A north Iowa museum’s connection to ‘Frozen’

DECORAH, Iowa – An Academy Award winning animated movie that is one of Disney’s biggest motion pictures ever, has a special connection to north Iowa.

Chances are, you have either seen, or at least heard of ‘Frozen’.

But, you probably didn’t know that the movie couldn’t have been made without a little help from a local museum.

“The person on the other end of the line said, “Hello, this is Terry from the Disney Corporation and we were wondering if you could help us.””

Collections Manager at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, Alison Dwyer almost couldn’t believe it when she got the call from Disney asking if the museum could help them with a movie they were working on.

“I really was almost tempted to say, “oh yeah right, and I have a bridge I’d like to sell you,”” explains Dwyer.

The movie ‘Frozen’ is set in Norway, so Disney creators wanted some artifacts to help inspire the film.

The Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum provided them with 21 objects typical of what Norwegians would have used in the 1800s.

“They knew that they wanted some examples of what’s called  rosemauling, which is literally, flower painting. We sent two ale bowls, which is what the name implies, they were used for drinking beer out of. They knew they wanted some examples of wood carving.”

To celebrate the museum’s connection to the movie, there’s a special booth at this year’s Nordic Fest in Decorah.

Kate Martinson, Board Chair of the museum, made costumes so kids and adults alike can look just like their favorite ‘Frozen’ characters.

“I’m a real proponent of children and museums. It’s one thing to look at an exhibition, it’s another to have things to do,” explains Martinson.

Disney will keep the artifacts from the museum on display in Epcot for three years.

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