Frozen 2 will have Sámi version

Casting for North Sámi voice actors is set to begin shortly

Frozen 2

Photo: © 2019 Disney
In Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen 2, Elsa encounters a Nøkk—a mythical water spirit that takes the form of a horse—who uses the power of the ocean to guard the secrets of the forest.

Eilís Quinn
Eye on the Arctic

The sequel to the Walt Disney mega-hit film Frozen will also be available in the Sámi language, Walt Disney Animation Studios has announced in a joint news release along with the Sámi Parliamentary Council (SPC) and the Sámi Council.

The filmmakers behind Frozen 2 said parts of the new film were inspired by visits to Sámi areas and story research done in consultation with a Sámi working group.

“For all of our films at Disney Animation, research is crucial to building fantastical yet relatable and believable worlds,” said producer Peter Del Vecho in the news release on July 19.

“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,” he said.

The Sámi are an Arctic Indigenous group. There is no census just for Sámi, but most sources estimate their population at around 100,000. Their traditional homeland spans the Arctic regions of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula in Russia’s western Arctic. There are numerous Sámi languages and dialects spoken across the four countries. Frozen 2 will be produced in North Sámi, the language that is most spoken. Most sources estimate it has around 17,000 native speakers.

In a joint release, Aili Keskitalo from the Sámi parliament in Norway, Tuomas Aslak Juuso from the Sámi parliament in Finland, Per-Olof Nutti from the Sámi Parliament in Sweden, and Åsa Larsson-Blind from the Sámi Council, a non-governmental organization that represents Sámi in all four counties, said the project was even more meaningful for happening during the current United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages.

“We are deeply proud and grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Disney Animation,” they said. “We are beyond excited that the film Frozen 2 will be accessible to Sámi children in their own native tongue.”

Casting for the Sámi version of the film will begin soon, according to producers.

The movie is scheduled to be released in December 2019, along with the other Nordic-language versions of the film. The English-language version of the film is set to be released on Nov. 22.

This article first appeared in Eye on the Arctic (www.rcinet.ca/eye-on-the-arctic) and is reprinted with permission.

This article originally appeared in the August 9, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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