- “I've been searching my whole life to find my own place.”
Prince Hans of the Southern Isles is the main antagonist of Disney's 2013 animated feature film, Frozen. He is the youngest of thirteen sons, burdened with the inability to ascend his family's throne in the Southern Isles. Desperate for power and recognition, Hans developed a coup to kill the Snow Queen and marry her heir, Princess Anna, so that he could instead rule the city of Arendelle, as king.
Hans is the thirteenth prince from the Kingdom of the Southern Isles (a neighboring kingdom of Arendelle) and the youngest of the thirteen children born from the King and Queen of the desolate kingdom. Much of Hans' past was explored in the novel A Frozen Heart; throughout his early years, Hans received a concerning amount of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of his brothers, who treated him with minimal care due to being the youngest child of the clan. One brother, Lars, treated Hans with considerable difference and was apparently the only sibling in whom the thirteenth prince felt comfortable enough to trust and confide.
Hans' father, the commanding King of the Southern Isles, believed that the strong should pick on the weak, so in his eyes, his eldest sons bullying Hans was a show of strength. So while he admired his elder sons (especially the oldest) he thought little of Hans and viewed his youngest son with disgust and distrust. He was widely neglectful of Hans, going so much as to unabashedly acknowledge his lack of interest in his son's presence during family and diplomatic gatherings. Hans' mother, the Queen, was much more loving towards her son and would act as his only true motivation towards concealing his discomfort during family gatherings. Nevertheless, Hans grew to despise his family, specifically the majority of his brothers. He was still hopeful, however, of someday earning his father's respect; not only for the sake of being loved by his parent but to also be the appointed heir to the Southern Isles' throne. With such fantasies seeming impossible, especially due to being the thirteenth in line for the crown, Hans (with some influence by Lars) concocted a scheme to marry into monarchy elsewhere. Should such an ambition succeed, he could escape his abusive family and finally prove himself as someone worthy of being a king.
After receiving word that Princess Elsa was scheduled to be crowned queen, and with no betrothed suitors, Hans sets his sights on the neighboring kingdom of Arendelle. With Elsa turning out to be an antisocial recluse, however, Hans instead targeted her lonely, less mature younger sister, Princess Anna. After his marriage to Anna, as the plan would go, Hans would kill Elsa and be crowned king thereafter.
- Hans is a handsome royal from a neighboring kingdom who comes to Arendelle for Elsa's coronation. With 12 older brothers, Hans grew up feeling practically invisible—and Anna can relate. Hans is smart, observant, and chivalrous. Unlike Elsa, Hans promises he'll never shut Anna out; he just might be the connection she's been waiting for all these years.
- “He's a chameleon who adapts to any environment to make the other characters comfortable.”
- ―Animator Lino DiSalvo describing Hans' character in The Art of Frozen
Hans is a proud and extremely ambitious prince with a hunger for admiration and chivalrous honor. Despite his desirable appearance and seemingly opulent background, Hans is a victim of severe abuse at the hands of his brothers. This troubled upbringing developed Hans into a remorseless man, bent on bettering his life by acquiring power and the respect that comes along with it.
Hans is a physical representation of a silent killer. With a noble demeanor, he presents himself as someone others can trust and confide—a best friend, a significant other, or a reputable authority figure. By establishing himself as someone of virtue, Hans is able to observe his opponents and examine their deepest insecurities, which he would later use against them as a means of advancing his goals. These false impressions won over Anna, and the entirety of Arendelle, thus allowing Hans to seize the throne without giving any premonition of regicide.
Hans has several motivating factors to his schemes. Firstly, he has a selfish sense of entitlement, remorselessly believing it is his right to be king even if it means usurping someone else's throne. Secondly, he genuinely craves respect and recognition, having been denied both as a child. Lastly, Hans is power-hungry as he covets kingship and gets a twisted sense of pleasure from having someone's submission—as was the case with a vulnerable and deathly ill Anna.
Hans' most powerful asset is quite possibly his vast intelligence and incredible ability to lie, dissemble, and manipulate. He is proven to be quick-thinking, resourceful, and extremely diligent. However, unlike many Disney villains, Hans constantly has to change his plot accordingly with the shifting events that take place in the film without letting loose his villainous nature. This is indeed an interesting challenge for a Disney villain to tackle, thus adding to his level of intelligence, as he comes dangerously close to achieving his goal in spite of unstable circumstances.
Cold and cruel, Hans has a sympathetic origin, but lacks any characteristics one could call redeeming. Instead, he apathetically views others as mere stepping stones to his grand plans, and will callously lie, cheat, and kill his way into a position of sole power, regardless of the casualties made along the way.
Hans is of moderate stature and generally good-looking. Whilst he is well built, he is not as broad-shouldered or as muscular as Kristoff (despite being older than him), though he is definitely physically accomplished, as he was able to defeat the hulking Marshmallow in single combat. He is well-versed in horsemanship and has tremendous sword fighting skills. It is also shown that he is skilled in using crossbows, or at least capable of diverting their fire when needed.
Hans has fair skin and a light dusting of freckles across his nose, auburn hair, sideburns, and "dreamy" green eyes. Throughout the film, he wears navy blue trousers, black boots, a magenta cravat, blue shirt, indigo vest, black epaulets, gold aiguillette, and a light gray-and-black blazer with patterns. This is reminiscent of a naval uniform and would be traditionally in keeping with royal siblings of lower birth entering military service.
During the day and night of the coronation, Hans dons a lighter version of his formal wear. It is a cream blazer with a yellow shirt underneath and red sash, with black boots, white stockings, red and golden designs and patterns, gold and red colored epaulets with golden fringe, and a matching cream ascot. This lighter-colored suit reflects Anna's warmer-colored clothing in turn. It is also worth noting that Hans is seen wearing this lighter-colored suit for a longer time period than his traditional suit, mainly due to him wearing it for the entirety of the coronation day and night, which features him most prominently in the movie.
While he is in control of the kingdom, to protect himself from the harsh winter, Hans dons a cloak resembling the castle guards' uniforms. However, as the patterning differs from the decorations on the Arendelle guardsmen cloaks and instead resembles the decorations on Hans' own gray tailcoat, and the Arendelle crocus emblem isn't seen anywhere on it, it's likely it's his own coat he brought with him from the Southern Isles. It's a dull, gray cloak with wavy patterns and a purple interior. In Elsa's palace, however, it appears to have more of a green shade.
Once the Southern Isles is given word of Queen Elsa's coronation, Hans is the royal representative that attends in honor of his kingdom. He arrives on the day of the event with his horse Sitron, whom he accidentally runs into Princess Anna. Using grace and charm, Hans immediately woos the lovesick princess. Their little flirtation is cut to a close, however, when the bells for the queen's coronation are rung. As Anna runs off, Hans realizes he's found the perfect tool for his plot to domination. Moments later, Hans attends Queen Elsa's crowning, waving to Anna as he watches alongside the other visiting royals and dignitaries. Later on that night, a ball is held in honor of the new queen, and Hans appears at the celebration party. There, he invites Anna to a romantic waltz after "coincidentally" bumping into her once again.
The romantic dance leads to an entire "date". During their time together, Hans learns of Anna's longing of having someone special in her life, as her sister apparently developed a dislike of her. To the Anna's relief, Hans promises to never shut her out, unlike Elsa. By the end of their date, Hans works up the courage to propose, which Anna immediately accepts. They then return to the party to ask for Queen Elsa's blessing. Elsa bluntly refuses, stating that Anna should not marry someone she just met. Heartbroken, Anna confronts her sister, but this causes the queen's powers over ice and snow to be revealed, much to Hans's surprise. To protect the kingdom from herself, Elsa flees. In her haste, she accidentally sets off an eternal winter. Anna volunteers to go after Elsa, but Hans is not too fond of the idea, knowing that his plot would be ruined if something were to befall Anna. Anna insists that Hans stays behind to rule during her absence, to which the prince immediately agrees to.
It wasn't long before Arendelle became an icy wasteland, with citizens becoming weak due to the frigid temperatures. Hans took advantage of the situation to endear himself to the people, serving as a dependable ruler by offering blankets and care packages. The Duke of Weselton scolds Hans for his actions, believing the kingdom's attention should be focused on taking action against Elsa and ending the curse. When Hans reiterates Anna's specific orders, he's met with more suspicion from the Duke, who openly believes Anna to be conspiring with Elsa to doom the land, which angers Hans to the point of threatening the Duke with arrest for treason against the crown. Suddenly, Anna's horse rushes into the city, unattended and in a panic. Hans is able to calm the animal and quickly gathers that Anna's absence is a sign of danger. Needing Anna in order to complete his plot, Hans calls forth an army of volunteers to travel into the mountains in search of the princess. The Duke volunteers his two bodyguards to join the expedition, with orders to "put an end" to the winter by slaying the queen.
Hours after their departure from Arendelle, Hans and his army find Elsa's ice palace, and are almost instantly attacked by the fortress' guardian, Marshmallow. Hans battles against the beast, and manages to slice Marshmallow's left leg clean off, causing the creature to stumble into a chasm. With him out of the way, Hans and the others rush inside to find Anna, but she is nowhere in sight. Instead, they find Elsa seconds away from killing the Duke's bodyguards. Hans is able to stop her, but one of the thugs attempts to strike her with their crossbow. Hans interferes and causes the bolt to shoot upward to Elsa's chandelier. The chandelier comes crashing down, and the impact knocks Elsa unconscious. Captured, Elsa is imprisoned in Arendelle's dungeon. With the winter curse spiraling out of all control, Hans visits Elsa and pleads for her to bring back summer. Elsa confesses that she doesn't know how, and begs to be released for the safety of Arendelle. Hans only claims he will "do what he can".
In the parlor, Hans prepares to head back into the mountains to search for Anna, still needing her marriage to legitimize his hold on the throne. Before he can, however, Anna suddenly returns—weak, cold, and white-haired. She explains that she was struck in the heart by Elsa and can only be saved by "an act of true love"—a kiss. With a sadistic smirk, Hans rejects Anna, and instead plots to use her imminent death as reason to prosecute Elsa. Revealing that he never loved her at all, Hans extinguishes any source of warmth within the room to quicken Anna's death while smugly explaining his matured plot to become King of Arendelle. With his control over the throne all but assured, Hans leaves Anna to die by locking her within the room to prevent her from escaping. Hans then returns to the other dignitaries and announces Anna's death at the hands of Elsa. Hans also adds that he and Anna were able to say their marriage vows before the latter's passing, thus leaving the kingdom in his hands.
Now in total command of Arendelle, Hans charges Elsa with treason and sentences her to death. Alongside the royal guards, Hans makes way to the dungeon, where they find that Elsa has escaped. Furious, Hans decides to take matters into his own hands and goes into the storm to confront Elsa and end the winter, himself. When he finds her on the fjord, Hans breaks the news of Anna's death (despite his "effort" to save her) and blames Elsa for the tragedy. Devastated, Elsa falls onto her knees, which provides Hans with the opportunity to end her. Before Hans is able to give the killing strike, however, Anna blocks the prince's blow and freezes over just before the sword strikes her. The shockwave caused by the curse knocks Hans off his feet and renders him unconscious.
Following Hans's downfall, Elsa discovers the means necessary to undo her eternal winter and uses it to thaw Arendelle. As Hans finally regains consciousness and struggles to his feet, Kristoff moves in to pummel him, but Anna makes the decision to confront Hans herself. The sight of Anna still alive confuses Hans, prompting him to ask how she had survived the frozen heart curse — the princess responds by declaring Hans to have the "frozen heart", and satisfyingly begins to take her leave before turning to punch the prince off, knocking him into the waters of the fjord. Humiliated and defeated, Hans is arrested and caged aboard the brig of a French ship by the royal guards. The French dignitary aboard the ship assures Arendelle's government that Hans will be returned to the Southern Isles, where he will face an unspecified punishment at the hands of his brothers.
Hans makes a brief appearance near the end of the short. Part of his punishment is revealed to be working at the royal stables of the Southern Isles, shoveling manure.
When Elsa sneezes into an oversized bugle horn, a giant snowball is launched from Arendelle, all the way to the Southern Isles, where it nails Hans right into a cart of manure, burying and humiliating him as the horses take notice of this and laugh at him, much to his annoyance.
Hans makes two cameo appearances in the 2014 animated feature film Big Hero 6. He is first seen on a "Wanted" poster at the San Fransokyo police station, behind the desk of Sergeant Gerson. Later on, a statue of Hans is seen in the garden of Fred's mansion, which is eventually destroyed by Baymax during a testing session for his rocket fists.
An emoticon version of Hans appeared in the Frozen and Frozen Fever entries of the As Told by Emoji short series. During the curtain call for the former, he appeared alongside the rest of the cast, but in chains. In the latter, he had a humiliating cameo after the credits.
Hans is portrayed by Tyler Jacob Moore. He first appears in the episode "Rocky Road". The portrayal of Hans being in collaboration with his brothers in his plots differs greatly from his implied standing with his family in the film, though they still mock him as the youngest. Hans is also more sadistic and cruel, sincerely considering Elsa as a "monster" and a "freak" and even taunts Anna of possibly suffering death under the same circumstances as her mother.
In a time frame set two years after events equivalent to the film's and one year before the first Dark Curse within the general Once timeline, he is first mentioned by Elsa when she warned Anna about leaving Arendelle vulnerable to Hans and his twelve brothers, who are waiting and plotting to take over the kingdom as revenge for his previous defeat.
Some time after Anna left for Mist Haven (the Enchanted Forest), in her quest to find out the mystery of their parents' tragic voyage, Hans and his army, which consists of his twelve older brothers, had set up camp in the Southern Mountains on their way to Arendelle. His brothers still belittle him for being the lowest in line, and they add insult to the injury by bringing up his failed attempt to seize Arendelle's throne during his previous encounter there. He lashes back, stating that he wasn't prepared the last time, but he found something that will help him. Unbeknownst to all of them, Anna's fiancé Kristoff was spying on them and discovered their plan: they will use a mysterious urn located in a cave within the North Valley that's capable of trapping people with magical powers, such as Elsa, then take Arendelle once she's out of the way. Though Elsa and Kristoff beat Hans to the powerful urn, he and three volunteering brothers managed to catch up.
Even though they managed to dispatch his brothers, Hans holds Kristoff at sword point. He demands Elsa to either give him the urn or Kristoff will die. Unable to let Kristoff be killed, Elsa ultimately gives Hans the urn while pleading for her future brother-in-law to find Anna and save the kingdom. After Hans obtains the urn and showing off his success to his brothers, he uncaps its lid and pours out a white liquid substance. As it was heading towards Elsa to likely trap her, Hans gloated his supposed victory, coldly stating in a smug tone that her kingdom will be glad to have real ruler instead of a monster like her. Just as the liquid substance is about to latch onto Elsa, it suddenly changes direction and morphs into a woman, Ingrid the Snow Queen. Offended by his earlier insult, she then freezes Hans into an ice statue as punishment for his cruelty, leaving his shocked brothers to flee.
Later, Ingrid brings both the urn and Hans' frozen body back to the castle and place them in a wardrobe in her old room, where Elsa and Anna, who had returned from the Enchanted Forest and was imprisoned by the Snow Queen, would eventually find them. Shocked at the sight of her ex-fiancé, Anna goes onto the defensive before realizing he's frozen. Elsa calmly comments Hans' condition is the one good thing their crafty aunt's done after her freedom before moving on with their plan to retrap her.
Thirty years later, when Ingrid is in Storybrooke finally casting her Spell of Shattered Sight on its inhabitants, Hans had thawed out and managed to claim Arendelle as his kingdom. He and his brothers barged in on Anna and Kristoff, who were discussing a plan to save Elsa from Rumplestiltskin. Feigning the notion that Anna had overthrown her sister, Hans decided to have her and Kristoff arrested for treason. After claiming that the freezing of Arendelle is Elsa's doing, Anna objected that Elsa wasn't responsible, as Ingrid had done. Hans claims to doubt, likely not caring as her sister and aunt both have ice magic. Before he can have the couple taken away, Anna and Kristoff fight their way out and escape. In an effort to catch them, Hans buys Blackbeard's compliance with gold to corner Anna and Kristoff. The plan works when after the deal is struck, Hans and his brothers suddenly appear and trap Anna and Kristoff. Later, Hans takes the couple to a spot out at sea known as Poseidon's Boneyard, the exact spot where the ship that once carried Anna and Elsa's parents went down. He coldly remarks that it's fitting that Anna will die in the same place under the same circumstances as her mother did, wishing they'd never helped Elsa. After having Kristoff and Anna placed in a trunk to prevent any possible rescue by a mermaid, and annoyed by her panicking hysterically when he tells them how much time has passed since Elsa is still trapped in the urn, Hans and Blackbeard have the two tossed overboard.
Later, Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff return to Arendelle via a magic portal from the Sorcerer's Storybrooke mansion and dethrone Hans off-screen, Anna punching him again, this time in the eye, while doing so. It's unknown if Hans was either exiled from the kingdom or imprisoned.
John Riddle originated the role of Hans in the Frozen musical. His role is essentially the same, serving as the antagonist with a goal to marry Anna and take over Arendelle as king. The motivation for some of his actions were made clear in the stage show, while they were only implied in the film. For example, when asked why he continuously defends Elsa, Hans declares that it is because of his relationship with Anna.
Hans is given a solo song with two reprises, "Prince Hans of the Southern Isles", which explains some of his background. He first performs the song when he meets Anna, using it to gain her trust by proclaiming he is someone "even more embarrassing to be" than the insecure princess. The first reprise happens after Hans has been left in charge of Arendelle; he uses the song to gain the townsfolk's trust, and claims that he and Anna will lead them back to summer should Elsa turn out to truly be a monster. The final reprise is briefly performed when Hans betrays Anna.
In the moments leading into "Love is an Open Door", Hans claims that he wants to start a family. During the song itself, he and Anna share a legitmate kiss, something that doesn't occur at any point during the film.
If asked about Hans during meet-and-greets, Anna and Elsa mention that he is still in the Southern Isles, receiving his punishment (or more safely, an "informal chat") from his 12 brothers about his actions. When asked half-jokingly if she or her sister would ever be willing to give him another chance, Elsa has replied in the same less-than-serious manner with "maybe".
In the 2014 rendition of World of Color: Winter Dreams at Disney California Adventure, Hans appears alongside Anna, performing "Love is an Open Door", as well as the 2015 rendition of the show, as part of the montage celebrating villains.
Hans also plays a prominent role in the Frozen: Live at the Hyperion stage show.
In January 2016, Hans made his official debut at the Disney theme parks in Anna and Elsa's Frozen Fantasy parade at Tokyo Disneyland, appearing on the final float, accompanying Marshmallow. He dons his coronation outfit, while his float resembles that of an icy prison.
Hans makes a brief appearance during the performance of the "For the First Time in Forever" reprise in Ignite the Dream; in during which, he is seen pursuing and nearly killing Elsa, only to be foiled by Anna.
- When put together, Hans, Kristoff, Anna, and Sven sound like Hans Christian Andersen.
- Given his last name, it's quite possible that Prince Hans may have been based on Jérôme Bonaparte – the 19th century German king of Westphalia, and youngest brother of Napoleon Bonaparte.
- Elements of Hans' character are based on the Evil Mirror from the original Snow Queen. In the original fairy tale, it is said that those who looked into this mirror, the darkest aspects of their personality would come to the surface, and that if a glass shard of this mirror got into one's body, their heart would freeze as a result of their cold nature. The mirror in the story was pivotal for it had caused one of the protagonists, Kai, to become cold towards his friend Gerda (the inspiration for Anna).
- In an interview with Jennifer Lee, Lee confirms that Hans was partially based upon the concept of the Evil Mirror in the original story, as the fairy tale had a lot to do with mirrors. So, as she explains, what Hans is a mirror which appears charming to the person, but is "hollow or sociopathic" in pretense.
- Hans' last name is "Westergaard", according to a tweet from Jennifer Lee and A Frozen Heart. In a deleted scene (featuring "Bad Elsa"), a character named "Admiral Westergård" was mentioned, possibly being the earlier drafting of Hans.
- The description of the admiral in the scene closely matches that of Hans', (Elsa mentions that he "loves her [Anna] so."). According to Lee, the changing of the character's last name never occurred when the character was ultimately rewritten into Hans.
- The name Hans is popularly used in such countries as Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.
- Hans' voice actor Santino Fontana originally auditioned for the role of Kristoff, but after the story changed, he auditioned for Hans.
- Hans has his own distinct theme that plays when he woos Anna, and it's especially noticeable when he pulls in for the kiss. After the betrayal, his theme can still be heard, albeit with a darker tone.
- All of Hans' voice recordings were completed in a matter of five days.
- According to one of the coloring books, Hans is a naval officer.
- In Disney on Ice, Hans claims his brothers had him convinced he was a troll they had adopted.
- Hans is essentially a dark reflection of Anna. Both were shut out by their siblings and felt alone in the world as a result. However, while Anna remained loving and optimistic, Hans became bitter and cold.
- Hans is a rather unique Disney villain. Usually, when a villain is introduced into a film, the audience instantly realizes this character is not to be trusted, even if some protagonists trust them (i.e. Simba, because Scar is his uncle). They may be either physically sinister, or the movie may give scenes displaying their true intentions. But with Hans, while the audience may get the feeling that he will add romantic tension, like Anna, they do not anticipate his total betrayal later in the film.
- There are several subtle hints that foreshadow Hans' villainy throughout the film before his reveal
- Hans' duet with Anna, "Love is an Open Door", holds a few dark meanings on Hans' side of the song. The lines "I've been searching my whole life to find my own place" and "Love is an open door" secretly represent Hans' quest to dominate a kingdom, and doing so through false romance with Anna, who is his door to power.
- When Anna decides to leave to find Elsa, Hans protests that he doesn't want her to get hurt, because he hadn't married into the throne yet. However, when she puts him in charge, his objections vanish and he seems to perk up.
- While Elsa sees Arendelle frozen from her prison cell, Hans sees his reflection, hinting his self-serving nature.
- According to Jennifer Lee, Hans is around 23 years old.
- In a cut draft of the film, after Hans' sword was destroyed by Anna's frozen body, he was going to catch a second wind and try to attack again, only for Kristoff to knock him out. This was cut because it distracted from the drama of the scene itself. The fight still happens in some storybooks, though.
- Hans' character is a major subversion of the classical Disney Prince; Hans himself notes of this during his betrayal, and uses it to his advantage.
- Hans has more on-screen time dressed in his coronation suit than he does in his normal formal wear.
- When Anna first meets Hans, she trips on a wooden bucket and crashes into him, sending the bucket flying and landing on her head. The last thing we see of Hans is him being tossed into a cage. When the cage door is slammed shut, a wooden bucket falls and lands on his head.
- Ironically, in a trailer for Frozen, he was referred to as "the nice guy," to keep his true nature hidden from viewers.
- A chess set is seen in the background when Hans is explaining his scheme to Anna and extinguishing the heat sources in the room, symbolizing his exploitation of her as a "pawn" in his plans.
- Originally, as seen in a Frozen coloring book, Hans and Elsa were intended to battle at some point.
- Hans' character model was used to help determine the height differences between humans and animals during visual development for Zootopia.
- ↑ Gerard, Jeremy (April 17, 2017). "‘Frozen’ Broadway Musical Sets Its Cast; Rob Ashford Aboard In Choreographer Shuffle". (Article) Deadline.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 http://johnaugust.com/2014/frozen-with-jennifer-lee Scriptnotes, 128: Frozen with Jennifer Lee
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 https://twitter.com/KittenSoftpaws/status/438480500307787776 Believe in magic ✨ on Twitter: @alittlejelee
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Disney. A Frozen Heart. Novelization, 2015. Print.
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne4e1nrcgD4 Frozen's Anna and Elsa in our Epcot Adventures!
- ↑ Hans' cameo in Frozen Ever After
- ↑ http://www.fandango.com/movie-news/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-frozen-745011 7 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT 'FROZEN'
- ↑ http://www.cookiesandclogs.com/santino-fontana-interview/ From Hans, With Love – Interview w/ Santino Fontana on Disney's Frozen Movie #DisneyFrozenEvent
- ↑ https://twitter.com/alittlejelee/status/405894635173597185 Jennifer Lee on Twitter: @skipperemily
- ↑ Zootopia Visual Development via LaughingPlace.com
- ↑ Hans homage in Zootopia