13 Pieces of Beautiful Frozen Concept Art

From the Oh My Disney blog

You may be wondering, what exactly goes into the process of creating iconic Disney characters? Disney artists spend years perfecting this, as well as the locations, backgrounds, and overall look of each film. Imagine if Arendelle looked completely different, a kingdom where Queen Elsa had black hair instead of icy blonde, or Olaf was square instead of round. We had the chance to sit down with Michael Giaimo, art director of Frozen, to hear more about the development stage of the film. These beautiful pieces of art shine a light onto the process of Frozen’s character development. Take a look:

Elsa and Anna by Bill Schwab
“When this drawing was done we thought, ‘What’s the best way to show contrast between these two sisters?’ Anna is fair and has strawberry-blonde hair, so we tried giving Elsa dark hair.”
Anna and Elsa by Claire Keane
Elsa-White-Dress-and-Anna
“At one point in the story’s development, Anna and Elsa were not related and Elsa was more of a villain. When we decided that the narrative worked better when they were sisters, we knew that even though Elsa had magical powers they had to look like they came from the same world. We didn’t want to make Elsa look like she came from another planet.”
Elsa by Michael Giaimo
Elsa_Blue-Rough
“At one time during development when Elsa was the villainous Snow Queen and not Anna’s sister, we thought of her as an older, more middle-aged woman.”
Olaf by Bill Schwab
Olaf_Rough
“We toyed with putting little accessories on Olaf for a while, like a scarf or a hat, but we did away with that because he’s a snowman, and just like Elsa, he doesn’t need anything to keep him warm.”
Sven by Bill Schwab
Sven_Rough-Sketch
“Animators really opened the door to the most charming and appealing interpretation of this reindeer. He’s such a big character physically and then to see him act sometimes like a puppy, or like a little adolescent dog, is really fun.”
Kristoff by Minkyu Lee
Kristoff_Brown-Clothing_2
“Costume-wise, Sven and Kristoff share a similar design language. If you look at Kristoff’s sash and the trim on his tunic you’ll see a geometric design similar to what you’ll find on Sven’s harness. We reserved that design style for these two characters.”
Kristoff by Minkyu Lee
Kristoff_Brown-Clothing
“Kristoff was always sort of an affable, relatively easygoing guy’s guy.”
Troll by Bill Schwab
Troll
“For the world that Frozen is set in, we thought to have the trolls be so colorful was a little out of line with how they were eventually written, which was less psychedelic and more organic to the earth.”
Troll by Bill Schwab
Troll-2
“To make a connection to the aurora borealis found in both Norway and the film, we originally were going to make the trolls a little bit phosphorescent.”
Elsa by Jean Gillmore
Elsa_Coronation-Gown_Cape
“It was actually John Lasseter who suggested that because the story and character designs are Scandinavian-inspired, Elsa’s dark hair needed to go in a different direction.”
Hans by Bill Schwab
Hans_Black-and-White
“It is really hard in a ninety minute animated film to turn a character from good to evil in such a way that truly surprises an audience.”
Hans by Bill Schwab
Hans_Side-by-Side-Evil
“To really pull the Hans surprise toward the end was a very deft writing turn. I remember when we were talking about him we all said, ‘Can we do it? Can we really fool the audience?’ We really wondered if they would catch onto him too early.”
The Royal Family of Arendelle by Cory Loftis
Frozen_Family-Portrait-Base
“We worked really hard to give all the characters a distinctive color language, but one thing you might notice about most of the characters is the inclusion of the color magenta which helps to unify the cast.”
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TMSM Avenger

Co-Owner / Webmaster / Business Relations / PT Writer As co-owner and co-creator of The Main Street Mouse. Working in a technical support position for 18 years, it was time for a change. As the Webmaster and Project Planner, I spend most of my time researching everything from the latest Disney News, technology advances and of course keeping up on all the Marvel news that comes out. I never considered myself a writer but I’ve come to like blogging and sharing news with all. I feel blessed everyday that I get to spend my days working with my best friend and love of my life while we continue to grow and expand what started as a hobby all those years ago.

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