- “I'm Olaf and I like warm hugs!”
Olaf is a major character in Disney's 2013 animated feature film Frozen and its 2019 sequel. He is a benevolent, wisecracking snowman that was enchanted with life by Elsa. Along with the ability to reassemble his body, his most prominent quirk is his love for summer and all things hot.
- 1 Background
- 2 Appearances
- 3 Printed Media
- 4 Video games
- 5 Musical
- 6 Disney Parks
- 7 Relationships
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Trivia
- 10 References
- 11 External links
- He's Olaf and he likes warm hugs. Sprung from Elsa's magical powers, Olaf is by far the friendliest snowman to walk the mountains above Arendelle. His innocence, outgoing personality, and uncanny ability to disassemble himself at good and not-so-good times lead to some awkward, albeit laughable moments. He may also have the world's most impossible dream, but what he doesn't know won't melt him—or will it?
In early versions of the movie, Olaf was supposed to be one of the first guards of Elsa's palace when the concept of Elsa controlling a legion of menacing snowmen was still in the story (notably, the only snowman minion to remain in the film would be Marshmallow). Chris Buck compared that version of the character to a trial run of someone's first pancake where the cook throws out the pancake after the cook finds out that it is burnt on the bottom.
In this version of the film, according to Jennifer Lee, Olaf was acerbic and often came off as mean-spirited as his attitude and persona greatly differed from what he would become in the final project. This actually led Jennifer Lee to advise the filmmakers to revamp the character entirely once she came onto the project.
In order to keep him from getting too complex, Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee wanted Olaf to have a childlike innocence. Akin when a child makes a snowman for the first time where the heads are never perfect and the body is disproportionate. That was the idea for the directors when they were thinking about what kids would think of a snowman.
Olaf had to earn his place in the film. Jennifer Lee says that he could not just be thrown in, that he had to have a purpose, and one of his purposes is that he is the embodiment of the love between Elsa and Anna.
- “When Elsa flees Arendelle...she starts playing with the very magic she's been hiding for so long. The snowman she creates comes from memories of the happy times she shared with Anna when they were young. Olaf represents that pure innocence and childhood joy.”
- ―Jennifer Lee, Frozen screenwriter
Olaf is an excessively benevolent snowman—optimistic, outgoing, and welcoming to all of whom he meets. The living embodiment of the bond between Anna and Elsa, and the memories of their youth, Olaf retains the childlike whimsy that surrounded the girls during their earliest days together, prior to their enforced separation. As such, he is childlike, far from a deep intellectual, innocent, and a hint too naïve for his own good at times. Nevertheless, his imbued nature and devotion to the two sisters play an instrumental role in rekindling their broken relationship. The circumstances of his creation also result in the snowman harboring aspects and traits both sisters give off. Like Elsa, Olaf is selfless, constantly putting his safety at risk for the sake of those he cares about; most notably Anna, whom he immediately attaches himself to, upon their first meeting. Like the younger sister, Olaf is an extreme optimist, often remaining relatively calm in perilous situations, or giving words of encouragement during the darkest hours.
He has an odd fascination for summer, possibly because young Elsa made him a snowman who loves warm hugs, and according to Olaf, he sometimes fantasizes about what summer would be like for a snowman, completely unaware of the consequences of his ambitious dream, making the poor snowman hapless.
Aside from his dominantly goofy side, Olaf is shown to have some intelligence to him, seen during his time with Anna in the third act. Here, it is he who teaches Anna the true meaning of love, stating it is the act of putting someone else's needs before your own. After the climax, when Anna sacrifices herself for Elsa, thus breaking the icy curse, Olaf was the first to realize Anna's sacrifice was an act of true love (as it did not have to be romantic), and that act is what saved the kingdom. He is also not as oblivious as he seems, as he was quite skeptical about the trolls at first, when he thought they were mere rocks, even, out of love, urging Anna to run, believing Kristoff was delusional and potentially dangerous.
Olaf is also prone to making considerably sassy remarks in several scenes; the most notable example arguably being his jab at Kristoff, calling the mountain man a "funky-looking donkey" upon their first meeting. It should be noted that, due to his innocence, Olaf likely makes such remarks without any realization of the slight impudence, meaning he's merely speaking his mind and giving a genuine thought.
Olaf is a small snowman divided into three balls of snow (five, if one counts his legs), though he has the ability to rearrange his appearance at will. Three black rocks modeled as buttons are on his body, one on his midsection and two on his backside. Underneath his backside are two stubs of snow that serve as his legs or feet for moving around. He has two stick arms and three twigs on his head that resemble small strands of hair. On each arm are four fingers. His head takes up a third of his body and is oval-shaped with a stretched face. The snow around the top of his mouth is shaped to resemble a buck tooth. In between his eyes and mouth is a carrot nose. When he was inanimate, his eyes were also made of rock. However, when living, his eyes are realistic with black pupils. He also has eyebrows above them. Olaf's body parts are also capable of autonomy and can be rearranged or separated from Olaf without any harm happening to him.
When Anna and Elsa were children, Elsa would use her snow magic to play with Anna. A favorite pastime activity for the two sisters was building snowmen. On one such occasion, Elsa helped Anna build their own snowman to play with, which Elsa would name him Olaf. After accidentally harming Anna with her powers, Elsa has an emotional meltdown which causes the snowman to crumble. Many years later, Elsa would exile herself from Arendelle after her snow magic was discovered and deemed dangerous. In the midst of embracing her abilities at her new ice palace home, Elsa recreates Olaf, but because of her greatly strengthened abilities, he is enchanted and given a mind and will of his very own, though Elsa was oblivious of her newfound creation. However, the enchanted Olaf has no memory of the moments spent with Anna and Elsa as a lifeless snowman years ago.
Olaf then wanders around the mountains alone and blissfully lost, until he bumps into Anna, Kristoff, and Sven the reindeer, who seek Elsa. Though initially phased by him, Anna warms up to the snowman and decides to complete him with a carrot nose. Anna recognizes Olaf from her past, and assumes it was Elsa who built him, to which he confirms. Kristoff then tells Olaf of their mission to bring back summer. Excited over the idea of summer, Olaf offers to guide the group to Elsa's palace, though Anna refrains from telling him about the dangers of summer for a snowman, so not to disappoint, leaving Olaf comically in the dark. After a short journey, Olaf and the others find Elsa's ice palace. Anna, however, request that Olaf and Kristoff remain outside for a minute to allow her and Elsa some privacy. After counting to sixty, Olaf rushes inside to greet Elsa. His presence proves there is love and beauty in her powers, and remind her of the joyful moments she spent with Anna. However, Elsa's trauma overwhelms her, and she orders Anna to return home for her own safety. Anna refuses to leave, but her stubbornness only makes Elsa more uncomfortable, causing the latter to lose control of her powers and accidentally strike Anna in the heart.
In order to keep them away, Elsa creates a personal bodyguard named Marshmallow, a giant snowman. Olaf is thrilled to see another enchanted snowman but is immediately kicked out along with Anna and Kristoff. The harming of Olaf angers Anna, and the princess fiercely (or as fierce as she can seem) throws a snowball at the snow beast, provoking him and leading to a chase. Olaf tells the gang to move ahead as he will distract him, but with his body dismembered and runs to follow Sven (who ends up having his tongue stuck to the ice staircase, but managed to extricate) runs into a opposite direction, that immediately proves to be difficult. Anna and Kristoff reach the cliff of a mountain and begin making a snow anchor to lower themselves down safely. Olaf meets up with them seconds before Marshmallow, and tries his luck again in taming the monster, but to no avail. Marshmallow continues his pursuit for Anna and Kristoff, but Olaf tries to battle him, leading the smaller snowman to be kicked over the cliff edge, leaving Anna and Kristoff to be captured by Marshmallow, only to escape due to Anna's quick thinking, causing them both to plummet down alongside Olaf, though they all survive.
Once they recover their energy, Sven found them much to Olaf's delight by saying "Who's my cute little reindeer?" and Kristoff notices Anna's hair turning white, rather alarmingly. To help, he takes the gang to a valley inhabited by trolls. Upon arriving in the valley, Anna and Olaf only see what seem to be inanimate rocks. Judging Kristoff to be insane, Olaf urges Anna to run while he distracts him just before the trolls finally reveal themselves. Pabbie warns Anna that if she does not perform an act of true love, she will freeze to death. Believing a kiss from Anna's fiancé will break the curse, the group returns to Arendelle. Along the way, Olaf is separated from the group and informs them that he will meet with them at the castle. When he arrives, he finds Anna in the library, on the ground and quickly dying. After starting a fire to keep the princess warm, Olaf learns that Hans was never really her true love, forcing them to think of an alternative solution. As they do, Anna expresses her grief, claiming she doesn't know what "love" truly is. Olaf replies by explaining that true love is the act of putting someone else's needs before your own, using Kristoff as an example, thus revealing the latter's true feelings to an unsuspecting Anna. Unfortunately, the heat of the fireplace begins to take its toll on Olaf, as he quickly begins to melt. He nevertheless refuses to abandon Anna in her time of need, proving she's capable of being loved after all.
Knowing Kristoff is truly the one that loves Anna, Olaf and Anna head out to meet him. However, a powerful gale blows Olaf away. Once he reunites with everyone, he finds Elsa mourning for Anna, who unfortunately froze to death after sacrificing her life to save Elsa from Hans. As Olaf mourns, Anna miraculously returns to life. Olaf notes that Anna's self-sacrifice for her sister was an "act of true love". His words help Elsa realize that love is the key to controlling her ability, leading her to thaw Arendelle and restore summer. Though overjoyed, Olaf starts to melt due to the summer heat. Elsa restores him and gives him a small flurry cloud to hover over his body and keep him completely cool, finally allowing the snowman to live his dream of experiencing summer. During the epilouge celebration, Olaf is seen throughout the village enjoying the sights and sounds of the warm season, taking a whiff of some flowers. The pollen causes him to sneeze, however, and his carrot nose lands directly into Sven's mouth. The reindeer does not hesitate to suck it up, saddening the snowman. However, this was only a playful trick, and Sven immediately places the carrot back onto Olaf's face, where it belongs, delighting Olaf. Olaf is last seen in the castle courtyard, enjoying the newly made ice skating rink created by Elsa for the kingdom's enjoyment.
In Frozen Fever, Anna's birthday has arrived, and Elsa is determined to make the day perfect for her sister. A mischievous Olaf takes a bite, only to be told he's not allowed to, by Elsa, as the cake is for Anna and must remain in one piece until the princess' arrival. Understanding, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven are then left in charge to keep the courtyard intact until Elsa returns with Anna. Some time afterward, miniature snow-babies (known as Snowgies) randomly appear, and instantly catch Olaf's attention. Though the snowman is fascinated and excited by the sight of new "little brothers", the Snowgies soon begin causing a mess of things and eventually make the birthday cake their target. Kristoff is able to use his swift movements to protect the cake, using Olaf's head as a weapon to knock them over. The Snowgies then tear down the "Happy Birthday" banner. Olaf volunteers to manage it, but with disastrous results. By the time Anna and Elsa finally arrive at the courtyard, the Snowgies have been tamed, and Olaf excitedly welcomes the princess of honor and unveils the surprise party attended by several friends and citizens of the kingdom.
At the end of the short, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven travel to Elsa's ice palace in the North Mountain, to have the Snowgies reside with Marshmallow. As Olaf walks them into their new home, he has appeared to have taken a shine to the Snowgies, even giving them names.
Olaf is the central character in this holiday special. When Christmas arrives in Arendelle, Anna and Elsa plan a surprise party for the kingdom at the castle. Olaf is particularly excited to start the festivities, but when it comes time for the party to begin, all the guests leave after the annual ringing of the Yule bell in the castle courtyard. They explain that they are leaving to partake in their own holiday traditions with their families, saddening Anna and Elsa. The two sisters come to realize that their isolation had robbed them of any holiday traditions of their own, which Elsa feels guilt for. Olaf, however, enlists Sven to journey throughout Arendelle and learn from the populace of all the traditions the season has to offer. Once enough information is gathered, the two make their way back to the castle, though a mishap with Kristoff's sleigh separates the two, and destroys all the holiday-related keepsakes in the process. With only a fruitcake, Olaf journeys into the woods, and is attacked by vicious wolves while traversing through. He narrowly escapes them, but loses the fruitcake shortly thereafter to a hawk.
Depressed at having failed Anna and Elsa, Olaf wanders into the night, alone, and figures it'd be best to remain lost. Meanwhile, Sven had informed Kristoff, Anna, Elsa and Kai of Olaf's encounter with the wolves, and a search party is organized to find the missing snowman. After much searching, the royal sisters come across the downhearted Olaf, who apologizes for failing in his mission. Anna and Elsa reveal that they do have a tradition on their own: Olaf. As the two explain, Anna created gifts based on the snowman they built when they were younger and presented them to Elsa each Christmas as a reminder of their childhood and the love they had for each other. The sisters then lead Olaf and their subjects onto a frozen lake beneath the northern lights to host a holiday party; at the end of which, Elsa declares that Arendelle has a new holiday tradition, all thanks to Olaf.
Olaf appears in the sequel Frozen II, where he no longer needs a permanent snow flurry, as he is now made of permafrost, and enjoys being able to freely bask in the sun year-round. Now three years old, Olaf is slightly more intelligent and mature. He has taken up reading, a hobby that has left him teeming with random trivia facts and philosophical theories. As he becomes wiser to the world, Olaf begins to fear the negative repercussions that come with change and growing older, lamenting that nothing in life is permanent. He nevertheless maintains his youthful jollity, curiosity, and naïveté.
When Arendelle is jeopardized by the spirits of the Enchanted Forest, he joins Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Sven on a dangerous journey into the forest to try to discover the source of the mysterious voice that is calling to Elsa. Along the way, he annoys the group with random trivia facts, such as that water has memory and that wombats poop squares until Kristoff shuts him up by telling him that it's been reported that silence on long journeys is good for mental health.
In the Enchanted Forest, he gets separated from the group. Scared by the various strange forces in the forest, he sings the song "When I Am Older" to try to reassure himself that someday he won't be frightened by the things that are scaring him now. He is then swept up by the wind spirit Gale, but Elsa manages to calm Gale with her magic. The group discovers a contingent of the royal guards from Arendelle and the Northuldra, who have been trapped in the forest for over 30 years following a conflict between the two peoples. When Anna and Elsa are unable to properly explain themselves, Olaf takes over, acting out a heavily edited and condensed version of the events of the first film. Shortly after, the party is confronted by the fire spirit, who is eventually pacified by Elsa. Olaf and the others are then invited to rest at the Northuldran camp, where Olaf consults the local children about the prospect of aging and change.
Olaf later accompanies Anna and Elsa to the edge of the sea, where Elsa plans to journey to the Dark Sea alone. Elsa ignores Anna's protests and creates an ice boat that sends both Anna and Olaf rocketing away, into the nearby river. There, Olaf states that he is sensing anger and after a short while realizes that it is his own anger he is sensing, an unfamiliar feeling for him. Anna assures him that he has every right to be angry. The two evade the Earth Giants and navigate to a shore with an entrance to a cave. Inside the cave, Anna receives a message from Elsa, revealing the truth of the events that led to their journey into the forest - that King Runeard betrayed the people of the Northuldra by building a dam to sap their magic and then murdered the Northuldra leader when he was unarmed and let his guard down. Unfortunately, Elsa's discovery of the truth also resulted in her becoming a frozen statue. Without Elsa's magic, Olaf slowly fades away to nothing, but before doing so tells Anna that she must go on without him and do the next right thing. Anna and Olaf share one last hug before Olaf fades away, turning into a pile of snow, leaving Anna devastated.
Despite her grief in losing Elsa and Olaf, Anna summons the power of the Earth Giants to destroy the dam and Elsa is freed. She stops the rush of water from destroying Arendelle and returns to the Enchanted Forest. There, she uses her magic to restore Olaf, as water has memory. She remains behind as the fifth spirit of the Enchanted Forest, while Olaf and the others return to Arendelle. Olaf joins Kristoff and Sven with getting all dressed up for Anna's coronation as the new Queen of Arendelle, before attending the ceremony as Anna and newly-promoted General Mattias unveil a new statue of Agnarr and Iduna to honor their memory and the new unity between Arendelle and the Enchanted Forest. Following the film's credits, Olaf re-tells the events of the film to Marshmallow and the Snowgies in the same way he recapped the first film for those in the Enchanted Forest.
In this midquel short film taking place during the events of Frozen, it is shown that Olaf was brought to life during the events of the musical number "Let It Go". Shortly after the song resumes, Olaf finds himself alive, exploring the world around him. He later approaches Wandering Oaken's and the barn next door, where he hears Kristoff singing the musical number "Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People". Arriving at the store, Anna opens the door, hitting Olaf without noticing the talking snowman. Olaf walks inside and approaches Oaken, saying that he needs a sense of self. While looking at himself in the mirror, Olaf notices his lack of a nose, leading to Oaken asking if Olaf wants a nose. Olaf says yes, then asks if Oaken has any carrots. Oaken explains that he sold his last carrots, so he gives Olaf various objects to try for his nose, along with a pair of viewing goggles with images of summertime. Seeing Olaf's new interest in summer, Oaken gives him a summer sausage for his nose.
Almost immediately after stepping out of Oaken's store, a pack of wolves chase Olaf through the woods until they come across Anna, Kristoff, and Sven, then begin chasing them instead. Throughout the chase, and even after he escapes them, Olaf's body parts disassemble and tumble around until he finally falls off a cliff and into a ravine. His body now properly assembled again, Olaf quickly expresses dismay when his sausage nose snaps in half. Then he notices a nearby carrot fall on the ground, but then Kristoff's sled falls on it, causing an incineration and explosion with such force that it knocks Olaf back. Meanwhile, a nearby wolf approaches Olaf, looking at the sausage while whimpering in hunger, so Olaf empathetically offers the wolf the sausage. After eating the sausage, the wolf happily licks and snuggles with Olaf before it leaves. Olaf notes that the snuggle felt just like a warm hug, which makes him recall the words Elsa spoke for him and Anna's responses when they created him during their childhood. In joy, Olaf finally realizes his own name, and that he likes warm hugs.
Olaf makes a guest appearance in the Sofia the First episode "The Secret Library: Olaf and the Tale of Miss Nettle", where he is called upon by the Amulet of Avalor to assist Princess Sofia in her latest crisis; an evil fairy named Miss Nettle has been stealing the flowers of Freezenburg for unknown purposes. Unfortunately, the summoning of Olaf was a result of a glitch within the amulet, which was damaged by Nettle to prevent Sofia from using its power to foil her plans. As a result of this, instead of a princess, Olaf was brought forth, and though the snowman tries to return home, he finds himself unable to do so, again due to the amulet's damage. Trapped with Sofia, Olaf accompanies the young princess on her mission, during which he unknowingly provides useful advice by encouraging Sofia to push on with her quest to defeat Nettle, despite a lack of magic—using Anna as an example of a powerless human accomplishing the impossible by relying on perseverance.
After it's revealed that Nettle stole the flowers because they originally belonged to and were stolen from her, Olaf advises Sofia to use kindness and love to hopefully reform Nettle, as opposed to defeating her, as the entire situation was a massive misunderstanding. Sofia does so by informing the King of Freezenburg about the misunderstanding, who in turns commissions a festival honoring Nettle as the fairy responsible for providing the only flowers capable of growing in their eternally snowy kingdom. A touched Nettle reforms as a result, and fixes Sofia's amulet as a token of gratitude. With the power of the amulet restored, Olaf begins to magically return to Arendelle, bidding goodbye to Sofia and openly hoping for the amulet to break again, so that he may someday return to visit.
Before Frozen's initial premiere, Olaf starred in the animated short used as the teaser trailer for the film. Here, Olaf loses his carrot nose, which is attracted by Sven. A race for the carrot then ensues, though Olaf quickly learns that Sven was only trying to help get it back. Overjoyed, Olaf thanks the reindeer, the two form a new friendship just before Sven's shedding causes Olaf to sneeze once again, though it's his head that goes flying off as opposed to the carrot.
Olaf makes a small cameo in the animated mini-series, It's a Small World: The Animated Series, in the episode "Little Birds, Frost and Pine", being built by Anna and Elsa.
In an advertisement promoting Sky Movies, Olaf makes a notable appearance sliding down a blanket of snow as he encounters the commercial's host family, only to accidentally ram into a tree. He is later seen, seconds later, alongside Anna and Elsa.
An emoticon version of Olaf appeared in the Frozen, Frozen Fever, and Olaf's Frozen Adventure entries of the As Told by Emoji short series.
In a 2015 holiday advertisement for Target, a toy version of Olaf makes a brief appearance when he encounters the kids and Bullseye the dog and comments that the "sky is awake", referring to the stars in the sky. He then watches on as the girl puts one of the stars in a light socket, turning on the lights of the gingerbread Christmas tree. He also makes a cameo in the 2016 commercial during ending of the "Toycracker" the following year.
Olaf appears in LEGO Frozen Northern Lights, accompanying Anna and Elsa on their quest to find the northern lights. He primarily provides comic relief with his wise-cracking remarks.
Although Olaf did not physically appear, he is mentioned a couple of times in season 4 of Once Upon a Time. Elsa tells her aunt Ingrid that she once created a snowman with her powers, referring to Olaf. He is referenced once more when Ingrid says she is going to create a snowman.
In this alternate take on the events of Elsa and Anna's lives, an accident when Elsa interfered as the trolls altered Anna's memory forced their parents to separate the sisters and erase all of their memories of the other. As a result, Elsa loses all memory of her powers until the deaths of her parents, which leads to her creating Olaf years earlier than she did in canon in a moment of idle experimentation with her powers. Olaf serves as Elsa's private confidante as she attempts to find out more about her vague memories of Anna; Olaf even 'remembers' Anna on occasion, even if he cannot remember who she is or her relationship to Elsa. After the discovery of his existence forces him to leave the castle, he eventually helps bring the sisters together and break the curse.
The snowman's likeness is also featured in the first Disney Infinity, as a costume for the townspeople. Anna also mentions him, when she says to wait until he sees the new world in the Toy Box and that he would like it. He was later confirmed as a playable character for Disney Infinity 3.0, but only playable in the Toy Box mode. His attacks include detaching his arm to use as a weapon, sneezing his nose off to attack enemies from afar, and a special attack based on "In Summer", where he summons the warmth of summer to melt the enemies around him, while posing in a lounge chair.
Olaf first appears in Castleton, lounging on the town's beach. Upon meeting the player, Olaf explains that he had traveled from Arendelle in search of a beach, so that he may experience warm weather. He then invites the player to sail back to Arendelle with him, and upon their arrival, introduces them to Anna, Elsa and Grand Pabbie. Throughout the remainder of the game, Olaf can be found in the marketplace.
Olaf appears in Kingdom Hearts III. He meets Sora—who is astonished by the sight of a walking, talking snowman—as well as Donald and Goofy at his grove alongside Anna, Kristoff, and Sven. Olaf is taking Anna, Kristoff, and Sven up the North Mountain to find Elsa when they encounter Sora, Donald, and Goofy. When Sora mentions having seen Elsa recently, Anna has Kristoff take Sven and Olaf away so she can talk with Sora in private. Kristoff later returns to reveal that Olaf has fallen apart and his pieces scattered, forcing Sora, Donald, and Goofy to help round his pieces up before they can resume the trip up the mountain.
Olaf later goes into Elsa's ice palace to see her with Kristoff and Anna, only to be thrown out later by Marshmallow, leaving Sora, Donald, and Goofy to distract Marshmallow to allow the others time to escape. Olaf is seen again later after Sora, Donald, and Goofy have defeated Skoll, the wolf-like Heartless spawned from the darkness in Prince Hans' heart, mourning the loss of Anna after she sacrificed herself to save Elsa from Hans. However, Anna's act of true love breaks the curse on her heart, restoring her to flesh and blood, allowing Olaf to hint to Elsa what the key was to controlling her powers and ending Arendelle's winter she created. During the closing credits, Olaf is enjoying sledding down the mountain with Anna and Kristoff, only to then be shown to the sisters later by Marshmallow with having fallen to pieces again, but Olaf soon is able to put himself back together.
Olaf stars in the side-scrolling game, Frozen: Olaf's Quest, where he crosses the Norwegian terrains in search of flowers to give to Anna.
Olaf is also a companion character in Frozen Free Fall. He is unlocked upon reaching level 111. His special ability is "Hot Chocolate", which enables him to melt a selected tile, and every tile under it.
Costumes of Olaf also featured in the Club Penguin episode, "Frozen Party", and LittleBigPlanet as part of the "Frozen Costume Pack". It should be noted that in Penguin, Olaf himself also makes a special guest appearance.
In the stage adaptation of Frozen, Olaf is brought to life by a puppet designed by veteran Michael Curry, and controlled by actor Greg Hildreth, who originated the role. He is first created during Anna and Elsa's song "A Little Bit of You", and is imbued with life sometime after Elsa's self-exile (he is not created during "Let It Go", as the song takes place after Olaf's introduction in the stage version).
While singing a reprise of "A Little Bit of You", Olaf encounters Anna and Kristoff by chance. Unlike the film, the enchanted Olaf retains his memories as he immediately recognizes Anna and reminds her of how she and Elsa created him when they were younger.
After an unsuccessful attempt to bring Elsa back to Arendelle, Olaf falls apart and sings a reprise of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" as Anna and Kristoff piece him back together. In the Denver workshop tryouts for the show, this scene had Olaf sing a vaudevillian number with Anna and Kristoff called "When Everything Falls Apart", in which an optimistic Olaf teaches Anna how to remain strong in times of trouble. However, this song was cut when the show made its way to Broadway.
During the winter season, Olaf was the host of the winter rendition of World of Color in Disney California Adventure.
A puppet version of Olaf also appears in Frozen: Live at the Hyperion.
His meet-and-greet spot was at "Olaf's Snow Fest", which was located within Stage 17 of Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure.
Olaf is currently making meet-and-greet appearances with Kristoff in the Disneyland park.
In Magic Kingdom, Olaf also makes an appearance being built by young Anna and Elsa in the Frozen segment of Celebrate the Magic, as well as on board the opening float for the Festival of Fantasy Parade. He currently makes an appearance with Anna and Elsa in Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire.
Throughout the summer season, Olaf serves as a co-host (along with Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff) of the Frozen Summer Fun! event at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Olaf also has a cameo during the bubble montage scene in Fantasmic!, alongside Anna and Elsa. In spring of 2016, he began making regular meet-and-greet appearances at the park.
Olaf, Anna, and Elsa were added to the Tokyo Disneyland version of It's a Small World when the attraction reopened in 2018.
In Hong Kong Disneyland, Olaf appears in the show Mickey and the Wondrous Book as a puppet, performed in Storybook Theater. The show is set when Mickey opens a magical book that can bring stories to life in a magical library, which Olaf falls out from. While Mickey tries to get the snowman back inside, the former is magically drawn into the book. From here, Mickey sets out to find Olaf's story after discovering the magic of the book and the power of its stories. Finally, Mickey and Goofy come across the story of Frozen and restore Olaf to his rightful place.
In Shanghai, an animatronic Olaf is featured during the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration show in the Fantasyland theater. Olaf can also be spotted on the Frozen mosaic mural inside of the Enchanted Storybook Castle. In Mickey's Storybook Express, Olaf makes a live appearance on the Frozen float, riding a sled being pulled by Sven.
- In the film, Olaf represents the happiness Elsa and Anna shared as young children. His desire to experience summer is symbolic of how Elsa wants to return to the old days of her childhood with her sister as her best friend.
- Olaf's very creation is an expression of how hard Elsa's self-imposed isolation from Anna was on her. The first voluntary act she performs with her power (as soon she decides to "let it go"), is to build the snowman that Anna spent those long years begging her to make with her. As she creates him, she sings the words "Can't hold it back anymore", revealing how dearly she always wanted to go play with her sister whenever she was asked. It is possible that the sheer intensity of this long held desire was what brought Olaf to life, and if so, Elsa's later surprise when she discovers Olaf is alive may indicate that she never even admitted to herself how just badly she wanted to rekindle her friendship with Anna.
- The destruction of the original Olaf marked the precise moment that Elsa and Anna's happy childhood friendship came to an end. Also, original Olaf, much like Anna and Elsa's friendship, was destroyed by Elsa's power running amok due to her internal personal distress.
- Olaf may have been inspired by "The Snowman", another Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, where the eponymous snowman falls in love with a warm stove, but cannot be with it because he would melt from it. As a result, he does not enjoy the cold weather. Eventually, the weather changes, causing the snowman to melt away. Other possible inspirations include Der Schneemann, a 1944 German short where a snowman dreams of seeing the summer, and, upon fulfilling his dream, melts while singing and dancing among the flowers, as well as the French series Bouli, telling the adventures of a melted snowman that had been magically restored to a form both alive and immune to melting again.
- In the film, Olaf's elbows were specifically animated to never move with the exception of his fantasy sequence during "In Summer".
- Olaf was specially designed to appear as if a child had created him, with an uneven shape and such, which is a reference to how Elsa models him at the beginning of Frozen when she and Anna are young.
- The animation and staging of the scene between Olaf and Sven during the epilogue of the film is similar to the teaser trailer's animation and staging, right down to Olaf's exclaiming, "Hello!"
- Early on in the film, when Anna and Elsa were seen as kids, Anna tells Elsa "the sky's awake." Olaf would later say this to Sven when they enter the Valley of the Living Rock. Also, as kids, Elsa helped Anna ice-skating with Olaf. Then by the end of the film, Olaf helps Anna ice-skating with Elsa. These are likely to reflect the childhood Anna and Elsa once shared.
- His role resembles that of the sparrows that assist Gerda in "The Snow Queen".
- Olaf's name came from an old Norse name "Aleifr", which means "ancestor's descendant" (referring to the fact that Olaf is Elsa's "descendant"), and is Nordic for "treasure". It is also pronounced "oh, laugh", referring to his role as comic relief.
- Before "In Summer", Olaf had a song titled "Hot Hot Ice", which was eventually scrapped.
- In Frozen Fever, it is revealed that Olaf cannot spell or read.
- in Olaf's Frozen Adventure, it is shown that Olaf wrote notes of the various traditions in the Kingdom of Arendelle; but since this happens during Anna and Elsa's first Christmas since the latter became Queen, so before Frozen Fever, which is set during the following summer, it's not clear how much illiterate Olaf is.
- It is also possible, however, that Olaf was not really writing, but that he was simply making scribbles that made sense to him, as when in Frozen Fever, he had badly assembled the letters of Anna's birthday banner.
- By the events of Frozen II, Olaf learned how to read.
- in Olaf's Frozen Adventure, it is shown that Olaf wrote notes of the various traditions in the Kingdom of Arendelle; but since this happens during Anna and Elsa's first Christmas since the latter became Queen, so before Frozen Fever, which is set during the following summer, it's not clear how much illiterate Olaf is.
- Olaf cannot feel pain - when he walks onto an ice spike, resulting in the spike passing through his mid-section, he merely looks down and says "Oh, look at that. I've been impaled." and giggles. However, he can feel some pain, shown when Anna accidentally pushed in his carrot nose too hard. He seems to be ticklish when Kristoff pushed him away from Sven. Despite being made of snow, Olaf has human abilities, such as sleeping, eating (despite lacking a digestive system), breathing (despite having no lungs), and senses of smell, taste (despite not having taste buds), sound, touch, and sight.
- John Lasseter, the Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios, was used as a performance reference for Olaf's line "He's craaazy..."
- In order to accurately animate Olaf's walk cycle to mimic the way a child would move, Olaf's supervising animator, Hyrum Osmond, used his son as a reference during production.
- Olaf is the only major Frozen character that did not appear on Once Upon a Time. The reason for this is because the creators of Once felt he would not fit into the story they were going to tell on the show.
- Olaf is the first guest Disney character that was not a princess to appear in the show Sofia the First, as well as being the first male summoned by the Amulet of Avalor.
- During renovations of the Walt Disney Animation Studios building, beginning in 2014, Olaf was one of the character silhouettes featured on the wall mural.
- In 2017, an Olaf balloon was featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade—designed by Chris Buck.
- Olaf's personal snow flurry only appears on warm days. It does not appear when it's cold outside.
- In Frozen II, he continuously states that water has memory. Elsa learns more about her and Anna's heritage by freezing certain water.
- Olaf is great at charades due to his ability to rearrange his body parts.
- A book titled The Secret Admirer says that Olaf was aware of Prince Hans' actions against Anna and Elsa, and has been noted to have a dislike for the prince as a result. This is further shown in Frozen II.
- According to a special edition of People magazine, Olaf enjoys stargazing and dancing.
- Some of the random facts that Olaf states are:
- Water has memory.
- Men are six times more likely to be struck by lightning.
- Gorillas burp when they're happy.
- We blink 4 million times a day.
- Wombats poop squares.
- Turtles breathe through their butts.
- Even though Olaf did not cameo in Ralph Breaks the Internet, he still appears on a wallpaper with Vanellope and Elsa for the movie.
- Flaherty, Keely (September 7, 2016). "There's Going To Be A Very Weird Easter Egg in Moana". Buzzfeed.
- "Scriptnotes, Ep 128: Frozen with Jennifer Lee — Transcript" (Transcript). johnaugust.com. John August (February 1, 2014).
- Ridgely, Charlie (June 14, 2019). "Frozen 2 to Have 3-Year Time Jump, New Scene Details Revealed". comicbook.com.
- Slater, Shawn (February 16, 2016). "All-New Character Experiences with Olaf and Mickey & Minnie Coming Soon to Disney’s Hollywood Studios" (Blog). Disney Parks.
- "Olaf and Kristoff’s New Hosting Gig is Gonna Get You Pumped". Oh My Disney (March 2, 2016).
- Inside the Magic (August 16, 2015). "Robert Lopez reveals unused Olaf song "Hot Hot Ice" at Frozen FANdemonium, D23 Expo 2015" (Video). YouTube.
- The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic
- Hibberd, James (July 17, 2014). "'Once Upon a Time' showrunners spill 'Frozen' secrets (no Olaf!)" (Article). Entertainment Weekly.