Some of the Crew for Disney's 'Frozen 2' Worked 14-Hour 6-Day Work Weeks to Finish the Movie on Schedule

Following up an Academy Award-winning movie isn’t easy, even for Disney. The Disney+ original documentary, Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 gave fans an inside look at this animated sequel and the work that went into making it perfect. 

‘Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2’ showed the process of creating Disney’s animated sequel

To get a story just right, that sometimes means rewriting the script over and over again. For Frozen 2, each rewrite meant reanimation and rerecording for some of the cast members. That includes Kristen Bell, who voiced the character, Anna.

“The changes are necessary but it is difficult to keep up with,” Kristen Bell said during the documentary. “Over the course of three and a half years, I’ll go in every six weeks, I guess. Sometimes I’ll record for eight hours, sometimes for two.”

One of the animators explained that he would go home to say good night to his child and then come right back to the office and start working again. Some of the cast and crew members worked six days a week to make sure the movie was completed on schedule. 

Getting ‘Show Yourself’ perfect took a lot of extra time 

With “Show Yourself,” it was first a challenge to figure out who was calling Elsa to Ahtohallan. Inevitably, Elsa and Anna’s mother became was the voice. Once the changes were finalized, according to Screenrant, “Writers Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez spent 24 hours re-working the front end [of the song,] hoping to find a ‘new energy.’”

With “Show Yourself” included in the final cut, it was a “mad dash to the finish.” Just a few weeks prior to the D23 Expo, the film was wrapping production. That meant final soundbites had to be recorded so animation could finish working on their scenes. As a result, Kristen Bell headed into the recording studio on a Saturday. 

“You just saved our animation *ss,” Director Jennifer Lee said to Kristen Bell. “I just worked about 20 days in a row so I selfishly say thank you. And I don’t want to be too like ‘we’re getting close,’ because then I always feel like I get slapped.”

After audience previews, a number of scenes were cut

The tricky part about Frozen 2, Jennifer Lee explained, is that it has to be understood by young viewers. After showing the film to an audience, the crew learned that the story was a little confusing and, as a result, a number of scenes were cut. There was even a song performed by the Northuldra people that was omitted from the final movie, “See The Sky.” 

“It’s not just me, it’s the story artists, it’s whoever rigged these plants or the drops, it’s the lighters, the tech animators. When you’re cutting a shot, you’re cutting a dozen people’s shot,” Snow and Olaf animation supervisor, Trent Correy, said. “If it’s gonna make the story better, I’m all for it.”

The omissions helped create the Frozen 2 beloved by audiences worldwide. The movie earned a number of awards and nominations, including the Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. The teaser trailer alone became the most-watched teaser for an animated movie of all time. 

Now, the movie, as well as the original Frozen, lives on Disney’s streaming platform. To binge-watch Into the Unknown: The Making Frozen II, head to Disney+. To learn more about this subscription service, visit their website. 

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