Op-ed: Should Prince Hans Return For Frozen III?


At the recent Disney investor’s call Disney CEO Bob Iger announced multiple sequels to popular Disney franchises. Among those were Toy Story 5, Zootopia 2, Inside Out 2 and lastly Frozen 3.

It’s no secret that Frozen is one of Disney’s top brands ever since its release 10 years ago. The popularity of the song “Let It Go” became an ear worm sung by millions of children, much to the dismay of parents, older siblings and babysitters everywhere. The first film made $1.28 Billion on a $150 Million budget, and that isn’t even counting the insane amount of merchandise sales the series has had.

In 2019 we received a sequel, Frozen II, which currently sits as Disney’s highest grossing animated film of all time with $1.45 Billion at the box office. But despite the success the story has been criticized for its lack of focus. Hardcore fans also disliked Elsa leaving Arendelle and giving Anna the crown instead.

Even the filmmakers of Frozen II had a difficult time coming up with the story as the sequel was seemingly greenlit by corporate mandate as opposed to organically being crafted.

Despite that, children everywhere love Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven. But one character from the first movie was completely absent from its sequel — Prince Hans.

Prince Hans was the main antagonist of the first Frozen, being revealed to be a twist villain among a sea of twist villains in Disney/Pixar films at the time. Wreck It Ralph, Cars 2, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Coco, The Incredibles 2, Lightyear etc. 

His plan was to marry into royalty and become king of Arendelle since he was the youngest of thirteen brothers. Originally wanting to marry Elsa, he instead seduced Anna since she was more eager to marry. But when he sees an opportunity to try and kill both sisters and assume the throne he takes it and is defeated by sisterly love. At the end of the film we see him sent back to his brothers practically handcuffed. Last we’ve seen of him was a brief appearance on Frozen Fever as a gag. 

With the third and presumably final Frozen film on the horizon many fans have wondered if the Prince of the Southern Isles would return. And if he were to do so would he be as a redemption seeking hero or a revenge seeking villain?

Hans being a twist villain has been up for debate as it seemingly contradicts previous sequences and motivations. Multiple fans and even outlets like the Washington Examiner  have criticized the decision. YouTuber MattPatt in a film theory video pointed out when Hans was out in charge of Arendelle he genuinely seemed concerned for the safety of Anna, Elsa and the city. He ventures to Elsa’s ice palace and explicitly says to NOT harm Elsa. And finally when an assassin tried to kill Elsa he pushed her out of the way saving her life.

Even when Elsa is brought back and imprisoned he said that he couldn’t let “them” (the other aristocrats) kill her.

If anything it shows that the villain twist was completely unneeded and that the true “villain character” was the Duke of Weselton, the same guy who sent the two assassins to try and kill Elsa.

Now, if Hans were indeed to return which path could Disney take?

The Villain Path:

Hans could return in a typical manner, being the bad guy out for revenge. In fact they do this in the live-action ABC series Once Upon A Time. The series revolved around various Disney characters crossing over (non-canon of course) and Hans (Played by: Tyler Jacob Moore), along with a few of his brothers, sought to try and take over Arendelle and are of course defeated.

However if they were to take this path not much would have been achieved in the grand scheme of things. Of course they could go more into his backstory, but at the end of the day it wouldn’t change much. He will still be bad and will still be defeated.

The Redemption Path:

Honestly this path could lead to a more intreating story. Why is he seeking redemption? How can he redeem himself? Why did he contradict himself in the first film? It leads to more possibilities as he either helps or joins our main heroes in stopping a new threat.

In an interview with Hans’ voice actor Santino Fontana via Broadway.com in 2014 when the subject of Hans returning in a sequel came up he said:

They could tell another story with those characters. And I say ‘Well I wouldn’t be in it’ and I spoke to the writers (who are friends as well) and they’re like “No no we have an idea. We wanna bring you back. We wanna redeem you’. So that would be great. That would be amazing.

From these comments we do know that, at least at one point, Hans was indeed planned to have a redemption story for a Frozen sequel.

Fontana himself still seem on board with Hans getting a redemption arc as he once shared an article via Twitter about how Hans wasn’t the “Real Villain”:

So if Hans does indeed return to the franchise to looks like there are more people inside Disney that are interested in his redemption.

But I do have to mention one last potential factor that has come up in multiple discussions.

The “Helsa” Path:

Within the Frozen fandom there does exist a faction that not only wants to see Hans return, but also have him and Elsa fall in love by the end. The idea of the female heroine and the male former villain falling in love has become a trope recently. It can be seen in such projects as Lucasfilm’s 2015 animated film Strange Magic and in 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Perhaps the most well known believers in Helsa are husband and wife duo Austin Colbey and Caroline Bowman. Broadway actors who played Hans and Elsa in the stage version of Frozen and have shows support of the paring on different occasions.


In the Frozen tie-in book A Frozen Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick we get more backstory on Hans. He apparently felt somewhat ostracized by his older siblings and was overlooked by his own father. So he too knew what it was like growing up alone and could sympathize with Elsa, and vice versa. 

However, Disney might not move in this direction as many suspect they will pair Elsa with Honeymaron who was introduced in Frozen II. We will have to wait and see what happens.

So after ten years do you believe that Hans will be brought back to the Frozen franchise? If so how do you think they will do it? Him seeking revenge on the sisters? Him seeking to redeem himself and saving Arendelle from a new threat? Or will Hans and Elsa fall in love?

Let us know what you think below.

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.