8 Iconic Movie Characters That Were Mostly Improvised

8. Olaf - Frozen

Aside from that damn "Let It Go" song, there's probably nothing kids enjoyed about Disney's Frozen more than Olaf, the ultra-friendly snowman who loves a good hug. And the voice behind Olaf, Josh Gad, was the one responsible for the anthropomorphic snow sculpture becoming such an important part of the film. Taking a page out of the Robin Williams Voiceover Playbook, Gad went and ad libbed all over the newly-minted Disney classic, turning a bit role into a toy merchandiser's wet dream thanks to his skillful extemporizing and sheer persistence. From the first time Olaf is first introduced on screen (i.e. waved into existence with magic), the character is all Gad. In fact, for that first scene they ended up using the actor's very first take, which wasn't scripted in the slightest. No, that scene was a result of Gad just playing around and testing the waters, trying to figure out what the character was and how he would interact with the world around him. The talking snowman's endless optimism, benevolence, and childlike whimsy all came from Gad riffing in the recording studio. The director chose some of the best lines from those sessions--which Gad says he was spewing out to see if he could make the creative team laugh--and told animators to work them into the scenes. Alas, one of the most popular animated characters from this decade was born.
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Jacob is a part-time contributor for WhatCulture, specializing in music, movies, and really, really dumb humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JakeTrowbridge.

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