Anna as she appears in Disney's Frozen
|First appearance||Frozen (2013)|
|Portrayed by||Patti Murin|
|Voiced by||Kristen Bell|
(5-year-old speaking voice)
(5-year-old singing voice)
Agatha Lee Monn
(9-year-old singing voice)
(Ralph Breaks the Internet)
|Age||5 to 18 years|
|Inspired by||Gerda from the Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale|
|Title||Princess of Arendelle|
|Nationality||Kingdom of Arendelle|
Princess Anna of Arendelle is a fictional character who appears in Walt Disney Animation Studios' 53rd animated film Frozen. She is voiced by Kristen Bell as an adult. At the beginning of the film, Livvy Stubenrauch and Katie Lopez provide her speaking and singing voice as a young child, respectively. Agatha Lee Monn portrayed her as a nine-year-old (singing).
Created by co-directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, Anna is loosely based on Gerda, a character from the Danish fairytale "The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Andersen. In the Disney film adaptation, Anna is depicted as the princess of Arendelle, a fictional Scandinavian kingdom, and the younger sister of Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel), who is the heiress to the throne and possesses the elemental ability to create and control ice and snow. When Elsa exiles herself from the kingdom after inadvertently sending Arendelle into an eternal winter on the evening of her coronation, fearless and faithful Anna is determined to set out on a dangerous adventure to bring her sister back and save both her kingdom and her family.
The original fairytale in general and the character of the Snow Queen in particular posed long-term problems to adapt into a feature-length production. Several film executives, including Walt Disney, made their attempts towards the story and numerous adaptations were shelved as the filmmakers could not work out the characters. Finally, directors Buck and Lee solved the issue by portraying Anna and Elsa as sisters, establishing a dynamic relationship between the characters.
Film critics praised Anna's determination and enthusiasm in her personality and Bell for her performance in the film.
- 1 Development
- 2 Appearances
- 3 Reception
- 4 References
- 5 Further reading
- 6 External links
Origins and conception
Attempts to produce an adaption of "The Snow Queen" in the Disney studio dated back to 1943, when Walt Disney considered collaborating with Samuel Goldwyn to produce a biography film of Hans Christian Andersen. However, the story and particularly the Snow Queen character proved to be too problematic to Disney and his animators. Namely one of the troubles they encountered was that the original story lacked necessary interaction between the main protagonist, Gerda (who later served as an inspiration for Anna), and the Snow Queen. Most obviously, Andersen's version did not feature any confrontation between them: when brave little Gerda enters the Snow Queen's ice castle and sheds her tears on Kay, the Snow Queen is nowhere to be seen. There just was not enough character conflict to form a full-length feature. Later on, Glen Keane, Paul and Gaëtan Brizzi, Harvey Fierstein, Dick Zondag and Dave Goetz were among other Disney executives to make efforts towards translating this potential material to the big screen, but none of them made their way. Around 2008, Chris Buck pitched Disney his version of The Snow Queen. At the time, the project was planned to be traditionally animated under the name of Anna and the Snow Queen. However, by early 2010, the project encountered the same problem and was stuck again. Jennifer Lee, Frozen's co-director, later recalled, "The issue with the original for us in a lot of ways is it's a very symbolic story. It's very hard to translate symbolism into concrete things. Film is concrete, so you translate it."
After the success of Tangled (2010), on December 22, 2011, Disney announced a release date, November 27, 2013, for the film, together with a new title, Frozen, and Peter Del Vecho and John Lasseter took up as the project's producers. Now, when the film was revived again, one of the main challenges that Buck and his team had to face with was the character. The storyboards were presented to John Lasseter, who would tell the assembled production team "You haven't dug deep enough." Lasseter commended that Chris Buck's latest version was fun and very light-hearted, but the characters were not multifaceted, and thus did not resonate for the producer.
The original character of Gerda, known as Anna, was one of the three major characters in the script at this time, along with the Snow Queen, Elsa and Kristoff, loosely based on Kay. The characters were not considered to be well-rounded or relatable, but an interpersonal, family dynamic was created once Anna and Elsa were established as sisters, an idea suggested by someone on the writing team that no one remembered who. This changed the story dramatically, shifting from the conflict between the good and the evil to the conflict between love and fear. Buck stated that their script still retained basic parts of the story and the character of Gerda, citing the similarities between the original story and his version, "[Gerda] won't give up on finding her friend Kai. The only thing she really has in her, she's not a superhero or anything, but she has love. And it's love that conquers fear in the end."
On March 5, 2012, Kristen Bell was cast to voice the adult Anna. Livvy Stubenrauch was chosen to portray Anna as a young child, while Katie Lopez, daughter of the husband-and-wife songwriting team of the film, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, provided the singing voice for young Anna in "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" musical sequence. Additionally, Agatha Lee Monn, daughter of the film's director Jennifer Lee, portrayed teenage Anna in this song. Lee explained about these casting decisions, "We really wanted to use the first two verses of this song to show you Anna's personality. And we wanted the singing to be done by real-sounding kids, not necessarily Broadway kids." Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel (who voiced Elsa in the film) had both auditioned for Rapunzel in Tangled and had already known each other, but they did not get the part.
Talking about her feelings when she got the part, Bell expressed, "Since I was 4 years old, I dreamed of being in a Disney animated film," she said. "It was the first goal I ever set for myself. It seemed like it would be a very unrealistic one." She described Disney movies as "the ones [she] watched over and over again when [she] was a kid," and continued, "I knew every line from The Little Mermaid. I love Aladdin. When asked about her favorite Disney character, Bell said, "Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Because I think it was a shift that Disney had, where a female lead—the "princess," I guess—didn't just want to find her mate. She was singing "I want to be where the people are. I want to see the world. I want to venture outside my comfort zone."" Bell described her initial reaction when she first found that she was cast as "I was in glee". Lee admitted Bell's casting selection was influenced after the filmmakers listened a couple of vocal tracks from The Little Mermaid, including "Part of Your World" that the actress recorded when she was young, stating that without these recordings, it would've been very difficult to the find the right one to play Anna.
The two directors, Buck and Lee, were also impressed by how Kristen and Idina related. "During one of our early read-throughs, Kristen and Idina sang a ballad to each other which had so much emotion that everyone in the room was in tears," Buck said. "It not only showed how great their voices were together, but showed the power the music would have in the story." However, Bell was not all confidence when recording with Menzel, described the experiences working with her co-star as "nerve-racking". The duo had rehearsed at Idina's house a song called "Wind Beneath My Wings", in which Bell greatly commended Idina's powerful voice. Regarding the songs that she performed in the film, Kristen said, "We're singing the lovely songs of Kristen and Bobby Lopez, who wrote 'Book of Mormon.' So it's really, really funny music. It's really good music. They're amazing to work for."
Director Jennifer Lee strongly believed that there could not be any other Anna but Kristen Bell, saying, "It was definitely a wonderful surprise hearing her voice [during auditions], not knowing that she had been classically trained. Also, she had such a warm, sweet voice. She was everything that we could've hoped for Anna." Co-director Chris Buck shared Lee's ideas, commenting, "Kristen Bell for Anna was the very first person that we saw. We did a lot of casting to find Anna, but she just hit it out of the park. From the beginning we loved her, and she just kind of became Anna and Anna became her. I don't know which one is which." Idina Menzel was also surprised by her co-star's singing ability, stating that, "I didn't know how great a singer she was. I quickly found out and need to constantly tell her because she doesn't tell anybody else! She's always playing it down." Songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez later commended Bell's quick comprehension of her ideas, saying that she would collaborate with the actress for "the rest of [her] life" if she could. Anna's animator Becky Bresee commented that Bell's voice "lends itself well, so you are taking bits and pieces."
During production, Bell and Menzel had to do a lot of recordings and re-recordings, and were required to be together in the same room when on the key emotional scenes between Anna and Elsa. "We even got Kristen and Idina together for a song. That really helped elevate the song because they have a duet in the movie and it definitely helped drive that," said producer Peter Del Vecho. Chris Buck later commented that getting the actresses in together as much as they could helped add the real, amazing chemistry between them and made them really interact. Bell's recording sessions were completed while she was pregnant, and later she had to re-record some of the lines after giving birth, as her voice had deepened. After watching the completed film, Bell described her performance as "cool and weird and surreal and jarring", saying that she was really proud that Anna "came out like she did that [the directors] let [Bell] do her like this."
Design and characterization
Anna in particular and the whole film in general had undergone a number of changes in the story, most notably making the heroine the younger sister of the Snow Queen. Describing the character's development process, director Jennifer Lee admitted, "Even with Anna there was a tug of war for a long time. There are elements of it that we didn't land on with Anna until late into production, so we changed some of the animation to support it." Bell generally described her character as "She doesn't have good postures, she's not very elegant, but she's a good person and she's utterly determined." Lee added, "She doesn't have any superpowers, but Anna is one of these ordinary people doing an extraordinary thing." Contrary to her sister Elsa who represents fear, Anna represents love, she is filled with optimism with an extraordinary heart. Director Chris Buck later stated, "[Anna's] secret weapon is love," while head of story Paul Briggs commented that she is "a character who is willing to stand beside you and stand up for what's right. Her sister was born with a condition that's shaped a world where Anna doesn't belong." In the images of Frozen's main characters released by Disney in July 2013, Anna and her role in the film was described as follows:
Anna is more daring than graceful and, at times, can act before she thinks. But she’s also the most optimistic and caring person you’ll ever meet. She longs to reconnect with her sister, Elsa, as they were close during their childhood. When Elsa accidentally unleashes a magical secret that locks the kingdom of Arendelle in an eternal winter, Anna embarks on a dangerous adventure to make things right. Armed with only her fearlessness, a never-give-up attitude and her faith in others, Anna is determined to save both her kingdom and her family.
|"I'm really excited to show it to people. I became a part of the kind of movie I wanted to see as a kid," she said. "I always loved Disney animation, but there was something about the females that was unattainable to me. Their posture was too good and they were too well-spoken, and I feel like I really made this girl much more relatable and weirder and scrappier and more excitable and awkward. I'm really proud of that."|
|—Kristen Bell on her approach to the character of Anna.|
In order to have one person fully understand and develop their own character, as well as later be able to impart that to the crew, the film's directors and producers decided to have character leads and supervising animators on specific characters. First-time character lead Becky Bresee serves as the supervising animator for Anna. She described her job as "making the character more believable". To achieve this, she had to act out part of a sequence in the movie between Anna and Kristoff for a number of times, each of them emphasizing the character's gestures differently. "Anna's a little bit nervous and uncomfortable, and I had to find a way to put that into the animation," explained Bresee.
Bell said that at first Anna was written plainer and more general. "In the first draft of the script she was written more, in my opinion, prissy. She was kind of specific and very girly," which Bell did not find appealing. She admitted that she had always wanted to be part of Disney animated feature, but she "wanted to be a very specific type of princess", who "was way more awkward than the normal princesses", not someone with too good postures or too well-spoken. As she was offered the role of Anna, she came up with a lot of suggestions for the directors. They were responsive and allowed the actress to mould the character the way she wanted, since they wanted the film to be truthful. Bell significantly made specific changes to Anna, including the infusion and incorporation of the actress' own personality to the character, embodying a relatable heroine, which received full support from the directors. She called the scene where Anna first meets Hans is a "typical Disney moment", as they come too close physically and find out that they both fall in love with each other. Bell wanted Anna's words to reflect what she herself would say in real life, which included some "nonsensical rambling". "I think I said, "This is awkward. You're not awkward. Me, I'm awkward. You're gorgeous. Wait—what?" Words just spill out of her mouth too quickly and she has to backtrack." Bell continued. Or the whole scene where she wakes up in the beginning with saliva all over the face, Bell "wanted her to also have hair in her mouth", which took inspiration from her own real life. "Sometimes I wake up like that. Then you have hair in your mouth, and you start coughing. The animators totally got what I was trying to do. It's cool, and way more fun when stuff is realistic like that, instead of the perfection of waking up with mascara on." Anna's snorting and tripping over also drew inspirations from Bell's real life. Bell's recording sessions were also videotaped to assist in animating the character, and animators took into considerations even subtle things like the actress' biting her lip a lot. According to director Jennifer Lee, Anna is a bit flawed.
|"I think I'll be the most proud of this character for a long time. There was so much of me that was put into this character. There was a lot of collaboration, and not just in the fact of, here is the character, and here is what I want to bring, and here is what you want to bring. I really wanted to infuse her with who I am. I wanted the heart behind it to be that things didn’t come to her; the birds didn't come and braid her hair. She went out and fought for things. I'm really proud that little girls will be able to see that, because that’s what I wanted. So I will be thinking about her for a while."|
|—Kristen Bell on Anna's influence to her in the future.|
When asked about Anna's biggest charm, Bell said that "her charm is caught somewhere between her sincerity and optimism. Anna is genuine, sincere and compounded with optimism, and eternally optimistic people are the most charismatic people, much more attractive than those with a bad mood." She also expressed why the character seemed to loveable to her, "To have Anna in a situation where she starts the movie without any friends, because her lifestyle hasn’t allowed her to have a full kingdom. She runs around, because she wants friends." Bell called the film's story is "another turning point" for Disney animation because the love depicted in this story is the love between siblings, a non-romantic love. Anna wants the world and she wants to explore, but she also wants to nurture the relationships around her, particularly the family relationship. "It's very non-traditional for a Disney movie," she added.
Regarding Bell's influence on Anna, director Chris Buck said her personality was just so fun and energetic. "We had an Anna character but Kristen really came in and pushed it and made it even funnier and even sweeter I think, and more believable as a three-dimensional character," he said. He also admitted that he "fell in love with [Bell]'s voice and [Bell]'s spirit". Director Jennifer Lee said that she loved Bell because the actress shared a similarity with her, that girls could be funny. "So she was a fantastic collaborator," Lee added. Songwriting duo Kristen-Anderson Lopez and Robert Lopez later commented that they had written a lot of first songs for Kristen, for Anna but, "The more we were working with Kristen Bell, the more, the more she influenced." They quickly understand who Anna was because Anna's Kristen Bell.
Anna's costumes in the film were informed by the research of Norwegian clothing styles. Based on these findings, art director Brittney Lee and her team later found out what materials should be used for the costumes. Co-director Jennifer Lee created a cheerful wardrobe featuring "playful" floral patterns and saturated colors in order to accurately reflect Anna's personality. The animators also took into account the climate that Anna is living in, costuming her in heavy wools and velvets, reflecting traditional winter clothing of the Scandinavian area. The animators added structures to the costumes in a way, such as pleated dresses, that allows movements, giving the character a free range of "twirl[ing] all she wants" throughout the film. In order to deepen the cultural context of the film, rosemaling, a traditional form of Norwegian decorative folk art, was added to almost every character's costumes. Anna and her sister, Elsa, also enjoyed a large number of types of costumes and the layers of costuming that have never been done before. As these characters are running around in the snow, they have to have petticoats, undergarments, capes, "and they have all these layers and layers of things that are all meticulously designed," Brittney explained.
Anna has distinguishable facial features of a typical Disney heroine, including big eyes, thin lips and a small nose. Her physical appearance has drawn much comparison between her and Rapunzel from Tangled, however there are considerable differences between them. Anna's eyes are slightly more upturned, her cheeks are a bit fuller, her face and chin are generally rounder, and her eyebrows and eyelashes are thicker than Rapunzel's. She also has more freckles than Rapunzel and even has them on her shoulders. Anna's eyebrows wrinkle when they move, and she has prevalent neck muscles that appear when she speaks. Anna's travel outfit generally consists of magenta, black, dark and light blue, with flowery designs on the bottom of her dress.
Anna is the younger child in the royal family of Arendelle, whose older sister, Elsa is born with the power to create and control ice and snow. As children, they enjoy the life of princesses using Elsa's abilities to create a winter wonderland for their enjoyment. After they create a snowman named Olaf in the throne room, Elsa accidentally strikes Anna unconscious with her magic. The king and queen hurriedly take Anna to the mountain trolls for help. The troll king, Pabbie, erases Anna's memory of her sister's magic, only leaving memory of the fun the sisters shared. Pabbie warns Elsa to control her powers—a strike to Anna's heart would have been fatal. In an effort to protect Anna, the king and queen lock the castle gates and generally restrict Elsa to her bedroom. Confused by the sudden loss of contact by Elsa, Anna makes repeated failed attempts to draw her out of her room. Elsa cares too much for her sister, traumatized by the near-death experience and she resists reconnecting with Anna. Eventually, the younger sister ceases trying to rekindle their bond. The sisters become even more isolated from each other after their parents, the King and Queen of Arendelle, die in a shipwreck. Devastated by the news, Anna tries to reunite with her sister, looking for love and comfort in the tragedy. Elsa remains in her room, not attending her parents' funeral.
Three years later, when Elsa becomes a young adult, she is set to be crowned queen. The people of Arendelle are joyously preparing for her coronation day. Anna is flushed with excitement as the castle gates are opened for the first time since the sisters' childhood. The young princess expresses how cheerful she is when she leaves her lonely life and meets people, as well as her hopes to find romance and a love interest. While exploring the town, Anna bumps into a horse owned by Prince Hans of the Southern Isles. Despite the awkward meeting at first, the pair quickly get acquainted and develop a mutual attraction for each other. Though Elsa fears of her secret being revealed to the public, her coronation goes on without incident. At the reception party, Anna is offered a waltz from Hans and the two have a date around the kingdom. They later find out that they have much in common, and Anna agrees to Hans' marriage proposal. Anna asks for Elsa's blessing to marry Hans, but she refuses and criticizes her for engaging with someone she has just met. This raises an argument between the two with Anna losing her temper, culminating in Elsa getting angry and accidentally exposing her abilities. Upon the guests' horrified reactions, Elsa flees the castle in panic and goes into hiding in the icy mountains. During her retreat, she inadvertently unleashes an eternal winter throughout Arendelle. Far from there, Elsa decides to let go of her powers and build an enormous ice palace. Anna, believing it's her fault, determines to find her sister and bring her back, leaving Hans in charge of Arendelle.
At a trading post on her journey, Anna meets a mountain man named Kristoff, an ice harvester who agrees to lead her to the North Mountain, where he knows that a magical phenomenon has occurred and helps her escape a pack of wolves, resulting in his sled being destroyed after falling down into a large hole and catching fire. The duo and Kristoff's reindeer Sven, are chased by wolves on the way and encounter Elsa's snowman, Olaf, who was unknowingly brought to life by Elsa and later leads them to her palace. The sisters reunite, but Elsa is reluctant to help Anna by ending the eternal winter. Upset, she loses control of her powers, striking Anna in her heart. Desperate to get her sister to leave, Elsa creates a giant snow creature, and it throws Anna and her friends away from the palace. Upon noticing Anna's hair is turning white, Kristoff takes her back to his adoptive family of trolls. Pabbie tells Anna that her heart has been frozen by her sister's magic and only an act of true love can save her from freezing completely. Kristoff, believing that a romantic kiss from Hans will heal her, takes Anna back to the kingdom.
Meanwhile, Hans has led a group of soldiers to the ice palace. Elsa's defenses are not enough and she is taken back to Arendelle's dungeon unconscious. At the castle, Anna's request for a kiss is denied by Hans, who reveals their engagement was merely a ploy to seize the throne of Arendelle. He locks Anna in her room without a fire, leaving her to die. Hans falsely claims that Anna is already dead and that they spoke their marriage vows before she died, making him the ruler of Arendelle. Olaf aids Anna while revealing to her Kristoff's love for her. Elsa also escapes into the fjord, her fears triggering a massive blizzard, but breaks down in shock when Hans tells her that she killed Anna and the blizzard stops. While the end of the storm allows Anna to reunite with Kristoff, she sees Hans ready to kill Elsa, and with her final breath, she stops him from killing her sister and inadvertently knocks him unconscious just as she freezes solid—a result of the earlier accident.
As Elsa grieves for her sister, Anna begins to thaw, since her choice to sacrifice herself to save her elder sister rather than herself constitutes "an act of true love". Realizing love is the key to controlling her powers, Elsa is able to thaw the kingdom and use her magic safely in public. Anna confronts Hans and punches him in the face, making him fall off the ship into the water. She then buys Kristoff a previously-promised new sled and they share a kiss, starting their new relationship. Anna and Elsa's sisterly bond is rekindled, with Elsa promising never to shut the castle gates again, much to Anna's joy.
Nearly a year after the events of the movie, Elsa throws a birthday for Anna. However Anna discovers, through Elsa's continuous sneezing that Elsa has caught a cold. Despite trying to make the party perfect for her sister, Elsa's sneezes create tiny snowmen which try to take the cake for themselves, and she nearly falls off the clocktower due to her condition. Afterwards Anna takes Elsa to rest and feeds her soup, while Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf help transport the snowmen to Elsa's ice palace in the mountains.
Olaf's Frozen Adventure
In Olaf's Frozen Adventure, it is the first holiday season after the castle gates have reopened. To commemorate the occasion and "ring in the season", Anna and Elsa plan a surprise Christmas party for Arendelle's people, though the two sisters soon come to realize that their own family lacks traditions as a result of their lengthy isolation. Olaf, meanwhile, makes it his mission to find a holiday tradition for the sisters to share. While Olaf's efforts are unsuccessful, the sisters go through Elsa's childhood possessions and realize that they did have a holiday tradition after all. Every year for Christmas, Anna would make some artwork of Olaf and slip it under Elsa's door. Elsa would then keep it all in a box. with Disney·Pixar's Coco on November 22, 2017. It made its television debut on ABC on December 14, 2017.
Ralph Breaks the Internet
On November 6, 2013, Disney Consumer Products began releasing a line of merchandise featuring Anna in Disney Store and other retailers. Various versions of Anna dolls include the fashion doll set, the mini-doll set, plush doll, Anna-as-a-toddler doll, and a special version called Musical Magic Elsa and Anna Dolls, which lights up and plays their signature songs that appear in the film when users hold their hands or they hold each other's hands. Anna's merchandise also covers a wide range of other products, such as rolling luggage, boots, clothes, nightgowns, bowls, plates, coffee mugs, and home décors. In addition, the film was adapted as simplified storybooks for children, with diverse versions featuring sound effects, original character voices, and mini projectors that project movie images on the wall. One of those books, called A Sister More Like Me, includes illustrations by Brittney Lee, the film's visual development artist. Both Anna and Elsa appear as playable characters in Disney Infinity through the use of their corresponding figurines.
In November 2013, prior to the release of Frozen, Anna and Elsa began daily meet-and-greet sessions at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in Florida and California, US. In Walt Disney World, the sisters had their debut on October 22, 2013, in a temporary attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios while their main attractions in Epcot were being built, then officially made appearances in the Norway Pavilion of Epcot on November 2, 2013, alongside a gallery of Norwegian culture which the film's setting and design drew inspirations from. A cottage called the "Royal Reception" was set up in the Fantasyland section of Disneyland, featuring the pair and an audio-animatronic Olaf speaking on the cottage roof. In February 2014, these meet-and-greet sessions were extended indefinitely, with wait time to meet the princesses frequently exceeding two hours, which is longer than any previous Disney characters. As of March 2014[update], it was reported that this wait time had reached four or five hours. Additionally, Elsa, Anna, and Olaf were given a Frozen-themed float for Disneyland Paris' Disney Magic on Parade. On March 9, 2014, the three made appearances again on their own Frozen parade float in Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom theme park, Walt Disney World, with Anna showing up in her coronation dress for the first time in a Disney park. On April 20, 2014, Anna and Elsa moved from Epcot to the Princess Fairytale Hall at Magic Kingdom, with wait time to see the characters amounted to three hours, comparing to Cinderella and Rapunzel's 15 minutes.
Anna made a few appearances in Disney California Adventure's Winter Dreams, a 30-minute, winter-themed new show of the nighttime spectacle World of Color with Olaf, the show's host, and Elsa. Disneyland Paris's nighttime spectacular Disney Dreams! featured Anna as the French co-narrator of the show, alongside the English-speaking Olaf. Scenes from the original film, featuring Anna and other characters like Olaf and Kristoff, appear on the castle while Elsa is singing "Let It Go", during the Frozen segment in the Magic Kingdom nighttime projection show, Celebrate the Magic. Coinciding with the film's release, Anna began making meet-and-greet sessions aboard the Disney Cruise Line's Disney Dream cruise ship.
On May 16, 2014, it was announced that Disneyland would debut a Frozen pre-parade featuring Anna, Elsa, and Olaf. It premiered June 13, 2014, and preceded performances of Mickey's Soundsational Parade. From July 5 to September 1, 2014, as part of 'Frozen' Summer Fun show at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Anna and Elsa will appear in a horse-drawn sleigh making their way down Hollywood Boulevard, alongside Kristoff and skaters, skiers and ice cutters in the Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome section. The sisters also made appearances in For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, where they were joined by royal historians to retell the history of Arendelle; and "Frozen" Fireworks Spectacular alongside Kristoff and Olaf, a fireworks display set to the music of Frozen. Other characters from the film will also appear in their respective offerings: Olaf in Olaf on Summer Vacation, the Oaken's family in Wandering Oaken's Trading Post & Frozen Funland, and "Coolest Summer Ever" Dance Party featuring a DJ and live band. In response to strong demand, Disney Parks subsequently announced on August 7 that Frozen Summer Fun would be extended to September 28.
On August 19, 2014, it was initially announced that Elsa & Anna's Boutique (replacing Studio Disney 365) would open mid-September in Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort. The opening date was later changed to October 6, 2014, and the store name was changed to "Anna & Elsa's Boutique". The location includes products inspired by Anna, Elsa, and Olaf.
While there had not been any official announcements from Disney regarding a coronation for Anna and Elsa, it had been announced in late August 2014 that a special character meal would be held by a group of travel agents in the morning of September 24, 2014. While not officially organized by Disney, the event, called My Royal Coronation, would feature the official Anna and Elsa characters owned by Disney with assistance from the company. On September 12, 2014, Walt Disney World announced that a Frozen attraction was scheduled to open in early 2016 at Epcot's World Showcase in the Norway pavilion, replacing the park's Maelstrom ride. The attraction features the kingdom of Arendelle with music and scenes from the film, as well as meet-and-greets with Anna and Elsa. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf will make appearances in Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, offered during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom in November and December 2014 (from November 7 to December 31).
Beginning December 20, 2014, the Anna and Elsa meet and greet at Disneyland Resort was moved from Disneyland park to a new location in the Disney Animation Building called "Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome" in Disney California Adventure. In addition, the Storybook Land Canal Boats at Disneyland were updated to include the village of Arendelle from the film, including Anna and Elsa's castle. Officially starting January 7, 2015, Anna began making appearances alongside Elsa and Kristoff at Disney California Adventure in "For the First Time in Forever—A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration" in Hollywood Land as part of the park's "Frozen Fun" event. Also starting January 7, Anna and Elsa are making appearances in a Frozen play at the Royal Theatre in Disneyland park.
Beginning May 22, 2015, Disneyland debuted a new nighttime parade called "Paint the Night", which includes a Frozen float featuring Anna, Elsa, and Olaf, as part of the park's 60th anniversary celebration.
|"What's so great about Frozen is that we get two strong heroines, both complex and flawed whose journeys are incredibly identifiable. Anna is plucky and socially awkward and that's great because many girls will identify with a girl who isn't necessarily naturally poised like some of the original princesses. This is a girl who hasn't had much human contact and when she does just explodes into unfiltered extroversion and naiveté."|
|—Sabina Ibarra, Geek Exchange film critic.|
Collider.com writer Matt Goldberg referred to Anna as a character who "can go from cute to melancholy to odd to defiant and never miss a beat". Emma Koonse of Christian Post described her and Elsa as the "most lovable and charismatic characters yet", while Tony Hicks of San Jose Mercury News wrote that both Anna and Elsa were depicted as devoted from the start, and "[Anna's] confusion and Elsa's anguish as she shuts herself away from the world—and her sister—is palatable." Deepanjana Pal from First Post commented that Anna "is very much a child who needs to grow up and she does in the course of the film." The Wall Street Journal suggested that the character become more endearing for being "exactly the free spirit she seems to be". Noah Lee of The Coast News was impressed by the heroine duo Anna and Elsa, and said, "I never lost interest in the drastic measures Anna took or the tribulations Elsa faced." Travis Bean, a reviewer of Community Newspaper Group put emphasis on the lessons that kids could perceive from the film, saying, "Children can also root for Anna to race through the forest and break through Elsa's icy walls and prove that love conquers all fears." Linda Barnard, Toronto Star film critic, described the sisters as "engaging female characters", particularly praised Anna for her funny and iron-willed characteristics. Sabina Ibarra from Geek Exchange commended that the directors had crafted two very real girls "who come into their own and also come together in this amazing tale."
Kristen Bell was lauded for her performance as Anna in the film. Michelle Im, writing for the Eye of the Tiger referred to the character as "bubbly and spirited", and commented, "Not only was [Bell] able to nail those vibratos and belting notes in her songs, it was actually her singing them." The Coast News review of the film wrote that Bell "earns top marks" for instilling a spirited sensibility in the clumsy but well-meaning Anna. Cinenerd, a film critic for Blogcritics, commended the actress' singing ability, stating that she and Menzel "sing their hearts out, with two showstoppers in Let it Go and For the First Time in Forever". Colin Covert of Colorado Springs' The Gazette considered Bell's performance as a "flawless delivery". Matt Goldberg extolled the relationship between Anna and her elder sister Elsa, writing, "There's so much to love about Frozen, but at the top of the list is the emphasis on [Anna] and Elsa's relationship. Anna still has an infatuation with the charming Hans and romantic chemistry with the flustered Kristoff, but her greatest love is for her sister. [Elsa] is mostly scared and guilt-ridden. She's an incredibly sympathetic character, and it's a fresh spin on depicting estrangement between siblings. Anna has so much life and enthusiasm, and we want to see her share it with Elsa." Magdalena Lachowicz of The Heights referred to this sisterly bond as "what truly makes the film and the moral that comes with it", commenting, "the plot is set up to lead the viewer into thinking that it needs to be true love's kiss—something which Anna then goes to seek. This journey sends her on a difficult adventure in which she learns about both sacrifice and love." Debbie Lynn Elias of Culver City Observer commented, "Female driven with confidence and positivity, Elsa and Anna are like two sides of a coin, both strong, albeit one through power and confidence and the other through clumsy sticktuitiveness and love," while Stephen Holden from The New York Times appreciated that instead of a romantic attachment, it was a sisterly love and devotion that drove the story, which departed greatly from traditional Disney formula. Noah Lee described Anna and Elsa's relationship as "genuine", saying, "watching those themes of family and love versus isolation and fear touched my heart in more ways than one."
However, the character was not without criticisms. Michelle Im from the Eye of the Tiger referred to Anna's falling immediately in love with a prince as the only personal development in her character, and found it "disappointing" in comparison with Elsa's emotionally evolving personality. Anna Smith of The Guardian disliked that both Anna and Elsa were drawn with slender figures and large eyes as is typical of Disney princesses.
Both Anna and Elsa were nominated for Best Animated Female by the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, with only Anna winning the award. Frozen also won Women Film Critics Circle award in the same category.
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This week we continue looking at some of the talented artists whose efforts made possible the new Disney feature Frozen. Brittney Lee is credited on the film as a visual development artist.
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Media related to Anna (Disney) at Wikimedia Commons