Frozen and its Connection to Norwegian and Sámi Culture

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Ever since its release 10 years ago, Frozen has probably been one of the most well-known animated movies of the 2010s and maybe of all time. This movie has been loved by worldwide audiences and left a lot of memories for fans of all ages.

Since Frozen is inspired by Scandinavian culture, I am going to talk about Disney’s attempt at Scandinavian culture in both Frozen movies.

a group of toy figurines standing around a christmas tree

The last time I made an essay like this (where I talked about Kid-targeted companies and their attempts at Nordic culture) was the one about Kirsten, The Swedish Immigrant doll I made 2 months ago

That one did really well. It’s my 2nd most popular article (besides the Stina story)

The 1st Movie

The earliest exposure to Nordic culture in Frozen is at the literal beginning, Not even at the start of the movie, at the Intro.

The intro song (the one that plays with the Disney princess castle) is Joik. The Joik is called Vuelie, and it is by the Norwegian choir group Cantus. Even though it breaks some rules of Joiks, I kinda do like that Joik.

There is also a part in which you could hear a Viking-esque song in the beginning as well. The song is called Frozen Heart.  I really like the song since it gives off Viking vibes. However, this is inaccurate since Frozen is set in 1800s Norway…

So basically, Frozen is set in the same time period as The Emigrants (and technically the same country, since Norway and Sweden were one country from 1814 to 1905). In the coronation scene, there is also a song in Old Norse.

Now, let’s talk about the actual movie. In the movie, we see Iduna, the mom of Anna and Elsa, wearing a Bunad most of the time.

I actually do like her Bunad (since it’s purple, and I love purple). However, there is no purple Bunad out of the 400+ variations (I made an article on Bunads). I do understand that Arendelle is fictional, but I still wanted to notice this.

There is also a minor scene where books with Runes are shown. I assume these books are from the Kalmar Union since Runes were used in stone for the majority of the Viking Age and were used in the paper during the Kalmar Union Era until the 1400s.

Another Norse-related detail is the trolls in the movie. I am actually shocked, as the Trolls in the movie look very accurate to Norwegian folklore trolls. The only inaccurate thing is that these trolls act much nicer than Norwegian folklore trolls.

In fact, in Dreamworks’s movie Trolls, the Bergens (which are the evil characters, also named after a Norwegian city) resemble Norwegian trolls better than the original troll characters.

The 2nd Movie

Ladies and gentlemen. It is confirmed Anna and Elsa are half Sámi

Now, within the 2nd movie, there is a plot surrounding a group of characters, the Northlunda.

I had a really strong feeling that they were inspired by the Sámi since their clothes, daily lives, and relations with Arendelle (Assuming Arendelle is Norway, and the enchanted forest is Sámi territory) are very similar to those of the Sámi people.

And guess what… they are indeed based on The Sámi. The only thing that was inaccurate was their outfits.

Traditionally, Sámi people wore Gåhktis (or Koftes, in Norwegian), which were super colorful. In Frozen 2, The Northlundas wore gray outfits, which would be accurate if it was based on Norwegian prehistory or the Viking Age (Gåhktis were adapted in the 1800s, and then in the 1980s after Norway made Sámi languages legal again)

And about the beginning of this paragraph where I said that Anna and Elsa are half- Sámi, well, her mom is the Sámi one.

She apparently rescued her dad and became the queen of Arendelle. One thing that is wrong, but I understand, is her name. Idunn is a Religious Old Norse name since Idunn is a Norse Goddess.


I realized that this was kind of a good idea since Sámi religious names are really long and hard to pronounce (Raedieahkka, Salaniede, and Juoksáhká are some names based on Sami Religion)

Even the partial plot of the movie is based on Sámi tradition, which involves Elsa and Anna having to find the element spirits to save Arendelle.

According to the Sámi religion, everything has a spirit from the four elements. In the movie, you can see different creatures representing these elements, including a cool-looking water horse called the Nook, An adorable fire salamander called Bruni, and an invisible wind spirit.

And lastly, You can watch Frozen 2 In Northern Sámi. From what I know, this is the only Sámi-Language Movie that can be watched worldwide.

You can watch this version on Disney+. Here is a song from the movie in Northern Sámi.

Hope you enjoy this article. Bye <3

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