Walt Disney Animation is working with the Sámi Parliamentary Council and The Saami Council to create a Sámi language version of Frozen 2. The filmmakers consulted with a Sámi working group on elements within the film — to be detailed later in the year — making this translation even more pertinent.
“For all of our films at Disney Animation, research is crucial to building fantastical yet relatable and believable worlds. At the genesis of creating Frozen 2, our filmmaking team embarked on a research trip to Iceland, Norway and Finland. We were deeply moved by so many of the places we visited and the people we met, including a visit with the Sámi,” said producer Peter Del Vecho.
In a joint statement, the presidents of the Sámi Parliaments and the Saami Council – Aili Keskitalo (Norway), Tuomas Aslak Juuso (Finland), Per-Olof Nutti (Sweden) and Åsa Larsson-Blind (Council), expressed their enthusiasm:
“We are deeply proud and grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Disney Animation. We are beyond excited that the film, Frozen 2, will be accessible to Sámi children in their own native tongue. It is also very gratifying to be able to share the news now as the UN celebrates the International Year of Indigenous Languages this year.”
Elements of Sámi culture served as inspiration for the first Frozen movie as well, blended with other influences from across Scandinavia. The film’s opening song, “Veulie” (by Norwegian composer Frode Fjellheim) incorporates traditional Sámi singing known as jojking. Traditional clothing and reindeer herding practices also informed the creation of the character Kristoff.
Rick Dempsey, SVP Creative for Disney Character Voices International, and his team will oversee the casting and adaptation of Frozen 2 into the indigenous Northern Sámi language. Disney Animation and Disney Character Voices International most recently engaged with key partners in Tahiti, Hawai‘i and New Zealand to create indigenous Tahitian, Hawaiian and Māori language versions of Moana, respectively.
Frozen 2 is set to open in U.S. theaters on November 22. The Sámi version is planned for release simultaneously with the other Nordic versions in December. Casting will begin soon.
Learn more about the Sámi Parliamentary Council and Saami Council at samediggi.no, samediggi.fi, sametinget.se and saamicouncil.net.
About the movie: Why was Elsa born with magical powers? The answer is calling her and threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she’ll set out on a dangerous but remarkable journey. In Frozen, Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In Frozen 2, she must hope they are enough. From the Academy Award-winning team — directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, producer Peter Del Vecho and songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez — the sequel once again features the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad in its original English-language version.