TIME Television

Once Upon a Time Casts Its Elsa

The popular snow queen is coming to TV

Georgina Haig will play the role of Elsa—as in, Frozen‘s snow queen—in the upcoming season of Once Upon a Time, ABC said Thursday.

Haig has previously appeared in the movie The Sapphires and, as Etta, in the TV show Fringe.

The news that Elsa would appear in the fairytale-centric show made a splash in May when a suspiciously similar looking woman appeared in the show’s season finale. At the time, executive producer Edward Kitsis told TIME the mysterious new character was definitely Elsa but that the actress who would play the newly-beloved Disney character had not yet been cast. The idea to include the character had been brewing for months, as it became clear that popular love for Frozen was not just a passing fad.

Frozen characters Anna and Kristoff will be played by Elizabeth Lail and Scott Michael Foster.

Read More: How the Producers of Once Upon a Time Kept That Frozen Shocker a Secret

TIME Music

Every Dad’s Favorite ’90s Band Covers ‘Let It Go’ From Frozen

Say hello to your new Snow Queen, Eddie Vedder


Back in February, TIME offered a definitive ranking of the best “Let It Go” covers. Now, four months later, we’re still seeing new covers popping up left and right, including one by Pearl Jam. Yes, really. During an extended arrangement of their song “Daughter” at a concert in Milan this weekend, the band transitioned to the Frozen hit.

We have to admit: it’s pretty cool hearing Eddie Vedder’s voice belting out that catchy chorus. Now we’re kind of hoping a rapper tackles it next. We’re lookin’ at you, Weezy.

TIME movies

This Girl Looks Exactly Like Elsa From Frozen

Though to be fair, you throw any pretty blonde girl into a light blue dress and you'll get a decent Elsa

Eighteen-year-old Anna Faith from Florida looks so much like everyone’s favorite Disney snow queen that she’s making money off the resemblance. Behold:

Faith has become something of an entrepreneur by starting her own Elsa lookalike business. She even recruited a friend to dress up as Elsa’s younger sister, Anna, and the two make appearances at schools and birthday parties:

Here they are singing Let It Go, obviously:

Faith even went to her prom as Elsa, because why not:

Now, yes, you might be thinking that Elsa is generic-looking enough that any pretty blonde with flowing locks could call herself a lookalike. The key is in the eyebrow, though, and Faith’s arch game is on point:

(h/t Jezebel)

TIME films

Frozen Has Massively Increased Tourism to Norway

Walt Disney Pictures

Fans of the Disney blockbuster are traveling in droves to visit the country that inspired the film's beautiful landscapes

Box office hit Frozen has inspired everything to themed birthday parties to themed, international vacations.

Harald Hansen, spokesperson for Visit Norway, told the AP that U.S. tourism to the country that inspired the film’s settings have increased substantially. Hotel bookings in the first quarter of the year were up 37% from 2013, and tour operators have experienced a 40% sales increase.

“The film seems to be a big part of the popularity,” Wilderness Travel spokesperson Barbara Banks told AP. “People just hadn’t seen these remarkable landscapes before.”

The fjord regions, which tend to display the Northern Lights, are particularly popular.

Disney is advertising its Norwegian cruises online with the promos of “an exciting opportunity to experience the part of the world that inspired the Disney animated film Frozen.

TIME movies

Frozen‘s Latest Title — Fifth-Highest Grossing Movie Ever — Is Less Impressive Than It Sounds

Disney / AP Photo

The animated heavyweight has raked in more than $1.2 billion

This Memorial Day weekend was a big one for X-Men: Days of Future Past, the new movie that earned first place in the box-office race — and, perhaps more surprisingly, for Frozen, a movie that has been out for about half a year already. The mega blockbuster has now grossed $1.219 billion worldwide, which earns it a spot in the list of the top five highest-grossing movies ever. (The movie bumped to No. 6 was Iron Man 3, which has earned $1.215 billion.) According to Deadline, the film got a big boost from its domination in Japan, where it’s won 11 weekends in a row and is the fourth highest-grossing movie ever.

That latest Frozen news is just one more in its long line of victories: Oscar wins, the title of highest-earning animated movie ever, fastest-selling digital home-entertainment release ever, source of a soundtrack that was the first album to sell a million copies in 2014 and much, much more.

But while being the fifth highest-grossing thing is a big deal — it’s in good company, following Avatar, Titanic, The Avengers and the Harry Potter grand finale — it’s maybe not as big as you’d think. Here’s a hint why: the oldest movie on that list is Titanic, which came out in 1997; no other movie from before 2000 cracks the top 10. That’s because the ranking in question is not adjusted for inflation, so newer movies have a leg up in raking in extremely impressive-sounding fortunes. As the New York Times pointed out when Avatar took the top spot back in 2010, it’s easy to think that such a list means that more successful movies are being made today; a more complete picture would look those numbers in context.

But that’s easier said than done. Sites like BoxOfficeMojo offer up data about which domestic inflation-adjusted box-office — Gone with the Wind is first, Frozen is Number 101 — but different currencies worldwide inflate at different rates, so it would be a massive undertaking to break down the value of a unit of money in each country where each movie played and how much it has inflated since then. But that doesn’t mean that bloggers haven’t done that work. This 2011 chart, for example, finds that Gone with the Wind, which made $400 million worldwide, would have raked in a whopping $3.239 billion in 2011 dollars. Avatar and Titanic are still champs but Frozen‘s $1.219 billion leaves it at Number 17. A different blogger calculated in 2013 that, using available worldwide gross data and running it through a U.S. inflation calculator, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would come in first with an astounding $6.729 billion; on that chart, Frozen would be #27. Another has Gone with the Wind at $3.862 billion.

With Frozen still going strong from its November release, it does have a chance to climb the charts — adjusted for inflation or not — further, though it seems unlikely to break the $3 billion mark, a feat that has never happened in today’s dollars. On the other hand, Gone with the Wind and its early high-earning brethren didn’t have things like digital downloads and DVD sales to make the studio money in addition to the billions at the box office. That’s where Frozen has its edge — particularly because there’s no way to adjust for inflation on YouTube hair tutorials.

TIME film

Get Ready for Frozen on Ice

The wintery fan favorite will turn into an ice skating spectacular this September

Disney has found a way to make Frozen even better: The fan favorite and box office monster is coming to the ice.

Disney announced that the wintery film will be turned into an ice spectacular this year, and it’s set to tour across the country starting in September with a cast of 39 skaters.

While most Disney on Ice shows features vignettes with other Disney characters, the New York Times reports that 98% of this show will follow Frozen’s story line. Mickey and Minnie will host the show, which will feature a blizzard made possible with the help of 20 snow machines.

TIME Frozen

7 Ways Frozen Has Taken Over Your Life

Frozen, Let It Go

It's more than a cartoon. It's a lifestyle.

The Oscar-winning movie came out almost seven months ago, and yet Frozen seems to have frozen time because everyone is still talking about it. Disney posted record earnings last week thanks to the ongoing Frozen obsession: it’s second quarter net profit is up 27 percent. It’s made $1.19 billion at the box office worldwide…so far.

But Frozen is more than a movie. It’s a lifestyle. And it’s not just kids and parents who are steeped in Frozen lore: adults too are getting in on the action by styling themselves after Elsa and rocking out to the soundtrack.

Here’s how the cartoon has taken over all our lives:

1. Toy shopping has become a nightmare

So many people are trying to buy Frozen toys, that the Disney Store has had to put limits on the number of purchases fans can make. Customers are limited to only two items per order (both in the store and online). And popular toys like stuffed animals and dolls are only available on Saturday mornings when the store opens.

The Disney store has been sold out of Frozen costumes for so long, that they announced at the beginning of this month that now that they finally have more merchandise in, they will be holding a lottery to determine purchases.

For parents who don’t feel like gambling, they can always pay $1,750 on eBay for a doll that retails at $30.

2. Frozen is showing up on TV shows

Ok, fine, it’s a TV show about Disney princesses. But that’s still a pretty fast turnaround for ABC (owned by Disney).

3. You’re styling your hair after a cartoon

How to make Elsa’s braid YouTube videos have millions—MILLIONS—of hits on YouTube. The look is so popular that even Emma Stone decided to copy it for the Met Gala (and she looked great doing it).

"Charles James: Beyond Fashion" Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals
Larry Busacca—Getty Images

4. You’re already making plans to visit New York to see the Frozen musical

A musical is coming. Kristen Bell wants to be in it. Disney hasn’t actually set a date yet. “We’re not demanding speed,” Disney CEO Robert Iger told Fortune. “We’re demanding excellence.” Still, that hasn’t stopped people getting super hyped.

5. The Frozen songs are the only thing you listen to

Admit it: you’ve been listening to “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” on loop at your office for months. The official Disney YouTube clip of “Let It Go” has 226 million views. The soundtrack has claimed the prize as the longest-running No. 1 soundtrack from an animated movie ever and held the top spot of the Billboard 200 for 13 consecutive weeks. It was finally bumped on May 13 by Now 50.

And if you’ve gotten sick of the actual soundtrack, you can always watch Marines singing “Let It Go” or listen to a club remix. Or watch an overly-talented 11-year-old sing it:

6. Disney vacations now have only one mission

See Anna and Elsa. Wait time: approximately 300 minutes.

7. You’re trying to use Frozen to teach kids and adults about feminism

One of the heartwarming things about Frozen is that Disney decided to ditch its traditional romance narrative (well, sort of ditch it) in favor of female empowerment and sisterhood. It actually passes the Bechdel Test—a tool that measures if two female characters speak to one another in a movie about something other than a man. And it proves that girl power films like Frozen and The Hunger Games can be as big at the box office as superhero movies. Great message for kids, right?

Maybe not. Adults have been spilling a lot of ink debating whether Frozen is really as empowering as everyone initially thought. See think pieces here, here, here, here and here. Plus a video to boot:


TIME Television

How the Producers of Once Upon a Time Kept That Frozen Shocker a Secret

Once Upon a Time
Katie Yu / ABC

Executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis dish on how they kept the season-ending shocker on ice

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers for the season finale of Once Upon a Time.

So, was that Elsa from Frozen on the season finale of Once Upon a Time?

“That is indeed Elsa from Frozen,” says Edward Kitsis, one of the show’s executive producers. “Yep.”

But, while fans were surprised to see that very familiar glittery blue cape at the end of the episode, Kitsis and his co-producer, Adam Horowitz, tell TIME that they were surprised by something else: the fact that the big reveal remained a surprise.

The idea to bring Frozen into the Once Upon a Time universe has been in the works ever since Kitsis and Horowitz saw the film around the time of its November 2013 release. They immediately saw a connection to their own work: “A person perceived to be a villain who’s actually misunderstood is our favorite kind of character,” says Kitsis. (Who will play that person hasn’t yet been decided; the character of Elsa on the show is yet to be cast.)

The idea stuck in their heads, and by February it was clear that they couldn’t just forget about it. They came up with a story idea that incorporated the character, pitched it to the network, got ABC’s O.K. to pitch it at a corporate level and then finally got the go-ahead; fans who think the movie studio asked the TV network to include the character have it backwards. It helped, they say, that they were careful to be sure that their story didn’t mess with anything set up by the movie, and that they were clearly Frozen fans.

So, if the idea has been in the works for months, how did they protect the surprise? Horowitz says that they wrote an alternate ending for the episode and distributed that script to the cast and crew. Only a handful of people got to see the real thing — and many people who work on the show didn’t even find out until afterwards.

What was in that alternate final scene? Horowitz and Kitsis are practicing their secretiveness on that one too.

“It’s something we’re probably going to want to use [later],” says Horowitz.

“It’s another iconic Disney totem,” hints Kitsis. “We’ll leave it at that.”

TIME Television

Was That Elsa from Frozen on Once Upon a Time?

Once Upon a Time
Katie Yu / ABC

The ABC show introduced a new character in its season finale — and she looks familiar

This post contains spoilers for the season finale of Once Upon a Time.

First Frozen conquered the box office. Then it conquered the album-sales charts. The Oscars. The club. The Great White Way. Hearts and minds. Politics. Toy stores. And, ironically enough, it’s not letting go: the latest territory taken by the princess juggernaut is television.

Last night’s season finale of the show Once Upon a Time — which is on ABC, a network owned by Disney, Frozen‘s proud parent — went out with an icy bang. The two-part episode (“Snow Drifts”/”There’s No Place Like Home”) was mostly about the time-travel trope of avoiding any changes to the past in order to preserve the future, but that attempt to leave the past unaffected was unsuccessful, and something new has come into the show’s universe. Or, rather, someone:

Watch as the blue goo turns into a glove-wearing blonde in a sparkly blue gown with a cape — and then she freezes said goo. Though we don’t get to see her face, ABC isn’t exactly being subtle:

Neither the character nor actress are listed on the episode’s cast list — and it’s fairly common practice in these situations, where a mystery character is introduced but won’t be needed till later, to have a stand-in play the first appearance and sub in the real actor when a face is seen — but all the clues are there that this isn’t just any fairy-tale ice queen.

For fans, the question raised is whether Elsa will be a good queen (everyone loves Elsa!) or an evil queen (she’s sure acting evil). Anyone who’s seen the movie knows that the line isn’t always so clear: others can see evil when you’re just being yourself, and snowy mischief doesn’t necessarily indicate a cold heart.

For the rest of the world, the question is slightly different: what will Elsa’s non-television world look like by the time she shows up on TV again? When Once Upon a Time returns in the fall, it will still have been less than a year from Frozen‘s debut to Elsa’s TV incarnation — and that’s an incredibly fast turn-around. Unlike most of the show’s stalwarts, she was entirely unknown to audiences just a few months ago; though she’s inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen tale, it’s a loose link. Even Once Upon a Time‘s homegrown characters are older than she is.

Still, the season of summer blockbusters, with characters who could unseat Elsa from her cultural throne, has yet to really kick off. That leaves her in a weird in-between category: she’s neither a classic fairy-tale character nor a super-recent, buzzy addition. But Disney and ABC clearly think that Frozen-mania will survive the coming summer, and that Elsa will still be a hit a few months from now. It would be a rarely seen velocity of cultural saturation, but the film has yet to hit a bump it couldn’t overcome. Appropriately, only time will tell whether that cold front will continue.

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