“Once Upon a Time” characters will have something to look forward to next season. (Katie Yu/ABC)

Everybody, let’s give it up for “Once Upon a Time.” Sunday was a big night for ABC drama finales, and the fairy tale-centric series managed to steal the spotlight in a huge way.

The reason? An out-of-nowhere, third-season twist that was a truly brilliant piece of product placement-engineered plot. In the very final minute of the episode, a blue liquid spilled from an urn and magically turned into a person. From the looks of the blue dress, the gloves, and the fact that she left a trail of ice behind her when she walked out of the room, it appears to be the character Elsa from “Frozen,” Disney’s monster hit that is currently the highest-grossing animated movie in history.


Almost immediately after Queen Elsa appeared on screen, the Internet went crazy. Disney characters obviously already have a huge presence on the show, given that it’s the parent company of ABC. But injecting the show with a dose of the enormous popularity of “Frozen”? Well, that’s just a genius move that will only benefit both franchises. While “Once Upon a Time” has slipped over time in both quality and viewership, the obsession with “Frozen” only continues to grow, setting box office and soundtrack sales records. The crossover should make viewers curious about tuning in to season four.







It seems the writers may have had this idea in mind for awhile, as “Once Upon a Time” co-creator Eddy Kitsis hinted to E! Online: “I can tell you that in the ‘Once’ writers’ room, it has turned into the ‘Frozen’ Appreciation Society,” he said. “We are so in awe of that movie. A lot of us have children, and we are obsessed with that movie in a way that like, it’s inspiring to all of us.”

So, the movie and the TV show benefit with more buzz (the Web is already busy with casting suggestions for Queen Elsa), leading to more profits for ABC and its parent company. Congratulations, “Once Upon a Time” producers: During a busy night on TV, you managed to steal the spotlight. And possibly sell even more copies of the unstoppable “Frozen.” Well played.