Disney's Frozen told the story of a snow queen who runs away from her kingdom and her sister that journies to save her. Of course, it also features a funny snowman, a helpful ice harvester, and a charming villain.
That being said, Frozen wasn't always the movie we know and love. Before Disney turns any story into a fully animated film, its studios first create concept art. These illustrations serve as inspiration for how scenes, characters, clothing, and story elements could look. Because concept art is not designed to be copied exactly, it tends to be a lot more imaginative than what we see in the final product.
Today, we're taking a look at some of Frozen's best concept art. While there is a ton more than what you'll see here, we've chosen a selection that gives you a good overview of what the film could have looked like.
Put on a sweater because it's time to head back to Arendelle.
Frozen’s lovable snowman went through a handful of revisions, and while these aren’t exactly like him, they’re still pretty cute.
You’ll instantly notice that this version of Olaf has eyes on top of his head rather on the front of his face. Additionally, he has a much larger carrot nose and additional sticks reaching out of the top of his head. Despite this, there are many traits these concept versions of Olaf share with the real deal.
These Olaf’s have the real snowman's iconic buckteeth, cute buttons, and cascading shape.
9 Elsa’s Throne Room
This piece of concept art, released by Frozen artist Victoria Ying, gives us a glimpse of a very different Elsa and her detailed ice palace.
You’ll notice right away that Elsa isn’t simply wearing her signature blue dress. She is blue. Her hair is also styled upward rather than swept to the side in a braid.
Another thing worth pointing out is the snowmen guards that hold Anna in their grip. These creatures never saw their way to the film. Quite frankly, we find Olaf much cuter.
8 Anna And Elsa's Room
This picture (also released by Victoria Ying) once again shows a blue Elsa, although this time she’s much younger. Her hair sticks out in short pigtails, and an Anna with much lighter hair sits next to her.
They appear to be playing with Elsa’s snow powers in their bedroom.
While the girls’ actual room has details reminiscent of this early one, it is much darker than the final product. Despite the light coming through the window, the whole feel of this illustration is a bit gloomy.
7 Dress Deciding
Former Disney Animation artist Claire Keane shared her own Frozen concept art. Elsa is once again blue, however, this time she is inspired by the looks of Bette Midler. Keane's drawing shows a curvy, blue Elsa alongside a tall, skinny Anna who holds up a pink dress. They stand in a room on top of a rug made from a bear.
This rendition of the snow queen looks much more devious than the Elsa we got. Her expression screams manipulative, while Anna’s instead looks unsure. Their sisterly relationship probably would have been very different in this version of the film.
Artist Minkyu Lee rendered these early versions of Kristoff. While these renditions are similar to the ice harvester we know best, there are some notable differences.
Both of these Kristoff’s have outfits that are much warmer in color than his actual dark blue pants and coat. Additionally, the Kristoff on the left has a goatee that never appears on the real character. And did you notice those hats?
These Kristoffs come off a little goofier than the real deal.
As can be seen, Hans went through just as many changes as Kristoff. Here, he has a much more pointed chin and the version of him on the left has a much curlier hairstyle. You will notice, however, that all these drawings still give him ridiculously long sideburns.
The Hans in the top-left corner sports a high collar and a bright piece of fabric tied around his neck while the one on the right sports an outfit more similar to the one Hans ultimately ended up with. The guy in the middle looks a bit less villainous than the guy on the left at first glance.
The reindeer we know and love is goofy and sweet, but it seems this wasn’t the art department’s original intention.
While the reindeer on the left looks a lot like Sven, only with bigger antlers and droopier ears, the reindeer on the right looks older and gruffer. While his coloration and proportions are reminiscent of Sven, his face is not as animated.
Though the bottom picture is partially covered, it makes Sven look a lot younger, with little antlers and a skinny body.
3 Clothing And Hair Design
As can be seen, Elsa went through a variety of costume changes before she received her iconic coronation gown and ice dress.
Elsa's early coronation gown on the left has a much fuller skirt than the one she was ultimately given. You'll also notice that the dress's color are drab and its sleeves are fringed. Elsa's high collar and cape have additionally been replaced by a chunky necklace and sash. Despite this, her braided-up hair resembles the style she ultimately received.
The sketches in the upper right corner show a snow coat Elsa does not wear in the original movie. There was no need, seeing as the cold never bothered her anyway.
Lastly, we can't leave this illustration without nodding the cute hairstyle of the kid Anna in the corner. She's adorable at all ages.
2 Hans and Anna
This picture of Hans and Anna was developed a little later in the process, however, it still imagines what their relationship could have looked like.
While the couple's outfits are the same as they are in the film, we never see them balancing on separate rocks during the "Love Is An Open Door" sequence. The closest scene in the movie that resembles this one is Hans' proposal at the finale of their duet. You'll notice Hans gets on one knee in front of a giant waterfall like this one.
1 Anna and Elsa As Kids
This beautiful sketch shows a wild-haired Elsa with her sister on a bench while they're young. Unlike much of the other concept art, this one is black and white and fully abstract. While these princesses (particularly Elsa) look a lot different than in the actual film, the spirit of their sisterly bond is fully portrayed in this sketch.
Elsa seems to be looking after Anna as a big sister by holding her hand. We can't get over how sweet it really is.