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When Anna and Elsa were children, Elsa would use her snow magic to play with Anna. A favorite pastime activity for the two sisters was building snowmen. On one such occasion, Elsa helped Anna build their own snowman who Elsa named Olaf to play with. At this point, Olaf is not alive, but Elsa does voice him, saying, "Hi, I'm Olaf, and I like warm hugs!", to which little Anna says, "I love you, Olaf!"
Many years later, Elsa would exile herself from Arendelle after her snow magic was discovered and deemed dangerous. In the midst of embracing her abilities at her new ice palace home, Elsa recreates Olaf, but because of her greatly strengthened abilities, he is enchanted and given a mind and will of his very own, though Elsa was completely oblivious of her newfound creation. However, the enchanted Olaf has no memory of the moments spent with Anna and Elsa as a lifeless snowman years ago.
Olaf then wanders around the mountains alone and blissfully lost, until he bumps into Anna, Kristoff and Sven the reindeer, who seek to bring Elsa back to Arendelle so that she can bring back summer after she accidentally caused an eternal winter. Though initially phased by him, Anna decides to add a carrot nose to the snowman, much to his delight. After making introductions to each other (and Olaf mistakes Kristoff and Sven to have the same name as the latter), Anna soon recognizes Olaf and quickly assumes it was Elsa who built him, to which he confirms. Kristoff then tells Olaf of their mission to bring back summer after Olaf constantly asked what their intentions on finding Elsa were. Extremely giddy with the idea of summer and its warmth, Olaf decides to happily guide the group to Elsa's palace, though Anna refrains from telling him about the dangers of summer for a snowman, so not to disappoint, leaving Olaf comically in the dark.
After a short journey, Olaf and the others find Elsa's ice palace, and the little snowman could not have been more eager, rushing up the icy staircase and to the main entrance door. However, Anna decides it may be best to enter alone, without Olaf and Kristoff, and request they remain outside for a minute. Olaf does just that, sitting outside beside Kristoff and counts to sixty, rushing inside once he does, completely overjoyed to see Elsa again. His presence proves there is love and beauty in her powers, and remind her of the joyful moments she spent with Anna. However, their childhood memories also remind Elsa of the haunting night when she nearly killed her sister, prompting her to leave the scene, asking Anna to leave once again. Anna refuses to leave without her sister, but the stubbornness only makes Elsa uncomfortable, causing her to lose control over her powers once again and accidentally freezes Anna's heart. Olaf and Kristoff run to her aid, but Anna claims all is well. She tries once again to get Elsa home, but the Snow Queen refuses yet again, forcefully prompting her next action due to Anna's stubbornness.
In order to keep them away, Elsa creates a personal bodyguard named Marshmallow, a giant snowman. Olaf is thrilled to see another enchanted snowman, but is immediately kicked out along with Anna and Kristoff. The harming of Olaf angers Anna, and the princess fiercely (or as fierce as she can seem) throws a snowball at the snow beast, provoking him and leading to a chase. Olaf tells the gang to move ahead as he will distract him, but with his body dismembered, that immediately proves to be difficult. Anna and Kristoff reach the cliff of a mountain, and begin making a snow anchor to lower themselves down safely. Olaf meets up with them seconds before Marshmallow, and tries his luck again in taming the monster, but to no avail. Marshmallow continues his pursuit for Anna and Kristoff, but Olaf tries to battle him, leading the smaller snowman to be kicked over the cliff edge, leaving Anna and Kristoff to be captured by Marshmallow, only to escape due to Anna's quick thinking, causing them both to plummet down alongside Olaf, though they all survive.
Once they recover their energy, Kristoff notices Anna's hair turning white, rather alarmingly. To help, he takes the gang to a valley filled with mystical trolls. Along the way there, Olaf and Sven bond, forming a friendship, as does Kristoff and Anna, though in a romantic light. Upon arriving in the valley, Anna and Olaf only see what seem to be inanimate rocks. Judging Kristoff to be insane, Olaf urges Anna to run while he distracts him by pretending to acknowledge one of the rocks, just before the trolls awaken and welcome back Kristoff. Olaf joins in the trolls' cheer before realizing he was mistaken about Kristoff's name. Kristoff's adoptive mother, Bulda, believes Anna and Kristoff are a couple and the trolls gather to begin forming a wedding for the two, not realizing Anna's in danger. During it all, the two actually begin harboring affection towards one another, though Kristoff would not admit it in the least, and while that may be, Olaf and Sven are aware of the matter. However, before the wedding is complete, Anna nearly faints due to the powerful curse, and Pabbie, the king of the trolls, arrives upon sensing the magic, informing Anna that if she does not perform an act of true love, she will freeze to death. The friends immediately rush back to Arendelle, believing a kiss from Hans, a prince Anna's engaged to, will break the curse.
Along the way, Olaf is accidentally separated from the group, and informs them that he will meet with them at the castle. When he arrives, he finds Anna in the library, on the ground and quickly dying. She tells him Hans betrayed her and was never really her true love, and Olaf does not hesitate to start a fire to keep the princess warm. Fearing he will melt, Anna tells Olaf to leave, but not wanting to abandon his friend, the snowman stays by her side, nearly melting during this time. Still heartbroken by the betrayal, Anna tells Olaf she does not even know what love is anymore, upon hearing his inquiry as to whether or not she has any ideas on an act of true love that can save her. Olaf then replies by telling Anna love is putting someone else's need before your own, using Kristoff as an example, thus revealing his true feelings to Anna, much to the princess' surprise. Suddenly, the library's window bursts open due to the strong winter winds, and Olaf rushes to close it.
Before he does, he notices Kristoff and Sven rushing back to the castle. Knowing Kristoff is truly the one that loves Anna, the two try to head out to meet him, with Olaf aiding the dying princess out of the castle and into the fjords. However, the powerful storm blows Olaf away, and once he reunites with everyone, he finds Elsa mourning for Anna, who unfortunately froze to death sacrificing her life to save Elsa from Hans. Just as Olaf mourns to this, Anna is miraculously returned to life, and Olaf exclaims that her self-sacrifice for her elder sister was an act of true love. His words help Elsa realize that love is the key to controlling her ability as she thaws Arendelle, bringing back summer. Overjoyed, Olaf smiles with glee, but quickly melts due to the summer heat. Elsa restores him and gives him a small flurry cloud to hover over his body and keep him completely cool, finally allowing the snowman to live his dream of experiencing summer and all its warm wonders.
During the kingdom celebration, Olaf is seen throughout the village enjoying the sights and sounds of the warm season, taking a whiff of some flowers. The pollen causes him to sneeze, however, and his carrot nose lands directly into Sven's mouth. The reindeer does not hesitate to suck it up, saddening the snowman. However, this was only a playful trick, and Sven immediately places the carrot back onto Olaf's face, where it belongs, prompting the overjoyed snowman to hug his friend affectionately. Olaf is last seen in the castle courtyard, enjoying the newly made ice skating rink created by Elsa for the kingdom's enjoyment.
Taking place nearly a year after the events of the film, Anna's birthday has arrived, and Elsa is determined to make the day perfectly special for her younger sister. To help ensure every detail is precise, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven are stationed in the castle courtyard to assist with decorations. After putting the finishing touches on the cake, however, a mischievous Olaf takes a bite, immediately being told he's not allowed to, by Elsa, as the cake is for Anna and must remain in one piece until the princess' arrival. Understanding, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven are then left in charge to keep the courtyard intact until Elsa returns with Anna. Some time afterwards, miniature snow-babies (known as Snowgies) randomly appear, and instantly catch Olaf's attention.
Though the snowman is fascinated and excited by the sight of new "little brothers", the Snowgies soon begin causing a mess of things, and eventually make the birthday cake their target. Kristoff is able to use his swift movements to protect the cake, using Olaf's head as a weapon to knock them over. The Snowgies then tear down the "Happy Birthday" banner. Olaf volunteers to remanage it, but to disastrous results. By the time Anna and Elsa finally arrive at the courtyard, the Snowgies have been tamed, and Olaf excitedly welcomes the princess of honor, and unveils the surprise party attended by several friends and citizens of the kingdom.
At the end of the short, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven travel to Elsa's ice palace in the North Mountain, to have the Snowgies reside with Marshmallow. As Olaf walks them into their new home, he has appeared to have taken a shine to the Snowgies, even giving them names.
- He is voiced by Josh Gad,who will play LeFou in 2017's Beauty and The Beast