- “Reindeers are better than people
Sven, don't you think that's true?”
- ―Lyrics from "Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People"
Sven is the loyal pet reindeer and companion of Kristoff, a rugged mountain man. Together, the duo run an ice harvesting business (which has greatly enhanced Sven's overall strength, making him quite the force) and reside outside the city of Arendelle in the Valley of the Living Rock, where a community of trolls thrive. The trolls adopted both Kristoff and Sven when they were children, and raised them. Also, according to Frozen: The Essential Guide, Sven was rescued by Kristoff as a young fawn, and remained by his side ever since. Though Sven cannot speak, Kristoff has come to fully understand the reindeer merely through the latter's actions and expressions, to the point where he does his own (surprisingly accurate) voice-overs for Sven.
A reindeer with the heart of a Labrador, Sven is Kristoff's loyal friend, sleigh-puller and conscience. He makes sure his mountain-man companion is the stand-up guy Sven knows and loves, and does so without saying a word. A few emphatic snorts usually get his point across. Life would be perfect if only Kristoff would lose that ridiculous reindeer voice he likes to use when speaking for Sven (as if reindeers really talk that way).
Sven is goofy, loyal and rather childish. He spends most of the film by Kristoff's side, acting as his closest friend (even in their younger years) and conscience. And while Sven may not seem incredibly intelligent, he does have a strong moral character. Throughout the film, he constantly convinces Kristoff to do the right thing, including assisting Anna in her journey to find Elsa, and later returning to Arendelle to confess his love for the princess after their adventure comes to a conclusion. Along with Kristoff, Sven also seems to be greatly close to Olaf, enjoying the snowman's antics and eventually creating a close bond throughout the course of the film. As a running gag, however, Sven tries to grab a bite of Olaf's carrot nose. In the end of the film, he manages to do just that, but immediately returns it, showing he was merely being playful with his new-found friend, much to Olaf's delight.
Key to his character, Sven lacks qualities of an actual reindeer, aside from appearance and vocal affects. Instead, he's shown to have the personality of a dog, as he's constantly seen panting (though reindeer tend to do this, as well), wagging his tail, and performing the "play bow" stance, which dogs tend to use as a way to initiate playtime.
Sven is a large, tan reindeer with brown eyes. He wears a red harness around his body. Around his neck, back and hooves, he has tufts of white fur in a dusty pattern. The top of his head is a copper-brown color, unlike the rest of his body.
Along with Olaf, Sven appears in the animated short teaser used as the film's first trailer. Here, Sven is feeding in a snowy forest when he hears pattering upon the frozen lake nearby. He turns and notices a carrot, and the mere sight is enough to get him smiling enthusiastically. The reindeer leaps onto the ice to retrieve the carrot, but the slippery surface makes it beyond difficult to do. Along with Sven, a snowman (Olaf) is also after the carrot, and a comical competition to retrieve it ensues. The two finally reach the center of the lake, where the carrot lies, and whilst Sven has a grip on it with his lips, Olaf grabs it as well, and accidentally flings it back onto the snow. Sven doesn't hesitate to rush over, leaving Olaf behind and saddened at the lose of his nose. Fortunately, Sven returns, revealing he was only trying to help Olaf, and the two set aside their supposed differences, becoming friends, much to Sven's absolute delight.
The Humble Beginnings
As youngsters, Kristoff and Sven spent their time with the ice harvesters, learning the ways of the profession and tagging along whenever they can. One night, Kristoff and Sven notice the royal family (the king, queen, Princess Elsa and Princess Anna), rushing over to the Valley of the Living Rock. Curious, the boy and reindeer follow behind to watch what all the commotion is about. As they spied, they're discovered by one of the trolls, Bulda, who decides to adopt the two orphans. From there, Kristoff and Sven are raised by the trolls. Years later, Princess Elsa is set to become queen after the death of the original monarchs, and whilst the kingdom is abuzz with royals from all around, Kristoff and Sven are out and about, too, but don't attend the castle festivities, likely because it's meant for royalty only.
Later that night, Queen Elsa was revealed to have great power over ice and snow, and as she flees her kingdom due to being called a monster. She accidentally curses the kingdom, causing an eternal winter in the process, and just as Kristoff and Sven were making their way to the North Mountain. The next night, Kristoff was busy buying equipment for his travels, as well as carrots for Sven, from Wandering Oaken's Trading Post and Sauna, but gets kicked out for calling the store owner a crook, much to Sven's disappointment. They decide to sleep in a stable for the night, and as they sing their lullaby "duet", with Kristoff singing his reserved lyrics. Princess Anna pays them a visit, and asks Kristoff to guide her to the North Mountain to find her sister. Kristoff denies until Anna shows that she has purchased the equipment and carrots he failed to buy. Sven is more than happy to help at that point, and the trio head off. After facing a wolf attack, however, Kristoff wants to call it quits, but Sven doesn't want to leave Anna out alone, knowing she'll die, and persuades Kristoff to continue forth.
Later on, they meet an enchanted snowman, brought to life by Elsa, named Olaf, who offers to guide them to her ice palace. Sven immediately takes a liking to the goofy snowman, and the two form a bond. But Sven also takes a liking to Olaf's carrot nose, which he tries to eat a few times, with no success. Soon enough, the friends find Elsa's palace, but he's unable to make it up the ice stairs. Kristoff tells Sven to wait outside, and when the others return, they are being chased by a giant snowman monster. Kristoff, Olaf and Anna head off, and Sven goes in a different direction, meeting up with the gang at the bottom of a mountain cliff. At that time, Kristoff realizes that Anna's been cursed when Elsa accidentally blasted her heart with ice back at the castle, and he leads the way to the Valley of the Living Rock.
Return to Arendelle
Grand Pabbie, the king of the trolls, tells the group that unless Anna performs an act of true love, she'll freeze to death. Riding on Sven, the group rushes back to Arendelle for Anna to kiss Hans, her fiancé, believing true love's kiss would break the curse. Once they arrive at the castle with the princess taken into royal care, Kristoff reluctantly takes his leave despite his romantic feelings for Anna, believing they could never be as Hans is apparently her true love. Sadly, the mountain man heads back into the mountains with Sven trudging along, only to eventually halt in his tracks, look back at the kingdom, and realize that leaving Anna without Kristoff confessing his true feelings isn't right. The reindeer rushes in front of the ice harvester, and tries to convince him to head back, but Kristoff angrily denies, telling Sven going back would be pointless as Anna's with her true love. However, seconds after, a gust of frosty wind hits the duo, and looking back at the castle, they see the kingdom being consumed by a potentially deadly blizzard. Knowing Anna must be in danger, Sven and Kristoff rush back to Arendelle to her rescue.
Rushing back to the castle, the blizzard becomes much more powerful, though it only prompts Sven to increase his speed, as the reindeer is highly devoted to getting Kristoff to his true love. From the castle library, Olaf and Anna are able to spot Kristoff and Sven rushing to them in the distance, having the duo head out into the frozen fjords to meet them. During the chaos, Olaf is separated from the princess, and likewise, a ship causes the icy ground beneath Sven to crack, unleashing freezing waters. Sven tries to avoid them, but only manages to get Kristoff to safety before falling head-first into the freezing waters, apparently drowning, much to Kristoff's horror. However, Sven luckily survives and pulls himself onto a drifting iceberg, telling Kristoff to keep moving without him, which the mountain man obliges to.
When he reunites with the others, he finds Kristoff, Olaf and Elsa mourning over the death of Anna, who's body was completely frozen solid, the curse having consumed her. As Sven joined in the mourning, Anna's body begins to thaw, as she managed to perform an act of true love before the curse completely took affect; sacrificing herself to save Elsa from the treacherous Hans. After Anna revives, the friends join in a celebration. It's at that point Elsa realizes love is the key to thawing the kingdom, and with the warmth in her heart, she does just that, with Sven licking at the snowflakes appearing during the spectacle, hungry for a bite. With the kingdom thawed and restored to natural peace, Elsa reclaims the throne as queen and a celebration is held in her honor. Kristoff is appointed Official Arendelle Ice Master and Deliver, whilst Sven is given a Medal of Honor from the Snow Queen in gratitude for his heroic deeds. Anna, meanwhile, proclaims her mutual love for Kristoff, as well as presents him with a brand new sled; with Sven's help.
Meanwhile, Olaf is given a snow flurry to enjoy the summer weather, joyfully wandering around the city with his new-found gift as he stumbles upon some flowers. After taking a whiff, the snowman sneezes, his carrot nose landing directly in Sven's mouth, and the reindeer immediately gobbles it up. However, this was merely a jest, as Sven quickly returns the carrot into Olaf's nose, revealing his was merely being playful, and the two proclaim their friendship. Lastly, Sven joins the others in an ice-skating rink built by the queen, for the kingdom's enjoyment.
Taking place nearly a year after the events of the film, Sven is assisting Kristoff, Olaf, and Elsa in making the final preparations for Anna's birthday. On the day of the event, Elsa leaves Kristoff in charge to ensure the castle's courtyard remains in one piece during her absence. Though Kristoff believes things will be absolutely fine, resulting in the trio consisting of himself, Sven, and Olaf taking a nap, the friends are soon encountered by tiny snow-babies known as Snowgies, who quickly prove to be mischievous toddlers bent on eating Anna's birthday cake. As Kristoff and Olaf scatter to collect them, a playful Sven follow suit, immediately taken by the adorable creatures. Before long, however, their trouble gets out of hand, and during the chase, Sven's tongue is accidentally stuck to an enourmous ice sculpture. After struggling to do so, Sven manges to free himself, but the now massive army of Snowgies continue to run amuck. By the time Anna and Elsa arrive, however, the courtyard is in one piece, with Sven, Kristoff, Olaf, and Snowgies, creating a spectacular formation, which earns a delightfully surprised gasp from the birthday princess. With the party a success, Sven distributes the cake and the day comes to an end.
Sometime later, Sven joins Kristoff and Olaf in delivering the Snowgies to live with Marshmallow, up on the North Mountain in Elsa's Ice Palace.
Sven also makes a small appearance alongside Anna, Elsa, and Olaf in an advertisement promoting Sky Movies.
Sven plays a small role in the fourth season of the ABC series, appearing in the episode "A Tale of Two Sisters".
After Anna embarks on a journey against Elsa's wishes, Kristoff and Sven are left to distract the Queen of Arendelle to prevent her from pulling her younger sister back. Elsa soon arrives and confronts Kristoff and Sven on Anna's whereabouts. Throughout the scene, a sassy Sven responds to the banter between Kristoff and the Queen through snorts. After Elsa gathers the truth and rushes out to the docks to stop Anna, Sven urges Kristoff to go after her, which the mountain man does. After he leaves the barn, Sven sighs out of annoyance.
Notably, according to Kristoff, Sven finds an uptight Elsa to be bossy. It was also mentioned that Sven would be formally attending the wedding of Anna and Kristoff, who were recently engaged.
Sven was then seen alongside Kristoff when they hiking up the Southern Mountain to intercept Hans and his invading army head for Arendelle. Kristoff orders Sven to stay put while he spies on the evil prince and his brothers.
Prior to Anna returning from her trip in the Enchanted Forest, Sven feels moody and uninterested in eating his carrots, even Kristoff offered him some. When an exasperated Kristoff commented out loud what's wrong with him, Anna appears in the stable's doorway, having returned from her trip thanks to her temporary controlling Rumpelstiltskin with his dagger, and suggest that Sven probably missed her.
Usually alongside Olaf, Sven makes numerous appearances in video games and apps based off the film, as well as crossover properties such as the Disney INFINITY series, where he is also mentioned by Anna wondering what he and Kristoff are up to. Additionally, costumes of Sven are also featured in both the "Frozen Party" episode of Club Penguin, as well as the "Frozen Costume Pack" of LittleBigPlanet.
Sven was one of the latest additions to the popular app, Frozen Free Fall as a character companion. He is unlocked upon reaching level 92 and has the special ability of Carrot, which destroys a total of nine random block tiles.
Sven appears as an unlockable mount for the Toy Box in Disney INFINITY 2.0.
Along with Olaf, Sven was the first major character from the film to appear in a video game, being Frozen: Olaf's Quest. Sven's role in the game was considerably minor, as he made appearances alongside Olaf in a few special levels, following the hapless snowman through the map.
Though featured in some entertainment, Sven currently makes no live appearances at any of the Disney theme parks. He does, however, makes a live appearance in the Disney On Ice Frozen-themed show, debuting as a walk-around character.
In World of Color's winter rendition, Winter Dreams, Sven makes a brief cameo pulling a sled holding Kristoff, Olaf, and Anna. In the 2014 reprise of the show, Sven plays a slightly larger role, appearing alongside Olaf after the performance of "Love is an Open Door".
Sven's likeness is also featured during the Frozen: Summer Fun event at Disney's Hollywood Studios, along with being commonly mentioned and alluded to.
- Sven was originally set to be a one-antlered reindeer.
- His favorite snacks are carrots.
- He also likes pies, as seen in the In Summer song.
- The Frozen filmmakers invited a real-life reindeer into the Walt Disney Animation Studios, observing the animal's physical makeup and mannerism, which were later caricatured in the design of Sven. This process was done before, involving a rabbit and two fawns for the film Bambi.
- Whilst the filmmakers have noted Sven's behavior being based off that of a dog (or a Labrador to be more precise), real reindeer actually do pant much like canines. Real reindeer also scratch the back of their ears with their legs, much like dogs, and that was also incorporated into Sven's character.
- Sven is also similar to Pegasus from Hercules and Maximus from Tangled in a way that they are animal sidekicks to the protagonist, and act like dogs.
- Sven resembles Rutt and Tuke the moose from Brother Bear, which is ironic since in Europe, moose are known as "elk". In North America, elk or wapiti are an entirely different animal altogether.
- For an animal that is not a horse, Sven is an incredibly fast reindeer (even as a calf), which is actually a big reference to his species, as reindeer are fast enough for Eskimos and many other cultures to use them in sled races in the Northern hemisphere.
- Sven is also shown to be very strong. After he threw Kristoff across the ice and sank, he swam all the way to the top.
- Sven has the antlers of a female reindeer.
- As Olaf symbolizes Anna and Elsa's bond, Sven symbolizes the bond between Anna and Kristoff.
- And based on Olaf and Sven's close friendship in the movie, it is likely that Kristoff and Elsa became good friends too.
- Sven was originally going to be known as "Thor", after the Norse god of thunder, but was changed to avoid confusion with the Marvel superhero of the same name.
- It's possible that Sven, along with Hans, Kristoff and Anna, is named after Hans Christian Andersen, the author of The Snow Queen and also The Little Mermaid.
- The Frozen creators were eager enough to bring in a real reindeer in order to capture the appearance and behavior of Sven. In the end, it didn't work out, as they found real reindeer quite boring. Instead, they brought in one of the directors' dogs called Frankie, and Sven's personality turned out to be more lively.
- Well adapted to snow and cold, reindeer can lower the temperature in their legs to near freezing levels, to keep their core body heat consistent in extreme weather. They are also surprisingly fast; a new reindeer calf can easily outrun a man, which explains why Kristoff relies on Sven when he needs to get to Anna quickly.