Disney’s record-breaking Frozen movies looks seamless and polished but a doco reveals the failures, heartache and tears that go into making them.
Disney’s record-breaking Frozen movies looks seamless and polished but a doco reveals the failures, heartache and tears that go into making them.

Hard work and heartbreak behind Frozen 2

Millions of young and old movie-lovers around the world will be hoping that a dream had by Frozen director Chris Buck doesn't turn out to be prophetic.

When second film in the beloved animated franchise was released last November, it made $2 billion at the box office and cemented its place as a cultural phenomenon, prompting the inevitable question of when - or even if - a third movie would happen.

Buck's dream, in which he was driving a station wagon and in the back seat were the movie's main characters - Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf the snowman and Sven the reindeer - made him realise that he had no idea.

"They were all yelling and laughing and singing and it was just like having five kids in the back," Buck said with a laugh.

"And finally, the car comes to a stop and the doors open and the characters all ran away. I sort of waved goodbye and wished them well. I don't know what that means. Who knows? I may ask them to get back in the car with me and take another ride."

Director Chris Buck says it’s too early to say whether Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven will be back for Frozen 3.
Director Chris Buck says it’s too early to say whether Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven will be back for Frozen 3.

Given that it took more than a year to announce a sequel after the breakout success of the first Frozen film in 2014, both of which were co-directed with Jennifer Lee, it's likely that Buck was still reeling the from monumental physical and emotional effort it takes to get such films from concept to screen.

The difficult, exhilarating, exhausting process is wonderfully captured in Into the Unknown: The Making Of Frozen 2, which makes fascinating viewing not just for Frozen freaks, but also for fans of filmmaking.

Any animated undertaking of the scale of Frozen is several years work for hundreds of people.

Chris Buck, Peter Vecchio and Jennifer Lee behind the scenes in Into the Unknown: the Making of Frozen 2 on Disney+
Chris Buck, Peter Vecchio and Jennifer Lee behind the scenes in Into the Unknown: the Making of Frozen 2 on Disney+

"You really get to see the artists behind the beautiful art and you get to see the humanity behind the technology," Buck said of the new six-part documentary that lands on Disney+ this week.

"And you get to see where we fail and where we make mistakes and I think that is fascinating. These movies in the end look somewhat effortless and I think it's nice to show that it's a lot of hard work and it's a lot of people's love and passion that go into these."

Buck said his own life has also been touched by the films.

Throughout the process of making the sequel, he and his wife were dealing with losing their son, who had been killed in a car crash.

Not only did the support offered by Buck's Disney family help them through the difficult time, Anna's song The Next Right Thing, which also referenced voice actor Kristen Bell's battle with depression, gave them particular comfort.

"Real life inspires these movies and that's how they connect with people because we don't shy away from the tough things in life," Buck said.

"But we also show with these struggles, how you can get through them and I think that's a very important thing. It's been very important to me - we took a very painful moment and tried to bring some positivity to it to help others if we could."

Into the Unknown: The Making Of Frozen 2 streams on Disney+ from Friday

Originally published as Hard work and heartbreak behind Frozen 2


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