Disney’s new animated film “Frozen” has made star Kristen Bell’s dreams of portraying a Disney character in some form or another come true. She will be providing the voice for the klutzy, but true-hearted Anna. She had this say about her lifelong ambition.
“Since I was 4 years old, I dreamed of being in a Disney animated film,” Bell says. “It was the first goal I ever set for myself. It seemed like it would be a very unrealistic one.”
In “Frozen,” fearless optimist Anna (voice of ‘Kristen Bell’ ) teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of ‘Jonathan Groff’ ) and his loyal reindeer Sven in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel,) whose icy powers have trapped the land of Arendelle in eternal winter. Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. The story is based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.
“Anna is the sibling who doesn’t normally get that much attention and is used to kind of just spazzing out on her own,” Bell says. “But she’s forced into a position where her sister needs her, and she has to step up to the plate.”
Bell approached directors Chris Buck (“Surf’s Up,” “Tarzan”) and Jennifer Lee (a screenwriter on “Wreck-It Ralph”) about how to play her character.
“She’s not a good fighter, she doesn’t have good posture, she’s not very elegant, and she’s constantly putting her foot in her mouth,” she says. “But she’s a good person and she’s utterly determined.”
“She doesn’t have any superpowers,” adds Lee. “But Anna is one of these ordinary people doing an extraordinary thing.”
As far as a romantic angle is concerned, “Frozen” has that element as well in the charming character of Prince Hans (Santino Fontana.)
“He’s the more Disney-type of guy,” says Bell, who elaborates about Anna developing a fondness for the rugged Kristoff. First, and foremost though, the film focuses on the relationship between sisters Anna and Elsa.
“That’s such an important part of this,” Lee says. “Two sisters torn apart by a big family secret.”
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ animators sojourned to Norway to see the winter there up close and personal in order to incorporate the look into the 3-D-enhanced scenery of the film. Director Chris Buck said he had “a blast” re-creating the beauty on-screen.
“The light is amazing, the way it refracts and dances off the snow and ice,” Buck says. “We’re still working on the film, but what we have seen is stunning.”
The music for “Frozen” was composed by “The Book of Mormon’s” Robert Lopez with lyrics from his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez, which are performed by top Broadway stars. Bell sang alongside stage veteran Idina Menzel, a situation she found “terrifying.”
“It’s like getting on a bike path with Lance Armstrong,” Bell says. “She’s one of the best singers on the planet.”
Unscathed, Bell came through the process refreshed. She says her role is something that Lincoln, her newborn daughter with Dax Shepard, will be proud of one day.
“Now that I have a little girl, she’s going to be able to see me voice this character, and that’s a special part of the process for me,” Bell says. “She won’t know for a very long time, but when that time comes, she’ll be as excited as I am now.”
“Frozen” will arrive for the winter holidays on November 27. The film stars the voice talents of Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Tom Kane, Santino Fontana, Eva Bella, and Livvy Stubenrauch. Jennifer Lee and Shane Morris wrote the screenplay based on the fairy tale “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee direct.