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Norwegian traditions such as Christmas rib, straw goats and rice porridge is highlighted in a new Disney short based on the Frozen-universe.

Published: 12 December 2017

Few films have portrayed snow, ice and cold as magical as the animated megahit Frozen

In 2019, the sequel to the story about the Arendelle sisters Elsa and Anna is finally due. 

In the meantime, Disney has provided impatient fans with an early Christmas gift – Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, a 22 minute short film following the world’s most charming snowman in his search for Christmas traditions. 

As in Frozen – and its upcoming sequel – Norway once again provides the main inspiration for Disney’s beautiful winter scenery.

"The world’s eighth wonder"

The idea of using Norway as a template for the fictional kingdom Arendelle, where the story of Frozen unfolds, came from Disney’s production designer Mike Giaimo.

In a recent interview with Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, he shares his passion for Norwegian nature, architecture and crafts – three visual elements essential to Frozen.

"It struck me that nobody had made a film about a kingdom in one of the spectacular Norwegian fjords, which I consider to be the world’s eighth wonder. Your stave churches are totally unique and beautiful as well," Giaimo says to Aftenposten.

More on the Norwegian inspiration behind Frozen here:

Christmas food and decorations

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure finds Anna and Elsa celebrating their first Christmas after the dramatic events in Frozen. When the sisters realize they don’t have any traditions of their own, the jolly snowman Olaf sets out to collect some for them – with varying luck. 

Among the Norwegian Christmas traditions featured in the short film are Christmas rib, lefse (thin potato bread), almond ring cake, rice porridge and straw goats with red satin ribbons. A giant cake shaped like Norway is also shown in the film.  

When Mike Giaimo did his research ahead of the production, he took the task seriously

"I spent more than one and a half month researching Norwegian Christmas traditions, food, cultur and everything else I could find," he says to Aftenposten.

Check out the trailer for Olaf’s Frozen Adventure:

The third highest-grossing film of all time

Following up Frozen would appear to be a daunting task. The film has earned more than 1.2 billion dollars worldwide – sale of merchandise not included – making it the highest-grossing animation film of all time.  

According to Mike Giaimo, the sequel, which premieres November 27th 2019, will build further upon the Norwegian references introduced in the original film.

Røros

Røros.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

"Even more Norwegian culture and heritage will make its way into the sequel," he reveals to Aftenposten.
    
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure has been shown before Pixar’s Coco in American cinemas. In Norway, the short film is available on iTunes.

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