'Frozen' went through dozens of different permutations before it was finally released last winter.
After decades worth of umming and ahhing, which started when Walt Disney originally touted to adapt Hans Christen Andersen's The Snow Queen in the 1940s, Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee were finally hired to bring their own take on the tale to the big screen, under the new title of 'Frozen.'
Buck and Lee decided to turn the titular character of The Snow Queen, who in 'Frozen' is Elsa, from a villain into a more relatable and redeemable character, a laborious process that the duo recently discussed with SpinOff.
Lee revealed that the pair realised early on that they needed to "walk [the audience] through what she's going through," while early drafts also featured Elsa purposefully hurting Anna, something that she "could never get past."
"What we found is by letting fear be the enemy, and keeping it rooted in fear, [we could preserve her likeability]," Lee explained.
Lee also added that a real breakthrough for the character's development came after the conception of the song, 'Let It Go.'
She noted that before the song Lee and Buck had planned to keep Elsa a villain, however they were already wrestling with the thematic idea of "more love versus fear instead of good versus evil," which they believed was more "compelling," while they had already made the pivotal decision to make the two lead characters sisters, which "gave such emotional depth to the whole story," and "seemed to really resonate."
Then the minute that they heard Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez's song they realised they "could break free from the villain and do more complex things with her character."
In many ways Elsa is the most successful element of 'Frozen.' By turning her into a more complex character who doesn't truly understand her powers, and is as afraid of them as her peers, she was able to resonate with viewers, whereas if she had simply been your bog-standard run of the mill Disney villain it would have been harder to invest in the film.
Of course, her greatest act was obviously when she also gave the perpetually optimistic snowman Olaf his own personal cloud to help him survive the summer, but that's by-the-by.
You can check out Buck and Lee's full discussion with SpinOff here, and 'Frozen' will finally be available to purchase on DVD in the UK on 31 March, 2014.
Where does 'Frozen' rank against other Disney films?
Gregory Wakeman is a Disney/Pixar aficionado who has openly wept at almost all of their films. What of it?