Jul 18 2014 2:30pm

Frozen on Once Upon a Time: Elsa Won’t Get a Love Interest and What Else to Expect

Frozen Once Upon a Time crossover what to expect Elsa love interest Anna Kristoff Sven Olaf Disney ABC

To the delight of some TV viewers and the chagrin of others, Frozen is the latest Disney film that ABC’s Once Upon a Time is cribbing from for season 4. They ended last season with a shot of Elsa’s retreating back, signaling that winter was indeed coming (sorry, had to) in Storybrooke. A recent paparazzi shot gave us a clearer look at Elsa in her signature dress; OUAT has also cast Anna and Kristoff.

But what will compel the royal sisters and ice harvester to leave Arendelle? And, more importantly, are we going to see some sort of twist on their recent-but-by-now-very-familiar story? OUAT’s creators sat down with Entertainment Weekly to hint at what to expect. (We’re gonna break the news to you now—no Olaf.)

Interestingly, it was creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz who approached Disney with their wacky idea of incorporating Frozen. The Mouse House, likely eager to keep the movie’s momentum going, were all too happy to oblige.

Those of you hoping to see some sort of major character reversal should continue seeking that out in fanfiction, because the showrunners are looking to play in Frozen’s universe rather than subvert any of the characters:

Horowitz: In Once Upon a Time, we’ve approached these stories in different ways. Sometimes it’s like the Peter Pan way, where there’s a complete flip on the character and that’s our twist on it. And other times it’s about how these characters that we know fit in this world on this show—and that’s more what we’re doing with Frozen. We want to be true to the characters, we don’t want to change what they were in the movie, we want to be true to what we love about them and what everybody loves about them. Instead, we want the twist to be how they fit into our universe.

Kitsis: The entire writing staff was so inspired by this film. And thematically it’s very much within what we do—the [Frozen] curse was broken with true love’s kiss, but between sisters. And if you remember, [in] season one, we did [the curse breaking with the love] between a mother and a son. And the idea of a villain who is not actually a villain—one of the things we loved about Elsa is she went away not because she was a villain, but because she didn’t want to hurt anyone and felt different. All those themes are very related to some of our characters like Emma, and Regina and Rumpelstiltskin. It was like seeing two toys on a shelf we wanted to take off and play with.

It makes sense, since OUAT’s biggest success has been in subverting archetypal characters. And Frozen’s characters, while crazy-popular, are not archetypes.

Frozen Once Upon a Time crossover what to expect Elsa love interest Anna Kristoff Sven Olaf Disney ABC

In fact, it sounds as if the showrunners really want to stick to the status quo: They clarified that Elsa will not be getting a love story of her own:

Kitsis: What’s interesting to us about Elsa is not who she falls in love with. Our show has always been about family. Love is our franchise, but most of our love has been about families coming together. What we love about Elsa is that she is uncomfortable with her power, she’s lonely, but wasn’t quite sure how to break that loneliness—it took the love of her sister. So we’re not interested in Elsa meeting someone, we’re interested in exploring her as a person, like we have with Regina the past few years.

Horowitz: We’re not planning to put Elsa on We’re more interested in what the movie explored, the relationship between sisters, and that relationship will be central to the story.

We’re torn, since obviously this upholds part of what made Frozen so special—that it values familial love over a Prince Charming and happy ending—but at the same time, it would’ve been fun to see Elsa hook up (heh) with Hook or another roguish character. Also, “do you want to build a snowman” could make a great online dating pickup line.

Bear in mind that all of this plot will also take place within a finite period of time. Kitsis compared their plans for the Frozen arc to the Storybrooke citizens’ romps in Neverland and the recent face-off against the Wicked Witch; Horowitz stressed that it’s “closed-ended.”

What do you think—are you content with OUAT continuin Frozen’s story arc, or would you have liked to see some subversion?

Photos: ABC, Disney

1. rtms
Hmmm they will ruin it for sure. They have such tackey writing on that show. They completely messed up the WWW of Oz storyline. My only hope is that neither Elsa or Anna are in any way related to the Charming Family. It's getting eye rolling at this point. And that candid dress shot for Elsa is just horrid! I really hope they are going to CGI that dress because I've seen better ones on the street than that old thing they got her in.
2. andrew Gilfellon
TBH: Once upon a time isn't as good as it used to be. Too afraid to kill of characters. The Wicked witch was a wet blanket of a villain. Every piece of dialog included her saying something with the word wicked in it. Series 3 was essentially LOST series 3. First 6 episodes with a few cast members walking around a jungle/prison, without much direction in an arc that could have been done in 2-3 episodes. Even had Rumple quoting locke Don't tell me what i can't do. Then there was the whole. "We have to go back to the island-i mean storybrooke," bit. The finale was the worst. It was just a two hour convoluted way of getting Emma to stay in town.
Dixon Davis
3. KadesSwordElanor
I have really enjoyed the OUAT mash-ups, with the exception of the Wicked Witch/OZ. I just never got into it. Maybe a Frozen mash-up will get things back on track, but I am skeptical. I know I will watch though, because of my girls. Also, I think there might be something to what @ 2 said.
4. Bluejay
If the OUAT folks say they want to explore Elsa's loneliness and discomfort with power, does that mean the Elsa storyline will take place sometime during her self-exile in the movie? Because the end of the movie pretty much seemed to resolve those issues.

Unless, of course, they make it so that the movie DIDN'T resolve those issues, and Elsa is still lonely and running away from her power and hasn't learned anything from her film adventures at all, which I would find seriously annoying.
Liz J
5. Ellisande
@4 I'd guess the first, because of the way "Elsa" rose up in the credits tag and how it was deliberately echoing the animation of "Let it go". Plus, that lets her easily be the villain for a little while and then get redeemed by Anna. So they keep the same character beats, but the plot will resolve with Storybrooke folk somehow, rather than Hans.
6. JamesPadraicR
I stopped watching with the Peter Pan storyline.
When they were flying to Neverland my thought was "Oh, are those sharks down there?"
Shelly wb
7. shellywb
It's funny how subverting archetypes has become such a cliche. I wish people would realize that and give it a rest. We've about run out of archetypes for them to use anyway, so maybe they'll have to think up things on their own.

Although then I'll bet they try subverting the subversions...
8. mutantalbinocrocodile
I fear the shark has indeed been jumped. I was holding out hope for a few weeks that the writers would have the guts to fake us out with a "Frozen"-ish image. . .and then introduce Andersen's Snow Queen as the new villain. My heart sank when I saw the stuff about "Frozen" fitting in with what they already have. That's the problem--it fits in FAR too well. A once interesting show is heading for cookie-cutter writing.

A Snow Queen who less observant readers would assume was heading for a big redemption, but who turned out to be a full-blown Andersen-style allegorical villain, however, would have been a nice shocker, and the mirror which only reflects the evil in the world would have been a great addition. I had been holding out hope since seeing that the Big Creepy Jar in the Vault of Unfired Chekov's Guns was in front of a mirror, but it's been quashed.
9. scm of 2814
Personally, I'm just curious if hey have the guts to so much as HIN at Elsanna. Mwahahahahaha!!!!!
10. Kalvent
Elsa and Hook ewwww(-_-")!!!
I stop watching this show a long time ago...even if i love frozen im not watching it.

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment