Elsa Was Originally Frozen's Villain (& Had A Different Look)

Disney's Frozen originally had plans to make Elsa the villain of the story and give her an entirely different look. In the lead up to the film's release in 2013, no one knew just how big of a hit Disney had on their hands with their latest princess fairytale story. Frozen followed Elsa, the Queen of Arendelle, and her struggle to keep her ice powers a secret from everyone - including her sister, Anna.

The movie quickly became a cultural phenomenon once it arrived in theaters. It included the year's breakout song "Let It Go," which was played on repeat for months to come, and had instant merchandising appeal. Every kid wanted to build their own snowman with an Olaf toy, while Anna and Elsa became household names quickly. All of this has made the arrival of Frozen 2 later this year highly anticipated, especially as the trailers show a more grown-up tone and Elsa training to master her abilities.

Related: Frozen 2: Everything You Need to Know About The Disney Sequel

All of the attention and success that Frozen received makes it nearly impossible to imagine the movie happening any other way. However, early discussions for the film had some significant differences with Elsa's character - most notably the fact that she was originally going to be the villain. This would not only change her entire story, but also would've given Elsa a darker look as well. This redesign and many more can be seen in the latest Screen Rant video featured at the top of this post.

Frozen Elsa Original Design

The Frozen story is loosely based around Hans Christian Andersen's short story "The Snow Queen," which is where the idea for Elsa being the villain came from. Elsa's powers are modeled around those of the Snow Queen, who serves as the antagonist of the original story. This version of Frozen would've seen Elsa with short, spikey, black hair instead of the long, blonde hair look she received. Her attire would've also changed to have more neutral colors instead of having the icy dress that she wears throughout most of Frozen. As the villain of the film, this would've also meant that Elsa would not be Anna's sister in this version of the story.

Thankfully, the decision was made to move away from this approach to Frozen, and the necessary changes were made to make it feel like a more traditional Disney princess film. While that decision could've been second-guessed if Frozen wasn't well-received, the critical and financial success proves that Disney made the right move. The movie wasn't only a hit for a few months during its theatrical run either, as it has maintained a strong presence in pop culture six years later. That isn't something that most movies can say with confidence, and the Frozen cycle should only be strengthened with the release of the sequel this holiday season.

MORE: Frozen 2 Theory: Anna & Elsa's Parents Are Alive

Key Release Dates
  • Frozen II (2019) release date: Nov 22, 2019
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