MANILA, Philippines - He likes warm hugs. He has an uncanny ability to disassemble himself. He's hilarious, innocent, outgoing and has the world's most impossible dream.
Meet Olaf, the friendliest snowman to walk the mountains above Arendelle in Walt Disney Animation Studios's latest animated film "Frozen."
Sprung from the Snow Queen’s magical powers, Olaf is encountered by fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell), rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven, who have all teamed up to battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom of Arendelle, which has been trapped in eternal winter.
Comedian Josh Gad (“The Internship,” “Jobs”) lends his voice to the adorable snowman. “While technically he doesn't have one, Olaf’s got the biggest heart in the world,” says Gad.
“He lives to love. And he really cares deeply about these new friends he’s found—Anna, Kristoff and Sven. The joy that he has in experiencing this family for the first time is the truth of the film that the audience will relate to the most.”
Director Jennifer Lee said Olaf represents "pure innocence and childhood joy."
“The minute we imbued him with that, he just took off. He’s funny in a way that children are funny," said Lee. "He’s completely unaffected by the world. He’s the one character who isn’t struggling with fear versus love. He is love.”
“There's something so poignant and emotional about Olaf that makes him effortlessly funny,” Lee adds. “I don't think anyone could do that but Josh.”
Producer Peter Del Vecho said Olaf is one of the funniest characters in the film but he also has an innocent view of the world.
Filmmakers hoped to take full advantage of what Olaf offered in terms of his snowman construction, so they called on the technology team to create software called Spaces that allowed artists to deconstruct the character—and rebuild him—as part of the animation process.
“For the animation team, Olaf was like a giant toy box,” says director Chris Buck. “He’s made up of three balls of snow that can break apart and come together in different ways. His eyes can move around, his nose can slide in and out and off. His stick arms came off. Animators could do anything with him.”
Opening across the Philippines in 3D and 2D on Nov. 27, “Frozen” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.