5 Things You Didn’t Know About Making an Animated Film

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I’ve been fortunate to attend a few Disney blogger press trips over the last three years and each time I can’t help but notice the excitement and wonder that strikes first time attendees. It makes me reflect on my first trip and some of the misconceptions I hear when people talk about the development of an animated film.

disney frozen olaf voiceover

I still find that no matter how many times I’ve attended, I’m still blown away by the dedication and perseverance that goes into the creation of every film – especially in areas of animation and voice over work.

1.  Animation is Easy

Ha! It’s a process that is enjoyable to the animators, but we know its no walk in the park to come up with a story, characters, and then animate them individually in a cohesive video that stays entertaining and on message.

2.  Animation is Quick

Animation is not quick. 18 months was spent on Disney’s newest animated short Get a Horse! and Disney’s Frozen has been in the works for years!

3.  As Soon as It’s Drawn, It’s Animated. 

Animation is the last step, just before sound effects. Facial expressions are matched to words being said and sometimes animators will pull inspiration for facial expression or characteristics from the actor doing the voice over work. Sometimes an animator will give certain mannerisms to their characters based off of their personality.

4.  Voiceover is Done at the Very End

There is a huge misconception that voiceover actors come into a recording booth, watch the finished movie clips and say their lines in time with those images. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Once a script and storyboard have been agreed upon voiceover actors begin working their lines even before animation has started. Animators then use the voice narration to drive the visual story.

5. A good voice makes a good voice over actor. 

It’s just a small piece of the puzzle. Great vocals matter, but knowing what to do with them is a whole other matter.  Timing, inflection, and the ability to work on a blank slate are other major pieces of the puzzle.

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During the Disney Frozen Event I was able to step into the recording booth as Olaf. While it was so much fun, like the debunked myths suggest – it wasn’t easy. Especially trying to match the already made animation. Here is a clip from one of my favorite comedic parts of the movie where Anna and Kristoff meet Olaf.

And I had so much fun doing this that I jumped right back in to try singing Olaf’s summer song. Warning: I never claimed to have a good voice :)

In theaters November 27th
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Thank you Disney for the use of photos from Frozen and for hosting me at the #DisneyFrozenEvent. All opinions are 100% mine.

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