Disney Wanted To Kill One Of Its Most Beloved Characters

By James Brizuela | Published

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For those who are fans of Disney’s Frozen movie, one of the biggest aspects of that movie that is so beloved by children and adults was the lovable hang-around, Olaf. However, the co-director and writer of Frozen, Jennifer Lee, wanted nothing to do with the magical snowman. According to Lee, “My first note was, ‘kill the snowman.'”

Apparently, when production had started and Lee was brought on, she was not impressed by Olaf at all. The intention was to cut the character completely out of Frozen, though a producer for the movie quickly jumped in and had one of the animators put together a three-page script to be read by Josh Gad, who had already been selected to voice the character. That small sample size was enough to get Lee to back off and allow Olaf to stay in the movie.

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Clearly letting Olaf stay in the movie was the right decision as Disney’s Frozen would go on to make over $1 billion at the box office, win a Best Animated Film and Best Original Song Academy Award, and become a staple for families around the world. Even crazier is the Frozen 2 sequel would go on to bring in $1.5 billion at the box office, making it one of the super rare occasions that a sequel film outperforms its predecessor. This rare occasion has cemented the movie as one of the biggest franchises in the world, which we all know is going to produce Frozen 3 in the future.

Disney’s Frozen would also lead to Olaf starring in his own shorts called Frozen Fever and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. Olaf also acted as a host for the series, Olaf Presents. Despite Lee wanting to “kill” the snowman, that snowman is one of the biggest reasons why the first movie has been hammered into the heads of most parents around the world.

As previously mentioned, Disney’s Frozen 3 has all but been confirmed by the stars of the franchise, Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel. Menzel was the person behind the famous, “Let It Go” song that would win the Best Original Song at the Academy Awards. The soundtrack for the first movie spent 13 non-consecutive weeks at #1 and secured the status of the best-performing album of 2014.

Olaf has cemented himself as one of the better sidekicks in Disney movies, especially in Frozen. Had the snowman been cut, then the movie might not have been as successful as it was, leading to the sequel, and the rumored second sequel. Sometimes writers need outside perspectives from their own work, and Lee was saved by that quick-thinking producer.

Disney’s Frozen can be streamed right now on Disney+, along with Frozen 2. While the rumors of the third movie have been unofficially confirmed by Bell and Menzel, it would make sense for it to happen on the sheer success of the first movies. While there is likely not to be another Olaf-type character created for the sequel, we would say to not be so hasty in wanting to cut out characters from the first cuts of movies.