In the 2013 animated film Frozen, what's the name of the kingdom where Princess Anna and Queen Elsa live?
And the answer: Arendelle.
In the blockbuster Disney film Frozen, Arendelle is a fictional kingdom based near a fjord, nestled among the mountains of a Scandinavian-inspired landscape. The kingdom is ruled by Queen Elsa, who ascended to the throne after her parents perished at sea.
Although Frozen as we've come to know it is a story of sisterhood, friendship and perseverance, its original conception looked fairly different. For one, Elsa was originally written as the villain, with blue spiky hair and a coat made of living weasels (putting Cruella De Vil to shame). Interestingly, this conceptual character arc was drawn from the original source material of Hans Christian Andersen's beloved fairy tale "The Snow Queen," the inspiration for much of the film. In the tale, the Snow Queen is an ice-hearted antagonist who lures townspeople to freeze from her wrath. Luckily, Disney made the choice to adapt Elsa into a powerful but confused ice queen who struggles with control of her gift rather than her own devilish ways.
While Disney ultimately decided to instigate such a drastic change in their primary character, other parts of the film do pay homage to its source. The main characters' names, for example, can be pronounced quickly to create the name Hans Christian Andersen. Try it out for yourself: Hans, Kristoff, Anna, Sven. Now say that three times fast!
Word play aside, Walt Disney himself had been interested in creating an adaptation of "The Snow Queen" since the beginning of his company in the 1940s. As such, it was only fitting that the ultimate production of the film pulled out every stop. The team hired experts in Old Norse and Scandinavian mythology to include dialectical accuracy, visited the Hotel de Glace in Montreal for inspiration for Elsa's castle, and even travelled to Norway to get a better feel for the landscape. In the end, more than 50 animators worked together for over 9 months to create the digital magnificence of Elsa's ice palace. Incredibly, though, these efforts translated into just 36 seconds of Elsa working her magic in the scene (everyone say "thank you, production team!").
Learn more about this movie nearly seventy years in the making here.