I'm not usually the biggest fan of musicals or the musical performances on Disney movies. Mary Poppins singing cheerfully is so terribly wrong. But there are always exceptions to any of my rules and I've just stumbled upon a big exception to my musical related problems. It's not the first for me, yet a good example of an exception in this category.
I hadn't heard that much of Frozen (2013). I knew it was a Disney animation. I'd been told it's supposed to be good. I knew it was very very very loosely based on The Snow Queen, Hans Christian Andersen's grim fairy tale. That story I knew, not by heart, only vaguely. There was a boy who got caught by the Snow Queen and there was a girl who went to look for him. Something like that.
Now would be a good time to point out that following will reveal a little bit of Frozen. Spoilers and stuff. So tread with care in case you haven't seen it and want to keep your mind as a virgin territory. I may even reveal something about the ending there. Disclaimer, done.
Frozen is not quite that story. There are two sisters, princesses. The older sister Elsa (Idina Menzel) has cool magical powers. She can create and manipulate ice and snow. Anna (Kristen Bell), the little sister, loves the magic powers. Up until one night Elsa accidentally injures Anna and the trolls heal her by taking away her memories about Elsa's powers. After this Elsa is kept hidden, to keep herself as well as her little sister safe. The idea is that she'd learn to control her powers better. The day of her coronation comes and gloves and other things get out of hands.
Elsa escapes to the mountains. Bursting into a song of freedom and of letting it go she unleashes her powers, creating amazing things of snow and ice.
Frozen is wonderful. It's not only an exception with it's musical numbers. It's also something I truly recommend seeing in 3D and that's really something. Throughout the movie I wanted to do like reindeer Sven and chase the snowflakes. Or when it rained I had an urge to get my umbrella out. In this case 3D is used in a way it doesn't take away from the movie, but works with the story and sounds in a perfect harmony. I've got to apologize my fellow moviegoers for my occasional "OH!" or loud gasps through the more intense moments. I was rather sucked in the movie and forgot my surroundings.
For a Disney movie Frozen is kind of strange. It's lead by two strong female characters who aren't defined by men. Unlike the common fairy tale princesses who need the prince to come and save them, the sisters are full of strength and determination. Men rather are defined by the women in this story, for instance Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) turns out to be Anna's sidekick. In the end of Fozen it gets clear that while a cute guy is a cute guy, and a girl may have appreciation for his cuteness, she doesn't need him to save herself (or her sister).
While all the music in this movie works for me, Let It Go hits the deepest. The song sang by Idina Menzel with the whole scene is extremely powerful and it's a shame there's a generic pop cover version of Let It Go by Demi Lovato embedded in the end titles. It starts with desperation and sadness and ends with relief and wild freedom. Elsa breaks out from control and good girl expectations. During the song she also becomes a woman. Meanwhile, still thinking it's the best for everyone, she locks herself inside a new castle of ice and tries to stay away from rest of the world. Little she knows the things have gone haywire back at home.
Growing up, overprotection, control, freedom and doors, closed or open, are the whole theme of Frozen. Anna, who has been more free than her sister, has also been locked in "forever" and because of that is somewhat clueless. Elsa has been a prisoner of her own powers and fear. This all changes when the doors and windows are opened and the world is let in.
"Here I stand/In the light of day/Let the storm rage on/The cold never bothered me anyway!"
Let It Go (2013) by Idina Menzel.
All the Pops are added to the Pops -- the tasselflower blog Spotify list.