Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 will show fans Frozen 2 like they’ve never seen it before – through the eyes of the people who made it. The Disney Plus docu-series, which drops all six episodes today, showcases the hundreds of cast and crew members who put their hearts into making the smash hit Frozen sequel. It’s the most comprehensive making-of that you’ll find about any film, ever.
Stars Idina Menzel (who provides the voice of Elsa) and Josh Gad (the voice of Olaf), as well as several key crew members, joined me recently to reflect on opening their doors and letting the fans in through the series. There were a whopping 115 days of filming, documenting the last year of Frozen 2‘s production, and it amounted to “a rough process” according to producer Peter Del Vecho.
“People were happy, but also slightly intimidated by having camera following us everywhere,” he explained. It was a sentiment echoed by Gad, who admitted that “I was so intimidated with the cameras around, because you feel so vulnerable…My Frozen process is so intimate.”
Vulnerability is a word that came up often while discussing Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2, as crew members had their successes, struggles and insecurities all caught on film – and now available for the whole world to see.
Menzel reflected on her admiration for “How vulnerable [director-writer] Jen [Lee] and [director] Chris [Buck], or [songwriters] Kristen [Anderson-Lopez] and Bobby [Lopez] would make themselves in these processes.
“You’re so brave to do that and to throw your heart in it and to remain open, or to allow the work to keep progressing,” she continued. “You support each other in such a beautiful way that I don’t think is always the case in a lot of projects I’ve been a part of.”
“I wish I had thought to diet and drink less before the cameras showed up,” quipped Anderson-Lopez, who expressed her excitement at being able to show Frozen fans all that went into the sequel which became the second highest-grossing animated film of all time. “Everyone gets to see the amazing pieces of the puzzle,” she said. “We learned a lot watching the documentary ourselves.”
“Whatever you’re working on, you put a little piece of yourself into it,” added animator Malerie Walters, whose creative approach to bringing Elsa to life is featured in Into the Unknown. “That’s what makes animation so fun.”
From the sometimes difficult story room meetings to the nerve-wracking internal screenings at Disney, to powerful recording sessions and emotional moments between cast and crew, Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 honestly and comprehensively shows what it takes to make a movie – and what it means to find that “Disney magic.”
Especially with the current state of the world, the docu-series has a chance to bring some joy into people’s homes and their lives, the same way that Frozen 2 has done since its November release.
“What’s been really fascinating about Frozen 2 for me is how it’s almost become something else as coronavirus has locked us in our homes and as we’re dealing with so many different issues that are so difficult,” Gad reflected. “The themes of Frozen 2 have seemingly taken on a different life of their own.”
Into The Unknown: Making Frozen 2 is now streaming on Disney Plus. All six episodes are available now.