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Hans (Disney)

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Title: Hans (Disney)  
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Subject: Frozen (2013 film), Kristoff (Disney), Once Upon a Time (season 4), Frozen Heart, In Summer
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Hans (Disney)

Frozen character
First appearance Frozen
Created by Chris Buck
Jennifer Lee
Portrayed by Tyler Jacob Moore
(Once Upon a Time)
Voiced by Santino Fontana
Occupation Regent of Arendelle (briefly)
Title Prince of the Southern Isles
Relatives The King and Queen of the Southern Isles (parents)
Twelve older brothers

Prince Hans of the Southern Isles is a fictional character from Walt Disney Animation Studios' 53rd animated film, Frozen (2013). Hans is voiced by Santino Fontana in the film, and later portrayed by Tyler Jacob Moore in the live action television series Once Upon a Time.

Hans is the thirteenth prince of the Southern Isles. Knowing that he will be unable to inherit the throne of his own country, he concocts a scheme to usurp the throne of another kingdom through marriage. Although he is portrayed as honest and noble throughout most of the film, he is later revealed to be cold, calculating, and cruel in nature. Several hints towards Hans’ true intentions, which are very easy to overlook on a first time viewing, become more apparent upon repeat viewings of the film.

The reveal of Hans’ villainy is a major plot twist in Frozen, this being revealed in the film's final act. Despite the acclaim that the film has received, Hans' betrayal has been the subject of mixed reception from some critics. While the character's mastery of trickery and Fontana's performance have been praised, Hans' villainous reveal has been criticized for being too upsetting and confusing for the film's younger viewers. Others have considered the character's shift in personality to be a valuable lesson that children can learn from.


Origins and concept

The Disney studio made their first attempts to adapt Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale, The Snow Queen, as early as 1943, when Walt Disney considered the possibilities to produce a biography film of the author.[1] However, the story and the characters proved to be too symbolic[2] and implicit[3] that they posed unsolvable problems to Disney and his animators. Later on, other Disney executives had made efforts to translate this material to the big screen, however these proposals were all shelved due to similar issues.[1]


Santino Fontana provided both the singing and speaking voice of Hans.

He is voiced in the film Frozen by actor Santino Fontana. About playing the role he said "It’s pretty great. It’s pretty liberating, ah, because you’re not, it’s kind of the freest sense of, you know. When I wanted to be an actor, I always think of like trying to get to the place of the floor is lava, that feeling of like you’re a little kid. You’re just playing like ah, the ground is lava. If I can get to that place of finding like here’s what I’m playing like a kid, um, it’s pretty thrilling. And the great thing about animation is you’re not limited by anything physical or even logical. You know what I mean?"[4]

Design and characterization

Usually the hero or heroine of the film undergoes a transformation (i.e. Aladdin goes from street rat to prince, Cinderella from servant to princess). In Frozen, Hans goes from a courtly charmer to power-hungry villain. According to Hyrum Osmond, one of the supervising animators for Hans, Hans initially appears as a handsome, dashing character. The crew wanted the audience to fall in love with him and the relationship he could have with Anna. Then they'd got to turn him around towards the climax and make it a big shock. According to Lino Di Salvo, Hans is a chameleon who adapts to any environment to make the other characters comfortable. And one of the biggest challenges in designing Hans, according to Bill Schwab, character design supervisor, was to make sure that they covered all aspects of his personality without fully tipping their hand to the audience. He shares similar personalities with various Disney villains. Notably, Lady Tremaine for the way he treats Anna near the climax of the end. He shares Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective, Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Scar from The Lion King, and Jafar's from Aladdin, intentions for wanting to murder their respective rulers and instill themselves as king (which only Ratigan, Frollo and Hans was able to almost fulfill, while Jafar decided he would force Jasmine to marry him and not kill her. On the other hand, Scar had succeed in killing Mufasa and taking over as king until he was finally foiled by Simba who forced his confession during their fight). He shares similarities to Gaston from Beauty and the Beast in which they were the youngest villains to appear and having the towns fall in love with them. However, the main difference is that Belle quickly saw Gaston for who he is and mistrusted him, whereas Hans gained Anna's trust before betraying her. Afterwards, he left a lasting and negative impact on Anna when she realizes that the warning Elsa, and later Kristoff, originally gave her about falling in love with someone she does not know was true.

Hyrum Osmond, one of the film's supervising animators, later revealed that during "Love Is an Open Door" musical sequence, featured a brief moment where Prince Hans, belting out a high note under a waterfall, closed his eyes and raised his arm, was a parody of a signature move by Donny Osmond, of which Hyrum is a nephew.[5]



Once the Southern Isles is given word of Queen Elsa's coronation, Hans is the royal representative that attends in honor of his kingdom. Along with the other invited royalty, he arrives on the day of the event and is first seen arriving in Arendelle on his horse, Sitron, who accidentally runs into Princess Anna when she crashes into his horse, and falls into a rowboat. Using grace and charm, Hans immediately woos the lovesick princess, with Anna almost immediately falling for him due to his wondrous looks and undeniable charisma. Moments later, Hans attends Queen Elsa's crowning, waving to Anna as he watches alongside the other visiting royals and dignitaries. Later on that night, a ball is held in honor of the new queen and Hans appears at the celebration party, soon finding and inviting Anna for a romantic waltz after coincidentally bumping into her once again.

During their time together, Hans learns of Anna's longing of having someone special in her life, with her sister apparently developing a dislike of being around her by suddenly shutting Anna out one day when they were kids, to which Hans openly relates to, only furthering Anna's connection with him. And with this, Hans promises to never shut Anna out, unlike Elsa, much to the princess' absolute joy. By the end of their tour, Hans works up the courage to propose, with Anna agreeing in a heartbeat. The two head back to the royal throne room, where the party is being held, to ask for Elsa's blessing. Elsa coldly refuses, denying Anna marrying someone she just met, and subsequently ends the party. Suspecting he has an ulterior motive for wanting to marry Anna, she orders Hans to leave out of frustration. Heartbroken, Anna confronts her sister, but this accidentally exposes Elsa's abilities to conjure up ice and snow, much to Hans' shock, along with everyone else's. The Duke of Weselton immediately declares Elsa a monster, and orders his men to capture her. Elsa flees, accidentally causing an eternal winter over Arendelle while doing so, with Anna and Hans chasing after her until she runs across the surface of the fjord. Anna volunteers to go after Elsa, but Hans objects to her going by herself, considering it too dangerous. However, Anna insists that Hans stays behind to rule during her absence, to which the prince eventually agrees to.

It does not take long for Arendelle to turn into an icy wasteland. However, through it all, Hans proved to be a worthy ruler, winning the hearts of Arendelle's citizens, gaining their trust and loyalty through his seemingly benevolent and caring ways. Hans does so by distributing free cloaks to the public and setting up soup lines in the palace. The Duke of Weselton is furious that Hans is giving away Arendelle's tradeable goods. Scolding Hans, the Duke then openly expresses his suspicion over Anna and Elsa, believing they're conspiring together to doom them all. Hans immediately snaps and threatens to punish the Duke for treason if he doesn't silence himself. Just then, Anna's horse returns, riderless, making Hans believe Anna is in danger. With the royal guards and the Duke's men, Hans leads a rescue mission for Anna and a hunt for Elsa.

A few days later, the army arrives at Elsa's ice palace. As they are approaching the front steps, Elsa's snowlem bouncer, Marshmallow, disguised as a pile of snow by the staircase, suddenly attacks him. While Hans and his army battle Marshmallow, the Duke's two guards make their way inside to take on Elsa. Hans manages to defeat Marshmallow by slicing his leg off, sending him plunging into a gorge. With him out of the way, Hans and the others rush inside to find Anna, but she is nowhere in sight. Instead, they find Elsa merely seconds away from killing the Duke's two guards. Hans is able to stop her, freeing the two thugs. However, one of the thugs attempts to shoot her with his bolt, but Hans interferes and causes the bolt to shoot upward and shatter the hook on a massive chandelier, which crashes down and manages to knock Elsa unconscious. Captured, Elsa is imprisoned in Arendelle's dungeon. Hans decides to pay Elsa a visit, asking her to put an end to the winter. However, Elsa confesses she has no idea how and asks to be released. Hans claims he will do what he can.

Anna suddenly returns and desperately begs Hans for a kiss. The two are given privacy, Anna explains that during her journey, Elsa froze her heart, and only an act of true love can save her from freezing to death. Hans smirks and rejects Anna. Confused, Anna tries to understand what's going on, but Hans simply explains his entire plot to marry her, arrange an "accident" for Elsa, and become king of Arendelle through marriage. Anna tries to stop him, but she is far too weak. After informing her his next move is to kill Elsa and bring back summer, Hans leaves Anna to die, locking the door and trapping her within to prevent others from finding her. Hans then returns to the Duke and the other dignitaries. He tells them Anna was killed by Elsa, but is unaware that Olaf foiled him by helping Anna escape. He sentences Elsa to death for high treason.

Meanwhile, through her magic, Elsa manages to escape her cell by freezing her shackles until they become so brittle that they break, then freezing the wall of her cell until it collapses. Hans chases after her into the frozen fjords as a harsh blizzard consumes the kingdom. He eventually stumbles upon her, and claims to her she cannot escape all the horrible things she has already done. Elsa pleads for mercy, and asks him to take care of her sister for her, to which Hans responds by telling her that Anna has died from Elsa freezing her heart (or so Hans thinks, since Olaf has found Anna and helped her escape). Elsa collapses, and whilst she is distracted, Hans pulls out his sword and prepares to stab her. As he is swinging, Anna suddenly arrives and jumps in front of Hans's sword path, completely freezing solid just before Hans' blade strikes her and shatters. Anna's freezing causes a forceful blast, knocking Hans off his feet and rendering him unconscious.

When he awakens several moments later, he finds Arendelle thawed and peace restored. Enraged by what Hans did to Anna and what he was doing to Elsa, Kristoff approaches Hans intending to attack him, but Anna intervenes. Instead, Anna confronts Hans, and the sight of Anna alive and well confuses Hans, prompting him to ask how she survived the frozen heart curse. She turns her back to him, much to Hans' disbelief, then, in a swift movement, turns around again and punches him in the face and off the side of a ship. Humiliated and defeated, Hans is last seen imprisoned on a ship heading back to the Southern Isles. According to the French dignitary, Hans is set to receive an ultimate (and unspecified) punishment from his older brothers.

Frozen Fever

Hans briefly makes an appearance in Frozen Fever where he is seen cleaning up horse manure in the Southern Isles as part of his punishment from his family in his actions against Queen Elsa and Arendelle. After Elsa sneezes, she creates a large snowball that flies over to the Southern Isles and accidentally catapults Hans into a pile of manure, causing all the horses in the stable to laugh at his misfortune, much to his dismay.

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time character
First appearance "A Tale of Two Sisters"
Last appearance "Heroes and Villains"
Created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz
Portrayed by Tyler Jacob Moore
Family King and Queen of the Southern Isles (parents)

Hans appears in the fourth season of Once Upon a Time and is played by Tyler Jacob Moore.[6] In the fourth season premiere, "A Tale of Two Sisters", Elsa reminds Anna that Hans and his older brothers still have a grudge against Arendelle for his treatment two years earlier and have been looking for a chance to repay Anna and Elsa for this ever since.[7] In the third episode "Rocky Road," Hans and his brothers have gathered outside of Arendelle with an army and he reveals a plan to his brothers to capture Elsa with a magical urn. Hans finds Elsa and Kristoff in the cave with the urn and holds Kristoff hostage in order to force Elsa to give him the urn. After retrieving the urn, Hans tries to use it to imprison Elsa, but inadvertently releases the Snow Queen instead. The Snow Queen, upset that Hans called Elsa a monster, freezes him while his brothers flee the cave.

Elsa and Anna later discover his frozen body untouched in the palace's east-wing room. He is later thawed out after 30 years (Arendelle was frozen by the Snow Queen.) and he becomes the new king of Arendelle. His first order was to have Anna and Kristoff arrested, and with help from Blackbeard he places the two into a trunk and sends them to their death at the bottom of the ocean, not knowing that Elsa, using Anna's necklace as a locator spell, brings the two to Storybrooke. However, soon after the Snow Queen sacrifices herself hence breaking the spell of shattered sight, Elsa, Anna and Kristoff return to Arendelle via a magical portal and quickly retake their throne and kingdom (with it implied that Anna once again punches Hans in the face, this time in the eye).


While the film has largely received critical acclaim,[8] some critics were divided on the reveal of Hans' duplicity. Gina Dalfonzo from The Atlantic questioned the reveal's age-appropriateness, saying, "Children will, in their lifetimes, necessarily learn that not everyone who looks or seems trustworthy is trustworthy—but Frozen’s big twist is a needlessly upsetting way to teach that lesson."[9] Other critics disagreed - Melissa Leon from The Daily Beast said, "Anna is being ridiculous. But unlike Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, the world of Frozen knows that. It uses Anna's ill-thought-out engagement to show exactly why the cliché is unrealistic and absurd—in her case, it even proves dangerous as ... her charming prince turns out to be a two-faced villain."[10] Alyssa Rosenberg of ThinkProgress took a moderate position, arguing, "Rather than declaring Prince Charming fantasies good or bad, I think Frozen is part of a tradition of adding heft to Prince Charming himself. And that's a good thing. [...] Frozen might have been a dud if Hans had only been a jerk. But, so help me, I found myself with some sympathy for the guy."[11]


  1. ^ a b
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  6. ^ Tyler Jacob Moore Cast as Frozen's Prince Hans on Once Upon a Time E! Online, Retrieved July 29, 2014
  7. ^ Once Upon a Time, season 4 episode 1, A Tale of Two Sisters
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