This post contains spoilers for Frozen.
On the opening weekend of Frozen 2, it’s time I share the hopes and dreams I had for the first Frozen.
I liked the first installment well enough. “Let It Go” was stuck in my head for weeks on end. But even though the Hans twist had me shook—how could someone so handsome, and voiced by Santino Fontana, be so evil!?—I found myself longing for an even more surprising villainous twist...
Imagine, if you will, the scene in Frozen where Olaf, the snowman come to life, waxes poetic about his dreams of summer. In fact, he shares what he imagines summer would be like in a little ditty called “In Summer”, complete with tap dancing break and a cute little seagull who is never seen or heard from again…
In case this went over your head, the irony of the song is that a snowman is singing about summertime, when the soaring temperature will without a doubt kill Olaf. HE WILL MELT. It is really dark stuff, truly.
As Olaf ends his song and dance, Kristoff says, “I’m gonna tell him”, meaning: he is going to tell Olaf that Olaf will DIE in summer. “Don’t you dare,” Anna scolds before Kristoff can break the ice (haha) to the animated snowman. Crisis averted, Olaf remains in ignorance for the rest of the film, and when the ice melts away Elsa creates some bogus eterna-cloud of snow so that Olaf can be immortal, no matter the temperature.
Well, that’s what Big Disney would want you to believe, but what if I told you that that’s not how Frozen should have ended? What if, instead of Hans being revealed as the surprise villain, the antagonist of the film was...Olaf?
Hear me out. Imagine a version of the film where Kristoff does disclose to Olaf what will happen come summer. Olaf is immediately aware of his own mortality, his biggest dream instantly transformed into his worst nightmare. If Anna and Kristoff succeed on their mission to stop the unseasonable winter spread over the land of Arendelle, Olaf will meet his untimely melted end, his brief existence just an insignificant blip in the vast history of the world.
Armed with this terrible knowledge, it becomes Olaf, not Hans, who audiences have to look out for. Sweet Olaf, so unassuming and naive; no one would suspect what he is truly capable of. He finds Elsa and manipulates her into using her power continuously. As long as she uses her ice powers, Olaf and his snowmen brothers can thrive. Summer will arrive over his dead body.
Anna and Kristoff are stunned by this betrayal, but they persevere to try and thwart Olaf’s plans of an eternal winter. After a perilous journey, they meet for an epic showdown at Elsa’s ice castle.
Seemingly out of options, Anna and Kristoff plead for Olaf to have mercy on them and end the winter storm. Olaf will not listen, until Anna reminds Olaf of his childhood dream: summer.
“Don’t listen to Kristoff,” Anna says. “Summer is beautiful. You must see it, Olaf. Don’t you remember your dream?”
Olaf remembers. How could he have gotten so swept up in this false idea that he forgot his lifelong dream of summer? Graciously, he allows Elsa to melt away the frozen land and bring about summer.
As the sun’s bright rays begin to shine, Olaf takes it all in. But wait, he feels...strange. He looks at himself and discovers that he is indeed melting. Anna lied. Summer would be his doom after all. But he is all out of fight, and his dream has been realized. With one last look at the sun, Olaf embraces his mortality—and his dream—and melts away. Some twigs and a carrot nose are all that remain.
...but yeah, that probably wouldn’t help Disney sell as many toys, so….
Catch Frozen 2 in theaters now!