Into the Unknown: Making Frozen II, the new Disney+ documentary series, followed the last year of the production of what would go on to become the highest-grossing animated movie of all-time. The documentary crew spent 115 days with the filmmakers but the final documentary series is only six episodes long, most of them barely more than 30 minutes. As such, one can only imagine just how much interesting material there is that was filmed, that we'll never get to see.
I recently had a chance to speak with Megan Harding, the director of Into the Unknown and I asked her if there was any specific moment that she remembers wanting to include in the documentary that she simply couldn't find a place for. She told me there were several interesting threads of story that had looked promising at various points that didn't end up going anywhere, but she remembered one particular interview that she wished she had been able to include. According to Harding...
There’s one scene that is my personal favorite that I tried endlessly to get into the finished version. It’s actually a scene with Mike Giaimo who’s the production designer, at his house in Silverlake. He’s such a design aficionado that he was trimming his hedges to sort of look like... the shape of the trees in Frozen. And so we did an interview with him cutting his hedges where he talks about the passion, dedication, and specific OCD-like tendencies of people who work at Disney. And it was just beautiful because it really did speak to the attention to detail that you see on the screen and I thought it was a beautiful way to talk about that.
In Into the Unknown: Making Frozen II, you really get to see the way animated movies are put together, and the way that differs from their live-action counterparts. Because there was no way to know which direction the production of the film would go, there was no way for Megan Harding and the documentary team to know what parts of what they were filming would actually end up in the final cut of the series. It was a lot of simply filming everything they could and then figuring out how it all might go together later. In the end, some pieces, like this interview with production designer Mike Giaimo, just didn't fit anywhere.
Maegan Harding had also told me that she wanted to include deleted scenes from Into the Unknown on Disney+. Unfortunately, the pandemic shut down the offices when post-production was still being finished, and so extras like deleted scenes had to be dropped so that the series itself could be finished on time.