During the shelter in place orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney released a series of Frozen digital vignettes starring Olaf (Josh Gad). Each followed everyone’s favorite sentient snowman on various adventures around Arendelle. And even though that series came to an end, Disney isn’t ready to close the book on Frozen. That’s why they will be releasing a new short that focuses on his unseen origins called Once Upon a Snowman.
“This is an idea that started to form when I was an animator on the first Frozen,” said director Trent Correy. “Dan Abraham and I are so grateful and excited to have had the opportunity to direct this short, working with our incredible colleagues at Walt Disney Animation Studios.” Correy served as the animation supervisor for Olaf on Frozen 2.
“Josh Gad gives one of the great animated voice performances as Olaf through the ‘Frozen’ films,” said director Dan Abraham. “To have the opportunity to work with him in the recording booth was such a privilege and career highlight.” Abrahams is the veteran story artist who boarded Olaf’s “When I Am Older” musical sequence in Frozen 2
Here’s the official plot synopsis for Once Upon a Snowman:
“What happened to Olaf within the moments after Elsa created him as she was “letting it go” and building her ice palace, and when Anna and Kristoff first meet him in the forest? And how did Olaf learn to love Summer? The previously untold origins of Olaf, the innocent and insightful, summer-loving snowman who melted hearts in the Academy Award®-winning 2013 Disney animated feature, Frozen, and its acclaimed 2019 sequel, are revealed in the all-new Walt Disney Animation Studios animated short, Once Upon a Snowman. The film follows Olaf’s first steps as he comes to life and searches for his identity in the snowy mountains outside Arendelle.”
I’m surprised that it took Disney this long to tell Olaf’s untold story from the time that Elsa gave him life to the time that he first met Anna, Kristoff, and Sven. That being said, if the studio intends on continuing to ride that Frozen wave of success until the very end, then now is a better time to explore that untold story. And during these uncertain times, anything Frozen related, whether its the film, its sequel, the shorts, Holiday special, or vignettes, will almost be a hit with its fans.
And it goes without saying that Josh Gad will return to reprise his role as Olaf. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
Once Upon A Snowman makes its streaming debut exclusively on Disney+ October 23, 2020.