I can hear the groans from here. Yes you all knew that I was going to be talking about this shit-storm of a movie in more detail at some point and in all honest, I’ve done my best to avoid it.
However, given that it.s a take on one of the all-time great fantasy stories, it’s produced by… pretty much the main company that has been making the majority of fantasy movies for almost a century now… wow, it seemed like it was almost inevitable.
Look, I’m going to level with everyone here, I do not like this movie. Yes, I’m a small minority. I acknowledge that the movie visuals ate spectacular, the songs are for the most part entertaining… for the most part…
I will give them credit for adding Scandinavian chanting in the opening credits, even if it does make you feel like you’re watch a much better movie. (Guess which one!)
My issue with this movie comes from the story, which like most Disney stories, is a bastardization of the original. Normally I give poetic license a pass, but on Hans Christian Anderson… I do not! I love the original Little Mermaid and thus don’t like that movie either, for pretty much the same reasons.
Anyway, onto the meat and potatoes of what I’m going to be talking about here. I want to talk about the main song that this movie is known for, Let it Go. Like so many others, I heard this song when the movie was released… mostly because it was hard to avoid, I mean everybody and their grandmother was doing a version of it… everybody…
Heck, there’s even a heavy metal version of it:
Heck, even the Nostalgia Critic tackled the insanity behind it:
(Though… do I really need to point out the irony of contributing to the madness in order to commentate on it? No? Okay, just checking…)
All right, so now you’ve gone through all the Let it Go videos on the internet, its 10 years later… and you’re still here reading this post… well, thanks! So what’s my take on it?
Well honestly, I think it would have been a better villain song. Allow me to put this into context. I first heard the song long before my kids begged me to take them to see it… or maybe it was my wife saying ‘Jim, we’re taking them to see this, end of discussion.’ Doesn’t matter… when I first heard the song, it starts out as a rather sad song and you can even pick up what’s going on even if you haven’t seen the movie. This young woman has been rejected by society and driven into the wilderness because they fear what she can do.
Then as the song progresses, we see her creating more and more. She builds herself a castle, creates live snow people, ice bridges, etc. Then you get lyrics like ‘It’s time to see what I can do.’ Okay, that could be interpreted as her preparing to turn her powers on the people who rejected her.
When I first heard this, to me, it was a song showing the transformation of a character from an innocent into a villain who was throwing caution to the wind after her worst fears had been realized. If you take a look at it, you get all the villain themes in check;
The rise to power, with her creating her fortress.
Testing her limits and breaking through.
The line ‘The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway.”
Everything about this just completely reminded me of the song from Wicked, Defying Gravity. This song is exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a villain transformation song. See if you can pick out the similarities:
Wait a minute, Elphaba wasn’t a bad guy!!
No, that’s true, she wasn’t bad. However, she willingly accepted her role as the villain in this story, given that the good guys weren’t exactly the moral right here. It was at this point that she knowingly became The Wicked Witch of the West.
Had it been a similar situation in Frozen, or even just a tragic villain transformation, that would have been a lot more powerful than what we got. When I first heard this, knowing the original story, I first thought, ‘Yes, this is the origin of the Snow Queen.”
Well… not so much…
Anyway, those are just my thoughts on it. Let me know what you think in the comments:
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