‘Once Upon a Snowman’ is a short and sweet addition to the Disney universe


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“Once Upon a Snowman” is a wonderful, impressive addition to Disney’s Frozen universe.

On Oct. 23, Disney+ released Walt Disney Animation Studios’ latest short film, “Once Upon a Snowman.” Based on the story and characters from the 2013 animated feature-film Frozen, the approximately seven-minute long short film tells the backstory of how the lovable snowman Olaf magically came to life in the movie.

The short film cleverly tells the story, making the events of the short fim occur in the timeline parallel to the 2013 movie. “Once Upon a Snowman” gives the lovable snowman’s perspective to the iconic film, detailing how he came to life during the ‘Let it Go’ sequence of the film and encountered Anna in the winter forest.

The film is thoroughly enjoyable, mainly due to its similarity to the first film. The scenes from the short film connect directly to Frozen in a way that is easy to follow. In many of the parallel scenes, the characters from the first film are seen doing the same things as they would in the movie, just from a different angle.

Perhaps the most fascinating part of the short-film is learning about Olaf’s creation and how he encountered the other characters. Olaf’s incorporation into the events of the feature-length picture is seamless, so much so that the dialogue from the first film does not seem out of place when used. In addition, background characters from the first film, such as Wandering Oaken and the forest wolves, are developed in more depth, adding to their personalities presented in the first film.

A commendable aspect of the mini movie is that despite being released years after the first Frozen film, the animation style is kept consistent. It is truly impressive how the short film seems like the camera is merely placed in different locations throughout the first film to create “Once Upon a Snowman.” 

The biggest drawback of this film is its length. While adequately provides Olaf’s backstory, the film is very short. On Disney+ the film is listed as 12 minutes long. However, around six of those minutes are purely credits, which is disappointing given that half of the listed time is dedicated to content that is irrelevant to the plot of the short film. The six minutes that make up the short film itself are enjoyable to watch, nonetheless.

The timing of this film couldn’t be more perfect since the holiday season is approaching, as well as the seventh anniversary of Frozen. Overall, “Once Upon a Snowman” is a wonderful addition to the Disney catalog and is definitely worth the short, but sweet watch.