If someone had told me, a grown woman, that I would be in the ugly cry over a snowman, I probably would’ve bet you’re wrong. I mean, let’s face it…the last time I shed a tear over a snowman it was for my main man Frosty! Well, Frosty make have to take seat, because there is a new snowman in town named Olaf and he melted my heart in Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.
Produced by Roy Conli (Big Hero 6 and Born in China), Olaf tackles the subject of holiday family traditions and how important they are to the legacy of a family. In Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, the Yule Bell signified the holiday season and it went away within the movie Frozen. Built as a short to accompany Disney/Pixar’s COCO (which has already been crowned the #1 Movie in Mexico…EVER!!!), Olaf’s Frozen Adventure taps into the childlike quality of Olaf.
At a recent press conference attended by Conli, Directors Stevie Wermers and Kevin Deters, along with the voice of Olaf himself – Broadway Veteran and “Marshall” Co-Star – Josh Gad, we enjoyed some special treats including a reel celebrating the last 11 years of hit films from Disney including Moana, The Princess and The Frog, Big Her o 6, Zootopia and of course Frozen.
When the creative team was asked about their favorite family traditions…
Kevin Deters – Chocolate Krinkles
Stevie Wermers – Decorating the Christmas Tree while her two dogs supervise.
Roy Conli – Buying a Living Christmas Tree
Josh Gad – Writing a letter to his daughters on Christmas Eve from Santa Claus
Speaking of Josh, he explained that when portraying the voice of Olaf…”singing in character is hard and tricky to keep the voice bright”. He also confessed that the first time he sang “That Time of Year” live was at this year’s Disney’s Annual D23 convention with no rehearsal or heads up…talk about pressure!!!
Gad shared his inspiration behind Olaf is that Olaf has a childlike quality that most people lose as they grow older. Olaf is constantly learning and growing. Although his kids are ticked that “…Daddy is Olaf….”, they would prefer he stop speaking as the world-famous snowman around the house…LOL. “Not a day goes by where I don’t wonder how Frozen became the biggest animated film of all time…it’s magic time for me right now!”
The day of the conference was also the day the world got hit with the news that Robert Guillaume (Rafiki in Disney’s The Lion King) passed on and joined another iconic great Robin Williams (Genie in Aladdin). Josh Gad somberly shared that his Olaf is an homage to Guillaume and Williams.
When I questioned about the difficulties of coming from musical theatre (where the body is used in its totality) and transitioning into animation where it’s literally just your voice, without skipping a beat he said, “It’s not hard using your body…especially when you’ve been blessed with THIS body (uproarious laughter). The animators do so much with so little.”
When it’s all said and done, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is about family, siblings and tradition. Here’s hoping this new animated classic is around for decades to come!!!
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure can be seen right before COCO in theaters beginning November 22nd!!!