The women behind Elsa… | Daily News


The women behind Elsa…

Years after “Frozen” came out, some of us still can’t walk through our home without accidentally prompting “Let it Go” to erupt from some unseen toy.

Elsa never really left us. But she’s back.

If you haven’t already been informed by some young girl (or boy) in your life, “Frozen 2” will be unleashed in theaters on Nov. 22, six years after the original amassed $1.2 billion in worldwide ticket sales (a record for an animated film), sent the name “Elsa” skyrocketing up popular baby name lists and ingrained the lyrics of “Let it Go” on the collective consciousness of humankind.

To reflect on Elsa’s journey ahead of the release of “Frozen 2,” The Associated Press assembled the two women most responsible for her creation: Jennifer Lee, co-director and writer of each film, and Idina Menzel, the Tony-winning actress who gives the ice queen her clarion voice.

Elsa was initially designed as the villain of “Frozen” but was reshaped as a new kind of Disney princess: fiercely independent, magically powerful and humanly flawed. She has ever since been a beacon of female empowerment to millions of young girls — and, as they explained, to Menzel and Lee, too.

How does it feel to have created the most powerful thing known to man?

Menzel: (Laughs) I don’t think we’ve created the most powerful thing known to man, but it’s nice to know we created something that resonates so strongly and beautifully within young people.

Lee: For (co-director Chris Buck) and I, everyday we’re still surprised. We always ask the question of “Why?” and there’s not a single answer.

Idina, how would you describe your relationship with Elsa?

Idina: It’s funny. The character has sort of catapulted me to be a role model for young girls and boys. Yet I’m a woman in her 40s who still has to remind herself of her own power and pick herself up every day and figure out how I want to tackle the day and approach my life. I have to sing her songs and say her words all the time.

It’s a constant reminder to walk the walk and talk the talk and love myself, and love my vulnerabilities and my idiosyncrasies and everything that I am. And to understand that what makes me different and unique is what makes me powerful and beautiful.

NWI Times

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