Jennifer Lee '05 Writes 'Frozen' Broadway Musical and 'A Wrinkle in Time'

March 7, 2018

In 2013, Alumna Jennifer Lee '05 made history. She wrote and directed Frozen: the single most successful animated movie in history. According to Box Office Mojo, the total worldwide gross is more than a billion dollars. Frozen went on to win two Academy Awards for best animated feature film and best original song.


The success of Frozen was such that a musical version has been made for Broadway. The stage version was also written by Jennifer Lee. Kristen Anderon-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who wrote the music for the film, also developed the musical's songlist.


New to the team is Tony Award winning director Michael Grandage, who was completely fascinated with the film. In an interview with The New Yorker he said: “I reconnected to the big sweep of the story. I thought, I would love to come at it with a Shakespearean sweep—to do something with it that takes on all these big questions that I believe are in Frozen”.


Earlier this year, it was announced that a sequel to the film was in pre-production. It was also revealed that Jennifer Lee would be the writer and director of the film.


Frozen the musical premiered in late February this year for select audiences, and it will officially open on march 22nd. Tickets are available for purchase now. 


Still from A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time


In addition to her success with Frozen, Lee also worked with Disney to create the film, A Wrinkle in Time, inspired by the book from L’Engle’s “Time Quartet” series. Lee adpated the screenplay and co-directed the film, which opens on the big screen March 9th. The film stars big names like Reese Witherspoon and Oprah. In Collider this week, Lee talks about making the film.


What was it like to go from writing an animated feature, with Frozen, to writing a live-action epic adventure, with A Wrinkle in Time?


LEE: It was wonderful, I have to say. I love animation, for the complete decadent control you have over every word and you can splice two things together. But there’s nothing like having real people take it over and become the parts, and then they re-inspire you. I was lucky to be on the journey the whole time, so as I watched dailies, it would bring out something new. How much they all embraced these characters and threw themselves into it, it was a feedback loop of creativity that is not the same. In animation, when you’re in the recording room, there’s a lot of that and it’s really fun, but when it comes to how it gets to realize that, the distancing is very much there. That’s not the case in live-action. I loved it!