‘Once Upon a Snowman‘ Short Film Starring Olaf is Coming Soon to Disney+. An all new short film starring Olaf (Josh Gad) from the Frozen films and short films will be premiering on Disney+ on October 23rd. The short film will feature Olaf’s origin story from the time he was created by Elsa to how he found Anna, Kristoff, and Sven wandering in the woods. Recently, we heard from the production team for Once Upon a Snowman who shared insight into the making of the short film and we wanted to share that experience with you!
“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. Once Upon a Snowman is directed by Trent Correy (animation supervisor, “Olaf” in Frozen 2) and Dan Abraham (veteran story artist who boarded Olaf’s “When I Am Older” musical sequence in Frozen 2) and will debut exclusively on Disney+ October 23, 2020.”
Directors and Writers Trent Correy and Dan Abraham along with Creative Consultant Peter Del Vecho and Head of Animation Becky Bresee spoke with moderator Amy Astley (Vice President of Communications and Publicity for Walt Disney Animation Studios) and discussed their new short film, Once Upon a Snowman. After introductions were made, Amy asked how the story featured in Once Upon a Snowman came to be.
Director Trent Correy shared, “Yeah, this idea dates back… I started in the training program at Disney
in 2012. Actually my very first film at Disney was the first Frozen where I got to meet Becky and Peter and
later I met Dan, but this idea came from… I started as a crowd animator during the first Frozen and my
very first character to animate was Olaf. I was very lucky to get to animate Olaf for the rest of the show
and I very clearly remember seeing Chad Sellers animator shot during Let It Go, while I was a trainee and
Elsa meets Olaf and it’s beautiful and then she just walks away. She creates life and she walks away and
I was like, there’s got to be a story there.”
He continued, “I love Pinocchio, I loved Bambi and I’m like, I want to see what Olaf’s first steps are like and we don’t see
them for another 20 minutes in the film. I actually found sketches last week when I was moving of original
ideas from 2013, little deep boards and writing and ideas of Olaf taking his first steps and learning about
who he is. Cut to last year, Jennifer Lee, our fearless leader, stood on stage and said, we’re going to be
partnering with Disney Plus and I thought right then that this is the perfect opportunity to have this short
come out eight years later and that’s when I got to work with all these fine folks, Peter, Becky and Dan.”
Becky Bresee (Head of Animation) shared her initial excitement to revisit the characters and the untold story of Olaf’s origins, stating, “It really is not often we get to revisit characters. And so when Frozen 2 came up, it was just, we were like, “Yay! We get to visit these characters again.” And then to continue on with this story that’s very special and ties everything together from those first moments of Olaf, it’s a really
unique way to revisit the scenes and think about the people who animated the scenes on the movie and then how it all ties in.” She continued, “One of my favorite parts on this was I got to animate the moment, the last scene where Olaf walks over the hill approaching Anna and Kristoff… It was amazing. But when you’re animating it and you realize this is the moment right before he walks into Kristoff and Anna’s life and changes them forever and changes all of us forever, really… So I think it was very special to me.”
Becky also shared insight into how the team decided to add nods to the original film, but this time using Olaf’s perspective and how he came to love Summer despite never knowing what it was. “When really diving into what the short was going to be and how it was going to weave in and out of the first film, we watched the first film, especially the sequence, from when Elsa creates him during Let It Go, to when Anna and Kristoff and Sven meet him in the forest. We watched that over and over and over and over and over again. What little things can we weave in there that makes sense or that would answer questions or whatever? And, one of them I always had was like, “Well, he is obsessed with summer, yet he doesn’t know he would melt. How does that work? How does he know what summer is? He was just created and stuff.” So, there was a very logical explanation for that. And we see it in this little short. It just, it kind of wrote itself, it made sense that it would be in there.“
We are very excited for the premiere of Once Upon a Snowman and feel fans of the franchise will enjoy the way the short film weaves together Olaf’s previously untold origin story along with the story we all know and love. You can check out the official trailer for Once Upon a Snowman in the video featured below:
Be sure to check back here at Chip and Co. for updates and all things Disney+!
Featured Photo Credit – Source: Disney/Disney+