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Franchise / Frozen

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Born of cold and winter air and mountain rain combining
This icy force both foul and fair has a frozen heart worth mining
The Frozen franchise is about the adventures of Snow Queen Elsa, her warm-hearted sister Anna, Anna's boyfriend Kristoff who was raised by trolls, and Olaf who is a magic snowman created by Elsa's ice powers. Those very powers tend to set off most of the stories in various ways.

After decades of Disney trying to adapt The Snow Queen (all the way back to Walt Disney himself), it was finally released under the name Frozen in 2013. It was a Sleeper Hit in nearly every aspect: box office,note  music,note  and The Merch. The latter had a Demand Overload shortly after the film came out, particularly Official Cosplay Gear for the Breakout Character Elsa.

As a result, Frozen has spread into several media, from follow-ups to the film, to books, to toys, to video games, to musical stage shows, to crossovers with other established shows.

A stage musical arrived on Broadway in 2018. A small sing-along show was added to Disney California Adventure in 2015, and was replaced by a full stage version, Frozen – Live at the Hyperion, itself replacing Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular.

Frozen II has also been released in November 2019.

On 8th February 2023, Frozen III was officially announced as one of the 4 upcoming animated sequels from Walt Disney Animation Studios. A fourth film is also officially confirmed to be in the works a few months later on November 16, 2023, with it and III being planned as a multi part film according to Jennifer Lee.

See also the Disney Princess and Disney Fairies franchises.

Not to be confused with the 2010 drama/thriller film of the same name about skiers trying to survive after being stuck on a chairlift.

Character tropes go on to the Characters Sheet.

Franchise installments include:

Animated Films

Comic Books




Video Games:



Crossover appearances:

  • Disney Infinity series (2013-2016): Anna, Elsa, and Olaf are among the playable characters.
  • Once Upon a Time (2011-2018): The fourth season features an Alternate Continuity continuation of the first film, and additional backstory linking it to the original Snow Queen story, with Gerda as the mother of Elsa and Anna and the villainous Snow Queen being Gerda's sister Ingrid.
  • Kingdom Hearts III (2019) has the events of the first film altered by Sora's team and Organization XIII trying to pull Elsa's heart to the light or dark.
  • Sofia the First (2013-2018): Olaf makes a guest appearance in the third season.
  • Disney Mirrorverse (2022): Elsa, Anna, and Olaf are among the playable characters.
  • Disney Speedstorm (2023): Frozen content was added in the game's fifth season, including Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Hans as playable racers and an Arendelle racetrack.

Tropes throughout the franchise (and works without pages yet):

  • Anti-Climax: In the DVD Bonus Content for the first movie, the cast dances around Disney Animation Studios singing a song called "How Did We Make Frozen". The last line? "We don't know." Full-stop, end of song.
  • Cool Crown:
    • Elsa gets a gold tiara for her coronation but tosses it away. Marshmallow finds it in The Stinger of the first movie, and takes it for himself. Some merchandise still includes it, though, especially if it's based on Elsa's coronation look.
    • In Once Upon A Time she replaces it with a snowflake-themed tiara.
    • The fashion dolls often have different fancy crowns for both Anna and Elsa.
  • Costume Porn: Whether simple clothes or a Pimped-Out Dress, a lot of detail is given, such as the snowflake motifs on at least four of Elsa's outfits (her Snow Queen dress in Frozen, her holiday dress in Olaf's Frozen Adventure, her nightgown in Frozen II, and her travel outfit in Frozen II).
  • Double-Sided Book: One of the tie-in picture books. From one side, it's Anna's Act of Love, telling the story of the first movie from Anna's POV. From the other, it's Elsa's Icy Magic, the same story from Elsa's POV.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Some early books published shortly before the first Frozen movie show Elsa not caring when Anna tells her that the kingdom's been frozen. This is because for many earlier drafts of the film, Elsa was going to be a villain along the lines of the Snow Queen in the original tale and many of its retellings, and freeze the kingdom and Anna's heart on purpose. This was changed by the time the movie was released, so in the final version of the film and all its adaptions released after it, she is Not Evil, Just Misunderstood and acknowledges this is a problem.
  • Ermine Cape Effect: Zigzagged. Elsa wears Requisite Royal Regalia for her coronation, but is mostly seen in her Iconic Outfit ice dress, especially in merchandise and Expanded Universe installments. The latter sometimes inverts the trope by having Elsa almost never wear her crown, even for diplomatic meetings. Her ice dress definitely isn't Requisite Royal Regalia and doesn't mark her as royalty, and since she's An Ice Person, she can wear it in a wide range of situations, but it's also definitely an outfit that stands out. Anna has a fancy dress that she wears for formal occasions, but dresses more casually for everyday activities.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Throughout the franchise, Arendellian soldiers are inevitably armed with swords and crossbows. As of circa the 1840s, they should definitely be using guns.
  • Flower Motifs:
    • Norwegian rosemaling is incorporated into many of the buildings, and decorating Anna's and Elsa's dresses.
    • Anna has a Sunny Sunflower Disposition, most shown in Frozen Fever, where she wears a dress decorated that way.
  • Gratuitous Princess: The Snow Queen did have its protagonist, Gerda, meet a minor character who was a princess, but this franchise made the Gerda-inspired character herself and the Snow Queen, who was a Winter Royal Lady in the original tale but was not known to have any kind of royal lineage / political power, princesses themselves at the beginning of the tale.
  • The High Queen: After the character arc in the first film, Elsa is treated this way by her subjects.
  • Iconic Outfit: Anna's winter dress and Elsa's ice dress are the most common outfits worn in the franchise.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Troll magic includes altering and erasing memories.
  • Motif: Paintings. They feature most prominently in the first act of the original film. Anna begins turning to paintings for company during her isolation in "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?", the passing of the girls' parents is marked by their portraits being covered, Anna models the behavior portrayed by the pictures in the portrait room as she prepares for the castle to open up again, and Elsa looks up at a depiction of her father's coronation she practices for her own. The motif shows up again in sequel short Frozen Fever, when one of Elsa's birthday gifts for Anna is a new family portrait, and in Christmas Special Olaf's Frozen Adventure, when Anna creates pictures of Olaf as Christmas gifts for Elsa. During the "Into the Unknown" number in Frozen II, Elsa looks at two paintings of her family, one of them from when she was a child (showing her, Anna, and their parents) and a more recent one (showing her, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven). Tie-In Novel A Frozen Heart also explores Anna's attraction to the portrait gallery and the meaning she ascribes to some of the paintings.
  • No Flow in CGI: So far the theatrical installments avert this as much as possible. A lot of work is done to make fabric and hair move naturally with the characters, which is achieved more and more as the franchise goes on.
  • Official Cosplay Gear: Disney offers plenty of girl-sized outfits of Anna's and Elsa's dresses, especially since Elsa's ice dress turned out to be far more popular than anticipated.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted, perhaps unintentionally. Many of the books feature a character named Lars. One is an older brother of Prince Hans, one is a relative of Oaken, and another is an ice harvester.
  • Our Trolls Are Different: The trolls are small humanoids made of rock, and very friendly, often to the point of not caring about personal space.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • The King and Queen of Arendelle (Agnarr and Iduna) were lost at sea during a storm, leaving both Anna and Elsa without their parents for the next six years.
    • We don't know what happened to Kristoff's parents, just that he was raised by the trolls from the Valley of the Living Rock.
  • Parent Service:
    • While Anna and Elsa don't wear clothes that are tight enough to be Form Fitting Wardrobes, their dresses still highlight their curves.
    • Elsa's ice dress has a slit skirt, that is shown off during the end of the song "Let It Go".
  • Period Piece: The general look of Arendelle, despite the Hollywood Costuming, is around the 1840s.
  • Pimped-Out Cape:
    • Elsa gets a simple, but grand purple coronation cape, which she trades for a gauzy, glittery cape attached to her ice dress. In Olaf's Frozen Adventure her holiday dress also has a gauzy, and even more glittered, cape attached.
    • When Anna has to get warm clothes after her coronation dress is soaked, her winter outfit includes a cape with lots of subtle details.
  • Pretty in Mink:
    • Anna likes to wear fur-lined hats to keep warm. In the first film she also wears a cape lightly trimmed with fur, and in Olaf's Frozen Adventure she wears a jacket trimmed with fur.
    • In Olaf's Frozen Adventure, Elsa wears a Happy Holidays Dress with white fur framing her neckline.
  • Royal Blood: So far, the franchise's primary installments have a late king and queen, a living queen, a princess, and a prince. Spin-offs sometimes add more, usually with Anna and Elsa meeting other royals, and a couple exploring Hans' family. Some installments involve the main characters being Royals Who Actually Do Something and dealing with the duties that go along with the status.
  • Rule of Glamorous: Many things fall under this rule, such as how Elsa has Gorgeous Garment Generation powers, even if the fate of her previous outfit isn't addressed.
  • Savage Wolves: The wolves in Arendelle can be pretty vicious (at least in winter).
  • Schrödinger's Canon: A Frozen Heart, Anna & Elsa and other books and comics provide Worldbuilding and expand on the characters more thoroughly, but their canonicity is in question because the primary creators had no confirmed involvement with them. Two exceptions are Frozen II: A Forest of Shadows and Dangerous Secrets, the authors of which were confirmed to have at least worked with the primary creators in writing them. Having said that, they have not had confirmation as canon either.
    • In A Sister More Like Me, Anna is implied not to be interested in books. In the Broadway show however, she’s established to like them. It’s also depicted in Frozen II: A Forest of Shadows that she is the one who taught Olaf how to read. So far, the primary installments of the series haven’t clearly addressed it yet.
    • Books differ on how Kristoff's job works now that he's been appointed "Royal Ice Master and Deliverer" and Elsa is openly using her powers. At least one book has him bring ice to the palace to keep food fresh, while Unlocking Arendelle says he no longer works because of Elsa's powers producing so much ice.
    • Books also differ on how old Arendelle is. Some, like the Frozen II junior novelization, say King Runeard founded it, before the crown passed on to Agnarr, but Elsa's Icy Rescue implies there had been at least ten rulers before him. Forest of Shadows implies more, too.
    • In one comic, Elsa has anxiety dreams. In Forest of Shadows, she says she doesn't have them due to a trick her father taught her.
  • Simple, yet Opulent: Many of the royal dresses are this, but get more detailed as the CGI advances in the franchise.
  • Snowlem: Elsa's ice powers have created sentient snow people, from Olaf, to Marshmallow, to the Snowgies.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: Aside from Kristoff having cleanliness issues, the franchise is on the shiny end.
  • Snowball Fight: In this bumper ad, Anna hits Elsa with a regular palm-sized snowball when her back is turned; Elsa's response is to conjure up a snowball the size of a particularly large pumpkin.
  • Status Quo Is God: In the Frozen "Expanded Universe" of children's books. Every rumor of supernatural phenomena turns out to be false, Anna doesn't get her memories back, and Kristoff probably isn't going to lose his livelihood to automation.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • Anna and Elsa look just like their mother, Iduna. Elsa particularly looks like a clone of her, except that Iduna has a slightly longer face shape than Elsa's, and Elsa has platinum-blonde hair instead of her mother's dark brown hair. Wordof God says Elsa has blonde hair due to her powers, so if she had been born without powers, she would essentially be a younger version of her mum. In addition to her mother's features, Anna also inherits her father's hair and eye colouring.
    • In the queue for Frozen – Live at the Hyperion, there is a short video on Hans. The family tree shown reuses his concept art, with some tweaks, to portray male family members. For female family members, the video reuses concept art of Anna and Elsa, as well as of Rapunzel from Tangled.
  • True Blue Femininity:
    • While the Disney Princess line uses a Pink Product Ploy, this franchise's defining color is ice blue, showing it doesn't have to rely on pink to sell to girls.note 
    • Elsa mainly wears blue outfits, including her signature ice dress, while a number of Anna's outfits also contain large amounts of blue.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe:
    • Each film gives Anna and Elsa each at least one new dress.
    • Some of the toys, particularly paper doll ones, have plenty of mix-and-match outfits for the characters featured.


Video Example(s):


Frozen Call Backs

The Honest Trailer for Frozen 2 can't help but notice all the forced call-backs to the original.

How well does it match the trope?

4 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / CallBack

Media sources: