An iconic snowman is back on the scene in Disney +’s Olaf Presents. Josh Gad returns as the loveable Olaf for five two-minute shorts that reimagine some of Disney’s classics. The titular character steps into the spotlight and goes from snowman to showman as he entertains Arendelle with his delightful abbreviated versions of these beloved tales.
Olaf takes on the roles of producer, actor, costumer, and set builder for his unique "retelling" of The Lion King, Moana, Tangled, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid. Josh Gad taps into his natural charisma and versatility as Olaf. Gad has a chance to demonstrate his theatrical flair, taking on such iconic roles as a mermaid, a genie, a lion king (and most of the other parts in between).
Long time Disney animator, who recently directed At Home with Olaf is back in the director’s chair while Frozen writer Jennifer Lee pens the script. When I first heard about Olaf Presents, I had no idea where the project would actually go. The concept is pretty interesting and works primarily on the strength of Josh Gad and how well he knows the character.
Regarding the retelling of the Disney classics, I found the takes on The Lion King, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid the strongest since I viewed those as a kid. While the interpretations on Moana and Tangled just didn't come off as strong for me. I found the delivery rather weak since I viewed those two originals as an adult. I also commend the director and writer for doing shorts instead of a ½ hour special. While I consider Olaf a breakout character as 2017's Olaf's Frozen Adventure showed, sometimes the character is best in small doses.
While a small part of me does feel that Disney is milking the Frozen franchise at this point, Olaf Presents is harmless enough to at least provide brief entertainment for the younger audiences.
Final Grade: C+
All Episodes Available on Disney+ Day, Friday, November 12