Once Upon A Snowman (2020) can’t dig its way out of a drift of unnecessariness

If, like me, you’d assumed that everything you might need to know about Olaf the snowman’s origins was relayed quite effectively in 2013’s “Frozen”, you’d be absolutely right. That hasn’t stopped Disney from pulling together “Once Upon A Snowman”, a wholly unoriginal original short which plays out like its made up from deleted and discarded scenes from the first “Frozen” movie.

Once Upon A Snowman - Olaf

Absent-mindedly created by Elsa during her show-stopping “Let It Go” number, Olaf is a snowman undergoing an existential crisis brought on by, well, having been abruptly brought into existence. Cue a series of mildly amusing, if somewhat repetitive, close calls with the action of the movie only this time seen from the vantage point of just a few seconds before or after. Searching for meaning, Olaf briefly contemplates the pseudo-Cronenbergian horror of being made of snow and walking around in snow before he’s distracted by Wandering Oaken’s trading post, right after Anna has bought all the carrots and rope. After opting for an alternative nose, he tangles with wolves (yes, the same wolves that chase Anna and Christoph) and gravity before finally finding himself primed to make his entrance to the movie.

Once Upon A Snowman - Olaf's Cue

But don’t worry, the writers know that there’s no longer any appeal in fictional stories where even the smallest detail of a character’s behaviour or actions isn’t explained by a specific incident so you can bet they cover just why Olaf – who’s existance spans a mere few winter hours – is so excited about the idea of summer.

The animation is as slick and polished as you’d expect and if you’ve got ten or so minutes to kill then you might as well put this on, but there’s nothing here you haven’t seen before, just not from this angle.

Score 5

5/10


“Once Upon A Snowman” is available to stream now on Disney+

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