Discover the magic of Frozen 2 in Norway
The magic of Disney’s Frozen is back. Frozen 2 was released in cinemas on the 22nd of November 2019 and it has broken box-office records worldwide. Children (and adults!) were spell-bound when Elsa and Anna first came to the big screen and a Frozen fever soon spread across the UK, making this sequel an eagerly anticipated release. Idina Menzel had people from all over the world singing “Let it go,” and children everywhere were dressing as their favourite characters.
We meet with Elsa and Anna again three years after the events of the first film. They are joined by beloved Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf as they venture out of Arendelle into the unknown to find out who or what is calling out to Elsa. In order to protect their home, their quest sees them leave their kingdom and into enchanted lands, where they are up against nature itself, and it’s these magical and mysterious places that we want to explore.
In Frozen, Elsa feared “her powers were too much for the world.” In Frozen II, “she must hope they are enough.”
From their kingdom to the enchanted forests and everything in between, it’s no secret that Disney have drawn their inspiration from the compelling country of Norway.
Let’s Discover Norway
Disney fairytales don’t usually make it obvious where they are set, they are their own magical location, usually with beautiful landscapes that help you to escape into the world of the characters. Frozen, however, is a little different. Story writers, Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck have said their biggest influence for the film was Norway.
The creative department visited Norway, drawing inspiration from the country’s culture and environment. Although the towns have been given fictional names, it’s very clear that the films are set in this beautiful country. With snow-capped mountains, impossibly steep fjords, rugged coastlines, picture-perfect villages, and wonderful wildlife, it’s easy to see why Norway has been described as the most beautiful country on earth! Given that Elsa’s magic causes an eternal winter, Norway is seemingly a perfect choice because, in some of the northern parts of Norway, winter can last between 8 and 10 months. Let’s take a look at some of the landmarks recognised in the film.
The Norwegian culture of the Frozen films is said to have been inspired by the town of Røros. Unlike many places, Røros has retained much of its original character, giving you a glimpse of the past and making it simply beautiful and brimming with Norwegian culture.
Many of the properties you can see in the town are the same as those that were built in the 1600s. This stunning town is full of authentic wooden buildings and unique character and resultantly, Røros was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1980. A trip to Røros will see you exploring narrow streets and old courtyards and buildings. There are independent shops offering locally made ceramics, clothing and food. It’s also Røros that inspired the reindeers in the magical Frozen universe. It really is clear to see why Disney has drawn the Norwegian charm from this small town.
The heart of Frozen and the birthplace of Elsa and Anna is called Arendelle. This breathtaking kingdom created by the art directors of Disney is unlike any we’ve seen in a Disney film before. It is both elegant and majestic and the inspiration is said to have been drawn from Balestrand, a village by the awe-inspiring Sognefjord.
Balestrand has been inspiring artists from all over the world for many years. The idyllic village is known as the artistic capital of the area. Why? It’s due to the stunning landscapes of narrow fjords and lush emerald mountains to the serenity of peace and quiet and fresh air. The light captured in this stunning part of Norway is something that has to be seen to be believed. You can spend days hiking and exploring historic architecture, kayaking or embarking on glacier tours. Whether you enjoy the sun in the height of summer or the snow in the cold winters, Balestrand will create beautiful memories.
We can’t fail to mention the city of Bergen, the gateway to the fjords. Many inspirations in the Frozen films have been drawn from this wondrous city. Due to its size, you’ll be surprised at just how quaint and quintessential Bergen is. Houses climb up the mountains that surround the city, boats come and go from Hanseatic Wharf and there’s a frenzy in the popular fish market. That’s before we mention the art, festivals and many cultural events. Let’s not beat around the bush, it’s the awe-inspiring fjords that astonish tourists who come to this city.
Other Landmarks in the Frozen Film
There are a few other landmarks in Norway that have been identified in the film:
One look at some photos of this picturesque town and you will fall in love. The colourful wooden buildings, children playing in the street, and when it’s covered in snow, it’s simply stunning. As well as Balestrand, Bryggen is said to be the village that inspired the architecture in Frozen II and it’s very clear to see why the producers chose it to do so. If you travel to Bryggen, be sure to get off the beaten track and venture to the small shops, galleries and artist studios that are tucked away behind the main streets.
If you find yourself in Oslo, you must visit Akershus Fortress – Frozen 2 fans will soon see the resemblance to Arendelle Castle. It’s in the centre of the city so is loved by the locals as much as it is tourists and clearly the creators of Frozen II.
The fortress was built in the late 1290s to protect Olso, so this stunning landmark is of great importance, to not just Oslo, but Norway too. The building was completed by the 14th century but it has undergone quite a few changes in the past. It was modernised in the 1600s, converted into a Renaissance castle and royal residence, and after falling into disrepair, restoration work was needed in 1899. The best time to visit is in the summer when you can wander the grounds or even visit for a concert.
Nidaros Cathedral is in Trondheim, Trøndelag, the same region as Røros as mentioned previously. The cathedral is located in the centre of the city centre and is so big it can be seen from almost anywhere you are in the city. It was built from 1070 onwards and is the most important Gothic monument in Norway, hence why Disney chose to feature it in their film.