Kai is a minor character in Disney's 2013 animated feature film Frozen and its 2019 sequel. He is the steward of Arendelle Castle and a trusted advisor to Elsa. He later becomes the advisor to Anna after she becomes the new queen of Arendelle.
Kai was born in a kingdom called Snoob, where he grew up alongside his brother, Karl. At some undetermined time, Kai left Snoob and came to work at the Arendelle castle during the reign of King Runeard. Following Runeard's unexpected death in the Enchanted Forest, his teenage son, Prince Agnarr, was named the new king of Arendelle, though an advisor named Lord Peterssen acted as the kingdom's regent since Agnarr was not yet of age to rule. Kai remained a member of the staff for many years in which he served Agnarr during the latter's unofficial and official kinghood, his marriage to his wife Iduna, and the births and childhoods of the princesses, Elsa and Anna. Throughout these years, Kai remained in touch with his family until Agnarr ordered for the castle gates to be closed, thus terminating any contact between the outside world and the castle's inhabitants.
As the chief assistant of Agnarr and Iduna, Kai is diligent and loyal. When not tending to the king and queen, Kai acts as the caretaker of Elsa and Anna. Following Agnarr and Iduna's deaths, Kai continues to serve Arendelle as the attendant to Queen Elsa, and later to Queen Anna.
Kai is known for his strict adherence to royal protocol, bowing down to his employers upon greeting them, despite Elsa and Anna constantly insisting him to tone down the formalities. While appearing to be seemingly subservient and emotionless at first, and at times nervous, he does, however, show a warmer, relaxed side to his personality, such as whenever he gives Olaf a warm hug, and when he participates in his hometown's festivities alongside his brother. In addition, the royal family views Kai, and by extension, the other servants, as more of a friend or part of their extended family than a mere employee, as evidenced when the two sisters take the effort of coming to Snoob to reunite him with his brother in spite of the dangers they face.
Kai is featured very briefly in the film. In the beginning, he is one of the few servants who remains within the castle by orders of King Agnarr and Queen Iduna when the castle is locked away from the rest of the kingdom. During "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?", Kai can be seen aiding the couple prior to their ill-fated sea voyage. When the king and queen perish in a storm, Kai and another servant are seen veiling the royal portrait.
When the castle gates finally open for Elsa's coronation, Kai introduces the Duke of Weselton to the royal siblings at the coronation's ball, but accidentally mispronounces his home's name as "Weaseltown", leading him to be harshly corrected by the Duke.
After Elsa finally returns to Arendelle and lifts the winter curse, Kai is made aware of Hans' fate by the French dignitary. Kai then informs the Duke that Arendelle will be cutting ties with Weselton permanently, made official by Elsa herself. Much to the Duke's dismay and irritation, Kai pronounces his kingdom as "Weaseltown" once again, this time intentionally.
Kai is last seen in the film at the castle courtyard, cheering Elsa on as she creates an ice skating rink for her subjects' enjoyment. Afterward, Kai can be seen skating along the ice with a servant woman.
In the featurette, Kai is first seen tending to Christmas preparations in the castle, when he receives a surprise visit from Olaf, who bursts out of a tree. Kai chuckles, then tells him "Not yet, Olaf." He is later seen during "Ring in the Season", as Anna and Elsa prepare to bring in the Yule bell to kick off the holidays. Near the climax, Kai, Anna, and Elsa learn from Sven that Olaf has gotten lost in the woods and is being chased by hungry wolves. When they find the snowman, Olaf reveals that he had been on a mission to find holiday traditions for Elsa and Anna. This kicks off a party in the woods, attended by all of Arendelle.
Kai appears briefly after the film's prologue, informing Elsa about the guests who just arrived at the castle. After Elsa awakens the spirits of the Enchanted Forest, Kai emerges from the castle with Anna and other servants just in time to see the water in the fountains drying up. He is then later shown standing beside Oaken on the cliffs above Arendelle as Elsa saves the kingdom from the tidal wave released by the destruction of the dam in the forest. At the end of the film, Kai introduces Anna as the new Queen of Arendelle.
Olaf's Frozen Adventure
- Kai is named after one of the protagonists of the original Snow Queen tale by Hans Christian Andersen, by which Frozen was inspired. In the original story, Kai (or Kay) was the imperiled best friend (brother in some interpretations) of Gerda, a brave heroine determined to rescue him from the Snow Queen.
- Frozen: Reunion Road Part One, by Dark Horse Comics
- Frozen II: The Deluxe Junior Novelization, pp. 13-14
- Dangerous Secrets, p. 33
- Dangerous Secrets, p. 37
- Forest of Shadows, p. 41