Princess Elsa begins as the beautiful heir to the kingdom of Arendelle, loved by all and elder sister to the film's protagonist, Princess Anna. Elsa shares a close bond with her free-spirited younger sibling, however this is shattered when the two fall out. Elsa then places a frozen curse on her kingdom, trapping it into an eternal winter and goes into self-imposed exile. To rule the kingdom, Elsa put a bad curse on her sister, Anna to have a cold heart.
Elsa is a strikingly beautiful young woman, as the Snow Queen she has silvery-white hair and blue eyes, very pale skin with a light dusting of freckles (a trait she shares with her sister, Anna) and a tall slender figure. It is unknown what her pre-Snow Queen state will look like, though her hair is originally darker.
In her Snow Queen state Elsa wears her hair in a side braid woven with ice incrustations. She wears a strapless, blue dress, and at the top of her dress is a transparent cape with sleeves of sheer material draped down covered in icicles and snowflakes.
Role in the film
At a young age, Elsa realizes that she holds an ancient power over ice and snow which she keeps hidden from her family, even her sister, Anna.
The time comes for Elsa's coronation ceremony where her ice powers are revealed as she freezes everything around her, leaving everyone utterly shocked because there is a prophecy that someone will leave the kingdom in an eternal winter. Elsa, not wanting this to be her, cuts herself out of the world making her own Ice Palace with snowmen minions to guard her, unwillingly making the prophecy come true and cursing Anna with a frozen heart.
Anna, Elsa's warm and optimistic sister joins up with a rugged mountain man named Kristoff, his reindeer companion Sven and one of Elsa's gone-wrong snowmen Olaf to go on a quest to find Elsa and bring her home, before it is too late.
- Contrary to how most adaptations portray her, this version of the Snow Queen will not be a villain, since the Snow Queen in the original fairy tale was not intended to be evil. Because of this, the real villain of the film will likely be someone else. Also, the fairy tale the film is based on involved an evil troll (implied to represent Satan) building a mirror which he will use to turn everyone evil, only to accidentally smash it in the process, and one of the shards ending up hitting Kai. It's hinted that the TBD real villain may have been the one that gave Elsa her ice-based powers in the first place just to make her look bad.
- Elsa will be the first female and computer-animated royal villain to be biologically related to the hero and the third royal villain to be related to the hero, with Scar first and Hades second. However, this is now eventually disproven, however, but whoever will be the real villain will be has yet to be determined.
- Elsa may have been based on Kai, from the original "Snow Queen" fairy tale, who after ends up being kidnapped by the title Queen after he is unexpectedly stabbed by one of the broken shards of a magic mirror created by an evil troll which he was supposed to use to corrupt people, therefore prompting Gerda to try and rescue him, combined with the Snow Queen herself.
- Elsa will be the first main antagonist to be biologically related to a Disney Princess (not counting Ursula, who was originally going to be King Triton's sister and hence Ariel's aunt). This was eventually disproven recently as she will not be the villain, and the real villain will be someone else.
- Elsa will be the second computer-animated female former in a Disney Animated Canon with Mother Gothel being the first and will be the fourth computer animated Disney Princess.
- At one point, Elsa was going to be the main character, where she is the cold-hearted queen of her own kingdom who despised anyone around her, freezing anyone who crosses her path, and just wanted to be alone until she was softened by a kind-hearted man.
- At another point, Elsa was going to be the main antagonist, and she and the Kai analogue (who was originally going to be a male like in the original story) were going to be separate characters, with the former kidnapping the latter for her own purposes. It wasn't until late in development that the older sibling was changed into a female and merged with the Snow Queen into the same character in order to make the queen look less like a villainess.
- Elsa's design resembles that of Queen Jadis the White Witch, as they are both villainous females with ice-based powers. However, unlike Jadis, Elsa is not really evil, just misguided.
- It's hinted that Elsa might originally have black hair (her natural hair color) before becoming the Snow Queen.
- Elsa's design appears to be the complete opposite of Esmeralda's: While Esmeralda is a heroine with a malicious appearance, Elsa is a villainess with a harmless appearance. This is eventually disproven, since Elsa is now not supposed to be a villain at all, and real villains are still given clearly sinister designs.
- Unlike most Disney villains, whose colors are often red, black and/or purple, Elsa's are actually blue and white (which are the typical "good" colors), based on her ice-based powers. Because of this, the "good" colors may probably be red, orange and/or yellow, the colors of fire. This was now changed so that blue now represents neutral and the classic evil colors will still be part of Disney tradition.
- Idina Menzel, Elsa's voice actress, also originated the role of Elphaba from the musical Wicked. It should also be noted that both Elphaba and Elsa appear to have similar motivations.
- Elsa will have several physical similarities with Kida since they both are white-haired princesses that become queens.
- It's now suggested that Elsa will be more like the Beast, since they are both cursed royalty who are both antagonistic to the heroine at first, but eventually get to see more of her from inside and therefore making them become kinder over time.
- Elsa may also be similar to Silver from Treasure Planet (unlike the two live-action versions of Treasure Island, the original and Disney's first live-action film and the Muppet version) where they would both act as antagonists at first but eventually reform near the end due to them actually caring for their "enemies", and therefore someone else takes over as the true antagonist (for Treasure Planet, it was Scroop that is the real villain).
- Elsa may also be similar to Wreck-It Ralph as the two are both misunderstood "villains" who were cast out by their own kind causing them to abandon their roles, and a sibling figure to go and bring them back (Felix to Ralph, Anna to Elsa), to prevent a bigger catastrophe from threatening their home.