Walt Disney Animation Studios has been trying to adapt Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale, The Snow Queen, for over a decade, and now it finally looks like the icy fantasy will hit the big screen next year as Frozen.
In March, the project landed Kristin Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) to voice Anna, the estranged sister of the Snow Queen voiced by Idina Menzel (Wicked). Around the same time, John Lasseter (Toy Story) and Peter Del Vecho (The Princess and the Frog) climbed onboard as producers. However, Disney still must have felt that the project needed an extra hand, so it went out and hired a previous collaborator to co-direct the film.
Disney Animation Studios has announced that Jennifer Lee, co-writer of Wreck-It Ralph, will be teaming up with Chris Buck (Tarzan, Surf's Up) to direct the film and contribute to the script. With the critical (read our review) and commercial success of Ralph, Lee is quickly becoming a hot Hollywood commodity. Her screen adaptation of John Steinbeck's The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights is being produced by Troika Pictures and her original script Lucid Dreams has been optioned by Wolfgang Peterson's Radiant Productions.
Like many, producer Del Vecho was pleased with the choice to hire Lee as co-director. Here's what he had to say:
"Jenn has a real connection to the film and creates dynamic and relatable characters. Her sense of comedy, adventure and story structure paired with Chris Buck’s vast experience and incredible instincts create an ideal situation for this film."
Disney most likely tapped Lee for her comedic charm, which was something the project may have needed, considering the premise of the film. Other writers/directors could have taken the story to a darker place, but knowing Disney, they were probably looking for a perfect blend of drama, light-hearted comedy and sweeping music to appeal to a wide audience.
Check out the official synopsis for the film:
When a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, Anna, a fearless optimist, teams up with extreme mountain man Kristoff and his sidekick reindeer Sven on an epic journey to find Anna’s sister Elsa, the Snow Queen, and put an end to her icy spell. Encountering mystical trolls, a funny snowman named Olaf, Everest-like extremes and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction.
Although roles such as Kristoff and Olaf have not been cast yet, the project is certainly headed in the right direction with Lee helping steer it. With mystical creatures, magic and what is sure to be a beautiful icy landscape, Frozen definitely sounds like it could be a fun, cold (though hopefully not emotionally) adventure.
Look for Frozen when it hits theaters on November 27th, 2013.