How Disney's Frozen took inspiration from Norway

How Disney's Frozen took inspiration from Norway

3 minutes to read

Frozen is the most successful Disney movie and it portrays Norway which might have something to do with it. The suspicion is high because of Å in Lofoten, The old town Tønsberg, and Henrik Ibsen's hometownThe morality of the movie can be a separate discussion for the philosophy group while in this article we'll look at how the places and the actual scenery relates to Norway

Your guide to the places and where to go is described in the ''Disney's Frozen is made of these places'' article

Photo: PXhere
Photo: PXhere

The houses, land, mountains, clothing, and churches are taken from the northern and western parts of Norway and a lot of times directly copied. The replicating is exciting for us Norway fans since we get to see a mash-up off actual Norway in one city. 

Arendelle is the name of the Frozen village. The closest name place in Norway to that is Arendal. Arendal is not like Arendelle in the looks. Arendelle is a mix between Trondheim, Bergen, The fairytale village Balestrand, and a little bit of Oslo. This is according to The visual developer Michael Giaimo and online speculators like myself. The harbour is a mutant creation of the four cities in the movie. If you've grown up seeing these places it is quite dreamlike to see the actual result the movie presents. 

The architecture of Arendelle and how the fortress sits on the water made it brutal and emotional for the viewers. No classic Disney fairytale has been set in such an extreme and expansive environment. Not only do you have great characters, but you also have great fjords and environments to put them in to make more layers to the film. Usually, for Disney movies, the environments are not so expansive. Look at Snow White, Sleeping beauty, and Mulan, they do not compare to the Norwegianness of Norway

The story tells us that these characters need to live in a reality that is extremely vast and grand. This criterion made Michael Giaimo focus on Norway when designing the magical movie Frozen. I would say he made a good choice and so does all the tourists who are pouring into Norway as we speak. Every detail in the movie is so specific and accurate at the foundation of the idea. Then the Visualizers mix it up and makes it into a Disney movie.

The box office is at $1,276,480,335 as of 2018. This is the biggest success in animation yet. Hotel owners say that their hotels are fully booked like never before. We can only trust their words since the news outlets that reports the numbers doesn't cite any links to the research. For sure we can say that there are more people here after the release in 2013. Some claims this is too much tourists for Norway to handle!

Photo: PXhere
Photo: PXhere

A key ingredient to the movie is the Norwegian Rosemaling pattern. A pretty small detail that is presented greatly in Frozen. You'll find the Rosemaling all over in Norway. Ceilings, walls, sofas, and dresses. Rosemaling was the foundation of the language that Elsa spoke with her magical ice powers. The shapes of the ice formations are so accurate to the styles of Norwegian tradition.

The dresses you see they wear are based on the Norwegian Bunad. A traditional dress that girls mostly wear. We have a Bunad of Nordland, for example, that is different from the other Bunader in Norway

The Trolls appear in the movie as funny and joyful creatures who are rolling stones that turns into Trolls. They are a big group and wants to marry Christoph with Anna. In Norway, Trolls are something we usually are scared of like portrayed in the Troll hunter movie. 

Hans Christian Andersen is a Danish writer and made a tale of ''the Snow queen'', which is what Disney based this story of. Norway has been strongly related to Denmark and we used to write Danish before. To base Frozen of a Danish tale can pass because Norway was owned by Denmark from 1380 to 1814. Frozen took place in 1839 according to a map in the short sequel Frozen Fever. For those of you who are interested in Norway for the Huge contrast between the mountains and the ground and the spectacular view of nature, the North part has the most of that and the South West part as well.

Rune alphabet

The priest is talking in Viking Norwegian. That's how we spoke before in Norway. You can call it ancient Norwegian. The books portrayed has the Rune Letters on them which is how our letters looked before. The Rune alphabet doesn't have curved letters, only strict shapes because they were carved on hard surfaces like stone and wood, and it's difficult to make curved letters on there.

Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Wikipedia

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The author

Kai Bonsaksen

Kai Bonsaksen

I'm Kai from Norway. I always follow that little voice in my head that tells me to go and explore new places … and on itinari, I talk about the ones I know the best!

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