WUHAN, CHINA - DECEMBER 05: (CHINA OUT) Olaf is on display at CapitaMall 1818 on December 5, 2015 in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. Disney Characters exhibition was held in the Wuhan CapitMall 1818.  (Photo by Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Disney's Frozen Was Originally a Much
Darker Story
Disney’s “Frozen” is one of the most successful animated movies in history, but its storyline was originally quite different — Anna was the innocent heroine fighting the villainous Elsa, and the two weren’t sisters or royalty. The good vs. evil storyline wasn’t original enough for Disney, which is why the creative team had to come up with a different angle.
The original story starts with a prophecy: "A ruler with a frozen heart will bring destruction to the kingdom of Arendelle." At first, Elsa thinks the prophecy is about her, as she gets stood up at her wedding and freezes her heart so that she will never love again. She also creates an army of snow monsters to attack Anna in the final act, leading to Kristoff’s arrival to help Anna.
However, Prince Hans stops Elsa’s army with a massive avalanche, putting everyone in the kingdom in danger. Anna persuades Elsa to use her powers to save Arendelle, and it turns out that Hans has the “frozen heart” and is the true villain. Elsa then has a last-minute redemption arc where her frozen heart thaws, and she is able to love again.
After this darker storyline was rejected, producer Peter Del Vecho said that he and directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee came up with a different dynamic between the two female leads. Instead of good vs. evil, the theme became “love vs. fear,” in which Anna represented love and Elsa represented fear — as she was afraid of her own powers and hurting those she loved.
The movie then became about the love and affection between two sisters who would save each other, instead of either of them needing to be rescued by men. Instead of Kristoff’s kiss preventing Anna from freezing to death, it’s Elsa that protects Anna just as Hans is about to kill her. Elsa is the embodiment of love conquering fear, and in turn, her iciness starts to melt.