Disney’s Frozen has been one of the most phenomenal children’s films to succeed in making its way into pop culture, especially with its unforgettable iconic song, Let It Go, sung by Disenchanted’s Idina Menzel. And who can forget one of its most prominent characters, the sweet and plucky snowman, Olaf, who instantly became a fan-favorite since his first on-screen appearance? Recently, the Frozen co-director reveals that Olaf was actually NOT supposed to exist in the franchise.
As per Variety, Frozen Co-Director Jennifer Lee admitted in her speech, after receiving the Distinguished Storyteller gong at the Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards in Los Angeles on December 4, that her first note on Disney’s Frozen was directed at Olaf. It was quite ironic seeing as she had even accepted the award from the voice of Olaf, Josh Gad. Check out Lee’s full story below:
“My first note was, ‘kill the snowman’.”
Now, to be fair, the chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation had only entered the Frozen project after it was already in development. However, to say that Olaf should be taken off the storyboard upon her first look was a tad bit harsh.
Of course, instead of taking this and moving on by getting rid of Olaf, a ‘sneaky’ staff animator worked on a three-page script with Gad in mind for the character, especially since the actor had impressed the filmmakers during a late-night TV appearance and one of those that Gad impressed happened to be Lee, too. He had unknowingly saved his character from being written off the film. Lee, however, continues to say that:
“And no, that is not an announcement.”
In an attempt to stop the ‘buzzing’ of the media on this reveal, it’s still a surprising revelation in the behind-the-scenes of Frozen. Disney movies, after all, almost always feature the perky side characters who get all the best lines.
Olaf happens to be exactly that when he appeared in both Frozen and its sequel, Frozen II, along with his own holiday special, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, and of course, the mini-series, Olaf Presents. Frozen had won two Academy Awards and grossed over $1.2 Billion at the Worldwide Box Office. Olaf has most likely contributed majorly to this success for almost being Frozen’s (might as well) branding.
Olaf was originally supposed to be a meaner and colder version of Elsa to represent her demeanor towards Anna throughout their years, but thankfully to the reworked version, Olaf became this sunnier version who's 'as happy as can be'. Which Olaf would you have preferred?
There are no official announcements yet if there is ever going to be a Frozen 3 movie, but you can watch Frozen and Frozen II on Disney Plus.