Parents, get ready. Frozen mania is about to take over your holidays…and you’re going to love it!
My daughter was only 6 when Frozen fever first hit our household. We must have gone to theater once a week that year, just because my daughter needed that dose of sisterhood, music, and pixie dusted characters often. Who am I kidding, I was just as obsessed. My musical theater loving heart wanted to LIVE in Arendelle, and sing and dance and hug Olaf every single day. Now, 4 years later, Olaf, Anna, Elsa, Kristof and Sven are back- to celebrate family and holiday traditions, and it’s damn near perfect.
The short will be playing before Pixar’s “Coco” and though you may not see the link between the two immediately (Norway and…Mexico??), trust me when I say, the two go hand in hand with each other.
Anna and Elsa have opened the gates and are planning a huge holiday celebration for their kingdom. However, when they ring the bell, everyone goes home to start their own holiday traditions. Anna and Elsa, struggle to find what their own tradition may have been, and Olaf sets out on a mission to find traditions to bring home to the sisters to get their holidays started, with a few mishaps that make him question if he will ever get to bring traditions to his dear friends.
Josh Gad joined select press at a recent press day for the short, and gave a few fun insights into the short, voicing Olaf and his own traditions.
On Olaf’s singing voice
Bobby Lopez, who wrote Book of Mormon, which I did with him, he would always write it an octave higher than that I deserved to sing it, and he carried that tradition over to Frozen. So when the brilliant songwriters Kate (Anderson) and Elyssa (Samsel) did this, I was like ‘Oh great, they’ve been speaking to Bobby and Kris.’
On coming back to play Olaf in the short
It’s a thrill to come back. It’s a thrill to work with such a brilliant new team, who are taking this character and opening new doors for him to go. The first movie is so much about Olaf discovering. Olaf is like a newborn waking up. And so as we continue to tell these stories, what is fun as an artist is that we get to have Olaf in a place where he is learning and growing, emotionally and educationally.
On being part of Disney magic for generations to come
I never take for granted that this is the magic hour that I am living right now. To give life to these characters. To give something like ‘Asante Sana Squash banana’ like Rafiki, played by the late great Robert Guillaume, that lives on in another generation, my kids are watching that. Or the late Robin Williams as the Genie, being a part of that tradition, is the coolest gift that I have ever been given as a performer.
On his favorite traditions with his family
We celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. My favorite tradition is on Christmas Eve, I write a letter to my daughters. Sharing that tradition with them and having them wake on Christmas morning, and seeing them open their Christmas gifts from mommy and daddy and Santa Claus is my favorite thing. To see that pure joy opening those gifts and what awaits them is such a treasure.
On what he hopes family’s take from Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
I would love – it’s funny because these holidays are so wonderfully rich with memories. For me growing up, the memories that I have, holidays, in general, have really become commercialized. There’s a lot about the holidays that are driven by ‘we got to go shopping, we got to do this, we got to do that.’ This movie is an emotional reminder about the bond of family, and this one moment out of every year we sorta can’t go anywhere because everything is closed, and we are all in a room together, and we all have none of this [gestures texting and looking at a phone] going on, but this [signals family], that to me is the power of Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. It is about traditions, but more than that, it is about family. And I love that. I hope that my girls when they see this movie, they start to think about the traditions they want to make with each other.
“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” will play before Pixar’s “Coco”, which opens November 22nd.