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Disney’s Frozen Scenery Originates From the Norwegian Nature

In 2013, Disney released a 3D computer-animated fantasy film that has infatuated many people around the globe, and its name is Frozen. After being inspirited by The Snow Queen, a fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen, Disney managed to create one of the most successful computer-animated films on the basis of Norwegian fairy tales and superstitions: its box office reached $1.276 billion, while the movie’s budget equaled only $150 million. But what stands behind the wondrous Frozen scenery?






The Frozen’s world, full of adventures, princesses, trolls, snow, sky-high mountains, magic tricks, and picturesque views was inspired by the gem of Scandinavia – Norway. If you have ever visited Norway, you will definitely notice how similar its nature, landscapes, architecture, and fauna are to the ones in the movie. The movie’s plot takes place in the fairy, fictitious town of Arendelle, which resembles many Norwegian towns and cities. And it comes as no surprise since almost all traditions and landscapes in the movie are taken from Norway.

For instance, it is not that difficult to observe how many breathtaking views the movie borrowed from Western Norway, the region in which narrow fjords appear to be fantastic formations of nature. Bergen, the second-biggest city of Norway and its capital in the past, is called the gateway to Norway’s fjords, and the guaranteed departure tours of Nordiva Tours are a great opportunity to visit this fabulous city. While being included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, the city has only about 250,000 citizens and seems to be not that large. You will definitely feel comfortable walking across the city during the day.



Disney's Frozen and its similarity to Norway



Bergen’s architecture with its authentic Scandinavian style resembles very much the buildings in the fictional town of Arendelle. Well, it has to be said that Arendelle, with all those fishermen, storekeepers, wooden buildings, and fussy harbor, seems to be Bergen in the world of animated films, since there are only slight differences between the fictional Arandelle (even the name of this town sounds quite Scandinavian) and real glorious Bergen.

The castle of Arendelle, featured in the movie, is somewhat different from the typical Disney castles. If you have visited Norway before and know this country well enough, you may guess what the castle of Arendellepartly resembles, right? Well, it is worth pointing out that the movie creators decided to mix the common design of Disney’s castles with stave churches, many of which remain only in Norway (apart from a few left in Sweden, Poland, and England). Stave churches are medieval wooden Christian church buildings and they were quite widespread in northwestern Europe several centuries ago. Even though made of wood, stave churches seem quite gorgeous and imposing, and you can notice the distinct features of such churches in the movie’s castle. A stone part of the castle resembles either Akershus fortress of Oslo or Bergenhus fortress of Bergen, both of which you can have an opportunity to visit in our city or multi-day tours.




The Norwegian Folk Museum (order a tour to the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History or click on the button below), which you can visit on the above-mentioned tours, will narrate to you about bunad, Norwegian folk clothes. In the movie, inhabitants are dressed in clothes that look very similar to bunad. Indeed, the costume’s appearance can vary within the country, but one may definitely state: the dresses of Arendelle’s inhabitants are the same as 18th and 19th-century costumes of Norwegians. Besides, you may have a look at how Rosemaling, which originated in Norway and implies painting flowers on wooden objects, takes place in this animated movie. Is this all just a coincidence? I do not think so.

After all, Norway is well-known for its mythology that includes trolls, an essential part of Disney’s movie. Even though they are portrayed as loving and funny creatures in the movie, it is a little bit different in Norse mythology (yet, it is just a movie after all). Some of the places in Norway even have the word “Troll” in their names, such as Trollstigen for instance. The movie also features spectacular, deep fjords, sky-high mountains, and beautiful landscapes, and all this you can see in real in Norway. Our Fabulous Fjordland escorted tour will take you across Sognefjord, Aurlandsfjord, and Nærøyfjord, which are even more breathtaking than in the movie. The adventurous ride on the alpine Snowy Road will open up all those picturesque views and sceneries that you saw in the movie.




Norway is a real treasure for many writers, screenwriters, stage directors, as even Herbert Wells in his work The Time Machine (1895) mentions thralls, one of the socio-economic classes of the Vikings, predecessors of the present-day Norwegians. The movie Frozen just proves one more time how exceptional, extraordinary, and inspiring Norway is, and you can experience it yourself by ordering the Norwegian Ornaments or Magic of the Fjords journeys from Nordiva Tours. Norway has inspirited millions of people throughout its history, and, who knows, maybe you are the next person to whom a visit to this glorious country will bring inspiration.

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