Ever since Beauty and the Beast was converted into a Broadway musical in 1994 following the animated film’s Academy Award-winning success, Disney has had a profitable relationship with the theater world. Along with Beauty and the Beast, other collaborations between the House of Mouse and Broadway have included The Lion King (1997), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (2014), Tarzan (2006), The Little Mermaid (2008), and Aladdin (2011). Now Frozen will join the ranks of converted Disney animated films, beginning in 2018.
In the video above, Disney allows fans of the film to go behind-the-scenes for the first time as the company rehearses Frozen for Broadway. Actors Caissie Levy (Elsa) and Patti Murin (Anna) can be seen working on both dialogue and choreography throughout the footage, while voiceover explains how the show will honor the core of the source material while expanding it into a full stage play. One of the more interesting tidbits is fact composers Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez were tasked with tripling the number of songs, from seven in the film to twenty-one for the theater production. That the final act of the animated Frozen sacrificed music in order to move the plot along makes at least some kind of addition necessity.
Not mentioned (because why should it be) is that actor Jelani Alladin is playing the role of Kristoff, Anna’s love interest. It’s refreshing that casting diverse players in major roles is no longer considered “strange” enough to require its own PR explainer to unruffle the feathers of casually racists fans. In fact, the Frozen footage above shows the play will make Arendelle a far more diverse culture than its animated counterpart.