- "The tree lights up and I push the button... no, no, wait, wait. I press the button, and then the tree lights up!"
- ―The Ice Princess rehearsing for the relighting of the Christmas Tree Ceremony in her tent.[src]
The Ice Princess was a Christmas-themed beauty queen who was honored with the role of switching on Gotham City's Christmas lights during the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. She later became a target of the Penguin was instrumental in his plan to frame Batman.
Later, the Penguin, challenged the Mayor of Gotham to authorize a new tree-lighting ceremony, ostensibly as a means of testing his competency, but in reality, in order to enact part of his plan to frame Batman, discredit the Mayor, and thereby enhance his own mayoral bid. Consequently, the Ice Princess was called again to preside over the tree-lighting honors.
The Ice Princess was rehearsing the tree-lighting process when Bruce Wayne invited Selina Kyle to Wayne Manor to watch the ceremony on television. She appeared to be visibly irritated with the various people trying to advise her on the instructions for lighting the tree.
Later that evening, the Ice Princess was in her dressing room mentally struggling to go over the simple instructions for lighting the tree when the Penguin and the Poodle Lady burst in. Although the Ice Princess was initially alarmed, since she had no clue who the Penguin was, despite his various appearances in the news over the previous few days, she was instantly reassured once the Penguin had introduced himself as a talent scout. After she mistook Batman's Super-Batarang, stolen by Ratty Poodle during the Red Triangle gang's fight with Batman, for a camera, the Ice Princess proudly posed for a picture at the Penguin's request. The Penguin then hurled the Batarang into the Ice Princess's forehead to knock her unconscious. Cobblepot then kidnapped her and left the bloody weapon in the tent and thus, framed Batman for her kidnapping.
The Ice Princess was then moved to an abandoned firetrap owned by Max Shreck and bound to a chair where she would be plainly visible though windows by Batman when scaling rooftops. Commissioner Gordon was forced to present the evidence from her tent on live news coverage, so that Batman could get wind of it. Gordon seemed hesitant to blame Batman, but a bloodstained Batarang seemed to point to his taking part in the kidnapping. Batman arrived later and soon spotted the Ice Princess, he then raced to her rescue. Before Batman had finished untying the Ice Princess, Catwoman swung down from the shadowed ceiling and kicked Batman away from her. Catwoman cut the binds that held the Ice Princess to the chair, wrapped her whip around the Ice Princess' throat, and choked her.
- "Gotta go, girl talk!"
- ―Catwoman to Batman about the Ice Princess[src]
Catwoman then fled to the roof dragging the gagging Ice Princess behind her. Batman followed, but when he got to the roof, Catwoman was nowhere to be seen. The Ice Princess was alone standing on a ledge, but before Batman had a chance to help her down off the edge of the roof, the Penguin appeared and threw an umbrella that burst open and released a swarm of bats. The Ice Princess panicked and tried to swat them away. However, the Ice Princess lost her balance, fell off the roof, plunged to her death, and crashed onto the very button that she would have pressed to light up the Christmas Tree, had she lived. Yet, instead of activating the tree lights, the impact of the Ice Princess's body landing on the control box released several hundred bats that were hidden inside the tree, which created little doubt in Gotham's citizens minds that Batman had pushed her off the building moments earlier.
The Ice Princess was not exactly the brightest bulb on the tree. In fact, she was likely Gotham's dimmest citizen. She believed that the tree lit up before she pressed the tree-lighting button, she didn't know who the Penguin was even though his story had been all over the news, and she fell for the Penguin's lie that he was a talent scout and that a stolen Batarang was a camera. She also foolishly chose to stay on a perilously high ledge after Catwoman had left her there, instead of doing the smart and easy thing, which would have been to hop off onto the roof. However, apart from being extremely naïve, she was also incredibly beautiful, curvaceous, bubbly, and sexy, and had, until her fatal kidnap, apparently breezed through life without needing any intelligence.
It is not known how someone as stupid as the Ice Princess, who apparently struggled with the simple mental task of figuring out the order for lighting a Christmas Tree, was awarded with her title. But there are a couple of possibilities. Maybe the Ice Princess was having a relationship with the Mayor or one of the organisers of the Ice Princess pageant, or, as is more likely in view of her evident lack of guile, perhaps she was nominated by a private members club akin to the 'Kings' and 'Queens' chosen for Mardi Gras (which would explain why she isn't given a proper name during the film, just as Mardi Gras 'Kings' and 'Queens' identities are never revealed). It can therefore be inferred that the Ice Princess was probably related to someone very wealthy and very important, which might also explain why The Penguin and The Poodle Lady, who both lived in the sewer, felt so little about kidnapping her and executing her death.
The Ice Princess's costume consisted of a shiny, diamond-studded, silver white-fox-fur-lined corset, fur-lined silver and black gloves, and black boots, which she wore under a white-fox-fur-lined winter coat, and she possessed the golden blonde hair, blue eyes, and buxom figure of a typical 1950's beauty queen.
Behind the Scenes
- In the original screenplay and novelization of the film, the Ice Princess was depicted as shoving an elderly woman to the ground during the Red Triangle Gang's attack on Gotham Plaza, contrary to the seemingly charming and sweet image that she presented during the lighting of the Christmas Tree. Cristi Conaway, the actress who played the Ice Princess, confirmed as much in a 1992 interview with Entertainment Weekly when she described her Batman Returns character as the type "to push an old lady down and try to fix her nail at the same time".
- In Michael Singer's 1992 Batman Returns: The Official Movie Book, Cristi Conaway described her character as follows: "I don't think she's particularly well-read. But I think she's read every issue of Vogue that was ever published."