Disney Princesses have a signature voice. Their melodies can bring animals to do chores, and women like Ilene Woods and Jodi Benson have become household names for their iconic work as beloved classic princesses. Since Mandy Moore brought in the revolution of new princesses with her performance in Tangled, the bar has been raised for Disney actresses. After a career of highs as ‘Veronica Mars’ and ‘Sarah Marshall,’ actress Kristen Bell returned to her roots of music to join the ranks of Disney Princesses as ‘Anna’ in the new animated movie Frozen.
Bell: “I’ve always wanted to be in a Disney animated feature like since I was four years old or five years old. It was the first goal I had ever set for myself…. I auditioned for Tangled and after my audition the casting director pulled me aside and she said, ‘Oh, that was great and if we go another way-’ which I think she knew they were, ‘But I want you to meet Chris Buck because he’s directing a project that’s a few years down the line called The Snow Queen, and I think you’d be right for it.’”
What started as The Snow Queen eventually turned into Frozen, as it became clear that the script once based on a Hans Christian Andersen story had transformed itself into a tale of sisterly bond and finding yourself. The script originally called for a pretty straight forward Disney fairytale, but as Bell began working on the film, new aspects of the characters came to life as they started to record the dialogue and songs.
“I think this is the most untraditional musical they’ve ever done. I mean, which is kind of funny, because that was [director Chris Buck's] original intention, but the script has morphed so much.. It kind of told us what it wanted to be… I studied music in college and I, I trained operatically when I was a little girl, and I love musical theater so, so, so much. So, I’d done a couple Broadway musicals and I try to keep music as relevant as possible and… it puts me in a mental state of happiness like nothing else, I think. Really like nothing else.”
Bell has previously been known for her voice in Gossip Girl, but her experience making Frozen allowed her to give much more input than she ever has for her voice’s characters. Her input towards shaping Princess Anna is a major factor into Anna’s incredible relatability.
“I’m swept away by this story, ’cause I like it so much… I knew exactly what I wanted to do going in. I was like, ‘I don’t want her to have good posture, I don’t want her to like have dreamed of holding a sword her whole life.’ I didn’t want her to be one or the other of the archetypes that I was used to seeing. I just wanted her to be who I wanted to see on screen when I was little, which is someone who talks too much and too fast, and puts her foot in her mouth, and is goofy, but really kind of likes people and being social and being positive… She’s not rough and tumble, and she’s not the girl who has her hair braided by birds.”
Whether or not you’re already a Kristen Bell fan, Frozen is sure to make you one. Her vocal training gives her the perfect Disney singing voice, and her adorableness makes Anna a perfectly imperfect princess.
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