How Disney+’s Once Upon A Snowman Gives Olaf A Moment That The Frozen Films Didn’t

Light spoilers for Once Upon a Snowman lie ahead.

It’s been almost seven years since audiences were first introduced to the hilarious, sweet and warm hug-loving snowman, Olaf. The fan-favorite Frozen character has earned a special place in Disney fans' hearts, and they’ve followed him on plenty of adventures since his debut. Now, in his latest outing, Disney+’s Once Upon a Snowman, fans will get to watch him take his first steps after being created by Elsa. But not only does the new short explore his origins, but it also gives him a moment that no Frozen film has.

As you can tell by the trailer, Olaf is going to find himself in some interesting situations in Once Upon a Snowman. When I spoke to co-directors and writers Trent Correy and Dan Abraham about the short, I asked both about their favorite moments. Abraham is particularly fond of a scene between Olaf and returning store proprietor Oaken. Correy, who initially came up with the idea for the short, pointed to the chase sequence, which is something Olaf has never had before:

In Frozen 1 and 2, there's not chase sequences with Olaf. You do see him, during the song, run, but there's not like a good chase sequence. So that excited me and, you know, in terms of the process on that, Dan and I kind of got together with a sharpie and drew some basic ideas. And we wrote, ‘Olaf needs to start running here with the sausage nose and then eventually lead the wolves to Anna and Kristoff and then get down to where the wagon comes crashing down. But then we gave it to a board artist named Seth Boyden, who just went to town. He pitched us this series, and there was like 100 gags that were all equally hilarious. And then Dan and I had the difficult job of trying to figure out which ones we wanted to keep, because they're all so funny.

It's crazy to think that with all of the situations Olaf has found himself in, he’s never actually had a chase sequence. It’s even more surprising considering how Olaf’s size and unique makeup allow for some creative opportunities when it comes to a potential chase scene.

And let’s be honest, the energy that Josh Gad brings to the character is almost too perfect not to utilize for a chase. The actor has added so much to the character and, even in quarantine, he’s still working to add things to the role.

Disney+’s Once Upon a Snowman takes place directly after Olaf is created by Elsa during the events of 2013’s Frozen. From there, the newly created snowman learns about the world around him and ultimately becomes the lovable character we all know him to be.

Once Upon a Snowman begins streaming on Disney+ on October 23.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.