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Elsa the Snow Queen

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Elsa the Snow Queen
Background information
Feature films Frozen
Frozen 2: Burning
Wreck-it Ralph 2
Wreck-it Rachel
Television programs
Video games Disney INFINITY
Frozen: Free Fall
Park attractions World of Color
Disney Dreams!
Disney Magic on Parade
Celebrate the Magic
Portrayed by
Portrayed by
Animators
Voice Idina Menzel
Eva Bella (young Elsa)
Spencer Lacey Ganus (teenage Elsa)
International Voice
Performance model
Designer
Inspiration Kai and the Snow Queen from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, The Snow Queen
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name Queen Elsa Winterpop of Arendelle
Other names The Snow Queen
Personality Elegant, powerful, caring, fierce, reserved, regal, warm, protective
Appearance Slender, beautiful, pale skin, light freckles, rosy cheeks, platinum blonde hair, blue eyes
(Coronation): Her hair in a French braid elaborate bun, grayish-pink eye shadow, magenta lipstick, teal dress with a sweetheart bodice with bronze lacing, black sleeves, light teal gloves, black shoes, magenta cape
(as the Snow Queen): Her hair in a side-braid and wisps of her bangs slicked back on top of her head, purple eye shadow, dark pink lipstick, off-the-shoulder crystal-blue dress, long transparent glitter trail cape, ice shoes
Age 21
Birthday
Occupation Princess of Arendelle (formerly)
The Snow Queen (briefly)
Queen of Arendelle (currently)
Affiliations Good
Goal To suppress her powers for the safety of her family and subjects
Home Arendelle
Relatives Anna (younger sister)
The King and Queen of Arendelle (parents; deceased)
Sora and Mariya (younger twin siblings)
Candlehead (adoptive younger sister)
Wreck-it Ralph (husband)
Wreck-it Rachel and Wreck-it Renee (twin daughters)
Eli (youngest son)
Adorabeezle Winterpop (adoptive daughter)
Pets
Allies Anna, Pabbie, Trolls, Marshmallow, Olaf, Kristoff, Sven, Kai and Gerda, Wreck-it Ralph, Vanellope von Schweetz.
Minions Marshmallow
Enemies Hans (formerly), The Duke of Weselton and his bodyguards
Likes Her family, chocolate, having fun with her powers, bringing joy to Anna and her kingdom, Olaf, having fun with Anna, her powers (currently), Ralph, Rachel, Vanitas (currently)
Dislikes Her powers (formerly), fear, being treated as a monster, doing harm to others or those she cares about, conflicting moments with her sister, the idea of Anna marrying someone she hardly knows, Rachel sneaking out for no reason, Vanitas (formerly)
Powers and abilities Magical control over ice, frost and snow
Weapons
Fate Finally comes to peace with herself and Anna and returns to Arendelle to rightfully take her place as Queen, restoring summer and peace to the land (Frozen)
Marries Ralph and adopts Adorabeezle (Wreck-it Ralph 2)
Watches her oldest daughter kiss Vanitas (Wreck-it Rachel)
Quote "The cold never bothered me anyway."


"Conceal, don't feel. Don't let them know. Well now they know."
—Elsa talking to herself

Queen Elsa of Arendelle is the deuteragonist of the 2013 Disney animated feature Frozen and one of the tritagonists of the 2017 film Wreck-it Rachel. She is the older sister of Princess Anna and the next in line for Arendelle's throne, until her powers over ice and snow led her to become the famous Snow Queen, ruler of winter. She is voiced by Idina Menzel. Along with Anna, Elsa is set to become the 13th official member of the Disney Princess line-up.

Elsa is loosely based on the title character of The Snow Queen, a short story by Hans Christian Andersen. While the character from the original fairy tale was neutral, Elsa was rewritten as a protagonist in the Disney film adaption.

Background

Development

Voice

Broadway actress Idina Menzel, best known for performing Elphaba from Wicked, was cast to voice Elsa. Director Chris Buck believed that Menzel's vocals would help in the portrayal of the character, saying, "Idina has a sense of vulnerability in her voice. She plays a very strong character, but someone who lives in fear—so we needed someone who could portray both sides of the character, and Idina was just amazing." In an interview with Menzel, she acknowledged the similarities between Elsa and Elphaba. She mentioned they were both very powerful and misunderstood individuals, and she herself could relate to the characters, having hidden her singing talent from her peers at school. "I didn't want to alienate anyone," she explained. "If everyone was singing along in the car to a Madonna song, I didn't join in because when we're younger we're afraid of sticking out or showing off, when in fact we should own those things that make us really unique."

Characterization

Following the casting of Idina Menzel, Elsa's characterization underwent several alterations. According to Menzel, she was originally scripted as a one-dimensional antagonist but was gradually revised as a more vulnerable, multifaceted figure. Menzel further described her character as "extremely complicated and misunderstood".

Director Jennifer Lee stated that Elsa is largely driven by fear throughout the film. Producers identified the scene in which Elsa sings "Let it Go" as a pivotal point in the character's development, as the scene depicts her choice to "let go" of her fear of using her powers and be herself. Character design supervisor Bill Schwab said, "Before "Let it Go", Elsa is really buttoned up, her hair is up—everything is perfect. During the song, she gives herself permission to be who she is and everything changes—her hair is more wild, her gown is magical. She's finally free—even if she is all alone."

Lead writer Paul Briggs explained that Anna's support is what Elsa needs most when her secret is exposed. "The strength of the family bond is what makes this story so powerful because it's her sibling who's willing to look beyond her powers and stand between her and the world if that's what it takes."

Official Disney Bio

From the outside, Elsa looks poised, regal and reserved, but in reality, she lives in fear as she wrestles with a mighty secret—she was born with the power to create ice and snow. It's a beautiful ability, but also extremely dangerous. Haunted by the moment her magic nearly killed her younger sister Anna, Elsa has isolated herself, spending every waking minute trying to suppress her growing powers. Her mounting emotions trigger the magic, accidentally setting off an eternal winter that she can't stop. She fears she's becoming a monster and that no one, not even her sister, can help her.

Physical appearance

Elsa is a strikingly beautiful young woman with a tall slender figure, platinum blonde hair, blue eyes, and pale skin with a light dusting of freckles (a trait she shares with her sister, Anna). She has the face of her mother, as during her coronation, she bore a striking resemblance to the Queen, albeit with a different hair color. In her pre-Snow Queen state, she wore a teal dress with a sweetheart bodice with bronze lacing, black sleeves and magenta cape, and her hair was kept back in an elaborate bun. She also wore gloves all the time to contain her powers.

In her Snow Queen state, Elsa wears her hair in a side braid woven with snowflake incrustations. She wears a crystal-blue, off-the-shoulder dress made out of ice with powder blue sleeves. Underneath the sleeves of her dress is a long, transparent cape of sheer material draped down from her sleeves and covered with big snowflakes.

Personality

As a queen, Elsa acts calm, reserved and regal, and unlike her sister, is experienced in grace and poise. But beneath this elegant appearance, Elsa is quite complex; Elsa is troubled with her abilities, a trait that stems from an incident as a child. When she was younger, she had cared strongly for Anna and, although acting as the more mature of the two, was quite playful. However, ever since her magic nearly caused her sister's death, Elsa had lived in fear for a great amount of her life, too nervous to let her powers overdevelop. As a result, Elsa desired isolation from everyone she cared about, including Anna, out of fear that she could hurt them, and chose to keep things to herself rather than communicate. However, whenever fearful or pressured, her emotions cause her magic to be released in the forms of deadly ice and storms.

From said pressure, Elsa is sensitive towards other people and their well-being, as Elsa always felt she had to be far away from people as much as possible in order to keep them safe. As such, she felt that she could not truly rule a kingdom because of this flaw, although she tried her best to repress her abilities for the sake of her kingdom. This would also be a direct cause to her interaction with Anna being cut, as she could not control her powerful emotions when Anna was around to spur them. Because Anna had to lose the memories of Elsa's magic in order to survive Elsa's curse, Elsa also had a harder time socializing with Anna especially with her isolation. She also implies that she thinks she does not belong in Arendelle, as she sees herself only as a force of destruction.

Despite her fear, Elsa shows to truly care about her family and her kingdom as more than just a position, as she was evidently frightened when she realizes that she had created a winter over her kingdom when she had tried so desperately to avoid them from her danger. But due to the influence of her magic, Elsa does not like to confront things she had caused, for she has always believed she can only create winter, not remove it.

However, when she was in her exile, Elsa reveals a liberated side to herself. Without stress or fear of hurting others, Elsa is strong and unafraid, yet with an air of elegance still surrounding her. Armed with a sense of freedom, she is confident in her abilities, letting them roam free with grace and beauty, all the while no longer worried or daunted by her restraints. During this time, Elsa proves herself to be a daring young woman willing to remain far from what she was destined to be, even rejecting her own fate as Arendelle's queen for the choice of her own freedom.

Although she had avoided Anna for most of her life, Elsa was willing to share some words with her, even sneakily tricking the Duke of Weselton into dancing with Anna, showing more of her mischievous and playful side.

However, Elsa's strongest part of herself is her love for her sister, a trait that gives Elsa the ultimate motivation to save Anna. Although she feels responsible for the chaos she has caused, the bond Elsa shares with Anna is stronger than she knows, as if the feeling itself is her reminder that she is not truly alone when there is someone else who cares for her as well. With love, the thought allows Elsa to have a stronger control over her abilities in order to save those she cares about. From this, Elsa confronts her fear, and learns how to use her powers for good instead of imbalance, and in doing so, gains the will to control it.

As she conquers her fear, Elsa's personality becomes warm and playful once again, as she happily attends ice skating with Anna and the others, even helping Anna to ice skate without fear of freezing her as well as creating a snow cloud to help Olaf remain during summer.

Powers and abilities

"Listen to me, Elsa. Your power will only grow. There is beauty in it... but also great danger! You must learn to control it. Fear will be your enemy.""
—Pabbie

Elsa is most iconic being the Snow Queen, and as such, she has complete and total control over the element of ice and snow. With her abilities (that she was apparently born with), Elsa can conjure up various things from snow flurries to blizzards. Most of her powers are unleashed via her hands, and controlled by her emotions. If she's happy and at peace, her powers would be under her complete control, but if she's stressed or fearful, she will lose control and cause great harm to those around her.

Some of what her powers can do are seen throughout the film. In the beginning, she was able to turn the castle's ball room into a winter wonderland, with miniature snow most aims, and since. She is also able to create enchanted snowmen (both large and small), ice structures such as her ice castle, deadly blizzards as mentioned above, and more. She's also been seen being able to move ice structures at will. Interestingly, it would seem that nearly her entire being can conjure ice and snow, as seen when she stepped onto the river water at the coronation fjord, immediately freezing it the moment her foot touched the liquid.

Her powers are most prominently featured during "Let it Go" in which Elsa frees herself from the fear and stress she held, allowing her abilities to run wild. In the sequence she created her ice castle, a stairway for entrance, Olaf, as well as her ice gown. During the song she even points out that her powers protect her from the effects of cold.

It is also shown that despite not having any formal training, she is capable of being a fierce fighter with her magic. At one point in the story when her ice castle is raided, the Duke's Thugs attacked her and she was able to hold them both off on her own.

It's also interesting to note that in times when Elsa is truly frightened, her powers will act on their own in order to protect her. As mentioned before when she was initially attacked, an arrow was shot at her from a cross bow. Elsa's powers reacted to this instantly, forming a wall of ice in front of her to block the incoming arrow. So it's possible her ice powers may have a will of their own to some extent, where they respond to whatever Elsa feels. This possibility could explain why she was able to create Olaf and Marshmallow. Theoretically, it having a mind of its own, it would make sense if the ice powers split part of its sentience off into these external shells created by Elsa, each of whom represent a certain aspect of Elsa's personality. It also appears that her powers depend on which emotion she feels; if she is in sorrow, all the snow particles in the air stand still as if time has stopped, while anger creates a similar effect to fear but with an offensive direction instead of chaotic versatility.

The only way thought to conceal her powers was by wearing gloves on her hands, which appeared to negate her icy touch on other objects. However, it's possible this is nothing but a psychological mindset that helped to keep her anxiety and any icy outbursts under control all her life. Because it was her father, one of the few people she trusted, that claimed that wearing them would stop her abilities, Elsa believed it to be true, so by wearing gloves she thought truly stopped her powers, as a result of said belief, they did. This is supported by the fact she was able to freeze through the hand shackles in Arendelle’s prison cell, in her desperation to get away, proving that covering her hands does not actually stop her power, but rather, sheer force of will and belief.

It is shown that if she casts her magic on a living being, the victim will slowly transform into an ice statue, and the process only hastens if they are in cold conditions. While the curse can be removed if the magic affects the mind, the heart is the most vulnerable and if this is the case, the victim can only be cured by an act of true love. While Elsa had thought she cannot undo the frosty effects she creates, it is revealed that that she is capable of removing such curses through her love for others, as it is the warmest feeling of all.

Role in the film

Spoiler warning!
This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode.

A Saddened Past

At a young age, Elsa realized that she holds an ancient ability over ice and snow, and often used her abilities to play with her younger sister, Anna. Elsa shared a close bond with her free-spirited younger sibling, and the two were the best of friends. However one night while the two were playing in the ballroom, Anna falls too high from the snow slopes Elsa had created. Elsa tries to save her by using her magic, but accidentally strikes her sister instead. Their parents, The King and Queen, immediately seek aid for Anna by visiting the legendary trolls, whose leader, a shaman named Pabbie, is able to stabilize Anna's condition since it had only affected the head, not the heart, which would have been fatal. To be safe, Pabbie then removes Anna's knowledge and memories of magic, much to Elsa's despair. Pabbie takes the time to explain the true strength of Elsa's abilities, telling her there's not only beauty in it, but danger, and that she must learn to control them at all cost, or fear will be her enemy. While the King promises to help Elsa control her powers, the incident leaves Elsa traumatized by them. As a result, the King and Queen order the gates to be locked for Elsa and Anna's safety. From then on, Elsa forcibly spent the rest of her life distanced from the kingdom, including Anna, trying to keep her powers from growing out of control and harming those she cares about. Even so, the persistent Anna tried time and time again to spend some quality time with her sister, but failed at every turn, leading her to eventually believe Elsa despised her.

The Death of the Royals

Throughout the years, Elsa's only true human contact was with her parents, who calmly helped their daughter control her abilities, teaching her to remain calm for fear and stress would only cause chaos. To help further, the king bestowed upon Elsa a pair of gloves, which were able to suppress her powers (teaching her to conceal, don't feel, don't let them know), making life much easier, though still heavily fearful. And despite better control, Elsa still refused to contact Anna, truly terrified of harming her yet again. One day, during Anna and Elsa's teenage years, the king and queen left for a trip, and though Elsa was torn about their parting, she bid them farewell as they were off. However, this would be her last time with them, as the royals would die at sea during a powerful storm. A funeral was held, though Anna was the only one of the sisters to attend. Elsa, instead, too afraid to even go to the funeral out of fear of hurting someone with her powers, stayed within her bedroom, mourning for the loss of her parents, alone. Because of her devastated emotions, her powers corrupted the bedroom, freezing everything inside and reflecting the sorrow of the event. With the passing of her beloved parents and contact with Anna still deemed too dangerous, Elsa was now truly alone.

The Curse

Three years later, Elsa is chosen to be crowned the new queen (regnant, not consort). Elsa, though reluctant to remove her gloves to take the royal orb and scepter, is able to control her powers and is crowned. Later, however, during the ball, the Duke of Weselton tries to dance with Elsa, but she gets Anna to briefly join him. While he makes a fool of himself with his silly dancing, Elsa gets to exchange some words with Anna for the first time in years, but as Anna goes to tell Elsa how they'll get to spend more time together again, Elsa states it will not happen. As Elsa spends her time during the party, Anna arrives with Prince Hans to ask for her blessing in their upcoming marriage. Elsa is startled, and refuses over the fact that the two had just met and Anna's misunderstood the idea of true love. While Anna retaliates by asking why Elsa keeps shutting her out, Elsa starts to walk away, so Anna grabs at her, pulling off her glove. As Anna still pleads with her to tell her why she is behaving this way, Elsa accidentally exposes her abilities to the citizens by creating a wave of ice-picks. Elsa runs out of the castle before all the other excited subjects. Elsa's powers further reveal themselves, surprising and frightening everybody, with the Duke claiming her to be a monster inflicted with sorcery.

The Snow Queen

She runs all the way to the river with Anna chasing after her. As everything begins to freeze, Elsa runs over the water, and with every step she takes, she causes the entire body of water to turn to ice, trapping all the ships before spreading throughout the rest of the kingdom. Elsa then retreats to the northern mountain, accidentally placing a frozen curse on her kingdom as she leaves. At first, she's still dreadfully downhearted by all that's just happened, the pain of her past consuming her. However, oblivious to the storm she caused, she starts to embrace her powers now that she is alone, letting them roam free, happier than she's ever been in years. Now that she's living without fear of harming those she cares about, Elsa has ultimate control over her abilities and creates herself an ice castle and a gown out of her magic, establishing herself as the Snow Queen and officially abandoning her place as queen of Arendelle, declaring she's never returning to her kingdom now that she's finally happy and completely free. She also recreates Olaf, the snowman she built with Anna as a child, but unknowingly imbues him with life. With his new enchantment, Olaf heads off into the world, eventually stumbling upon Anna and leading her to Elsa's castle sometime afterwards.

Elsa and Anna

From that day forth, Elsa lives peacefully in solitude, until one day when Anna enters her castle. While Elsa becomes slightly elated that Anna had come to visit her, she is still hesitant to return to Arendelle, as well as rekindle her bond with Anna, still fearful of harming her. Elsa then advises Anna to return home where she's safe, wanting her to be happy in Arendelle, but Anna refuses to do so just as Olaf rushes in, reminding Elsa of the whimsical childhood the sisters shared. It was enough to bring a smile to the queen's face until the memory of nearly killing Anna haunts her again, prompting Elsa to turn away, bidding farewell to her sister. Anna accidentally increases the discomfort and stress upon mentioning the kingdom's in danger, Elsa being horrified to learn that she had placed a curse upon it. Overcome by fear and guilt, Elsa unleashes her powers by accident once again, but this time, she inadvertently hits Anna in her heart. As Olaf and Kristoff (Anna's companion who offered to help guide her through the mountains to find Elsa) run to try and aid Anna, Elsa demands for them to leave her, as Anna belongs in Arendelle and she, however, does not. While Anna still insists she come back with them, telling her she won't leave any other way, Elsa is forced to create a gruesome snow beast known as Marshmallow, who throws the trio out of the castle.

A Monster

Afterwards, Marshmallow becomes Elsa's official bodyguard, given that Elsa truly wants nothing more than to be alone, and disguises himself as snowy rocks outside of the castle to keep away any and all visitors who may harm her majesty in any way. Meanwhile, within the walls of the once beautiful ice castle, Elsa has shown to have, despite desperately trying to conceal her emotions, lost control over her powers once again, as the fear of endangering Arendelle has completely overcome her, causing ice shards to fill her castle, giving it a darker and fearful design, matching the monster Elsa fears she has become. Meanwhile, Anna becomes weak, with Kristoff correctly believing it's due to Elsa striking her. To find a cure, Kristoff leads Anna and their companions to the Valley of the Living Rocks, where Pabbie returns and informs them that unless Anna is able to perform an act of true love, Elsa's icy curse would eventually freeze her, killing her. To save herself, Anna and the others rush back to Arendelle to find and receive a kiss from Hans before it's too late, believing true love's kiss is the act that would break the spell.

Summit Siege

Meanwhile, back in the mountains, Hans and a group of soldiers arrive to arrest Elsa after believing she had killed Anna. Marshmallow immediately leaps into action, and Elsa, upon hearing the commotion, flees inside and tries to hide. As Marshmallow defends against the attack, two soldiers sneak past him and enter, searching for Elsa in an attempt to kill her as per the Duke's orders. They soon corner her, and Elsa is fearful at first, but eventually uses her abilities and comes close to nearly killing the two, completely furious at the harm they've brought upon her and her home, as well as destroying her vow to keep her powers from harming others. Outside, Marshmallow continues to battle, but Hans brutally injures him and causes him to go plummeting into a chasm to his apparent death, leaving Elsa devoid of protection and allowing Hans and his henchmen access into the castle, where Elsa has gained the upper hand against the Duke's goons. Just as Elsa was about to murder the two, Hans appears and stops her, telling her not to prove she's the monster they believe she is. Elsa settles down a bit at Hans' words. However, one of the soldiers aims his arrow at Elsa, still following the Duke's orders, and just as he is about to shoot her, Hans intervenes, causing the arrow to cut through Elsa's chandelier which then plummets towards the ground. Elsa tries to escape the collision, but is knocked out in the process. Hans and the soldiers then capture her and head back to the kingdom.

Elsa's Imprisonment

Elsa soon awakens to find herself within the castle dungeon. Chained down in shackles, the snow queen finds herself trapped as she looks out the cell's only window, finally witnessing the disaster she's brought upon her former kingdom. Just then, Hans arrives to speak with her. Elsa asks for Anna's whereabouts, but Hans explains she hasn't returned, much to Elsa's concern. The prince then pleads for the queen to end the curse, telling her it'd make things better, but she regretfully denies, telling Hans that she's unable to. With that, Hans takes his leave, just before Elsa begs for freedom, to which Hans claims he'll do what he can. Once he's gone, Elsa's powers suddenly get the better of her chains and are able to destroy the cell, allowing her to escape. Elsa flees the castle and heads back into the fjords to return home, but her fearful emotions cause a deadly blizzard to consume Arendelle, making her escape that much more difficult, just as Hans learns of her escape. Needing to put an end to the winter, Hans heads out to kill Elsa, believing her death would not only free the kingdom, but earn him praise and admiration, selfishly wanting to rule the land as a beloved king.

The Deadly Blizzard

Meanwhile, with Hans having betrayed Anna and revealing himself to be a ruthless murderer, her curse becomes stronger and her death process is nearly complete. Olaf, however, informs her that Kristoff is the one that truly loves her, and that he's the one she must kiss to save herself. Anna and Olaf retreat to find the mountain man, just as Hans confronts Elsa not too far away. Elsa pleads to be left alone, and asks Hans to take care of Anna for her, to which Hans responds by telling her about the curse she accidentally put upon Anna, and that she died from it despite his efforts to save her. Devastated by the heart wrenching news, Elsa collapses and mourns the death of her sister, ceasing the blizzard and giving Hans the chance to finally eliminate her, as she's now vulnerable. Hans slowly approaches the Snow Queen from behind and draws his sword, ready to decapitate her. However, Anna arrives on the scene, and although she was freezing to death quicker and quicker, she jumps in front of Elsa as her curse takes full effect, turning into an ice statue the second Hans' sword hits, causing him to fall back unconscious just before her last, dying breath is lost.

The Great Thaw

Elsa recovers and sees her sister's fate, causing her to weep and clutch on to the statue while blaming herself for bringing this upon her. However, Anna's saving Elsa was an act of true love, and thaws her frozen heart, while bringing Anna back to life. Elsa is overwhelmingly joyous at the turn of events, shocked by the fact that Anna risked her life to save her. Anna responds by telling Elsa she loves her, and Olaf explains the act of true love was Anna's sacrifice, and that's what thawed her heart. These words from the snowman give Elsa the realization that the curse can be lifted, and that love is the key to doing so. Realizing that love enables her to control her powers, Elsa is able to use this and focuses herself, removing the icy curse from Arendelle and bringing summer back to the kingdom. With peace restored, Elsa rekindles her bond with Anna and is praised by her people for freeing them from the curse, having learned she's far from a monster. Elsa then resumes her position as queen, uses her abilities to give Olaf an ice cloud to prevent him from melting, and creates a rink in the castle courtyard for the people of Arendelle to enjoy. Elsa declares they'll never close the castle gates again now that she's finally accepted and makes a pair of ice skates for Anna, the two sisters then joining the celebration of harmony, having the fun they used to share together at long last. Template:Endspoiler

Relationship with Other Characters

Allies

Anna: Since the two were young, Elsa and Anna have always been the best of friends and loved each other dearly. The two enjoyed playing together, and Anna loved it when Elsa used her magic to create a winter wonderland. However, after Elsa accidentally hit Anna with her ice magic and almost killed her, Elsa has been too scared to go near Anna out of fear her powers could harm her again. While Elsa's desire to stay away from Anna was out of her love for her, Anna felt distanced from her and constantly tried to reconnect with Elsa without understanding or knowing about Elsa's powers, as her memories of Elsa's powers were erased after the troll king revived her. During the coronation party, the two seemed to temporarily reconnect as they enjoyed themselves and Anna suggested things could go back to how things used to be. Unfortunately, Elsa remembered how she hurt Anna and decided things could never be the same. When Elsa's powers were revealed to the kingdom after the two got into an argument about Anna's engagement to Hans (despite having only known him for the day) and she ran away, Anna was the one to volunteer to get her back, saying "She's my sister. She won't hurt me." When she got to Elsa's castle, she tried to have Elsa come back home to fix the eternal winter she cast on the kingdom but couldn't persuade her as Elsa felt the kingdom would be safe away from her and because she felt she couldn't fix what she had done. Nonetheless, her love for her sister prevailed and proved to be the thing Anna held most dear to her, shown best when she stepped in front of Elsa to protect her from Hans' killing strike, sacrificing her own life in the process. This demonstrates just how deep Anna's love for Elsa is and that no matter what happens, their sisterly bond is the most important thing to her. This act of true love is also ultimately what saves Anna from Elsa's curse, as Olaf informs that Anna's actions were an act of true love, and this allows Elsa to finally get rid of the storm, returning to her rightful place as queen and restoring her bond with Anna. Elsa and Anna truly care and love each other and while Elsa was too scared of hurting Anna to get close to her and Anna was at times somewhat pushy and insistent on helping Elsa (which could at times make things worse) and both are complete opposites, the two will always love each other and due anything for the sake of the other's happiness.

Kristoff: Although she had little interaction with Kristoff (including after she struck Anna in the heart with her powers, and at the ending), it is enough to show that although she is scared to see him at first, she soon comes to accept him after knowing what he did for her sister. She even gives him the title "Official Arendelle Ice Master and Deliverer", so he can be with her.

Disney Parks

Anna and Elsa now have meet and greets at Disneyland as well as Disneyland Paris in the winter; they have been making appearances ahead of their movie's release. As of November 2, 2013, the sisters are currently doing daily meet-and-greet sessions in the Norway Pavilion of Epcot. In California, Anna and Elsa are featured in a new winter themed area of Fantasyland. Also, both princesses are now featured in Disneyland Paris' Disney Magic on Parade, on a float also featuring Olaf.

On October 22, 2013, Anna and Elsa began early meet-and-greet sessions at Disney's Hollywood Studios, though this was temporary because their meet-and-greet location at the Norway Pavilion was unfinished at the time.

In Disney California Adventure, Elsa makes a special appearance in Winter Dreams, the winter themed rendition of the nighttime spectacular World of Color. And during her appearance, she performs "Let it Go". In a similar role, Elsa appears in the Disneyland Paris spectacular, Disney Dreams!.

Elsa is also featured in the Magic Kingdom show, Celebrate the Magic, performing "Let it Go".

My Disney Experience

Queen Elsa can magically create snow and ice. But the love she shares with her sister Anna is the greatest magic of all.

Songs

Quotes

  • "The party's over, close the gates."
  • "Give me my glove!"
  • "Then leave."
  • "Please, just stay away from me!"
  • "The cold never bothered me, anyway!"
  • "No, Anna, I belong here. Alone. Where I can be who I am without hurting anybody."
  • "Olaf?"
  • "Go enjoy the sun and open up the gates."
  • "No, I can't, I....I don't know how!"
  • "Anna, please. You'll only make it worse!"
  • "How?! What power do you have to stop this winter, to stop me?!"
  • "Get it together...control it!"
  • "Don't you see? I can't."
  • "Love will thaw. Love... Of course! Love."
  • "Oh Olaf, hang on little guy."
  • "Are you ready?"
  • "We are never closing them again."

Wreck-it Ralph 2

Wreck-it Rachel

  • "Ralph... She's so adorable!!!"
  • "Rachel, I have to give you lip gloss! You're a princess, and a princess doesn't just have fun doing whatever she wants, she does her royal duties and stays pretty. Even without makeup."
  • ""
  • "From now on, I don't want you to see that boy again."
  • "Mariya, Sora. Keep a sharp eye on Rachel and make sure she doesn't fool around with... him!"
  • "You did WHAT?"
  • "Mariya, you're grounded for a week."
  • "Oh, this is just ironic... I tell the kid to stay in her room... and she leaves..."
  • "My babies!"
  • "Rachel, no! Please don't leave me!"
  • "You'll make a wonderful queen."
  • "Vanitas, please forgive us"

Reception

ABS-CBN writer Fred Hawson described Elsa as "an incredible character with a unique and interesting predicament because of the powers she possessed" and expressed the opinion that Frozen should have focused more on her rather than Anna. Deepanjana Pal of First Post (India) praised the decision to rewrite Elsa as a protagonist and said, "Elsa is no evil, frosty vision of twisted and toxic maternity like the original Snow Queen. She's a young woman in difficult circumstances, frightened, trying to understand her abilities and burdened by expectation and convention. It's easy to sympathise with her and marvel at her ability when she builds her spectacular castle in the mountains. Next to her, Anna is very much a child who needs to grow up and she does in the course of the film." Charlotte O'Sullivan from the London Evening Standard was more critical of the character, saying that she "resembles one of those brittle mentors on The X Factor. Purple eyeshadow, tiny waist, kitten heels".

Magdalena Lachowicz, a film critic for The Heights, opinionated that Elsa's relationship with Anna was the most important part of the movie, and Stephen Holden of The New York Times liked that, in departure from traditional Disney formula, it was a sibling's love rather than romantic love that was able to "thaw the icy heart of the frightened Elsa". Tony Hicks of San Jose Mercury News wrote, "[Anna's] confusion and Elsa's anguish as she shuts herself away from the world -- and her sister -- is palatable."

Idina Menzel also received praise for her singing, and Amon Warmann of Cine Vue said her voice "positively soars in these musical ballads". Reviewers frequently focused on her performance of "Let it Go", described by Entertainment Weekly's Marc Snetiker as "an incredible anthem of liberation" in which Elsa decides to no longer fear her powers. Matt DeTruck of The Rochester City Newspaper wrote, "Menzel should be credited for providing as much power and passion to this performance as she did in her most famous role."

Gallery

Elsa the Snow Queen/Gallery

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Trivia

  • By the time of her coronation, Elsa is 21 years old, according to Jennifer Lee and the Junior Novelization.
  • When Elsa joins the Disney Princess line-up, she'll not only replace Cinderella as the oldest Disney Princess, but she'll be the only Disney Princess to not be a teenager.
  • As the oldest sister, Elsa has one braid in her hair, while her younger sister, Anna has two.
  • Anna and Elsa will be the 4th and 5th Disney Princesses to have their films take place in the 1800s. Cinderella, Ariel and Rapunzel all live in the 19th century as well.
  • Contrary to how most adaptations portray her, this version of the Snow Queen is not a villain, since the Snow Queen in the original fairy tale was not intended to be evil. Because of this, the real villain of the film is someone else (the two antagonists Hans and the Duke of Weselton). Also, the fairy tale the film is based on involved an evil troll (implied to represent Satan) building a mirror which he will use to turn everyone evil, only to accidentally smash it in the process, and one of the shards ending up hitting Kai. However, the Queen's usual villain portrayal may have been due to the fact that she is either merged with Satan or have Satan removed altogether as children would not want to hear about the Devil in a fairy tale. Also, the Queen was based on a woman Hans Christian Andersen personally hated for being shrewd and distant.
  • Elsa may have been based on Kai, from the original "Snow Queen" fairy tale, who after ends up being kidnapped by the title Queen after he is unexpectedly stabbed by one of the broken shards of a magic mirror created by an evil troll which he was supposed to use to corrupt people and becoming cold and resentful, therefore prompting Gerda to try and rescue him, combined with the Snow Queen herself. In some adaptations, Kai and Gerda are actually siblings.
    • If that is the case, Elsa is the first Disney Princess to be based on a female and a male character from the source material.
  • At one point, Elsa was going to be the main character, where she is the cold-hearted queen of her own kingdom who despised anyone around her, freezing anyone who crosses her path, and just wanted to be alone until she was softened by a kind-hearted man.
  • At another point, Elsa was going to be portrayed as a villain when the film was going to be a straightforward adaptation of "The Snow Queen", where she and Anna are unrelated, and she and the Kai analogue were separate characters. Eventually, they decided to make the Snow Queen and "Gerda" sisters, to give the Queen depth, but she was still a villain, but would ultimately reform at the end, and after the song "Let it Go", which was supposed to be her villain song was written, Elsa's role was retconned so that she also took over the role of Kai and making her a heroine. During various rewrites, Elsa's personality was originally very similar to that of Denahi's from Brother Bear, where instead of being caring, vulnerable and misunderstood, and constantly fearing her powers and blaming everything on herself, she would have been very arrogant, stubborn and resentful, and constantly angry for holding her powers back and constantly blaming everything on everyone including Anna, and would have made her the first villain to be biologically related to a Princess (much like what once happened to Ursula). Her evolving concept designs even reinforce this: her first concept art (made in the early 2000s), depicted her with an apparently sinister design not unlike Jadis the White Witch, while her final design gave her a more angelic appearance. Also, Hans, the film's real villain, was created very late in development for this reason.
  • Elsa appears to be the ultimate inversion of the evil queen stereotype. While she shows some antagonistic traits and behavior, such as the ability to produce dangerous magic spells and having her song "Let it Go" sound like a typical villain song despite her not singing about anything with malicious intent, she is actually good-hearted but misunderstood, and such behavior was most likely out of self-defense, and has not malicious intentions whatsoever. In fact, the only negative traits applied to her is fear and isolation, which in comparison to most traits of the stereotype, are the least malicious. She is even going to be the 13th Disney Princess, which is appropriate since 13 is often considered unlucky, (this also includes how many years she has isolated herself from the public and Anna).
  • Elsa's design resembles that of Queen Jadis the White Witch, as they are both females with ice-based powers. However, unlike Jadis, Elsa is not really evil, just misguided.
  • Idina Menzel, Elsa's voice actress, also originated the role of Elphaba from the musical Wicked (a musical that Melissa Fahn was in as well, as an understudy actress for the main actress that played Glinda). It should also be noted that both Elphaba and Elsa appear to have similar motivations, as do Anna and Glinda.
  • Elsa may also be similar to Wreck-It Ralph as the two are both misunderstood "villains" who were cast out by their own kind causing them to abandon their roles, and a sibling figure to go and bring them back (Felix to Ralph, Anna to Elsa), to prevent a bigger catastrophe from threatening their home.
    • Interestingly enough, Frozen writer, Jennifer Lee once made a tweet jokingly, suggesting that Elsa and Wreck-It Ralph would make a good couple during the 2013 D23 Expo.
    • Elsa is also similar to Vanellope, since they have been cast out from their kingdoms and made a temporary home in the mountains. Their unique ability is the reason why they were initially shunned, and both longed to lose this ability in Vanellope's case, to control it in Elsa's case. Finally, the villains both attempted to kill them.
  • Elsa is the fourth Disney Princess to possess magical abilities, the first being Ariel, the second being Pocahontas and the third being Rapunzel. However Ariel and Pocahontas seem to use their magic unknowingly while both Rapunzel and Elsa have control over their magic.
    • Also like Rapunzel, both were locked away because of their magic powers. Although Rapunzel was taken by her main antagonist and locked away for Gothel's own purposes, while Elsa locked away herself for her sister's and the kingdom's safety. It should also be noted that the two have power over elemental opposites; Rapunzel representing summer and warmth, Elsa representing winter and cold.
      • In the Disney universe, Elsa and Anna artistically and thematically coincide with an aspect of nature, as did Rapunzel: Elsa (the cold moon) which stands alone and half in darkness, and Anna (the warm sun) which spreads over everyone (hence her optimism and positive outlook, enabling her to make friends easily). This can also be noted, for in the beginning of the film, Anna explains how the sky is awake when there was a bright moon, therefore she is. Even though the two are different, they complete each other, hence the film's ending of sisterly love saving the day instead of romantic love.
  • Since the Disney Princesses were designed to have all the princesses unaware of each other's presence (however this is debatable given their interactions and scenes together in House of Mouse), Elsa and Anna are the first and second to know of each other, however this could be since childhood. Ariel and Jasmine were seen together talking in The House of Mouse. Additionally, Rapunzel has a cameo in the beginning of Frozen meaning she knows about both Elsa and Anna.
  • Anna and Elsa are the first two of all the Disney Princesses to be siblings and come from the same film, although Ariel has 6 older sisters.
  • Elsa is the second deuteragonist in 22 years to join the franchise, the first being Jasmine.
  • Elsa is the fourth official Disney Princess to become a Queen, the first being Ariel, the second being Belle, and the third being Rapunzel.
  • Elsa is the second princess created by Disney to ever inherit her parents' throne and become a ruling queen, since she both lost both of her parents over the course of the film (hers and Anna's parents are both killed in an accident at sea) and married a pauper, after Kida. The lot of Disney princesses are likely to become queen consort (Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel) or are not in line for any throne at all (Belle's Prince Adam seemed not to be in charge of anything but his castle, Pocahontas' father was chosen, Mulan had no royal ties at all and it seems unlikely Naveen would be King of Maldonia considering he happily settled down in New Orleans). Also, Merida after being given the choice of either marrying Young MacGuffin, Young MacIntosh and/or Wee Dingwall (originally she ended up with the first above) eventually decided that she didn't want to marry any of them since she realized that she doesn't need a husband anyway. Anna, of course, is unlikely to become a queen as mentioned above. Arguably the only princesses in all Disney films beside Elsa and Kida who could become active rulers are Rapunzel and Jasmine.
  • Other similarites to Kida and Princess Kittie include the fact that Kida, Kittie and Elsa have platinum blonde/white hair and blue eyes although Kittie has red eyes (though Kida isn't Caucasian), the fact that they have water and crystal-based magic powers (Kida's powers are based on the Orichalcum crystals associated with Atlantis, while Elsa's are based on ice and snow, and also Kittie's Ninja Powers.), that both are queens of a kingdom whose name begins with "A", But for Kittie she's a princess and both her kingdoms start with a "N" and they once used giant monsters to impede the heroes' progress (Kida had the Leviathan, while Elsa had Marshmallow and Kittie with her Robo Apes). The only difference is that Elsa and Kittie are Caucasian while Kida isn't, Kida spending most of her film as a princess and only becoming queen at the end, while Elsa was only a princess at the beginning and being a queen for the rest of the film, and Kittie stays a princess in the series as well as the fact that Kida ended up with her own king (Milo Thatch) while Elsa remained single and Kittie with her boyfriend Randy.
  • Rapunzel, Anna and Elsa are the only princesses that are playable characters in Disney INFINITY. Coincidentially, all three also appear in Frozen (the first as a cameo for the last's coronation ceremony in the beginning of the film).
  • Elsa and Anna are the third and fourth of all the Disney Princesses to be orphans, the first two being Snow White and Cinderella.
  • Elsa is mostly seen wearing blue, while Anna wears green. Blue represents her powers over snow and ice and her sorrow when she is isolated.
  • Anna and Elsa are the 5th and 6th Disney Princesses to be seen as kids in their feature films, the first four being Cinderella, Tiana, Rapunzel and Merida.
  • Originally, Elsa was going to have dark hair prior to her transformation into the Snow Queen. Her hair was also going to be shorter and pointing upward, making her resemble either Periwinkle or Ilana from Symbionic Titan.
  • Elsa is similar to Simba because they were young monarchs who have been blamed by their villains for threatening their kingdoms and running away only to let said villain take over because of their absence. Also, after abandoning their kingdoms, they both start to care less of ruling their kingdoms until one of their allies warns them about something terrible occuring to said kingdom, and their villains blame them for allegedly killing one of their family members.
  • Elsa is very similar to Beast from Beauty and the Beast as they are both cursed royalty who were given fierce abilities (though in this case, the Beast was turned hideous and animalistic, Elsa was born with uncontrolled power) and both are misunderstood by the townspeople and referred to as a monster, so they try to avoid the people in fear of their strengths. Both of their film's villain also attempted to kill them (Gaston stabs Beast and almost killed him if he did not revive while Hans almost killed Elsa if Anna did not throw herself.)
  • Elsa is also similar to fellow Princess Merida as they have unwillingly placed a curse on a female member of the royal family, causing them to undergo a horrific transformation, although in Merida's case she is a princess that cursed her mother the queen, while Elsa is a queen who cursed her sister and they are also the only two princesses not to have a love interest.
  • When she joins the Disney Princess line-up she will be the second Disney Princess who does not have a love interest, the first is Merida.
  • Originally, Elsa's decision to flee the kingdom was because of an ancient prophecy claiming that Arendelle could one day be destroyed by a terrible winter, and since Elsa, who can control ice and snow, did not want to associate herself with this prophecy, ends up running away on her coronation day, only to end up fulfilling it instead.
  • Elsa is the fourth Princess to run away from home, after Snow White, Ariel, and Jasmine.
  • The scene where Elsa fires her ice magic at the camera from the top of a mountain does not appear in the actual film. This is most likely to make so it looks like Elsa curses her kingdom, thus giving an illusion that she is the main antagonist.
  • Elsa is the fifth princess to have her hair braided, the first being Cinderella, the second being Pocahontas, the third being Rapunzel, and the fourth being Anna. Although, Cinderella, Pocahontas and Rapunzel only wear their hair braided for a brief time.
  • Elsa is the third Disney character to be portrayed by Idina Menzel, the first was Circe, the second was Nancy Tremaine.
  • Some fans tend to ship Elsa with Jack Frost from the DreamWorks animated film Rise of the Guardians and Frozone from The Incredibles, appropriately enough because of their ice-based magic.
  • Elsa is similar to Persephone from Classical Mythology as their absence from their home had led to the coming of winter, and her return resulting in the return of summer.
  • Storm from the X-Men, another Queen (of the fictional African nation of Wakanda) now owned by Disney, shares some things in common with Elsa. In addition to having most of their stories take place while they are women older than 20, they also have similarly-coloured hair (Storm's is white while Elsa's is platinum blonde). Most significantly, they both have similar power over ice and snow. The differences are that Storm can also induce non-ice-related atmokinetic effects such as rain while Elsa can imbue her snow creations with life, but in both cases their powers are so closely tied to their emotions that they need to remain in constant states of emotional calm to keep from causing atmospheric disaster. Ironically, Storm's design also inspired that of Kida.
  • Elsa is also similar to The Winter Warlock from the Rankin-Bass Christmas special Santa Claus is Comin' to Town as they are both powerful magical figures with ice-based powers that are first set up to be antagonists but are revealed to be good the whole time, with their true nature being revealed by an act of friendship from the coincidentally red-haired protagonist, which also weakens their powers as a side effect. Also, both were pitted against evil authority figures: Anna and Elsa and Hans, Santa, Winter, and Burgermeister Meisterburger.
  • The gloves Elsa was forced to wear as given by the Trolls prior to her coronation as queen appear to serve as a stand-in for the mirror whose broken shards cause Kai to grow resentful and being kidnapped by the Snow Queen in the original story, with Elsa standing in for Kai.
  • Elsa is also similar to Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame since both villains attempted to kill them using a sword but they are saved by the other protagonist.
  • There was a deleted song entitled "We Know Better" which shows young Elsa teaching Anna how to be a princess.
  • Elsa is the only Disney Princess to never get wet by water at all in her film. However, ice and snow are both transitional forms of water, so this is subject to contradiction, as she has encountered water by freezing it, been covered by snow, and even wears a dress made out of ice.
  • Elsa is never shown barefoot in her film, she is the fifth Disney Princess to do so, the others being her sister Anna, Snow White, Belle and Merida.
  • Despite the fact Elsa is never shown barefoot throughout the film, there are several close-up shots of just her feet. She shares this trait with fellow Princess Rapunzel and fellow Disney hero Wreck-It Ralph.
  • Elsa's I Want song is very notable for a Disney Princess for a general I Want song for them represents the princess wanting a new life, or meeting new people, sometimes seeing new places. Elsa's song "Let it Go" is about her wanting to just to able to be herself and never have to worry about others (as she doesn't want to hurt them).
  • Ironically, in the lyrics in her song "Let it Go" she says "You'll never see me cry", but she did cry when Anna has turned into ice crystal and her tears are shown.
    • However, it should be noted that when Elsa sang the line, she meant she won't cry because she's out alone by herself; she's happy, she at last can be herself, by herself.
    • And Anna was the entire reason why Elsa held her powers –– her entire self –– back, and now, after trying so hard to, "conceal, don't feel," she ends up losing the only person she really cares about. Thus, she is heartbroken at the thought of losing the only family member she has left, her best friend, her sister.
    • Even more ironic, Kristoff, who openly announced that he will cry when he was stunned in awe upon witnessing the beauty of Elsa's magically constructed ice castle, never really cried during the movie, or maybe he did not cry to the point that his tear would drop, as if one look closely, Kristoff's eyes were already glittering with tears and was halted when Sven attempted to walk across the icy stair bridge that clearly was not meant for hoofed visitors, which to Kristoff's distraction, tried to resolve.
  • Elsa is similar to Periwinkle:
    • Both have very light hair - Peri's is white and Elsa's is platinum blonde.
    • Both have power over ice and snow.
    • Both have a small bang down their forehead.
    • Both have sisters (Elsa's is Anna and Periwinkle's is Tinker Bell.)
    • Their sisters are the main protagonists of both movies respectively.
  • Elsa is the second Disney Princess to have children and the first to have a niece and a daughter as fellow Disney Princesses.

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