once upon a snowman

Normal life may have been put on hold during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but Disney animators have been far from frozen in place. In fact, they’ve been busy as ever, putting out Disney+ animated shorts made entirely from home, usually revolving around everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf. At the beginning of lockdown, the Disney Animation team banded together to give us a series of Frozen shorts, titled Olaf at Home, and now, as Hollywood begins to kick back into gear, they’ve given us yet another animated short film revolving around Olaf. Specifically, showing us the unseen origins of the sentient snowman with the new short, Once Upon a Snowman.

What happened to Olaf immediately after Elsa inadvertently created him during her “Let It Go” number, as she built her ice palace and embraced her magic? What did he do before Anna and Kristoff first met him in the forest? And how did Olaf learn to love summer so much? The new Disney animated short, Once Upon a Snowman, promises to answer all these questions about the “untold origins of Olaf” that clearly all of us were asking.

The film, which is set to debut on Disney+ this October, “follows Olaf’s first steps as he comes to life and searches for his identity in the snowy mountains outside Arendelle.”

Directed by Trent Correy (animation supervisor on Olaf in Frozen 2) and Dan Abraham (veteran story artist who boarded Olaf’s “When I Am Older” musical sequence in Frozen 2), Once Upon a Snowman is produced by Nicole Hearon (associate producer on Frozen 2) with Peter Del Vecho (producer on Frozen 2). And of course, Josh Gad comes back to voice his breakout character, Olaf.

“This is an idea that started to form when I was an animator on the first Frozen,” said 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.”

“Josh Gad gives one of the great animated voice performances as Olaf through the Frozen films,” added Abraham. “To have the opportunity to work with him in the recording booth was such a privilege and career highlight.”

Olaf is pretty much fully-formed when we first meet him in Frozen, excited about his newly-given life and breaking out into a song about summer — which is quite awkward for a snowman who can only survive in the winter.

I’m not sure there was any need for us to learn about the origins of Olaf or for Disney to lift the veil on any semblance of magic left in Frozen, but hey, kids are bored at home and going to school remotely so Once Upon a Snowman is sure to be a huge hit. See the poster for Once Upon a Snowman below, which gives us a little peek at Olaf’s first sparks of life.

Once Upon A Snowman debuts exclusively on Disney+ October 23, 2020.

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