Snow fell on Hollywood Boulevard as Disney premiered “Frozen” November 19 at the El Capitan Theatre, with guests carrying cups of Ghiradelli hot chocolate past lit up pine trees, snow banks and ice sculptures.
“You don’t see this every day,” said Sean Bailey, the Walt Disney Studios’ president of production on the white carpet as the films stars Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Santino Fontana and Josh Gad, and guests, including Melissa Joan Hart, Demi Lovato, Marcia Gay Harden and Ross Lynch made their way into the theater. Lovato is featured on the film’s soundtrack.
In a touching moment before the film played, Walt Disney Co. chairman Bob Iger took the stage to note the recent passing of Diane Disney Miller, the daughter of Walt Disney and respected philanthropist. She was an inspiration for the creation of Disneyland and Walt Disney’s films.
“She worked tirelessly to protect the legacy of Walt,” said Iger, noting that “Frozen” fits in well with the company’s more notable toons. “Animation really is the heart of Disney and this is a really great film,” he said.
Audiences cheered the film’s eight original songs by Robert Lopez (“Avenue Q” and “The Book of Mormon”) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“Winnie the Pooh”), and embraced new characters like Olaf, a snow man, who already is being integrated into Disney’s “World of Color” show at California Adventure and parts of Disneyland.
At the afterparty, which featured ice carvers, snow globe- and Pop Tart decorating stations inside Hollywood & Highland’s The Highlands club, “Frozen” co-director and “Wreck-It-Ralph” co-writer Jennifer Lee said the goal was to “run as far away as possible from cliches like good versus evil and make the film about love versus fear.” She praised John Lasseter’s focus on story, saying the former Pixar chief who is now chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios “doesn’t release a movie until it’s ready,” and the full support of Iger, who felt the awkwardness but fearlessness of new princess Anna would connect with today’s audiences.
“Frozen,” produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, revolves around princess Anna (Disney’s 12th princess), who must team with a mountain man and his sidekick reindeer to find her sister, the Snow Queen, and end an icy spell that has trapped a kingdom in an eternal winter. The animated musical comedy, co-directed by Chris Buck, debuts Nov. 27.