lighting, visual effects, etc. The more detail that is included – more characters, huge and complicated backgrounds, etc, the longer it takes to “render” – or bring each frame from low detail to the high detail needed for a movie.

      Video games do this on the fly, using the graphics processor in the computer to compute “X frames per second”. But they are forced to render in much less detail, in order to keep things moving along. There are people that have created animated films entirely on a single computer, but generally, animation studios use racks full of computers called “render farms” – so that one or more computers works on each frame of the movie, and gets the work done faster.

  • TT

    here r more:
    1. Sitron’s name cam from the word lemon, which was suggested by the frozen fans. Jennifer Lee used the fans’ suggested name in Norwegian language and gave it to the horse.
    2. Reindeers r extremely similar to dogs. they scratch their ears like dogs, pant like dogs. so PLZ DONT SAY DISNEY JUST MADE MAXIMUS INTO A REINDEER!
    3. Mike Giamo was one of the people who was responsible for 2D’s demise by making home on the range. he was later fired, but returned to the studio to make frozen. 2D FANS, ATTACK!!!!!!!!

  • FrozenFan

    These are really cool facts, but I want to point out something;
    Even though they based this movie on Norway, many of these things are also common in other Nordic/Scandinavian cultures, and some of them are not from Norway. Like Oaken has sauna; I’m not sure does the film-makers know but sauna is a Finnish tradition (Norway’s neighbor country) and actually the word itself is loaned from Finnish.
    Then Sami people; they are Europe’s indigenous people, kinda like Indians for America. Sami people live in Northern part of Norway, Sweden and Finland so all these countries are somehow familiar with their culture. Also part of Russia is their living space.
    If Kristoff is Sami and they tried to make him stereotypical, then it’s a failure, Sami people look very different from this Nordic blond-type-of-people, they have usually more darker and more “Asian” look.
    I also believe that Hans is supposed to be like “Danish” in this universe; he’s said to be from “Southern islands” and what would be a greater tribute for the original author than a namesake character?
    So yeah, my point kinda is, that even though they took most of it from Norway, it’s kinda shame that other Nordics are totally left out and everything is said to be “Norwegian” ..

    • Marto

      Well that guy with the sauna, was, if we call the others norwegian, finnish. Maybe the differences between him and Anna/Kristoff are’nt that easy to pick up on by most audience members, but to me he came off as a stereotypical finnish guy. Ofcourse this is just my opinon.

    • Anna

      I agree. I actually thought it was based a lot on Sweden because of the fact that they put up a midsummer pole on the day of Elsas Coronation – a Swedish tradition is to dance around it and sing on Midsummers Eve, the guy with the sauna (which is without a doubt Finnish) speaks English the way people Think Swedish people speak English, the namnes they use in the filmis very common in Sweden, the clothes seem to be infuenced by Swedish traditions, the raindeer which is common in Lapland (nothern sweden), the fact that the Sami people live there too, the setting – the Ice hotel that they have a Picture of above is in Sweden – not Quebeq – Jukasjärvi (and it´s Amazing, I know I´ve been there) and so on… So I hink it´s safe to say that it is a SCANDINAVIAN Movie, definetly nog just a Norweigan one!

      • Ælæyna

        I am actually Norwegian, and when I saw Frozen I found it very similar to Norwegian traditions and designs and patterns used in the film are actually designs used on traditional clothing and architecture. Also most, if not all, the names used in Frozen are common Norwegian names. The horses are even Norwegian Fjord horses. (My grandfather raised and bred Norwegian Fjords) I believe this film is more Norwegian than anything. Norway for the win.

    • Barbarisk_Kloakkrypsurinvanare

      ugh. I see this historical misinformation so often that it’s getting annoying. The sami are not the indigenous people of Europe. Infact it’s not even historically proven that they are the indigenous people of Scandinavia. That’s just something politicians say in order to lift an agenda. No one actually knows which people came to Scandinavia first. And I dare say the sami people of today look more scandinavian than inuit. Kristoff’s appearence is therefore accurate.

      So please do your research more carefully next time.

    • Nina.

      You guys make it sound like there was no such thing as immigration at the time that Frozen is supposed to be based on.
      And if you guys are so worried about these slight inaccuracies in the movie, I wonder how you guys feel about movies that make really horrible stereotypes about many other nationalities.
      Not a criticism, just a statement.

    • Carro

      I agree on what your saying, I also believe that they took alot from other countries and not just Norway. I’m from the northen part of Sweden and with the swedish names and the midsummerpole it’s not hard to think it’s based on many more countries and not just Norway. They should have mentioned that. I’m actually Sami and I’m white and blonde so I think they wasn’t really wrong but it depends more on where you live and where your roots are. Even if Frozen isn’t following “real life” it shouldn’t really matter, it’s a movie. In the end I found Frozen really enjoyable and the songs get stuck in the head for the rest of the day, so enjoy! 😀

    • Um…Samis are CAUCASIAN, bub.

  • SnarkyDisneyFan1003

    I liked the one about how they invited the reindeer into Walt Disney studios

    • smartalek

      Notice they never say what became of said reindeer.
      That is because…
      [SPOILER alert — NO KIDS past this point, mmkay? Break their little hearts]
      …he was made into reindeer steaks.
      Yep, grilled and barbecued for the wrap party.
      I know this cause my second cousin’s ex-girlfriend’s kid brother’s best friend’s Cub Scout Den Mother cleans the toilets there on the night shift.
      He was really tasty, too, apparently.
      HEY — don’t shoot the damn messenger.
      You got a problem, take it up with the cafeteria ladies at Disney studios.

  • Börje

    Norge suger kuk

    • Svensken

      Du suger kuk

    • kurt nils pils bare hils

      e9 ass

  • A

    what about the maypole (midsummerpole)?

    • Sarah

      I was watching Frozen, and thought of that too! I am from Norway, and I’ve certainly never seen it here. Only on pictures from midsummer in Sweden. But I read that it has been used in Norway before, but it was never nearly as popular as in Sweden or Denmark. The film is absolutely not just inspired by Norway, but more Scandinavia as a hole I think. There are of course more elements from Norway, even the name (Arendelle – Arendal, a city in Norway), but still, elements from Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland are all included

  • Wes Nelson

    “What, what?” What, what? Hahahahaha!!

    • frozen fan 253

      it’s hard for a person from USA to understand the differences from one european zone to another european zone, even inside the same country. You better assume that any film made in the USA will use regional features to create a country-like environment that matches the idea of that country that any person from the USA may have. Do not try to locate Arendale in Norway or any other counrty.

  • Skjcjxnsk

    I thought arendelle was supposed to be in Iceland ^_^

  • T

    I find that the updo Anna’s wearing looks abit like what we in Sweden call a “uppombindning”. It’s a old type of updo, used by unmarried women. Today it’s mainly used to folk costumes.

  • Carie

    Disney should have paid more attention to their expert. I doubt anyone who teaches what Jackson Crawford does would mispronounce the word “sauna.”

  • Roy Royce

    Many different opinions here !noticed the red line in a few of the comments . It is called Envy,!!!! Envy Because Norway Is the country in wich the storyline depicts . Sorry Børje from Sweden ,with his stupid ” remark ” Norge suger kuk onlly shots hos lack of intelligens . PS!Fantastic movie ,

  • Shannon Michele Patrick

    Beautiful movie. I love it. It is now one of my favorite films of all time. I wonder how long did it take to make this movie? Does anybody know?

  • kate

    Hey ive just realized something really cool!!sven and olaf names come from the movie titanic!!these two guys were present in the scene that jack is gambling to win the titanic ticket!!this name similarity cannot be by chance