It’s hard to think of Disney lagging behind when it comes to animated storytelling, but the emergence of Pixar in the mid-1990s signaled a downturn – at least by comparison – for the studio’s hand-drawn, and later, computer-animated departments. But in the last several years, Disney has seemed to regain its footing, releasing increasingly entertaining and resonant films, culminating in the wonderful Frozen. The story of two princesses who are sisters, the film deconstructs classic fairy tale values, offering a powerful story about sisters, and self-actualization, that never resorts to cliché.
At the Los Angeles premiere of Frozen, Spinoff Online spoke briefly to Lino DiSalvo, the film’s head of animation – and a supervisor on several of the studio’s recent animated features, including Bolt and Tangled. In addition to talking about the foundations for the film’s unconventional approach to its material, DiSalvo talked about the contributions of writer Jennifer Lee, and explained the collaborative process that enabled Frozen to become a truly special, unique film that enhances the Disney canon even as it razes it.