Myth: A Frozen Tale Filmmakers Bring the Beautiful VR Short to Disney+

The Frozen franchise has been an absolute juggernaut on Disney+ since the service was launched in late 2019. Frozen, one of Disney's most popular films ever released, was a mainstay for users long before Frozen 2 arrived last year. The record-breaking sequel continues to stand near the top of the service's trending titles, even 12 months after its streaming debut. This is all to say that Disney fans love Frozen, and one of the most ambitious projects in the entire Frozen universe has finally arrived on Disney+.

Myth: A Frozen Tale made its debut on Disney+ first thing Friday morning, but this short is actually a modified version of the original project. Myth is a short that was created for virtual reality, so people could experience everything about the world of Arendelle around them. Since VR isn't something that is readily available, the team behind Myth: A Frozen Tale worked hard to deliver a 2D version of the story that could be released on Disney+.

While the short that you can watch on Disney+ isn't quite as immersive as the original VR version, the beauty of the pop-up style of animation used in the production is still very present. During a press conference about the film's Disney+ debut, director Jeff Gipson explained how bedtime stories and the world of Frozen helped inspire this new adventure.

"So when it came to Myth: A Frozen Tale, I started thinking about what types of stories what a bedtime story would you be told, if you grew up in or around Arendelle," Gipson explained. "And this is that's how Myth kind of started, and I was really thinking about those elemental spirits who are such a big part of Frozen 2. I was really inspired by the graphic look of shadow puppets and pop-up books and imagine a world that if you were able to step into that kind of pop-up book, that story, what would that look like as a stylized version of the Frozen 2 world?"

In order to get that "pop-up feel" that Gipson envisioned, the team turned to production designer Brittney Lee.

"When we started, we knew that we wanted the audience to feel immersed in this forest," Lee said. "And that was one of our initial problems to solve was 'How do you make an immersive forest also feel like a pop-up book?' And one of the things that we decided early on was that we wanted this backlit feeling so that the space around you, the space closest to the viewer, was all going to be in shadow. It can have this dramatic silhouetted effect, and then everything looking out from beyond the space would be lit and would be like a stage."

Even though Myth is only about 10 minutes long, it took an enormous team working together to bring the project to life, both in VR and 2D formats.

"That's kind of part of MYTH is this innovation and the team that created this film. [Producer] Nick [Russell] mentioned there was almost 100 artists that worked on this, and this was our team’s second film made in real time at the studio," said Gipson. "There were so many technical challenges but also artistic challenges we overcame. It's similar to our film. The film’s about harmony and that what happens within harmony. All of our artists, our technicians, our production folks came to create something that's really special. And this image is basically that moment in the film this moment of harmony, we're all the elements are dancing together to create this beautiful harmony."

When it came to delivering the 2D version of Myth, Jeff and the rest of the team went back to the initial storyboards to figure out where to focus the attention.

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"I think for some of it we looked at the storyboards we initially pitched, you know, some of the action some of the things have changed since then, but we worked with Terry Moews, he did all of our cinematography work," the director explained. "We watched the VR version multiple times and we're thinking like, 'Wow, how can we capture this feeling, this presence, but bring it to this to a screen, so people can watch it on streaming?' So the storyboards is informed a little bit but it was more about like how can we capture that feeling of the film the VR version, and bring that into the streaming version."

Myth: A Frozen Tale is quite unlike the other titles in the Frozen world, and it's now available to stream on Disney+.