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Historically Accurate Hans by Wickfield Historically Accurate Hans by Wickfield
Being the history geek that I am, I guess it is kind of surprising that I haven't really done a "historically accurate" animation series before, but after seeing that awesome Buzzfeed Disney Princess video, and of course all the amazing art on here, I was inspired to make my own.  I guess it is better late than never!

As I've said before elsewhere, from an artistic standpoint, I'm not at all bothered by the animated designs of the characters in Disney and Dreamworks films. They weren't documentaries after all so in most cases they didn't need to be accurate, and in animation in particular, it is more important to convey character and style in the designs.  I am not trying to "fix" anything because I don't think there is anything to fix!  That being said, it can still be fun to learn how your favorite characters might have looked if they had existed in real life.  :) (Smile)  

For my series, I am trying to be as accurate as I possibly can.  I'm taking the country of origin, the social class, the culture, and the specific decade into mind (instead of just a general sweep of multiple decades), and also adapting the colors and styles to fit what was available and worn everyday.  I will try to keep the characters recognizable where I can, but I want to make my pictures realistic and so some elements of the original designs might be altered in the process.

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You knew it had to happen some time, and here it is - the first entry in my Historically Accurate Frozen miniseries!   The next four installments will be my take on the movie's four main characters, and goodness knows the kids from Frozen need some serious historical help!  

If you are wondering why Hans is the first in the series, it is because I still have a crush on him.  Gotta love a cute redhaired prince...I think I should have stopped the movie halfway so he could have been a good guy forever!  
 Some folks have speculated that, as prince of the "Southern Isles," Hans might be Danish - however, his clothing is based on the Norwegian folk costume (specifically the Telemarken bunad), and also, Norway is the only country identified in canon, so that's what I've settled on for this drawing.  As for the year, it is hinted that "Frozen Fever" takes place in 1840, while the movie took place the year before - thus my date of 1839.  Just judging from the overall look, I had already guessed a late-1830s setting, but I was glad to have some confirmation of that theory. :)
  Initially, I planned to draw Hans in his "ballroom" uniform, but I felt that his introductory outfit was more iconic and a better challenge.  As I said above, Hans' clothing is almost a direct copy of the traditional Norwegian folk costume for men.  That is an...interesting design choice, and a nice way to pay tribute to the culture, but the clothing of the common folk is not at all appropriate for an aristocratic gentleman like Hans, who would have dressed according to English and French fashion styles, the way you see in fashion plates of the time.  
(Also, for what it is worth, Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid would wear basically this same kind of clothing as well.

At the beginning of the Victorian era, mens' fashion was a bit dandyish by modern standards.  Starting from the top, Hans' restrained, straight hairstyle would have been very unstylish - in 1839, it was all about the side part and curled hair!  Even men with straight hair (as Hans presumably naturally has) would use curling tongs to get the fashionable look.  This Tumblr post (in fact all of this user's 1830s posts) was very helpful, it sums up most of the styles throughout the 1830s.  I based Hans' style on these two portraits.  As you can from those portraits, his trademark side whiskers are right on trend.


Although it was for just a brief time, a man's figure was almost as artificial as a woman's in the 1830s.  Fashionable men had broad shoulders and chests (usually assisted by padding in their coats), and sometimes even cinched their waists with male corsets!  I doubt a trim young man like Hans would take such measures, but his waistcoat would have hit at the waist to create a similar visual effect, and it would have been tightly cut to keep him looking as slim as possible.  His waistcoat and tie actually didn't need much modification from his original design - striped waistcoats with shawl collars, and magenta neckties were perfectly appropriate for this period.  However, shirts were uniformly white.  As the closest layer to the body, the shirt absorbed a lot of sweat and body oils, so they had to be regularly laundered and bleached, and needed to be white for this purpose.  The fold-down collar Hans has in the movie is fine though, so I kept that here.

 Victorian men followed strict dressing protocol, with different requirements for different times of the day.  Hans' arrival to Arendelle would have qualified as a "formal morning" situation, which would have called for a "cutaway" tailcoat as opposed to the more casual frockcoat - you can see both kinds here.  Men's coats were very rarely light colors, particularly for formal occasions, but a blue coat with brass buttons would have been very typical of the era, so I took the detailing from Hans' trousers and applied it to the coat, and made the pants the same shade of gray as his jacket from the movie, so as to preserve his original color palette. :)  


As for the boots, those had to go.  Something modern costume designers ignore is that, through most of the history, high leather boots were a very activity-specific piece of clothing, and were almost never worn out of the context of riding.  By the 1830s, they weren't even worn then.  Instead, shorter half-boots were worn under the trousers, usually with the addition of detachable spurs. For the finishing touches, I gave Hans his customary white gloves (again, perfectly fine for this era) and the requisite top hat no man of character would be without.  I also decided to give him a riding whip, which would be necessary for his arrival on horseback when he runs into Anna, and which serves as both a *symbolic* and stylish accessory. :)

I hope you like Hans' redesigned look!  Next up is the complete opposite when it comes to fashion, Kristoff!
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:iconnikoroakimotaku:
NikoroAkimotaku Featured By Owner Edited Apr 8, 2018  Student Filmographer
He looks soo dashing! :D (Big Grin) :D (Big Grin)  no wonder why anna fell for this lad! Heart Heart :happybounce: 
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I would be in so much trouble if this guy started flirting with me...I would be a goner! :D
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:iconnikoroakimotaku:
NikoroAkimotaku Featured By Owner Edited Apr 10, 2018  Student Filmographer
Totally totally! :D (Big Grin)  too bad he a trickster though :No, I disagree! Sweating a little... 
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:iconrachelillustrates:
rachelillustrates Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
It is definitely lost in the mainstreamyness of the movie that it takes place in the Victorian Era. So thanks for this one, especially, since that's a reminder of that and how things actually were back then ^^;
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, like most Disney movies they kind of went for a "generic 19th century" design.  Fortunately I think the 1840s have some of the most attractive Victorian costumes for both men and women so I had a lot of fun bringing those details back for the Frozen crew.
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:iconrachelillustrates:
rachelillustrates Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
And that definitely shows :)
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:iconpellchinnn:
Pellchinnn Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I thought Hans already was "historically accurate". I mean I can just view this as Hans with a different style simply, you can't really make him any more historically accurate than he already is. ;-)
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Actually, he is only accurate for the Regency era (and even that is a little iffy since he is wearing folk clothing), but Frozen takes place later than that, so this is putting him in early Victorian clothes instead.
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:iconpellchinnn:
Pellchinnn Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
As far as I'm concerned, he simply wears Scandinavian royal clothing from the era (circa 1845) when Frozen takes place. I still don't see how Hans' actual clothing isn't accurate.
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It isn't though. Frozen takes place in 1839 and royal men aren't wearing the Telemarken folk bunad Hans wears in the movie. Military costumes are vaguely similar but it wouldn't be what he would wear for a diplomatic meeting or a ball anyway. If you look up actual images from that year (like the ones linked in my description) you will see for yourself.
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:iconpellchinnn:
Pellchinnn Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
How do you know it takes place in 1839? That seems like just speculation, and even still, it takes place around the 1939-1945 period but there are only slight differences in your version of Hans from the actual one. Where in the film does Hans wear some Telemarken folk bunad? How could he even when it has been made relatively clear that he comes from Denmark? Clothes back then weren't much different than what Hans actually wears, as far as I'm aware. I'm just having an issue with the "accurate" portion, as I cannot see your version as more accurate than the actual one, just displaying a different version/style that he could have chosen to wear instead. :-)
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It takes place in 1839 because Frozen Fever specifically takes place in 1840, it actually says so in the movie.  

Anyway, I've already answered all your questions in the deviation description because I've done my research and backed it all up with references.  On the other hand you are not going to be able to find a picture of a Scandinavian royal from 1839-40 wearing his outfit because it is totally wrong for his status, for the occasion, and decades out of date besides.  

Just thinking something is "kind of sort of accurate" doesn't make it so, but most people don't mind if an outfit is "close enough" which is why Disney's designs are so successful.   I prefer to do research and find out how things actually were instead of sticking to inaccurate assumptions which is what this series is about.  :shrug:
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:iconpellchinnn:
Pellchinnn Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
My main point is that there's really nothing truly "accurate" about this. The styles displayed in the film could very well have been produced at that time, and just because a certain style or version wasn't produced doesn't mean it couldn't have been. If one seeks to be accurate then I'd say one should stick to the characters of the real world and the actual clothes that they wore, otherwise it's just trading one piece of imagination for another. I might be overthinking this, though, so I apologize for making this an issue. ;) (Wink) :D (Big Grin) Sweating a little... 
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:iconsoubrettina:
soubrettina Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016
Wow, the suit is so perfect! I guess the Telemak bunad carries a (probably coincidental) resemblance to the 1800 suit and all those Jane Austen heroes (very high-waisted pants, jacket cut almost at the elbow- happening to frame the groin in a really direct way, which is something that they did seem to be going for with Hans)- dunno why they would reverse the classic colours. Maybe it was too obvious. Or Hans doesn't suit dark blue.
I've noticed before the strange fondness of Hollywood costume designers in every genre of 'historical' costuming for high boots at inappropriate occasions (on sailors, in ballrooms, on guys with white-collar jobs...) For some reason they find it unacceptable to show men in shoes until the 20th century, it's odd. (Granted maybe they find knee breaches and stockings distractedly silly-looking, but that's not the case here. Would Hans have still worn stockings with his dress suit, or is it acceptable by now to wear full-length in the evening?)
The hat is another thing- in otherwise historically accurate-ish films, significant characters never seem to wear hats when social convention would have demanded that they did, and if they didn't they would be considered half-dressed (though of course minor and background characters usually do wear them). It's particularly conspicuous when Hans (and the men from Wesselton) don't even put hats on up a mountain in heavy snow, which is downright silly.
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, I noticed the similarity to the Regency silhouette as well!  I think that the national costumes were starting up around that era, which may be why the folk costumes had similar traits to more upper class fashion but didn't change at the same speed and kept the Regency look longer (many of the folk costumes still have that look today).

And omg, the boots!  That is a huge pet peeve of mine!  The thing is, a lot of stuff that was accepted as perfectly masculine in historical time periods like...you know...shoes, have somehow come to look feminine to modern eyes.  It is especially bad in medieval time periods - I guess hose and shoes would just look way too elfin, so everyone is slapped into boots, pants, and doublets.  It looks cool to us but no self respecting guy in those time periods would think it was cool to wear boots at random events, any more than we think it is cool to walk around in a bike helmet or soccer cleats.  :roll:

As for Hans in particular, I think they purposely chose a white jacket to really drive home that "pristine good guy" image they were going for with his character - it wouldn't have been so obvious with a blue jacket.  And during this time period Hans would still be wearing stockings and shoes for the coronation, because the coronation would be an example of a "court" event.  Court events were still super formal and men often wore uniforms or their fanciest costumes, which called for stockings and shoes (a tradition which would actually continue for a few more decades after Frozen takes place).  On other occasions that were still formal evening events, but not held at court, Hans would wear long trousers and shoes - in fact his outfit would be similar in style to this one, but it would be the Victorian equivalent of a tux, with a black tailcoat and trousers and a white waistcoat and cravat. :D
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:iconfreed0:
Freed0 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2015
Well, I think that Frozen's creators had been inspired by the Bunad vest, but also by the official and military uniform of this era (like this upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia…). Don't forget that Hans is a prince who comes in Arendelle for a official event. So, he wears an official uniform, at least for the coronation.
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, I know all that.  But this is a drawing of his everyday outfit, not the uniform he wears to the coronation ball later in the movie.  
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:iconcaryhorizons15:
CaryHorizons15 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Why did my comment pop up three times?! WTF?!
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:iconcaryhorizons15:
CaryHorizons15 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
He reminds me of Lawrence from Little Women (IF YALL READ CLASSIC BOOKS). Oh Hans, you look very debonair...❤️❤️❤️
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yep, I had a huge crush on Laurie when I was younger! Gotta love those handsome Victorians. :)
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:iconcaryhorizons15:
CaryHorizons15 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Oh yes...☺️
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:iconburningresurrection:
BurningResurrection Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2015
wonderful

he kinda makes me think of an Austrian nobleman, but that's probably due to the time period in general, and the fact that my country used to be part of the Austrian Empire, and as such I generally got exposed to allot of hystorical Austiran artwork 
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Honestly they all dressed alike at this point, so that makes sense. A few centuries earlier there were more regional differences in European dress.
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:iconburningresurrection:
BurningResurrection Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2015
yeah, the advance in communication clearly brought the onset of globalization
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yep, everyone started dressing like the French apparently!

It's pretty interesting though, when you are drawing the medieval characters you have to pay a lot of attention to region.  The British were different from the French, who were way different from the Italians.
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:iconnapoleonbonapartei:
NapoleonBonaparteI Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015
This is awesome but I'm curious as to why you put him in civilian clothes as opposed to a military or diplomatic uniform, I thought Hans was an Admiral?
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well first i wasn't sure that was ever confirmed to be canon in the final version of Frozen, only in the earlier concepts... Anyway, his movie outfit is a direct copy of the Telemark bunad, which is civilian clothing, and also this particular occasion would likely not call for uniform in the era. If i had drawn his ballroom outfit I probably would have interpreted it as a uniform, though. :)
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:iconnapoleonbonapartei:
NapoleonBonaparteI Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015
Ah gotcha, thanks for the reply. Again, amazing work!
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem, thanks!
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:iconborabee:
Borabee Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Student General Artist
Wow, very interesting information about boots. I had no idea!
I really like that you'll be doing Frozen now. Curious to see how Kristoff will turn out ^^
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yep, I knew I couldn't leave Frozen out of the series!
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:iconnihatemoon:
Nihatemoon Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015
this is more the Appearance of Prince Albert
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, they are from the exact same time period!
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:iconnihatemoon:
Nihatemoon Featured By Owner Edited Aug 23, 2015
exept Albert was German and Hans is Scadinevian so im sure they wouldnt have the same outfit
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hehe, actually their clothes would be quite similar, as France and England were the fashion leaders across Europe. Check out the 1830s in fashion page on Wikipedia, there are lots of portraits of men from different countries :)
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:iconnihatemoon:
Nihatemoon Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015
They just look so Skinny
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:iconkionkichin:
Kionkichin Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2015
You don't know how much I love this!!
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aw, thanks!
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:iconjackiel1565:
jackiel1565 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
He reminds me of the way mister bungly looked in bbcs pride an prejudice (with colling firth) or maybe that's just me. Either way it's really nicely done and it's nice to meet another Hans fan. :D :hug:
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh yeah, I can totally see the resemblance!  It's the curly red hair for sure. :)
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:iconjackiel1565:
jackiel1565 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
yesh it's probably cause of the hair :D
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:iconaniek90:
aniek90 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015
Awesome and OMG, he even has a pocket watch! :D :D
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, I hadn't originally intended for him to have one, but then I was trying to figure out a way to incorporate the braid from his original costume and thought the watch chain would be the best substitute. :)
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:iconniobesnuppa:
Niobesnuppa Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015   Digital Artist
He looks very dapper. I'm looking forward to seeing your take on a historically accurate Kristoff.
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!  I am working on Kristoff right now but it is hard to draw all that fur. :faint:
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:iconsalierifemme91:
salierifemme91 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
OMG HANS! Finally, I love you!
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hehe, do you love Hans or me? 
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:iconsalierifemme91:
salierifemme91 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Haha, both, really! :D
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:iconfidofromnorway:
FidoFromNorway Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015
Love it! (I'm from Norway) it's look like a old pic ^~^
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:iconwickfield:
Wickfield Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I am glad to get your approval then!
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