- “Who's my cute little reindeer?!”
- ―Olaf to Sven
Sven the Reindeer (simply known as Sven) is one of the primary characters in Disney's animated feature film Frozen.
Sven is the loyal pet reindeer and companion of Kristoff, a rugged mountain man. Together, the duo run an ice harvesting business (which has greatly enhanced Sven's overall strength, making him quite the force) and reside outside the city of Arendelle in the Valley of the Living Rock, where a community of trolls thrive. The trolls adopted both Kristoff and Sven as children, and raised them. Also, according to Frozen: The Essential Guide, Sven was rescued by Kristoff as a young fawn, and remained by his side ever since. Though Sven cannot speak, Kristoff has come to fully understand the reindeer merely through the latter's actions and expressions, to the point where he does his own voice-overs for Sven.
Official Disney Bio
- A reindeer with the heart of a Labrador, Sven is Kristoff’s loyal friend, sleigh-puller and conscience. He makes sure his mountain-man companion is the stand-up guy Sven knows and loves, and does so without saying a word. A few emphatic snorts usually get his point across. Life would be perfect if only Kristoff would lose that ridiculous reindeer voice he likes to use when speaking for Sven (as if reindeers really talk that way).
Sven is goofy, loyal and rather childish. He spends most of the film by Kristoff's side, acting as his closest friend (even in their younger years) and conscience. And while Sven may not seem incredibly intelligent, he does have a strong moral character. Throughout the film, he constantly convinces Kristoff to do the right thing, including assisting Anna in her journey to find Elsa, and later returning to Arendelle to confess his love for the princess after their adventure comes to a conclusion. Along with Kristoff, Sven also seems to be greatly close to Olaf, enjoying the snowman's antics and eventually creating a close bond throughout the course of the film. As a running gag, however, Sven tries to grab a bite of Olaf's carrot nose. In the end of the film, he manages to do just that, but immediately returns it, showing he was merely being playful with his newfound friend, much to Olaf's delight.
Sven is a large, tan reindeer. He wears a red harness around his body. Around his neck, back and hooves, he has tufts of white fur in a dusty pattern. The top of his head is a copper-brown color, unlike the rest of his body. He has brown eyes.
Along with Olaf, Sven appears in the animated short teaser used as the film's first trailer. Here, Sven is feeding in a snowy forest when he hears pattering upon the frozen lake nearby. He turns and notices a carrot, and the mere sight is enough to get him smiling enthusiastically. The reindeer leaps onto the ice to retrieve the carrot, but the slippery surface makes it beyond difficult to do. Along with Sven, a snowman (Olaf) is also after the carrot, and a comical competition to retrieve it ensues. The two finally reach the center of the lake, where the carrot lies, and whilst Sven has a grip on it with his lips, Olaf grabs it as well, and accidentally flings it back onto the snow. Sven doesn't hesitate to rush over, leaving Olaf behind and saddened at the lose of his nose. Fortunately, Sven returns, revealing he was only trying to help Olaf, and the two set aside their supposed differences, becoming friends, much to Sven's absolute delight.
A Boy and his Reindeer
As juveniles, Kristoff and Sven spent their time with the ice harvesters, learning the ways of the profession and tagging along whenever they can. One night, Kristoff and Sven notice the royal family (the king, queen, Princess Elsa and Princess Anna), rushing over to the Valley of the Living Rock. Curious, the boy and reindeer follow behind to watch what all the commotion is about. As they spied, they're discovered by one of the trolls, Bulda, who decides to adopt the two orphans. From there, Kristoff and Sven became family with the trolls, officially taking residence in their valley. Years later, Princess Elsa is set to become queen after the death of the original monarchs, and whilst the kingdom is abuzz with royals from all around, Kristoff and Sven are out and about, too, but don't attend the castle festivities, likely because it's meant for royalty only.
Later that night, Queen Elsa was revealed to have great power over ice and snow, and as she flees her kingdom due to being called a monster. She accidentally curses the kingdom, causing an eternal winter in the process, and just as Kristoff and Sven were making their way to the North Mountain. The next night, Kristoff was busy buying equipment for his travels, as well as carrots for Sven, from Wandering Oaken's Trading Post and Sauna, but gets kicked out for calling the store owner a crook, much to Sven's disappointment. They decide to sleep in a stable for the night, and as they sing their lullaby "duet", with Kristoff singing his reserved lyrics. Princess Anna pays them a visit, and asks Kristoff to guide her to the North Mountain to find her sister. Kristoff denies until Anna shows that she has purchased the equipment and carrots he failed to buy. Sven is more than happy to help at that point, and the trio head off. After facing a wolf attack, however, Kristoff wants to call it quits, but Sven doesn't want to leave Anna out alone, knowing she'll die, and persuades Kristoff to continue forth.
A New Friend for Sven
Later on, they meet an enchanted snowman, brought to life by Elsa, named Olaf, who offers to guide them to her ice palace. Sven immediately takes a liking to the goofy snowman, and the two form a bond. But Sven also takes a liking to Olaf's carrot nose, which he tries to eat a few times, with no success. Soon enough, the friends find Elsa's palace, but he's unable to make it up the ice stairs. Kristoff tells Sven to wait outside, and when the others return, they are being chased by a giant snowman monster. Kristoff, Olaf and Anna head off, and Sven goes in a different direction, meeting up with the gang at the bottom of a mountain cliff. At that time, Kristoff realizes that Anna's been cursed when Elsa accidentally blasted her heart with ice back at the castle, and he leads the way to the Valley of the Living Rock.
Return to Arendelle
Pabbie, the king of the trolls, tells the group that unless Anna performs an act of true love, she'll freeze to death. Riding on Sven, the group rushes back to Arendelle for Anna to kiss Hans, her fiancé, believing true love's kiss would break the curse. Once they arrive at the castle with the princess taken into royal care, Kristoff reluctantly takes his leave despite his romantic feelings for Anna, believing they could never be as Hans is apparently her true love. Sadly, the mountain man heads back into the mountains with Sven trudging along, only to eventually halt in his tracks, look back at the kingdom, and realize that leaving Anna without Kristoff confessing his true feelings isn't right. The reindeer rushes in front of the ice harvester, and tries to convince him to head back, but Kristoff angrily denies, telling Sven going back would be pointless as Anna's with her true love. However, seconds after, a gust of frosty wind hits the duo, and looking back at the castle, they see the kingdom being consumed by a deadly blizzard. Knowing Anna must be in danger, Sven and Kristoff rush back to Arendelle to her rescue.
Rushing back to the castle, the blizzard becomes much more powerful, though it only prompts Sven to increase his speed, as the reindeer is highly devoted to getting Kristoff to his true love. From the castle library, Olaf and Anna are able to spot Kristoff and Sven rushing to them in the distance, having the duo head out into the frozen fjords to meet them. During the chaos, Olaf is separated from the princess, and likewise, a ship causes the icy ground beneath Sven to crack, unleashing freezing waters. Sven tries to avoid them, but only manages to get Kristoff to safety before falling head-first into the freezing waters, apparently drowning, much to Kristoff's horror. However, Sven luckily survives and pulls himself onto a drifting iceberg, telling Kristoff to keep moving without him, which the mountain man obliges to.
When he reunites with the others, Sven finds Anna frozen solid, having sacrificed herself to save Elsa from the treacherous Hans. Fortunately, that's an act of true love, and Anna is reborn. The rest of the kingdom is thawed, as well, and Elsa reclaims her throne. As a reward, Sven is appointed royalty by Elsa, and welcomed into the castle as such along with Kristoff and Olaf, who is given his own snow cloud to survive in summer. As the snowman enjoys the season, he sneezes upon sniffing a flower, causing his carrot nose to fly right into Sven's mouth. Sven playfully sucks it in, much to Olaf's sadness, but immediately places it back onto the snowman's face, proclaiming their friendship. Sven is last seen with Olaf, Kristoff, Anna and Elsa skating in the new ice skating rink of the castle's courtyard, enjoying the peace and freedom Arendelle greatly longed for.
Once Upon a Time
Adam Horowitz, a writer on Once Upon a Time, made a post on his Twitter page on July 9, 2014, indicating a reindeer is on set for filming of the show's fourth season, which is set to heavily feature characters from Frozen, confirming Sven's inclusion within the line-up.
Along with Olaf, Kristoff, Anna and Elsa, Sven appears in the winter-themed version of the nighttime spectacular World of Color in Disney California Adventure, making a small cameo pulling a sleigh carrying Olaf, Anna and Kristoff. Sven's likeness is also featured during the Frozen: Summer Fun event at Disney's Hollywood Studios, along with being commonly mentioned and alluded to.
Along with Olaf, Sven was the first major character from the film to appear in a video game, being Frozen: Olaf's Quest. Sven's role in the game was considerably minor, as he made appearances alongside Olaf in a few special levels, following the hapless snowman through the map.
Sven is also a recent addition to the popular app Frozen: Free Fall as a character companion. He is unlocked upon reaching level 92 and has the special ability of Carrot, which destroys a total of nine random block tiles.
Sven will appear as an unlockable mount for the Toy Box in Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition.
Along with Olaf, Kristoff, Anna and Elsa, Sven appears in the winter themed version of the nighttime spectacular World of Color in Disney California Adventure, making a small cameo pulling a sleigh carrying Olaf, Anna and Kristoff.
Relationship with Other Characters
Sven is Kristoff's pet and best friend. They have known each other since childhood and are inseparable. Kristoff has a very strange habit of speaking for Sven in a silly voice, but Sven doesn't seem to mind. Kristoff loves Sven a lot, and always make sure he has enough food to eat (carrots), even though they share their food with each other most of the time. Kristoff can understand what Sven is saying, which is why he does voice-overs for Sven, and Sven often acts as his conscience, being the one to convince Kristoff to continue accompanying Anna on her journey so she wouldn't freeze to death and could give Kristoff a new sled. Sven was also smart enough to realize Kristoff's feelings for Anna, and tried to convince Kristoff to confront his feelings for her. When Sven and Kristoff were rushing to get to Anna, Sven accidentally fell into the river. Despite needing to get to Anna immediately, Kristoff looked back and waited a few moments to make sure Sven was alright before he rushed back to save Anna, indicating how much he cared for his reindeer.
Kristoff seems protective of his friend as when Anna and Sven approached the end of a cliff and she told him to jump, Kristoff said she couldn't tell Sven what to do and then proceeded to tell Sven to jump. He also told Olaf not to talk to his friend demeaningly, even showing hints of jealously towards others who make an attempt to befriend him.
Though Sven can at times be annoyed by Kristoff's selfishness and Kristoff hates it when Sven acts as his conscience, Kristoff and Sven are very close and treat each other more like equals and siblings rather than a traditional master pet relationship, with both caring for the other's happiness.
Whilst Sven and Kristoff are best friends in the film, Sven is arguably better known for being Olaf's closest companion, as the two are regularly featured together as a duo in nearly all promotional material, spin-off material, and tie-in material for the film. Olaf immediately grew to like Sven, calling him cute and constantly snuggling his mug. Sven kept trying to take a bite out of Olaf's nose, but Olaf thought he was playing and continued to act friendly towards him. At the end of the film, Sven succeeded, but immediately returned it, revealing that he was merely teasing, and accepted Olaf's friendship.
Since the beginning, Sven had a liking for Anna, immediately claiming her as a good friend once the journey to find Elsa began. It was Sven who, in a way, convinced Kristoff to continue helping the princess on her quest, knowing it'd be a dangerous journey and that help was necessary. This also introduces Sven's protective side for the princess, as he's often seen rushing into action to protect her, specifically during the third act of the film, where Anna is at risk of dying from a frozen heart.
Elsa the Snow Queen
Although Elsa had little interaction with both Kristoff or Sven in the film, she soon comes to accept them both after knowing what they did for her sister. She even gives Kristoff the title "Official Arendelle Ice Master and Deliverer" as a reward, and Sven is appointed royalty by Elsa, and welcomed into the castle as such along with Kristoff and Olaf.
When Kristoff and Sven were kids, they were orphaned by an unspecified event. What happened to their biological parents is unknown. However they were taken in by a clan of the Trolls who happily took them in. Judging by how happy the trolls were when Kristoff and Sven came home, they obviously love the two and think of them as family.
- Sven was originally set to be a one-antlered reindeer.
- His favorite snacks are carrots.
- The Frozen filmmakers invited a real-life reindeer into the Walt Disney Animation Studios, observing the animal's physical makeup and mannerism, which were later caricatured in the design of Sven.
- Whilst the filmmakers have noted Sven's behavior being based off that of a dog (or a Labrador to be more precise), real reindeer actually do pant much like canines. Real reindeer also scratch the back of their ears with their legs, much like dogs, and that was also incorporated into Sven's character.
- Sven is also similar to Pegasus from Hercules, and Maximus from Tangled in a way that they are animal sidekicks to the protagonist, and act like a dog even though they're not.
- Sven resembles Rutt and Tuke the moose from Brother Bear, which is ironic since in Europe, moose are known as "elk". In North America, elk or wapiti are an entirely different animal altogether.
- For an animal that is not a horse, Sven is an incredibly fast reindeer (even as a calf), which is actually a big reference to his species, as reindeer are fast enough for Eskimos and many other cultures to use them in sled races in the Northern hemisphere.
- Sven is also shown to be very strong. After he threw Kristoff across the ice, and sank, he swam all the way to the top.
- Sven has the antlers of a female reindeer.
- As Olaf symbolizes Anna and Elsa's bond, Sven symbolizes the bond between Anna and Kristoff.
- And based on Olaf and Sven's close friendship in the movie, it is likely that Kristoff and Elsa became good friends too.
- Sven was originally going to be known as "Thor", after the Norse god of thunder, but was changed to avoid confusion with the Marvel superhero of the same name.
- It's possible that Sven, along with Hans, Kristoff and Anna, is named after Hans Christian Andersen, the author of The Snow Queen and also The Little Mermaid.
- The Frozen creators were eager enough to bring in a real reindeer in order to capture the appearance and behavior of Sven. In the end, it didn't work out, as they found real reindeer quite boring. Instead, they brought in one of the directors' dogs called Frankie, and Sven's personality turned out to be more lively.
| To view the Sven gallery, click here.