Trivia: Frozen

Elsa was going to be a villain, but still a Friend to All Living Things.

Trivia from the Disney animated film:

  • Actor Allusion:
    • The Duke warns Hans that Anna might be conspiring with Elsa, referring to Elsa as Anna's "wicked sister". Idina Menzel previously played Elphaba in Wicked, and Elphaba is practically identical to Elsa in terms of how her character is written.
    • Idina Menzel also plays a Queen of a fantasy kingdom, though only at the very end in the Disney movie Enchanted. Both movies also have a plot twist in which the Princess doesn't end up with the Prince she was originally planning to marry.
    • Ciaran Hinds, who plays Grand Pabbie, was also King Herod and King-Beyond-The-Wall.
    • Alan Tudyk is playing another quirky old bad guy in a Disney film again.
  • Ascended Fanon: A fan sent Jennifer Lee a tweet saying that the fans had been calling Hans' horse "Lemon". She liked the idea and named the horse the Norwegian equivalent, "Sitron".
    • Similarly, when a deleted scene mentioned an "Admiral Westergard" who was apparently in love with Anna and acting in opposition to Elsa, fans assumed he was the character that eventually became Hans and asked Jennifer Lee whether Westergard would be Hans' last name. Since the Admiral was Hans in an earlier draft and the issue of Hans' last name never (properly) came up in the final script, Jennifer Lee confirmed that it was as good a last name as any other.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy/Promoted Fangirl: Kristen Bell has wanted to voice a Disney character since she was a little girl. Here, she finally gets her chance.
  • Bad Export for You: A weird inversion. Several countries have 3-D and 2-D Blu-Ray Discs available on the same day, but the American 3-D Blu-Ray release has yet to occur. For now, Americans will have to either download from a legitimate website (for a price, of course) or import from another country if they want the 3D version.
  • Blooper:
    • While Letting Her Hair Down during "Let it Go", Elsa's braid passes through her arm. This "mistake" was actually intentional, as the animators claim her rig was so complex that they could either let her hair phase through or watch her braid crumple like an origami model.
    • There's also a scene near the end where Kristoff's thumb phases through Anna's dress.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit: This is inverted. While Demi Lovato's version of "Let It Go" is popular in its own right, it's the original version, in the context of the movie, that became the cultural hit. It was so good it even won an Academy award for Best Original Song in 2014.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor:
    • Most of the cast, as is usually the case for big-budget animated films (for instance, Kristen Bell landed the lead role as Anna, while Elsa is voiced by Idina Menzel. Maurice LaMarche as the King and Frank Welker as Sitron are the token "legit VA"s in the main cast. (Character actress Edie McClurg, known for her distinctive voice, also has a bit part as Gerda.)
    • Most of the rest of the cast is made of Broadway Musical celebrities, Jonathan Groff (of Spring Awakening), Santino Fontana (of Cinderella), and Josh Gad (of The Book of Mormon). Idina Menzel (of Wicked) also counts as one of these.
    • The opposite seems to be true for the Brazilian dub, in which the only celebrity is local comedian Fábio Porchat as Olaf.
  • Colbert Bump: Thanks to this movie Norway saw a large increase in tourism because families wanted to get as close to the story as possible.
  • Completely Different Title: Is known as The Snow Queen in some European countries, reportedly because of Europe's strong cultural bond with Hans Christian Andersen, even though the movie only resembles his Snow Queen in a very loose way. A number of other countries changed the title to "Kingdom of Ice" or some variation on it ("Snow Kingdom", "Land of Ice", etc.).
    • Inverted in the Latin American/Brazilian dub, with the title left untranslated and the redundant subtitle Uma Aventura Congelante (A Freezing Adventure) added.
      • The Finnish dub did the same, even adding basically the same subtitle in Finnish: Huurteinen seikkailu, literally "frosty adventure".
      • The Japanese Title literally translates to Anna and The Snow Queen (アナと雪の女王), which is also the Working Title (see below) of the movie.
      • The Polish title is very simple - 'Kraina Lodu' ('The Land of Ice') maybe because the word Frozen - Zamarznięty/Zamarznięta doesn't translate well by itself in Polish, as it's a 'perfective' - we need to know the 'gender' of the subject word to use it properly - is it a land (female - Zamarznięta) or the heart (neutral - Zamarznięte) that becomes frozen?. Basically Slavic languages can be a pain when translating English words...
      • The Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish title is simply 'Frost'.
      • The Estonian title translates to The Snow Queen and the Eternal Winter.
  • Creator Backlash: Jennifer Lee has apologized for the popularity, and resultant overplay, of "Let It Go."
  • Creator Cameo: Anna and Elsa's mother, the Queen, is voiced by Jennifer Lee, the co-director of Frozen.
  • Dawson Casting: Elsa is 21 years old and voiced by a 42 years old Idina Menzel. Anna is 18 years old and is voiced by a 33 years old Kristen Bell.
  • Demand Overload: The Merch sold as expected at first, and then word of mouth turned it into a shortage nightmare that took Disney months to even begin to meet. Even Disney Animation's own employees weren't exempt from the shortage, as many of them had neglected to buy any merch of their own until after the movie premiered. Official Cosplay Gear for Breakout Character Elsa were going for massive markups on the resale market.
  • Development Hell: The film is over 70 years in the making.... Walt Disney himself even had ideas for an adaptation of The Snow Queen. People at Disney planned to produce this in The Nineties as a hand-drawn feature, but they scrapped it during their change in management, and their shift to CG features starting with Chicken Little. Only after the success of Tangled was it picked up again.
  • Double Feature: As is Disney's m.o. with more recent film releases, Frozen was paired up with Saving Mr. Banks in many American theaters and drive-ins.
  • Dreamworks Face: It's Elsa who's doing this on the poster, which is funny after Anna comments "She's a stinker" about Elsa.
  • Dueling Movies: A Russian animation company put out a Snow Queen adaptation around the same time.
    • An American stage musical adaptation debuted the same week as Frozen did, as well, complete with a song about ultimately letting go.
  • Fandom Life Cycle: A little less than a year after it being released, it seems to be already at Stage 4, if not Stage 5.
  • Fan Nickname:
  • The Foreign Subtitle: Some countries keep the main title of Frozen, but add a subtitle in their local language, most commonly translating to "The Kingdom of Ice", "A Freezing Adventure" or "The Frozen Kingdom". Good examples are the two Spanish titles: "Frozen: El reino del hielo" in Spain ("The Ice Kingdom") and "Frozen: Una aventura congelada" in Latin America ("A Frozen Adventure").
  • Hey, It's That Voice!:
  • I Knew It: Considering how Kristoff was the first male character shown in promotional material, many fans at first felt that one way or another, Anna would end up with him.
  • Missing Trailer Scene:
    • There's a plush Elsa doll with a voice box; one of her given lines is "But I am still your queen." implying that there might have been a cut scene where she had to pull rank on someone. Given the context, it most likely was when Anna was trying to get Elsa's blessing to marry Hans, with the ensuing argument and Anna saying something along the lines of "You're (supposed to be) my sister!"
      • Word of God confirms this line is from the scene where Anna asks for Elsa's blessing. When Elsa refuses in the cut version, Anna responds that she doesn't need Elsa's permission anyway, because Elsa isn't her mother, prompting this quote.
  • No Export for You: Despite being American made and making the most money in the US domestic market, the movie (along with a few other recent Disney movies) is available on 3D blu-ray just about everywhere except America. Fortunately, region-free importing is readily available.
  • Playing Against Type: Maurice LaMarche as Elsa and Anna's father; LaMarche typically doesn't voice serious characters (and when he does, they're usually villains).
  • Portmanteau Series Nickname: "AnaYuki" for the Japanese title, Ana to Yuki no Joou (Anna and the Snow Queen). Disney even uses it as the address for the film's Japanese page.
  • Promoted Fangirl: In the European Spanish version with Gisela, Elsa's singing voice. She started her career in 2001 in "Operación Triunfo", the Spanish equivalent to Pop Idol and American Idol. During the show, she stated in a special episode dedicated to Disney songs that singing in a Disney movie was one of her life dreams. Her wish was only half-fulfilled then, since Disney Spain chose her for singing in Return to Neverland. However, now, 12 years and a whole career as a stage musical performer later, she got her wish completely, with a new big hit to boot.
  • Real-Life Relative: Not in the movie, but the Swedish voice actresses of Anna and Rapunzel are sisters in real life, and Word of God confirmed Rapunzel to be their cousin.
  • The Red Stapler: After the release of the film, Elsa's name jumped 243 places to become the 88th most popular baby name for girls in the UK.
  • Referenced By:
  • The Scrappy:invoked The original concept of Olaf (before he became nice and before Josh Gad became his voice actor) was not liked by Jennifer Lee. She said that she wanted to "Kill the f-ing snowman".
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Snow and ice are pretty difficult to convincingly animate; the movie was an opportunity for the animators to get some practice with it and try to push the boundaries of animation. They had done the same thing previously with hair in Tangled.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: Originally, Elsa was not going to be a heroic character; the writers struggled to see her as anything more than a one-note villain. Then "Let It Go" was performed by Idina Menzel, whose vulnerable yet powerful interpretation of the lyrics inspired them to rewrite her as a misunderstood girl.
  • She Really Can Sing: Kristen Bell surprised quite a few people, castmates included, that she could belt out one hell of a tune. Some reviewers pointed out that the film let her unleash one of her best kept secrets (since her singing before this had been minor things, such as Reefer Madness: The Musical).
  • Sleeper Hit: Disney at first hoped it would do as well as Tangled, which looked like a tossup after the opening weekend. This film was making money in theaters several months after release. Eventually it topped Iron Man 3 to become the top-grossing film of 2013, making it one of the slowest films to do so on its initial release. At 155 days, it was also the slowest film to reach $400 million at the domestic box office.
    • The soundtrack and "Let It Go" were surprise hits. The Demi Lovato version was released, but did modestly at best. After word-of-mouth for the film came out, the sales of the soundtrack started picking up, and YouTube hits for official versions of "Let It Go"note  were getting higher and higher, some into the hundreds of millions.
    • Even the merchandise was this. Disney based projections for toy sales based on initial sales The Princess and the Frog and Tangled, and some of the toys initially didn't even meet those. Then just as word-of-mouth picked up, merchandise across the board was selling out for months.
  • Troubled Production: Not in terms of actually making the film, but in terms of trying to figure out what the film would be, even after the film finally started production. By the time the story was finalized, there was only 17 months to finish the film (less than half the time it took to make Wreck-It Ralph).
  • What Could Have Been:
    • According to the book Disneywar (about Michael Eisner's tenure as Disney CEO), a Turn of the Millennium pitch for what was then called The Snow Queen had, as the lead character, a monarch who freezes all her potential suave-but-phony suitors and becomes both a literal and figurative Defrosting Ice Queen once she meets a true-hearted man.
      • The obsessive focus on expanding the role of the Snow Queen derailed many attempts at the story over the years. One of the Eisner-era pitches involved aging up the children and making Kai/Snow Queen the main pairing and depicting Gerda as a shallow Gold Digger villain.
    • Elsa went through the most changes before the film's story was finalized, the largest was that she was going to be the antagonist (more so than in the original story), playing the God Save Us from the Queen! trope straight. She went through various visual and story designs before it was finally decided to make her a sympathetic character instead.
      • She and Anna would be unrelated. Even after making them sisters, Elsa was still the villain (though she'd be redeemed in the end), and instead of fearing her powers she was more angry at having to hide them and flat-out resentful toward Anna, cursing her sister from the coldness of her heart.
      • She was originally supposed to purposefully cause the eternal winter instead of unintentionally causing it (which was used as part of hiding the actual plot in the trailers).
      • She was going to be a hammy villain, voiced by Megan Mullally and her personality was going to be based on Bette Midler, and Amy Winehouse.
      • She would wear a huge snowflake-themed Cool Crownnote . Successive design changes toned it down to the coronation tiara in the final film.
      • Her hair was going to be black, and even spikey in some designs (the fan nicknamed "Onion Elsa").
      • Some designs added a High Collar of Doom to her robe or cape. When Elsa lost the Big Bad designation, she lost this costume piece.
      • Before Elsa ended up with the sheer blue ice dress, her costumes went through several changes (although most were still Costume Porn), particularly being a Woman in White, to represent the coldness of snow.
      • Some designs showed her wearing a Live Mink Coat of ermines who flocked around her. Other designs had her in outfits trimmed with white fur.
      • Her skin was going to be blue in some designs. One assumes that they changed Elsa to have normal white skin because having blue skin would lead to the unfortunate implication that Elsa suffered from emphysema.
      • She would decide Then Let Me Be Evil after growing up surpressing her powers (but resenting it instead of living in fear of the harm she might do). This was supposed to lead into her Villain Song, but that song turned into "Let It Go", which ended up rewriting the character and the movie.
    • The sisters' relationship as rivals was very different at first, and can still be seen in some of the supporting material (like A Sister More Like Me, by some of the creative staff). Anna was the free-spirited "spare" with no responsibilities, and Elsa was the prim, proper "heir" who resented Anna's freedom and irresponsibility. The deleted song "Life's Too Short" has the girls warmly reunite in the newly-built ice castle...until Anna tactlessly asks Elsa to put the gloves back on to fix everything. Elsa takes this badly.
    • As the plot development went back and forth on the question of whether Elsa or Anna was more popular with the townspeople, in one deleted scene, Anna's Cute Clumsy Girl tendencies were amped up to Walking Disaster Area levels.
    • Sven was originally going to have only one antler.
    • There were going to be more snowmen than Olaf and Marshmallow. And the snowmen would eventually go on a rampage, hurting everyone in their path, something that Elsa was against. Marshmallow also was originally supposed to be like a larger version of Olaf, with giant tree trunks for arms.
      • And before Marshmallow became a snowman, some concept art suggests he was originally going to be a polar bear.
    • Many of the cut songs have been released as demos on the deluxe soundtrack. Anna has an Establishing Character Moment song ("More Than Just the Spare"), Anna and Elsa's song ("Life's Too Short") is a lot more direct and confrontational, Hans's song ("You're You") is a lot vaguer and hints at his being Evil All Along and there's an opener song featuring Anna and Elsa as children ("We Know Better") that shows their relationship. Part of the melody of "More Than Just the Spare" was eventually reused in "For the First Time in Forever": "So I'm the extra button on a coat / In case another one comes loose" —> "The window is open, so's that door / I didn't know they did that anymore".
    • Kristoff was going to have a larger role in the climax, knocking Hans out after the guy has a villainous second wind and tries to attack, again. This was wisely cut so that the focus be kept on the two sisters where it belonged, rather than a battle between two male characters, and so Anna would have the rightful honor of punching him.
      • This scene was kept in the novelization, however.
    • Kristoff's introduction was also initially going to have him come off as a lot more of a jerk, helping out purely because of payment, rather than the grouchy guy who accepted for some climbing equipment and a few carrots. The cut scene also confirms his last name as 'Bjorgman', and that he is a nomad (with no permanent residence of any kind).
      • A line from the Disney on Ice Presents Frozen show seems to reference this:
      Anna: I'm Princess Anna, from Arendelle.
      Kristoff: And I'm Kristoff Bjorgman, from nowhere-in-particular.
    • Early on, Kristoff was also going to have a rather sad musical montage explaining to Anna why he disliked humans, but it was condensed to the more humorous "Reindeers are Better Than People".
    • As noted on the cut songs "Spring Pageant" and "Life's Too Short", the "troll prophecy" was a plot element that persisted through several drafts of the script. The final version of the movie indicates that it would have been a Prophecy Twist: the "ruler with a frozen heart"' is revealed to be Hans, not Elsa, and the "sword sacrifice" is Anna's self-sacrifice to save Elsa from Hans' sword. The prophecy may have gotten cut because of how much contrivance was necessary to keep its meaning ambiguous. (This is even lampshaded: "What's a 'sword sacrifice'?" "Beats me.") It would also have made the trolls look like Jackass Genies to produce such an ambiguous prophecy to begin with.
    • One of Elsa's lines in "Life's Too Short" implies that Hans and Anna were originally supposed to marry at the end of their Falling in Love Montage rather than just get engaged. Keeping that plot point would have resulted in the main character's husband attempting to murder her and and her sister in the third act, which was most likely deemed too dark for Disney.
      • As 'Admiral Westerguard' was still a Romantic False Lead in the early scripts (though a far less malevolent one) it seems more likely that their wedding day was interrupted. Frozen may have pushed a lot of boundaries and taken many leaps into territory Disney had never ventured into before, but the heroine ending up Happily Divorced would probably be one too far.
    • For the Japanese dub of the movie, Yui Ishikawa almost got the role of Princess Anna, as she was Darrin'd out by Sayaka Kanda later on.
    • There was going to be a Lady Regent who was entirely loyal to the crown to put a twist on villainous advisers, and that she would be a good witch. She was removed because there wasn't time for her.
    • There was a cut song titled "We Know Better" that starts with Elsa at age 3 seeing baby Anna for the first time, and bonding with her. The song would then cut to the girls at different ages Elsa at 7, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 22. And Anna: 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18. The first half of the song was released on the deluxe soundtrack and can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G21o_Jgpf8. The second half is a darker reprise, were the townspeople start to distrust 12 year old Elsa due to her powers, so the King and Queen tell 9 year old Anna to try and be more lady-like to set a better example for her sister, resulting in the rest of the song showing the two girls becoming more distant. The townspeople befriend and like Anna, but see Elsa as a freak. The second half can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enblcH0MaOY
    • The original chase scene with Marshmallow had a scared-out-of-her-wits Anna being reluctant to jump off the cliff to escape, an aggressive Marshmallow that was actively trying to kill her and Kristoff (instead of just chasing them away), and an antagonistic Elsa creating a blizzard. This scene was created early in production as an animation test and was based on earlier versions of the characters note , so when someone asked if they could find a way to rework the scene to fit it into the movie, several parts of it had to be rewritten, re-animated, and re-dubbed since it completely clashed with the final versions of Anna and Elsa. For those curious about where the missing "That's no blizzard; that's my sister!" trailer scene came from, it came from here.
    • Anna was originally supposed to flirt with Kristoff on the way up the North Mountain. The scene was changed when Alan Horn, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios during Frozen's production, pointed out that viewers would likely get annoyed and confused with Anna's behavior and why she was flirting with Kristoff when she's engaged to Hans.
  • Word of God:
    • Jennifer Lee has stated that Elsa suffers from anxiety and depression. Not surprising when you look at her childhood. Of course, that means she got better through Epiphany Therapy.
    • The origin of Elsa's powers. Initially it was going to be explained through narration by a troll with a Brooklyn accent that a child is born with ice magic 1,000 years after a certain alignment with Saturn. It was figured that explaining it would cause more questions to be raised on how the rules of magic work, and wasn't important to the message/plot of the film anyway, so the explanation was left out of the film itself and became a case of All There in the Manual instead.
    • Hans is based on the mirror from the original story. This is shown by him mirroring the personality traits of whoever he is interacting with (acts Adorkable around Anna, polite and regal with Elsa and harsh and rude to The Duke of Weselton.) When in the dungeon with Elsa, he even goes so far as to mimic the way she wraps her arms around herself and the way she turns slightly askew.
    • Hans also grew up in a loveless family, as he claimed.
  • Working Title: Was The Snow Queen for many years, as discussed above; by 2008 it had become Anna and the Snow Queen before progressing to its final title in 2011. It retains the Snow Queen title in a number of countries, and is indeed titled Anna and the Snow Queen in Japan.

From the 2010 drama: