My son and I previewed Disney’s Frozen a couple of weeks ago and we were blown away. I am always afraid that as a tween boy he will be unable to sit through a Disney “girlie” movie, but those do not really exist anymore. I felt this way about Tangled and turns out he was thrilled with the fact that the main female character was an archer. And since all the Disney animation movies we see are made by people with great senses of humor, we usually both spend a lot of time laughing, so we come out of these movies very happy. In Disney’s Frozen, we had some great comic relief from Olaf, and Kristen Bell’s character was anything but your typical “Princess.”
And the next day we got to meet the cast! Kristen Bell is adorable! She is quirky, adventurous, and not your classical Disney Princess. But now she is indeed a legitimate Disney Princess, and her real life personality has been stamped onto her character, Princess Anna. She was a terrific non-traditional Princess, she explained she was proud that she was able to be herself in the role. She knows she is quirky and was thrilled that the Directors allowed her to bring her real life personality into her portrayal of Anna. In fact, “Wait, What?” a phrase that her character uses in the movie, was added to the script directly from Kristen.
Kristen is of the younger generation who grew up watching Disney movies all the time. Jonathan Groff and she both shared that being in a Disney classic is a dream come true, a dream they both have had since they were very little kids.
But the single most surprising thing for me was her singing! Who knew Kristen Bell could sing? We spoke about her meeting and singing with Idina Menzel. And just a side note, often times actors in animated movies may never meet each other during the process of making the movie. They are usually alone in a recording booth. That Kristen and Idina got to work together was pretty surprising.
Kristen shared with her that part of her training included singing, she studied musical theater at NYU! Most of us know her from veronica Mars and Gossip Girl, she does not every sing there. And spoiler alert, she has a great voice!
They knew they were going to sing together in the movie and Kristen shared that she was quite intimidated at first. “I was really intimidated when I first met her, especially because she plays stronger, tougher characters. But she’s so warm in real life that it was just a treat ’cause I was really nervous around her to begin with. And she was able to comfort me really quickly. And we would rehearse at her house by her piano, which of course I was exploding. I’m like, what am I doing here? And after I’d sing my verse she’d go, “You sounded really good.” And I’d be looking for someone, “Did anybody see what she said to me?” She’s really cool to be able to sing with her.” And you can hear it in the movie, “For the First Time in Forever.” Their duet is beautiful!
Another question that came up was sibling rivalry and we learned that Kristen has two older sisters, and their relationships changed through the years, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Not quite the same as what we see with the two sisters in the movie, but saying anything more would be a spoiler!
Kristen was down to Earth and lovely to speak with us, it was such a pleasure for us to meet her!
And then we got to meet Elsa, who may not be the villain you think from the promos! The role evolved as we learned from the Directors. You’ll have to see the movie to find out how much!
Broadway star Idina Menzel glided into the room and sat at our little round table and at first it was hard to speak! Elphaba from Wicked! We quickly settles in and had a lot of questions to ask about her singing. We had to share how we were blown away by her song, “Let It Go.” I can see her at the Academy Awards singing this beautiful song. I can see her nominated and winning for this song. She explained to us that she cannot think about the future and where the song may bring her, she has to concentrate on doing the best vocal job she can in the present. She shared that if she doesn’t stay in the moment she might lose concentration and not stay in the moment, which would negatively affect the song. We don’t want that!
We did stray off topic for a bit to talk about Idina’s career, her Broadway work, her new roles, and her charity work. We had to. How many other chances will we have to sit with this Broadway legend after all! She was absolutely lovely to chat with, and I would like to add, we are very lucky to be sitting in a cozy room with a round table that seats a dozen, chatting with this Broadway star. It was a real treat!
Idina is not quite the same generation as Kristen and Jonathan, but she recognizes the significance of being in a Disney animated feature.She shared that she now ha a place in Disney history, and is honored to be there, “It’s very iconic to be a Disney princess. There’s not that many Elsa’s.”
And my favorite question, Is there a doll? “A doll, yeah. And she sings and if you push her boobies my voice comes out.” I loved that!
Lastly, we spoke about New York City. Idina has a school age son here and we discussed weekend activities with the kids, after all, she was sitting with the NYC parent blogger crowd!
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. I did receive a Frozen gift bag for attending. All opinions are always 100% honest and my own.