In the movie Frozen we see Anna & Kristoff joking around with Olaf about a snowman's fate in summer. At the end of movie Queen Elsa provides Olaf with the means to survive summer.

How did he survive all the summers from the time he was made till he re-met Anna?
Did he exist throughout the time from when he was conceived, or did he appear in the plot after Elsa fled Arendell?

3 Answers 3


The living Olaf is made by Elsa while she's fleeing from Arendelle to North mountain (I think during the song, not sure). He has nothing to do with the regular snowman Olaf they made as kids. So there weren't any summers to survive.

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    "ANNA: He’s just like the one we built as kids.... We were so close. We can be like that again." I was totally confused by this line. Thanks and sorry for your time
    – user63699
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 6:21
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    Yes, he is made during the "Let it go" song (I won't watch the video to pick the time). The time span in the story were just a few days, besides the magical winter created by Elsa there were no other season changes. Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 11:28
  • Huh, I've only seen this movie some 20-30 times, every time being distracted in that scene by a singing college girl dressed in snowflake pyjamas. Still, I could swear that the context of that scene is, and I could swear that Olaf is nodding to confirm, that he is the very snowman they made as kids. Must rewatch...
    – Damon
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 20:54
  • @Mindwin Yeah man I feel you on the not watching the video again Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 8:35
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    @GordonBennett but you can watch a good parody/criticism of it. Despair of an Allto Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 13:19

There were no summers before he met Anna.

Olaf is created when Elsa sings "Let it go" as shown in the picture below.

Image from Fanpop showing Elsa creating Olaf

After Elsa runs away, Anna immediately starts looking for her. Besides being her sister and caring for her, Anna also sees how Elsa's magic has frozen Arendelle in summer and believes that they need her to bring it back. From that point in time to the act of true love and Elsa actually thawing all the ice and snow only a few days pass.

  • 1
    "ANNA: He’s just like the one we built as kids.... We were so close. We can be like that again." I was totally confused by this line. Thanks and sorry for your time
    – user63699
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 6:19
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    See 1:04 here.
    – MooseBoys
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 8:59
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    Actually... a separate question - did anyone sleep during those few days? :D
    – Vilx-
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 21:05
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    @Vilx- : Not among the main characters, but by my count, it was only two nights missed, so that's not so bad for such young people. (This requires the viewer to turn back in time several hours from the end of Let It Go, which occurs at dawn on the end of the first sleepless night, and when Anna runs after Elsa and meets Kristoff at Oaken's, which occurs while it is still night time and Kristoff wants to sleep. But the alternative is that Anna waited a whole day before going after Elsa, which I don't believe.) Commented Feb 16, 2019 at 13:41
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    Ahh, or a simpler explanation - Anna lost the track. Which would actually also explain why she asked Kristoff where he saw something magical.
    – Vilx-
    Commented Feb 16, 2019 at 14:57

Anna and Elsa created a (regular, non-magical, inanimate) snowman when they were children, and named it Olaf. However, after Elsa accidentally hurts Anna using her powers, she tries to hold back her powers and avoid Anna. Later, during a time of extreme stress, Elsa's powers got out of control, freezing Arrendele. Elsa sings the song "Let It Go", which has themes of previously trying to bottle things up, and how she's now letting go. During that song, she creates a snowman with the same appearance as the one she made with Anna as a child, before she withdrew from her relationship with Anna. The implication is she is letting herself revisit her early childhood with Anna. So the animate Olaf is based on the one she built years ago, but is not the "same" one, and did not survive through the intervening summers.

Anna recognizes the similarity, and takes it as a symbol of their previous closeness, and how it's possible to regain that closeness. Elsa creating a snowman that was clearly inspired by the one they made together shows that there's a part of her that longs for that closeness, and Anna appeals to that.

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