Huffpost Arts

Incredible Snow Sculptures Bring Your Favorite Children's Movies To Life

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For most people, this cold winter is reason to complain and huddle inside for warmth. But students at Michigan Technological University, where the temperature is often in the single digits, instead see an opportunity to spend hours outside making enormous and elaborate snow sculptures.

At the Houghton, Mich. university's annual Winter Carnival last week, students toiled away for the annual month-long and overnight snow sculpture competition. They they were tasked with recreating favorite kid's movies for the theme, "Nostalgic Films from Childhood Days Come to Life in Frosty Ways," and groups worked on scenes from "The Lion King," "The Land Before Time," "Toy Story" and other favorites.

The Phi Kappa Tau fraternity won the frat division for their snowy version of life in "Beauty and the Beast," which took 20 team members working 200 to 300 hours each over the last few weeks.

michigan tech snow sculptures

Creating the sculptures is no small feat. Besides braving the cold, sculptors have special snow techniques and use scaffolding, shovels and even clothes irons to create their pieces, according to the Mining Gazette.

There's plenty of free material, though -- the school has recorded over 12 feet of snow since the season began.

Sculptures must be handmade, and can't exceed 28 feet in height. They're judged on artistry, intricacy, neatness, whiteness of snow and lettering, according to UpperMichigansSource.com. The site notes that it was so cold this month that students were prohibited from working on their sculptures on five different days when temps dipped below zero.

It might seem like a crazy way to spend a month, but not according to president of the Blue Key Honor Society Jack Lubinski. The group organizes the winter carnival each year.

"Our university celebrates the snow," Lubinski told Accuweather.com. "It really exemplifies what it means to be part of the community as a student and local as well."

Take a look below to see some of the incredible snow sculptures, and get ready to feel a little nostalgic for the Disney classics.

  • "Beauty and the Beast"
    Michigan Tech
    "As the snow falls from above, a beast discovers love" by Phi Kappa Tau, winner in the fraternity division.
  • Michigan Tech
    "Be our guest, be our guest.."
  • Michigan Tech
    That scene when Belle dances with the Beast just tears at our heartstrings. "Tale as old as time /Tune as old as song / Bittersweet and strange / Finding you can change."
  • "A Toy Story"
    Michigan Tech
    Delta Sigma Phi won third place in the fraternity division for "Buzz and Woody's Quest in the Wild West."
  • Michigan Tech
    "You are a child's play thing!"
  • Michigan Tech
    Oh, we love you Mr. Potato Head.
  • "Cinderella"
    Michigan Tech
    Alpha Sigma Tau won the sorority division for their sculpture: "Within Houghton's frigid cold and ice, we see a love story come to life. Cinderella frozen in time just before the midnight chime."
  • Michigan Tech
    A lot of Disney movies made the list.
  • "The Land Before Time"
    Michigan Tech
    Army ROTC won the Student Organization group for their scene, "On a frozen wintery day, Littlefoot, Spike and Cera play."
  • Michigan Tech
    This brings us right back.
  • "The Lion King"
    Michigan Tech
    Tau Kappa Epsilon won second place in the frat division for "In Wicked Winter's Windy Blow, Scar and Simba Clash in Snow."
  • Michigan Tech
    Why are you so cruel, Scar?
  • Michigan Tech
    Amazing ice sculptures.
  • "The Lion King," Part 2
    Michigan Tech
    Another group was inspired by "The Lion King": Summit/WIE won first place for residence halls with "Hakuna Matata in frozen watah." It's our problem-free, philosophy..
  • "The Iron Giant"
    Michigan Tech
    "Here sits The Iron Giant, encased in snow, strong and reliant," created by Sigma Tau Gamma, took fourth place in the frat division.
  • "101 Dalmations"
    Michigan Tech
    That's a lot of pups. Raptor Hall took third in the residency hall division for their "101 Dalmations" scene. "They're snowy little balls of fun, count them all one hundred and one."
  • "My Neighbor Totoro"
    Michigan Tech
    This statue of Totoro was one of the statues created in just one night.
  • "The Muppets"
    Michigan Tech
    The Beaker statue was created in one night, too. Meep meep!
  • "Charlie Brown"
    Michigan Tech
    Delta Phi Epsilon took fifth place of women's groups for their sculpture, with the inscription, "Snoopy and friends at play, frozen in ice they stay."
  • "Cars"
    Michigan Tech
    The Four Wheelers Club took third place of student organizations for their "Cars" sculpture: "Stick it in 4x4 to get to Sarge's Surplus store."
  • "Jurassic Park"
    Michigan Tech
    The Air Force ROTC took third place of student groups for their "Jurassic Park" sculpture. "Feel the shake, fear the roar, feel the wrath of Jurassic Park's Tyrannosaur!"
  • Working All Night
    Michigan Tech
    They might be cold, but this does look like a lot of fun.

All photos courtesy Michigan Tech, via Flickr.

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