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A Surprising Disney Queen is Coming to Once Upon a Time

Warning: spoilers for the season three finale of Once Upon a Time follow….

The heroes of Storybrooke just defeated the Wicked Witch, but happy endings are only temporary on Once Upon a Time. Be honest. It would be boring to watch a world full of perfect fairy tale characters who never had any conflict. As the season three finale ended, a new and icy villain was introduced: Yes, boys and girls, Frozen’s Elsa is coming to Once Upon a Time.

She appeared for mere seconds, but that was all it took to make her identity obvious. We saw the back of her signature blue dress, and she flexed her freezing powers. If you weren’t convinced, the official Once Upon a Time account tweeted this picture:

once upon a time frozen

From a commercial standpoint, adding Elsa is a smart move. We’ll probably all still have Frozen fever by the time season four premieres next fall, and it will probably lead to higher ratings. Well, at least initially.

But, you also have to consider what Elsa’s appearance means for the series. Admittedly, I’m selfishly excited because I’m obsessed with the animated movie, but I think it will be interesting. She was introduced in a reasonable fashion – it didn’t feel like they were jumping the shark. She got sucked through a portal from a storage room in Rumplestiltskin’s castle. He kept the darkest of dark magic in the room, and Elsa’s spirit was trapped in an urn that made it to Storybrooke. On the surface, the move may sound corny, but it’s no more silly than anything else they’ve done on Once Upon a Time. It’s a world of magic wardrobes and Evil Queens.

The coolest (ha!) part about this take on Elsa is that it seems like she’s being brought in as a villain. Maybe they’ll veer closer to the Snow Queen tale that loosely inspired Frozen?

Are you looking forward to seeing Elsa in Storybrooke? Let us know in the comments.

HT: @insidethetube

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20 comments

  • Semi-unrelated question… Why did they destroy Regina’s character development?! The writer’s were building her up to be a good guy (she unlocked ‘light’ magic, did not kill the wicked witch, etc) but they just struck her down! It’s just a lame thing to do, keeping the suspense going by adhering to the Evil Queen story-line which will ultimately get repetitive and boring very fast. Yet, they’re trying to mask this with the ‘Frozen’ incorporation which will obscure some viewers’ consciousness but only insightful viewers will truly see that what they’re doing is a mistake.

  • The way Elsa was introduced makes perfect sense to me. 
    Think about it. Gold is telling his vow to Bell about how love saved him. How he was an enemy of love. That whole thing. And then at the end of that. Who shows up…after Regina gets her heartbroken. Again. And becomes an enemy of love (we think). Who else needs love to thaw their heart more than the ice queen???

  • yes I’m extremely excited about Elsa but I am very disappointed about Emma and Hook I feel as though the writers and producers gave into peer pressureand and why couldn’t they let Regina be happy for just awhile why did They have to bring back Marion

  • I didn’t care for the Frozen movie and now they are adding it to OUAT, UGH!! There are plenty of other “Fairy tale Movies” they could have used first before Frozen, Brave, The Princess and the frog, Goldilocks, Hansel & Gretel. They could have even incorporated the cast from Once Upon a Time in Wonderland since that show ended and technically the 2 shows are already connected!

  • I only watched the first season of OUAT so can’t comment on the current season, but this could be genius or really bad depending on how this is done.
    It seems that they are leveraging the Disney movie rather than the book which could actually serve to really pigeon hole them with the story direction because people watching because of the movie will have certain expectations on the character.
    To tie it with the movie she’d have to be an anti-hero rather than a villain so it would have to be a coming to terms with how dangerous her powers are and then seeing if she’s going to use them for good or evil. If they use that same memory loss mechanism from season 1, maybe she could have recall issues and that could fuel that component of is she good or evil.

  • I haven’t watched the show yet, but my 8 month old is obsessed with frozen and it has made our whole home obsessed as well. Its an amaaazzxiing movie and I can’t wait to see what they do with it!

  • Hopefully they’ll go full Snow Queen and forget Elsa. I didn’t see Frozen, but I have strong memories of a movie that I saw when I was a kid (it was on tv in the 70s, not sure when the movie was made)- and that Snow Queen was a meanie!

  • Nope. Nope. Nope. And this is coming from me, one of Frozen’s bigger fans. This is a terrible idea, purely designed to garner a short-term gain in ratings in the early part of next season. When fans (and their kids) tune in to find out that Elsa is basically evil (that seems to be what they’re shooting for… not just ‘misunderstood’ like in the movie), they’re likely going to be disappointed. The general expectation in this introduction, in the fans’ minds (at least, the new fans tuning in for the first time) will be that this is somehow a continuation or extension of the movie universe. That will NOT be the case, and the viewership will drop off sharply after the first episode or two.

    The other issue I have with this is from a marketing standpoint. Elsa, in her current form, is a relatable character, with whom it’s easy to be sympathetic. If they take this darker turn with her in the show, it will ruin the image that they’ve built for her as a brand, and merchandise sales will likely suffer for it. No one buys Jafar toys. No one buys the Evil Stepmother toys. There are a few select Disney villains whose stock has risen in recent years, only due to retro-hipster types finding it cool to root for a few select villains now (Maleficent comes to mind). But taking one of the protagonists of the film and making her a villain in the show will hurt the brand long-term, I believe.

    And finally, of course, there’s the oversaturation factor. The next time we should have seen a Frozen character in any form of media should have been in Frozen 2, two to three years from now. I understand that they want to strike while the iron is hot, but I feel that this move can only hurt Disney in the long run.

    • I think they no meant that it is the same elsa as in the Disney movie, but the one from the Original fairytale (like all other ‘once upon a time’ characters).

    • A wise author once said to me “a movie based on a book doesn’t change a single word of the original book”.Same will go with Once Upon a Time and Frozen.Don’t like it, don’t watch it and stick to Frozen.Besides, Once Upon a Time isn’t really a kid’s show considering the amount of violence and death it has.
      I loved Frozen, and I like Once Upon a Time, and this is a smart move for them to make, plus I can’t wait.Emma has taken away Regina’s chance at happiness with Robin,  Regina now has a grudge against the Charmings and Emma again.Rumplestiltstkin had Elsa in an urn/jar.Elsa will most likely try to seek revenge on Rumple, but Storybrook relies on Rumple (quite often).Will Regina be able to put aside her hatred and revenge to save Rumple?What other twists do we have coming?

  • Honestly, I hope they bring her in as an anti-hero moreso than a villain. With Regina’s happiness being taken away by Emma what with bringing Marian to the future, the setup for Evil Queen again is there for the taking, and having a super powerful queen battling another would be very boss.
    Also, if they bring Else in, Anna should show up as well. And I don’t think anyone would be opposed to a little Olaf and Sven.

    Sidenote: Notice how they bring in the white queen and it’s rumored that Merida’s coming in as well, but we’ve not heard a peep from Tiana? Dem’s racist.