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Why Making Disney+'s Olaf Presents Was An Emotional Experience For Josh Gad

Olaf pretending to be Ariel in Olaf Presents
(Image credit: Disney)

One of the funniest scenes in Frozen II was the sequence in which Olaf the snowman recounts the entirety of the first Frozen movie as a one man show. Fans loved the scene so much that there was a groundswell of support for the idea that Olaf should also recount other Disney movies. And now with Olaf Presents on Disney+, fans are getting exactly what they hoped for. But while the series is meant to be funny, it was actually a surprisingly emotional experience for Josh Gad. 

CinemaBlend was in attendance at a press conference for the series of shorts that will debut this Friday, that included voice actor Josh Gad, director Hyrum Osmond, and producer Jennifer Newfield. During the event, moderator Patti Murin, who played Frozen’s Anna on Broadway, asked the group what they enjoyed most about making the shorts.

 Josh Gad explained that for him what was special was that all five shorts are based on films during the Disney Renaissance era, and as such they were the films he grew up with. He specifically remembered the experience of seeing The Little Mermaid and being completely overcome by it. Gad explained... 

You know, revisiting moments from all of the films was a joy. But specifically, the movies I grew up with, selfishly. So, I was at that perfect age during the second golden age of Disney Animation. I remember seeing The Little Mermaid in the theatre and being, like, what is this? Why? It feels like a Broadway show on screen. It was like the first time I can remember applauding in a theatre, after the songs were done. So, getting to go back and specifically revisit those films, uh, was a dream come true.

Josh Gad probably isn’t the only one who had a similar experience watching The Little Mermaid. While Disney movies certainly had their share of songs, The Little Mermaid was the first movie to truly be a musical in the Broadway tradition, thanks to the great Howard Ashman and Alan Menken handling the music. 

But being able to have some fun with The Little Mermaid wasn’t the only moment that was special for Josh Gad. Olaf Presents also includes Olaf’s take on Aladdin, and Josh Gad admits that being able to play around as Robin Williams’ iconic Genie was something that truly made him emotional. Gad continued...

And then getting to, sort of, play,, in the footsteps of my idol, Robin Williams in the world of Aladdin. Hyrum and Jen can tell you that that was sort of like a pinch myself, very emotional experience for me. Yeah.

Olaf Presents also includes hilarious takes on The Lion King, Moana, and Tangled that fans should love. The series debuts on Disney+ on November 12, Disney+ Day.  

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.