Why Disney’s LET IT GO Is a Bad Song

A Disney song has always been there to move the story along. It can define a character or delve into their motivation, or further the plot. Of course, it’s also designed to stick in your head so that you will love the movie and rush out to buy the soundtrack!

Fair enough.

But I also happen to feel that any song that plays in a children’s movie should be socially responsible. The content of the lyrics should promote good behavior, sound principles, and motivate the listener to be better in some way. I speak of songs sung by the protagonist, or hero, and not the villain. A song sung by a villain is designed to explain their reasons for being nasty and the bad ideas within the lyrics are shown to be wrong when the villain gets his or her comeuppance in the end!

So why do I say that the song Let It Go from the movie Frozen is bad? I know I’m going to be in a minority on this but I feel if people actually read the lyrics instead of just singing along with the tune, they just might begin to see some problems.  So let’s begin.

Let It Go was written by Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Emanuel Kiriakou and is  Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Walt Disney Music Company. I obtained the lyrics from Google Play Music and trust that they are accurate. I will show the lyrics one stanza at a time, analyze, then move on to the next stanza:

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen.
A kingdom of isolation,
and it looks like I’m the Queen
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in;
Heaven knows I’ve tried

Things start off well with Elsa simply surveying her new surroundings and comparing them to her inner turmoil. Which is admittedly great and understandably so!

Don’t let them in,
don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel,
don’t let them know
Well now they know

Again, Elsa is honestly expressing her feelings about her treatment at the hands of her parents. Being told not to use her powers and then hiding her away from the world because of one accident was a knee-jerk reaction taken to an extreme level! Bad parenting doesn’t begin to cover this situation.

We begin to see a hint of the problem when Elsa callously flips off the line ‘Well now they know’. Yes they, her subjects, do, as their entire land is frozen, live stock and crops are dead, businesses are ruined, and if this was the real world, many are likely to die due to being completely unprepared for such a drastic change in the climate.

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore

This signature line from the chorus is the one sung heartily by everyone, even little children. But what are these lyrics actually saying? The idea is that when you can no longer handle a bad situation, let go (or lose control as Elsa does) no matter what the consequences are to yourself or others.

Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care
what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway

And this is perhaps the worst part of this song! Slamming the door in the face of the problem is not going to solve anything. Not caring while being aware of the bad situation caused by one’s decisions and cruelly saying ‘let it go on’ because ‘it doesn’t bother me’ is again not a lesson to teach small children!

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all

Here Elsa has run away from her problems far enough to make them seem small and trivial, when in fact they are big and impactful. She is happy to be safe while everyone else is still in great danger.

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me,
I’m free!

So now that her powers are ‘outed’ she chooses to see just how much damage she can do with them instead of seeing if she can fix things and prove everyone wrong about her. We need to know and accept what is right and wrong and adhere to certain rules to have a safe and working society. Someone who feels ‘free’ from these concepts inevitably hurts others.

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the storm rage on

Now Elsa decides not to face her issues but bury them deep inside her and simply let the world go on without her. She is also okay with the world having to deal with the mess she left behind, just letting ‘the storm rage on.’

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back, the past is in the past

The past is never ‘in the past’ until there is a resolution to whatever the problem is. That is why we have coined the term ‘closure’. People spend serious time and money on trying to deal with traumatic events in their past so that they can have a better future. Elsa is in effect ceasing to live.

Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on

The cold never bothered me anyway!

Elsa should never have been made to feel that she had to be perfect, nor that the way to achieve this was to hide who and what she was. But to decide to be, in effect, a bad girl, is not a healthy alternative!

Lastly, this final line is perhaps the most damaging lesson this song teaches. That if something doesn’t bother you, who cares about anyone else? Loving, caring, and well-adjusted people care about others, even if those people have made mistakes that hurt them or don’t seem at first to appreciate the effort.

This song seems to say that if you are treated poorly, become as bad as the abusers. Whereas I think we can all agree that the better path is to take the high road and rise above the crowd.

Does this look like a good attitude?

Conclusion: It should be noted that Elsa endured horrible treatment by the two people who should have loved and protected her, her parents. The damage that this would do to a young child is incalculable! So perhaps we can understand her position. But I put forth that her song is that of a villain explaining the reasons for doing what she does, and certainly not a song of empowerment. Remember that the Ice Queen in the original book was a villain and I don’t think Disney intended Elsa to be viewed as well as she has been, but has just run with it for merchandising dollars.

Why this song is held in such a high regard is that somehow Elsa has been cast as a suppressed victim who has every right to act as she does. And she doesn’t act well! In fact, she accidentally freezes Anna’s heart, and instead of trying to help, creates an Ice Monster to remove her from her presence. This monster then goes on to immediately try to kill Anna. I guess that didn’t bother Elsa either?

Also, many fixate on the ‘sisterly love’ angle of the movie, but again, I contend that there is no sisterly love, just one sister’s love (Anna’s) for her sibling (Elsa), which is not returned.

Now that we have analyzed the lyrics stanza by stanza, I would like to recommend that you consider Anna as the true hero of Frozen and consider looking to her as a role model for your little girl or boy, and not Elsa, even if she does have a catchy song.

FUN FACT: Note the shape of the balusters in the railing in the above picture. Does the repeating shape remind you of anything? It resembles the chest insignia of Wonder Woman, the ultimate symbol of female empowerment. Coincidence, or subliminal message?

Disney Music on #YouTube – Frozen

Frozen
Over the years, Disney movies have brought out some incredible Disney Music to the public — to the point that in many cases the Disney Music may be, in some cases, be more of a draw than the movie! In this short series, I’ve decided to take a look at the Disney Music that you can find on YouTube — and share some of it with you as embedded YouTube videos! Today, since this movie has captivated most of us, I’m starting with the Disney Movie Frozen. Enjoy!

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

As I wrote about in my post about Anna, the words “Do you want to build a snowman?” certainly have multiple connotations, from fun, to remembering when they played together, to wanting to turn back time so their parents are back in their lives.  Personally, I think that this song is my favorite in the whole soundtrack, and I truly enjoy seeing it online.

Let It Go

Let It Go is Elsa’s song — her song about how she embraces her magic and makes it her own!  I love so much about this song — the music, of course.  Then there is how Elsa turns her circumstances around and embraces her magic.  Lastly, I love the hope she has when she sings this song.  I hope you enjoy it also!

For good measure, here is Demi Lovato’s music video of the song Let It Go:

In  Summer

Olaf, the incredibly warmhearted snowman, in many ways stole the show.  He was comic relief when things were a little too heavy in the movie, but he also had one of the best lines of the whole movie, when he said “Some people are worth melting for.”  However, he also had his own show tune number, when he sung about what it would be like for him In Summer:

This is just a sampling of the incredible music that you can find in the blockbuster hit Frozen.  Tell me, which is your favorite song from the movie?  Please let me know in the comments, and thanks!

Disney Frozen Characters: Olaf!

Olaf

Olaf, the lovable snowman from Frozen!

Hello everyone, it’s Saturday, and for today, we are going to take a look at many people’s favorite character from the Disney movie Frozen — Olaf, the snowman who loves warm hugs!

Many people, myself included, thought that he was a filler character, something that Disney felt it had to include in the movie because of some of the more somber moments.  However, I’ve got to say, after seeing the movie, Olaf was perfect in the role he was developed for, and there are many layers to that snowman!

When it comes to Olaf, so many different facets are wrapped up on that snow exterior, I think it is fun to examine him from the perspective of some of the great lines that Olaf had.  It all begins with one of his first memorable lines, which was spoken by Elsa in the beginning, but became Olaf’s montra as the movie progressed:

“Hi, I’m Olaf, and I like warm hugs.”

The beauty of Olaf is his childlike innocence, and how, at the heart of the matter, Olaf is the snowman with one of the biggest hearts in Arendelle.  It’s interesting to me how the original statement wasn’t made by Olaf, but was instead made by Elsa when Olaf was nothing other than just a snowman, yet when Olaf was recreated and came to life, that one line because his way of greeting people.  Obviously to me, at least, Elsa must have subconsciously put that quote in his mind, but we don’t know why or anything, and any conclusion we come to would just be speculation.

“Some people are worth melting for.”

Those powerful six words, found near the end of the movie, really struck home with me.  It is at that moment that Olaf tells all of us in the theater exactly what life is all about, that there are times in our lives when we choose to stand with someone regardless of the circumstances — it is at that moment in time that we realize that some people are worth melting for.  Who would you “melt” for in your life?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!

Lastly, my friends, let’s take a look at Olaf and his imagination at what life will be like for him In Summer:

Thank you for stopping by today!  At this point we’ve looked at Elsa, Anna, and now Olaf.  Who is your favorite character, and who would you like to see me write about next from the movie?  Please let me know in the comments below, and thanks!  Now, go out there and make it a Disney Day everyone!

Do You Want To Build a Snowman?

Anna

The story of Anna in the Disney movie Frozen is, to me, one of love, fun, games, and then, sadness.  Once Anna was hurt by Elsa, all fun that Anna and Elsa had was immediately halted, and Anna grew up in a very lonely home.  Elsa did as well, of course, but we discussed her last week, so today, we are going to focus on Anna.

I absolutely love the way Disney worked all of the emotions into such a simple question “Do you want to build a snowman?”  In the beginning, that question signalled the start of fun for the girls.  Then, after the accident, that question was meant to illicit a return to the love they had when they were younger.  That continued until the day their parents died — and with that passing, instantly Anna and Elsa were thrown into the deep end of having to swim on their own.

Now, all of a sudden, the question “Do you want to build a snowman?” wasn’t about playing, or having fun, or anything like that.  Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, that question became about returning to the life they had before their parents died.  Suddenly, building a snowman was to return to the carefree days of their youth, about turning back the clock, the hands of time; building a snowman was about returning their parents to them.  That was, to me, the saddest part of the entire movie.

I think, in many ways, we all ask the question “Do you want to build a snowman?” of ourselves in times of sorrow; I know that when Cindy’s Uncle Bob passed away, some small part of me — the human side of me that wanted him back — wanted to build that snowman and bring Uncle Bob back, despite the fact that I knew he was in a far better place.

What life event have you had happen that you wanted to build a snowman and turn back the sands of time?  If you are comfortable sharing it, we would love to hear it.  Thank you for stopping by and reflecting with us on how we all try to build a snowman.

Diving into Disney Characters – Elsa

Elsa, despair raging in her room, after the loss of her parents.

Elsa, despair raging in her room, after the loss of her parents.

{Editor’s Note: If you haven’t seen the Disney movie Frozen, yet, check out this link for a spoiler-free review, but stay away from this post — there are spoilers here that may ruin it for you!}

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