- “Hi, everyone, I'm Olaf and I like warm hugs!”
- He's Olaf and he likes warm hugs. Sprung from Elsa's magical powers, Olaf is by far the friendliest snowman to walk the mountains above Arendelle. His innocence, outgoing personality, and uncanny ability to disassemble himself at good and not-so-good times lead to some awkward, albeit laughable moments. He may also have the world's most impossible dream, but what he doesn't know won't melt him—or will it?
In early versions of the movie, Olaf was supposed to be one of the first guards of Elsa's palace when the concept of Elsa controlling a legion of menacing snowmen was still in the story (notably, the only snowman minion to remain in the film would be Marshmallow). Chris Buck compared that version of the character to a trial run of someone's first pancake where the cook throws out the pancake after the cook finds out that it is burnt on the bottom.
In this version of the film, according to Jennifer Lee, Olaf was acerbic and often came off as mean-spirited as his attitude and persona greatly differed from what he would become in the final project. This actually led Jennifer Lee to advise the filmmakers to revamp the character entirely once she came onto the project.
In order to keep him from getting too complex, Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee wanted Olaf to have a childlike innocence. Akin when a child makes a snowman for the first time where the heads are never perfect and the body is disproportionate. That was the idea for the directors when they were thinking what kids would think of a snowman.
Olaf had to earn his place in the film. Jennifer Lee says that he could not just be thrown in, that he had to have a purpose, and one of his purposes is that he is the embodiment of the love between Elsa and Anna.
- “When Elsa flees Arendelle...she starts playing with the very magic she’s been hiding for so long. The snowman she creates comes from memories of the happy times she shared with Anna when they were young. Olaf represents that pure innocence and childhood joy.”
- ―Jennifer Lee, Frozen screenwriter
Olaf is an excessively benevolent snowman—optimistic, outgoing, and welcoming to all of whom he meets. The living embodiment of the bond between Anna and Elsa, and the memories of their youth, Olaf retains the childlike whimsy that surrounded the girls during their earliest days together, prior to their enforced separation. As such, he is childlike, far from a deep intellectual, innocent, and a hint too naive for his own good at times. Nevertheless, his imbued nature and devotion to the two sisters play an instrumental role in rekindling their broken relationship. The circumstances of his creation also result in the snowman harboring aspects and traits both sisters give off. Like Elsa, Olaf is selfless, constantly putting his safety at risk for the sake of those he cares about; most notably Anna, whom he immediately attaches himself to, upon their first meeting. Like the younger sister, Olaf is an extreme optimist, often remaining relatively calm in perilous situations, or giving words of encouragement during the darkest hours.
He has an odd fascination for summer, possibly because young Elsa made him a snowman who loves warm hugs, and according to Olaf, he sometimes fantasizes about what summer would be like for a snowman, completely unaware of the consequences of his ambitious dream, making the poor snowman hapless.
Aside from his dominantly goofy side, Olaf is shown to have some intelligence to him, seen during his time with Anna in the third act. Here, it is he who teaches Anna the true meaning of love, stating it is the act of putting someone else's needs before your own. After the climax, when Anna sacrifices herself for Elsa, thus breaking the icy curse, Olaf was the first to realize Anna's sacrifice was an act of true love (as it did not have to be romantic), and that act is what saved the kingdom. He is also not as oblivious as he seems, as he was quite skeptical about the trolls at first, when he thought they were mere rocks, even, out of love, urging Anna to run, believing Kristoff was delusional and potentially dangerous.
Olaf is also prone to making considerably sassy remarks in several scenes; the most notable example arguably being his jab at Kristoff, calling the mountain man a "funky-looking donkey" upon their first meeting. It should be noted that, due to his innocence, Olaf likely makes such remarks without any realization of the slight impudence, meaning he's merely speaking his mind and giving a genuine thought.
Olaf is a small snowman divided into three balls of snow (five, if one counts his legs), though he has the ability to rearrange his appearance at will. Three black rocks modeled as buttons are on his body, one on his midsection and two on his backside. Underneath his backside are two stubs of snow that serve as his legs to move around. He has two stick arms and three twigs on his head that resemble small strands of hair. On each arm are four fingers. His head takes up a third of his body and is oval-shaped with a stretched face. The snow around the top of his mouth is shaped to resemble a buck tooth. In between his eyes and mouth is a carrot nose. When he was inanimate, his eyes were also made of rock. However, when living, his eyes are cartoony with black pupils. He also has eyebrows above them. Olaf's body parts are also capable of autonomy and can be rearranged or separated from Olaf without any harm happening to him.
When Anna and Elsa were children, Elsa would use her snow magic to play with Anna. A favorite pastime activity for the two sisters was building snowmen. On one such occasion, Elsa helped Anna build their own snowman to play with, which Elsa would name Olaf. After accidentally harming Anna with her powers, Elsa has an emotional meltdown which causes the snowman to crumble. Many years later, Elsa would exile herself from Arendelle after her snow magic was discovered and deemed dangerous. In the midst of embracing her abilities at her new ice palace home, Elsa recreates Olaf, but because of her greatly strengthened abilities, he is enchanted and given a mind and will of his very own, though Elsa was oblivious of her newfound creation. However, the enchanted Olaf has no memory of the moments spent with Anna and Elsa as a lifeless snowman years ago.
Olaf then wanders around the mountains alone and blissfully lost, until he bumps into Anna, Kristoff, and Sven the reindeer, who seek Elsa. Though initially phased by him, Anna warms up to the snowman and decides to complete him with a carrot nose. Anna recognizes Olaf from her past, and assumes it was Elsa who built him, to which he confirms. Kristoff then tells Olaf of their mission to bring back summer. Excited over the idea of summer, Olaf offers to guide the group to Elsa's palace, though Anna refrains from telling him about the dangers of summer for a snowman, so not to disappoint, leaving Olaf comically in the dark. After a short journey, Olaf and the others find Elsa's ice palace. Anna, however, request that Olaf and Kristoff remain outside for a minute to allow her and Elsa some privacy. After counting to sixty, Olaf rushes inside to greet Elsa. His presence proves there is love and beauty in her powers, and remind her of the joyful moments she spent with Anna. However, Elsa's trauma overwhelms her, and she orders Anna to return home for her own safety. Anna refuses to leave, but her stubbornness only makes Elsa more uncomfortable, causing the latter to lose control of her powers and accidentally strike Anna in the heart.
In order to keep them away, Elsa creates a personal bodyguard named Marshmallow, a giant snowman. Olaf is thrilled to see another enchanted snowman but is immediately kicked out along with Anna and Kristoff. The harming of Olaf angers Anna, and the princess fiercely (or as fierce as she can seem) throws a snowball at the snow beast, provoking him and leading to a chase. Olaf tells the gang to move ahead as he will distract him, but with his body dismembered, that immediately proves to be difficult. Anna and Kristoff reach the cliff of a mountain and begin making a snow anchor to lower themselves down safely. Olaf meets up with them seconds before Marshmallow, and tries his luck again in taming the monster, but to no avail. Marshmallow continues his pursuit for Anna and Kristoff, but Olaf tries to battle him, leading the smaller snowman to be kicked over the cliff edge, leaving Anna and Kristoff to be captured by Marshmallow, only to escape due to Anna's quick thinking, causing them both to plummet down alongside Olaf, though they all survive.
Once they recover their energy, Kristoff notices Anna's hair turning white, rather alarmingly. To help, he takes the gang to a valley inhabited by trolls. Upon arriving in the valley, Anna and Olaf only see what seem to be inanimate rocks. Judging Kristoff to be insane, Olaf urges Anna to run while he distracts him just before the trolls finally reveal themselves. Pabbie warns Anna that if she does not perform an act of true love, she will freeze to death. Believing a kiss from Anna's fiancé will break the curse, the group returns to Arendelle. Along the way, Olaf is separated from the group and informs them that he will meet with them at the castle. When he arrives, he finds Anna in the library, on the ground and quickly dying. After starting a fire to keep the princess warm, Olaf learns that Hans was never really her true love, forcing them to think of an alternative solution. As they do, Anna expresses her grief, claiming she doesn't know what "love" truly is. Olaf replies by explaining that true love is the act of putting someone else's need before your own, using Kristoff as an example, thus revealing the latter's true feelings to an unsuspecting Anna. Unfortunately, the heat of the fireplace begins to take its toll on Olaf, as he quickly begins to melt. He nevertheless refuses to abandon Anna in her time of need, proving she's capable of being loved after all.
Knowing Kristoff is truly the one that loves Anna, Olaf and Anna head out to meet him. However, a powerful gale blows Olaf away. Once he reunites with everyone, he finds Elsa mourning for Anna, who unfortunately froze to death after sacrificing her life to save Elsa from Hans. As Olaf mourns, Anna miraculously returns to life. Olaf notes that Anna's self-sacrifice for her sister was an "act of true love". His words help Elsa realize that love is the key to controlling her ability, leading her to thaw Arendelle and restore summer. Though overjoyed, Olaf starts to melt due to the summer heat. Elsa restores him and gives him a small flurry cloud to hover over his body and keep him completely cool, finally allowing the snowman to live his dream of experiencing summer. During the epilouge celebration, Olaf is seen throughout the village enjoying the sights and sounds of the warm season, taking a whiff of some flowers. The pollen causes him to sneeze, however, and his carrot nose lands directly into Sven's mouth. The reindeer does not hesitate to suck it up, saddening the snowman. However, this was only a playful trick, and Sven immediately places the carrot back onto Olaf's face, where it belongs, delighting Olaf. Olaf is last seen in the castle courtyard, enjoying the newly made ice skating rink created by Elsa for the kingdom's enjoyment.
In Frozen Fever, Anna's birthday has arrived, and Elsa is determined to make the day perfect for her sister. A mischievous Olaf takes a bite, only to be told he's not allowed to, by Elsa, as the cake is for Anna and must remain in one piece until the princess' arrival. Understanding, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven are then left in charge to keep the courtyard intact until Elsa returns with Anna. Some time afterward, miniature snow-babies (known as Snowgies) randomly appear, and instantly catch Olaf's attention. Though the snowman is fascinated and excited by the sight of new "little brothers", the Snowgies soon begin causing a mess of things and eventually make the birthday cake their target. Kristoff is able to use his swift movements to protect the cake, using Olaf's head as a weapon to knock them over. The Snowgies then tear down the "Happy Birthday" banner. Olaf volunteers to manage it, but with disastrous results. By the time Anna and Elsa finally arrive at the courtyard, the Snowgies have been tamed, and Olaf excitedly welcomes the princess of honor and unveils the surprise party attended by several friends and citizens of the kingdom.
At the end of the short, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven travel to Elsa's ice palace in the North Mountain, to have the Snowgies reside with Marshmallow. As Olaf walks them into their new home, he has appeared to have taken a shine to the Snowgies, even giving them names.
When Christmas arrives in Arendelle, Anna and Elsa plan a surprise party for the kingdom at the castle. Olaf is particularly excited to start the festivities, but when it comes time for the party to begin, all the guests leave after the annual ringing of the Yule bell in the castle courtyard. They explain that they are leaving to partake in their own holiday traditions with their families, saddening Anna and Elsa. The two sisters come to realize that their isolation had robbed them of any holiday traditions of their own, which Elsa feels guilt for. Olaf, however, enlists Sven to journey throughout Arendelle and learn from the populace of all the traditions the season has to offer. Once enough information is gathered, the two make their way back to the castle, though a mishap with Kristoff's sleigh separates the two, and destroys all the holiday-related keepsakes in the process. With only a fruitcake, Olaf journeys into the woods, and is attacked by vicious wolves while traversing through. He narrowly escapes them, but loses the fruitcake shortly thereafter to a hawk.
Depressed at having failed Anna and Elsa, Olaf wanders into the night, alone, and figures it'd be best to remain lost. Meanwhile, Sven had informed Kristoff, Anna, Elsa and Kai of Olaf's encounter with the wolves, and a search party is organized to find the missing snowman. After much searching, the royal sisters come across the downhearted Olaf, who apologizes for failing in his mission. Anna and Elsa reveal that they managed to find a tradition on their own: Olaf. As the two explain, Anna would create gifts based on the snowman they built when they were younger, and present them to Elsa each Christmas as a reminder of their childhood and the love they have for each other. The sisters then lead Olaf and their subjects onto a frozen lake beneath the northern lights to host a holiday party; at the end of which, Elsa declares that Arendelle has a new holiday tradition, all thanks to Olaf.
Olaf makes a guest appearance in the Sofia the First episode "The Secret Library: Olaf and the Tale of Miss Nettle", where he is called forth by the Amulet of Avalor to assist Princess Sofia in her latest crisis; an evil fairy named Miss Nettle has been stealing the flowers of Freezenburg for unknown purposes. Unfortunately, the summoning of Olaf was a result of a glitch within the amulet, which was damaged by Nettle to prevent Sofia from using its power to foil her plans. As a result of this, instead of a princess, Olaf was brought forth, and though the snowman tries to return home, he finds himself unable to do so, again due to the amulet's damage. Trapped with Sofia, Olaf accompanies the young princess on her mission, during which he unknowingly provides useful advice by encouraging Sofia to push on with her quest to defeat Nettle, despite a lack of magic—using Anna as an example of a powerless human accomplishing the impossible by relying on perseverance.
After it's revealed that Nettle stole the flowers because they originally belonged to and were stolen from her, Olaf advises Sofia to use kindness and love to hopefully reform Nettle, as opposed to defeating her, as the entire situation was a massive misunderstanding. Sofia does so by informing the King of Freezenburg about the misunderstanding, who in turns commissions a festival honoring Nettle as the fairy responsible for providing the only flowers capable of growing in their eternally snowy kingdom. A touched Nettle reforms as a result, and fixes Sofia's amulet as a token of gratitude. With the power of the amulet restored, Olaf begins to magically return to Arendelle, bidding goodbye to Sofia and openly hoping for the amulet to break again, so that he may someday return to visit.
Before Frozen's initial premiere, Olaf starred in the animated short used as the teaser trailer for the film. Here, Olaf loses his carrot nose, which is attracted by Sven. A race for the carrot then ensues, though Olaf quickly learns that Sven was only trying to help get it back. Overjoyed, Olaf thanks the reindeer, the two form a new friendship just before Sven's shedding causes Olaf to sneeze once again, though it's his head that goes flying off as opposed to the carrot.
Olaf makes a small cameo in the animated mini-series, It's a Small World: The Animated Series, in the episode "Little Birds, Frost and Pine", being built by Anna and Elsa.
In an advertisement promoting Sky Movies, Olaf makes a notable appearance sliding down a blanket of snow as he encounters the commercial's host family, only to accidentally ram into a tree. He is later seen, seconds later, alongside Anna and Elsa.
An emoticon version of Olaf appeared in the Frozen and Frozen Fever entries of the As Told by Emoji short series.
In a 2015 holiday advertisement for Target, a toy version of Olaf makes a brief appearance when he encounters the kids and Bullseye the dog and comments that the "sky is awake", referring to the stars in the sky. He then watches on as the girl puts one of the stars in a light socket, turning on the lights of the gingerbread Christmas tree.
Olaf appears in LEGO Frozen Northern Lights, accompanying Anna and Elsa on their quest to find the northern lights. He primarily provides comic relief through wise-cracking remarks.
Olaf is a supporting character in these series of stories centering the relationship of Anna and Elsa, and their lives alongside their extended family (consisting of themselves, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven). Olaf plays several memorable roles in certain stories, including All Hail the Queen, where he spends the day with Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Sven. At one point, Kristoff takes the group to meet and view the ice harvesters, where Olaf adopts a block of ice as his "cousin". The Secret Admirer confirms that Olaf is aware of Hans' actions against Anna and Elsa, and has been noted to have a dislike for the prince as a result.
Olaf and Sven On Thin Ice shows Olaf taking the role of Official Arendelle Ice Master and Deliverer from Kristoff for the day. This story also confirms that Olaf now resides in the castle, alongside Anna and Elsa.
In Olaf's Night Before Christmas, Olaf discovers and celebrates his first Christmas. The book also features a CD, audio narration read by the snowman.
The book Frozen Fever: Little Brothers, shows that Olaf makes frequent visits to Elsa's ice palace to spend quality time with Marshmallow and the Snowgies.
Olaf stars in the side-scrolling game where he crosses the Norwegian terrains in search of flowers to give to Anna. Along the way, he encounters Sven, Marshmallow, and wolves, among other obstacles.
The snowman's likeness is also featured in the popular Disney INFINITY, as a costume for the townspeople. Anna also mentions him, when she says to wait until he sees the new world in the Toy Box and that he would like it.
He was later confirmed as a playable character for Disney INFINITY 3.0, but only playable in the Toy Box. His attacks include detaching his arm to use as a weapon, sneezing his nose off to attack enemies from afar, and a special attack based on "In Summer", where he summons the warmth of summer to melt the enemies around him, while posing in a lounge chair.
Notably, Olaf is also a companion character in the popular app Frozen Free Fall. He is unlocked upon reaching level 111. His special ability is "Hot Chocolate", which enables him to melt a selected tile, and every tile under it.
Before he was released as a companion, Olaf served as the game's mascot, appearing on the game's map, as well as the results board.
Costumes of Olaf were also featured in the Club Penguin episode, "Frozen Party", and LittleBigPlanet as part of the "Frozen Costume Pack". It should be noted that in Penguin, Olaf himself also makes a special guest appearance.
During the winter season, Olaf was the host of the winter rendition of World of Color in Disney California Adventure.
A puppet version of Olaf also appears in Frozen: Live at the Hyperion.
His meet-and-greet spot was at "Olaf's Snow Fest", which was located within Stage 17 of Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure.
Olaf is currently making meet-and-greet appearances with Kristoff in the Disneyland park.
In Magic Kingdom, Olaf also makes an appearance being built by young Anna and Elsa in the Frozen segment of Celebrate the Magic, as well as on board the opening float for the Festival of Fantasy Parade. He currently makes an appearance with Anna and Elsa in Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire.
Throughout the summer season, Olaf serves as a co-host (along with Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff) of the Frozen Summer Fun! event at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Olaf also has a cameo during the bubble montage scene in Fantasmic!, alongside Anna and Elsa. In spring of 2016, he began making regular meet-and-greet appearances at the park.
In Hong Kong Disneyland, Olaf appears in the show Mickey and the Wondrous Book as a puppet, performed in Storybook Theater. The show is set when Mickey opens a magical book that can bring stories to life in a magical library, which Olaf falls out from. While Mickey tries to get the snowman back inside, the former is magically drawn into the book. From here, Mickey sets out to find Olaf's story after discovering the magic of the book and the power of its stories. Finally, Mickey and Goofy come across the story of Frozen and restore Olaf to his rightful place.
In Shanghai, an animatronic Olaf is featured during the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration show in the Fantasyland theater. Olaf can also be spotted on the Frozen mosaic mural inside of the Enchanted Storybook Castle. In Mickey's Storybook Express, Olaf makes a live appearance on the Frozen float, riding a sled being pulled by Sven.
- In the film, Olaf represents the happiness Elsa and Anna shared as young children. And, his desire to experience summer is symbolic of how Elsa wants to return to the old days of her childhood with her sister as her best friend.
- Olaf's very creation is an expression of how hard Elsa's self-imposed isolation from Anna was on her. The first voluntary act she performs with her power (as soon she decides to "let it go"), is to build the snowman that Anna spent those long years begging her to make with her. As she creates him, she sings the words "Can't hold it back anymore", revealing how dearly she always wanted to go play with her sister whenever she asked her to. It is possible that the sheer intensity of this long held desire was what brought Olaf to life, and if so, Elsa's later surprise when she discovers Olaf is alive may indicate that she never even admitted to herself how just badly she wanted to rekindle her friendship with Anna.
- The destruction of the original Olaf marked the precise moment that Elsa and Anna's happy childhood friendship came to an end. Also, original Olaf, much like Anna and Elsa's friendship, was destroyed by Elsa's power running amok due to her internal personal distress.
- Olaf may have been inspired by "The Snowman", another Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, where the eponymous snowman falls in love with a warm stove, but cannot be with it because he would melt from it. As a result, he does not enjoy the cold weather. Eventually, the weather changes, causing the snowman to melt away.
- In the film, Olaf's elbows were specifically animated to never move with the exception of his fantasy sequence during "In Summer".
- Olaf was specially designed to appear as if a child had created him, with an uneven shape and such, which is a reference to how Elsa models him at the beginning of Frozen when she and Anna are young.
- The animation and staging of the scene between Olaf and Sven during the epilogue of the film is similar to the teaser trailer's animation and staging, right down to Olaf's exclaiming, "Hello!"
- Early on in the film, when Anna and Elsa were seen as kids, Anna tells Elsa "the sky's awake." Olaf would later say this to Sven when they enter the Valley of the Living Rock. Also, as kids, Elsa helped Anna ice-skating with Olaf. Then by the end of the film, Olaf helps Anna ice-skating with Elsa. These are likely to reflect the childhood Anna and Elsa once shared.
- His role resembles that of the sparrows that assist Gerda in "The Snow Queen".
- Olaf's name came from an Old Norse name "Aleifr", which means "ancestor's descendant" (referring to the fact that Olaf is Elsa's "descendant"), and is Nordic for "treasure". It is also pronounced "oh, laugh", referring to his role as comic relief.
- Coincidentally, "Olaf" was the name of five kings of Norway, the country where Frozen takes place.
- Before "In Summer", Olaf had a song titled "Hot Hot Ice" which was eventually scrapped.
- Olaf makes a cameo in Homer Simpson's video for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
- In Frozen Fever, it is revealed that Olaf cannot spell or read.
- Olaf cannot feel pain - when he walks onto an ice spike, resulting in the spike passing through his mid-section, he merely looks down and says "Oh, look at that. I've been impaled." and giggles. However, he can feel some pain, shown when Anna accidentally pushed in his carrot nose too hard. He seems to be ticklish when Kristoff pushed him away from Sven. Despite being made of snow, Olaf has human abilities, such as sleeping, eating (despite lacking a digestive system), breathing, and senses of smell, taste (despite not having taste buds), sound, touch, and sight.
- John Lasseter, the Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios, was used as a performance reference for Olaf's line "He's craaazy..."
- In order to accurately animate Olaf's walk cycle to mimic the way a child would move, Olaf's supervising animator, Hyrum Osmond, used his son as a reference during production.
- Olaf is the only character from Frozen that did not appear on Once Upon a Time. The reason for this is because the creators of Once felt he would not fit into the story they were going to tell on the show.
- Olaf is the first Disney character that was not a princess to appear in the show Sofia the First, as well as being the first male summoned by the Amulet of Avalor.
- During renovations of the Walt Disney Animation Studios building, beginning in 2014, Olaf was one of the character silhouettes featured on the wall mural.
- In 2017, an Olaf ballon was featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade—designed by Chris Buck.
- ↑ "There's Going To Be A Very Weird Easter Egg in Moana". Buzzfeed (September 7, 2016).
- ↑ Gerard, Jeremy (April 17, 2017). "‘Frozen’ Broadway Musical Sets Its Cast; Rob Ashford Aboard In Choreographer Shuffle". (Article) Deadline.
- ↑ 
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 
- ↑ June Cover Revealed – Disney Infinity 3.0
- ↑ All-New Character Experiences with Olaf and Mickey & Minnie Coming Soon to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- ↑ Olaf and Kristoff’s New Hosting Gig is Gonna Get You Pumped
- ↑ Olaf's deleted song performed by Robert Lopez
- ↑ The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic, 2014.
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