Although Disney’s “Frozen” was released nearly four years ago, it’s as fresh in our memories as the lyrics to “Let It Go.” But would the film have been as successful had it retained its original ending?
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the film’s producer, Peter Del Vecho, reflected on the process of creating “Frozen,” and revealed what was originally set to be the animated movie’s conclusion.
“So when we started off, Anna and Elsa were not sisters. They weren’t even royal,” Del Vecho shared. “So Anna was not a princess. Elsa was a self-proclaimed Snow Queen, but she was a villain and pure evil — much more like the Hans Christian Andersen tale. We started out with an evil female villain and an innocent female heroine, and the ending involved a big epic battle with snow monsters that Elsa had created as her army,” he said.
In the original ending, Prince Hans ends up being the real villain, who triggers a massive avalanche and ignores the fact that the storm also puts Anna, Elsa, and all of Arendelle at risk. Anna must convince Elsa to help save the kingdom.
However, Del Vecho and the team eventually realized that the ending wasn’t original enough — in fact, they felt like it was something they had seen before. “It wasn’t satisfying,” Del Vecho said. “We had no emotional connection to Elsa — we didn’t care about her because she had spent the whole movie being the villain.”
Anna and Elsa’s characters were both changed after this epiphany, which led to modifications to the final act.
“One of the things Chris Buck had in most versions of the film was a moment where Anna’s heart was frozen and needed to be thawed,” Del Vecho said. “Chris said, ‘Does it always need to be true love’s kiss that solves that problem? Does it always have to be the man who comes in and rescues the female? Could it be something different?’ and that led to a different ending.”