Queen Elsa of Arendelle, also known as The Snow Queen, is the deuteragonist of Disney's Academy Award-winning 2013 animated feature film Frozen. She is the older sister of Princess Anna and was next in line for Arendelle's throne, until her powers over ice and snow led her to become the famous Snow Queen. She is voiced by Idina Menzel.
She will join the Disney Princess line-up, along with her sister, making her the 13th Disney Princess.
Elsa is loosely based on the title character of The Snow Queen, a short story by Hans Christian Andersen, and to a much lesser extent, Kai from the same story. While the character from the original fairy tale was neutral, Elsa was rewritten as the deuteragonist.
Elsa was originally portrayed as a dramatic, evil, theatrical villain in early drafts of the film, akin to villains of Disney's past such as Cruella De Vil in One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and Ursula in The Little Mermaid, as well as being unrelated to Anna. However, as the film's development went into several problems story-wise, two major changes were made; the altercation of Elsa's moral role in the story, and her relationship with Anna. Once the two became sisters, the filmmakers felt it would open new possibilities for story elements, making the process of finalizing the completion of the Disney adaption of The Snow Queen all the more accessible. Elsa's original portrayal as a villain depicted her as being a rogue cold-hearted tyrant who had an entire army of giant snowmen as henchmen (who would eventually be turned into one giant snowman, Marshmallow), and was designed to resemble either Bette Midler (Georgette the poodle's voice actress) or the late singer Amy Winehouse, where she was depicted with spiky black hair, a constantly malicious smile, and wearing a clearly sinister-looking outfit; as opposed to having an innocent, angelic appearance and personality seen in the final film, and was originally going to be very hostile and bitter toward others about not wanting to contain her powers instead of being fearful and insecure about not wanting to appreciate her powers. However, this did not work out very well, as it would've been difficult for her to reform if she was an outright evil villain, and after listening to the song "Let It Go", intended to be Elsa's villain song when it was written, the writers realized that her motivations of self-empowerment and wanting to be herself were too positive to be expressed by a villain and did not fit the villain role, and as a result, instead of changing the lyrics they ended up changing the plot, and therefore the character was changed from a villainous role to a heroic role seen in the actual film (this may have also led to the creation of the film's real villain Hans).