All Things “Frozen” and An Exclusive Interview with Bill Schwab

Since Frozen hit the big screen last year (check out our interviews with the cast and interviews with the songwriters), it has not only captured our hearts but has put us on a quest for all things Frozen. I have rounded up some of our favorite Frozen inspired goodies but best of all I had a chance to interview Bill Schwab, Character Design Supervisor for the movie Frozen. (I compiled a list of questions from fans aged 4-40).

frozen

Momtrends: Please share your inspiration for the characters

Bill Schwab: Everything we do at Disney starts with a strong story and Frozen had a REALLY great story which became the inspiration for the design of the characters. The design team also zeroed in on the country of Norway as inspiration for the costumes and world of Arendelle.

Momtrends: The kids really want to know, “Why are Elsa and Anna’s eyes so big?”

Bill Schwab: We design the characters to be as appealing as possible and for these designs the big eyes really worked!

Momtrends: How did the idea for the troll/rock character come about?

Bill Schwab: The directors were looking for a way to reveal the trolls in an unexpected way. They also wanted to me to create Trolls that felt new and fresh but also respecting the look of Scandinavian trolls. The troll song is one of my favorite moments in the film!

Momtrends: Tell us a little bit about the process of creating the Frozen characters.

Bill Schwab: Character design is a difficult and sometimes very unpredictable process.  For example, Olaf and Sven were designed in just a few weeks but Elsa took over a year!

Momtrends: Do you work with the director, producer, actors, actresses etc. to ensure that the characters “come to life” as you had envisioned?

Bill Schwab: YES! I work very closely with the directors and art director to try and help bring their vision to the screen.  It’s very exciting to be working on the movie at such an early stage!

My job starts with very rough doodles and sketches and continues all the way through working with multiple departments to help realize the directors vision. Disney is loaded with incredibly talented artists and one of my favorite parts of my job is getting a chance to work with so many of them to bring our characters to the screen!

Momtrends: Are the character based on the fairy tale?

Bill Schwab: I would say the characters are INSPIRED by the fairytale.  The story of Frozen is an entirely original idea!

Momtrends: How did the name of Olaf get chosen? and who/what was the inspiration for him?

Bill Schwab: The directors came up with name Olaf based on a Swedish name they liked.  When they first asked me to design Olaf they likened him to Elsa’s  “first pancake”.  It’s the idea that when your making pancakes it often seems like the first couple are kind of funny looking!

Momtrends: Can you share a little about the Cameo of Rapunzel?

Bill Schwab: Disney films are often filled with hidden Mickeys and “Easter eggs” for people to discover!

Momtrends: Was Elsa supposed to be more of a “villain”?

Bill Schwab:  In early versions of the story Elsa was sometimes portrayed as villain, but ultimately landed as misunderstood and a character who needed to find herself and realize her full potential!

Momtrends: Why didn’t Elsa want love?

Bill Schwab: Good question!  My interpretation was that she needed to find herself and connect with her family first.

Momtrends: Will there be a sequel?

Bill Schwab: I don’t know!

Momtrends: How did you change the idea of “damsel in distress” being rescued by her sister instead of a prince?

Bill Schwab: One of the main themes of Frozen was connection, particularly with family.  I think it made perfect sense for her sister to save her.

frozen costumes

It’s been an all things Frozen Year from learning how to perfect the “Elsa” braid to seeing Disney on Ice, Frozen performed. Below you’ll find some of my top Frozen picks, just in time for the holidays!

Walmart brings us the Deluxe Elsa costume, including crown and cameo beautifully full of glitz and snow shimmering glitter. We love to complete the look with Elsa’s pure hair as my little one dons the wig of Elsa’s famous woven braid. Not to be forgotten is the feminine and authentic costume of Anna. We love the delicate sleeves and the traditional Nordic look, it’s simply beautiful.

For accessories galore, we look to The Children’s Place for Frozen inspired necklaces, bracelets, and sweet hair accessories and bows. To keep you little one’s treasures close by, we love the Olaf mini backpack, perfect for hugging or packing favorites.

We are always on the hunt for cozy pajamas and have long been a fan of the comfort, durablilty and construction of jammies by Hanna Andersson. Not only do these Disney Elsa Long John jammies feature Elsa and a blustery winter motif but they are made from supreme organic cotton, adorable, and green! Here’s to a restful (healthy) and magical night’s rest.

Frozen

Throwing a party? I can guess that the theme is a must have Frozen one and Oriental Trading is you one stop shopping source for all things Frozen. From plates to cups, to personalized banners and goody bag trinkets, Oriental Trading has many items featuring the Frozen sisters and their friends Kristoff and Olaf. Oriental Trading sells Frozen party ready packages or you can choose to mix and match to create an all things Frozen birthday party of your own. Love these snowflake keychains! Speaking of parties, did you check out the Frozen! Spot it! game by Blue Orange games featured in our Halloween, It’s a Party feature? The game is a real crowd pleaser and can be played with 2 or more players, is perfect for travel AND is go for ages 3+.

Frozen items

To make mealtime fun, your Frozen fan will love eating with the Frozen sisters with Mason jar inspired tumbler and mealtime set sold at Target. Your little girl can fancy up before sitting down at the table with her Anna Tiara and Jewelry Set, after all, a crown goes with everything! 

One of our favorite Frozen finds has been the Elsa and Anna projection nightlight. It projects a circular image of the Frozen sisiters on either the wall or ceiling. Perfect for added company and comfort.

Get a load of these adorable Frozen boots from Stride Rite. What better way to adorn your seet one’s feet than with well-made footwear that fits well, is ergonomically correct for a growing foot and rocks the latest styles?! Your little one will be wearing these cozy boots on her tootsies with everything from skirts, and skinny jeans to comfy leggings…perhaps even to bed!

To learn more about Bill Schwab, also co-creator of Siliskin glass and tableware, check out his blog HERE. Siliskin® teams up with TOP Animation Character Designers Bill Schwab and Jim Feeley to create unique glass sets and cool art. To learn more about his animation designs for Siliskin, click HERE.

 

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  • Jennie

    I loved this movie. It was so entertaining with great story lines. It was interesting to read the interviews.