MYTH: A FROZEN TALE - Disney Returns To Arendelle With The 2D Streaming Premiere Of Its Magical VR Experience

MYTH: A FROZEN TALE - Disney Returns To Arendelle With The 2D Streaming Premiere Of Its Magical VR Experience

This Friday, get ready for a return trip to Arendelle as the VR short Myth: A Frozen Tale, which features the voice talents of Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood, makes its exclusive 2D debut on Disney+!

Two years ago, Disney entered the VR space with Myth: A Frozen Tale, an animated short that took fans back to the mythical world of Arendelle for an all-new kind of adventure, and now, the House of Mouse is bringing that magic to Disney+ with the short's exclusive 2D premiere this coming Friday!

Jeff Gipson served as director and writer on the project with Brittney Lee serving as the production designer. Frozen II star Evan Rachel Wood (WestworldKajillionaire) was also involved, providing the calming voice of the narrator. 

Drawing inspiration from the Disney classic Fantasia as well as an old story passed down through his own family about one of his ancestors crossing paths with the notorious Jesse James, Gipson sought to emulate that feeling of wonder and excitement as he brought Myth to life, exploring the variety of different elemental forest spirits introduced in the 2019 blockbuster Frozen II

"I started thinking about what types of stories what a bedtime story would you be told, if you grew up in or around Arendelle." Gipson explains during the recent press conference, "And this is that's how “Myth” kind of started, and I was really thinking about those elemental spirits who are such a big part of “Frozen 2.” I was really inspired by the graphic look of shadow puppets and pop-up books and imagine a world that if you were able to step into that kind of pop-up book, that story, what would that look like as a stylized version of the “Frozen 2” world?

And I also wanted to draw from the history of Disney Animation and this rich heritage; where this traditional animation is tied to the music its animated to. Looking at films like “Fantasia,” the pink elephants sequence (in “Dumbo”), “Make Mine Music,” “Peter and the Wolf.” I just loved how the animation was married to that music. It almost moves exactly with that music."

Like many popular video games, the film uses the Unreal Engine to fully realize its massive world and to effectively evoke emotion from its audience. Lee further elaborates on how they recreated that magical feel of a good bedtime story, 

"When we started, we knew that we wanted the audience to feel immersed in this forest. And that was one of our initial problems to solve was “how do you make an immersive forest also feel like a pop-up book?” And one of the things that we decided early on was that we wanted this backlit feeling so that the space around you, the space closest to the viewer, was all going to be in shadow. It can have this dramatic silhouetted effect, and then everything looking out from beyond the space would be lit and would be like a stage.

Moments would be framed by this proscenium arch of trees, so the monoliths in the enchanted forest really are a major set piece and we wanted all the spirits to be able of dance and play around them. Jumping off from that color palette of each of the spirits that was shown earlier, we also knew that we had this story was about of the duality of each of the spirits and when one gets off balance things can get a little bit dramatic. So we used that palette to start to build up this color story through the film so that you can see the ebbs and flows of where things get emotional."

The short film is out this Friday on Disney+, check out the trailer below!

Inspired by the exciting environments, themes and elemental characters from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen 2, acclaimed director Jeff Gipson (Cycles) brings to life this imaginative and vibrant tale set in an enchanted forest outside of Arendelle.  A family gathering for an evening of bedtime stories sets the stage for a magnificent adventure to a colorful and mythical world, which includes close encounters with the Nokk (a water spirit in the form of a mighty stallion), Gale (the playful wind spirit who can manifest as a light breeze or a raging tornado-like force), the Earth Giants (the massive creatures that form the rocky riverbanks and are capable of intense destruction when awakened), and the Fire Spirit (a fast-moving and mercurial salamander named Bruni).  As the story unfolds, these spirits come to life and the myth of their past and future is revealed.

Production designer Brittney Lee drew upon the Studios’ legacy of great artists (Eyvind Earle, Mary Blair, and Frozen’s own production designer Michael Giaimo) along with her own instincts to create a visual landscape that was unique in its colors, shapes and style.  Just as Disney’s musical milestone, Fantasia, combined the power of music with striking visuals, producer Nicholas Russell and director Gipson, enlisted composer Joseph Trapanese (Tron: Legacy) to help them enhance the experience for Myth: A Frozen Tale.  Evan Rachel Wood (the voice of Queen Iduna in Frozen 2) lends her voice as the narrator of the film.  Finally, Myth is a tip of the hat to Gipson’s own family tradition of telling bedtime stories, including a particular story passed down from his great-great-great grandfather about a brush with the outlaw Jesse James when he was a young farm boy growing up near Kansas City.

Myth: A Frozen Tale premieres exclusively on Disney+ on February 26

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