The Sound of Cinema: Frozen

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Frozen, recently named the highest-grossing animated film of all time, tells the tale of a young woman who embarks upon an adventure in order to find her sister who has unintentionally locked the kingdom in an eternal winter.  The film’s success is certainly not solely down to the film itself, but its soundtrack which features the Oscar-winning ‘Let It Go’. With ten original songs written and composed by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the soundtrack has been critically-acclaimed and considered as one of the best that Disney has produced. 

Beginning with ‘Frozen Heart’, the film opens with a group of men continuously cutting at ice, their routine slashes reflecting the deep beat that reverberates the track. The deep tones of the cast echo around their icy surroundings that fit as ideal exposition to introduce us to the glacial world of Frozen.

‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?’ begins with what has now become the iconic knock at the door, before weaving in and out of heartfelt lyrics like ‘I never see you anymore, come out the door/it’s like you’ve been away’. Visually, the audience witnesses a montage of Anna’s rite of passage, developing from a young girl all the way to when she is verging on adulthood, the voice skillfully tracking and mirroring the ageing of Anna. The melancholic themes that embed the light-hearted name of the track supports the expertly executed crossover genre that Frozen maintains throughout, making it the family classic that it is today.

Elsa’s coronation brings a loosening of the chains that keeps Anna from the kingdom’s people. ‘For the First Time in Forever’ sees Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, sounding her stream of consciousness, before Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel (known to some as Adele Dazeem), chimes in, their ethereal vocals surrounding the brass-lead sound. The track is reprised later in the film, when Anna finds Elsa as the Snow Queen, blissfully content in her own company until Anna reveals to her what her icy powers have caused. The reprise reaches a huge climax at the end of the track, brandishing Bell’s and Menzel’s powerful vocals.

The catchy-beat of ‘Love Is an Open Door’ continues the epic musical opening to Frozen. Bell, assisted by Santino Fontana, sing a duet, creating harmony galore. The track begins with ‘All my life has been a series of doors in my face, and then suddenly I bump into you,’ and continues with the head-over-heels love that embraces this instantaneous coupling. The sometimes cliché lyrics build to finish with the ridiculously fast-paced proposal, reflecting Anna’s innocence when it comes to her obsession with the ideology of true love.

The soundtrack also features ‘In Summer’, courtesy of Josh Gad’s vocals, which only makes Olaf’s adorability as a character even more prominent with his obliviousness to the impossibility of the unity between himself, as a snowman, and the summer season. ‘Fixer Upper’ is yet another infectious track, following the many opinions of the trolls on the character of Kristoff.

Finishing the film, Demi Lovato’s version of ‘Let It Go’ plays during the ending credits, her pop adaptation stripping the track of its musical genre brilliance, commercialising a song that was perfectly executed in the middle of the film, which displayed Elsa’s ability to be free from her previous panic and anxiety, her powers flourishing.

But cohesively, just like the film, Frozen’s soundtrack is a cathartic and graceful one which should be part of everyone’s listening canon.

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Film & English student, Deputy Editor of The Edge and President of FilmSoc. Likes FKA twigs, BANKS and other capitalised artists.

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