Tag Archives: For the First Time in Forever

Frozen “For the First Time in Forever (reprise)” (2013)

The reprise of “For the First Time in Forever” is an interesting musical moment and an intriguing situation because there are several things happening at once. The most important thing is that Anna has succeeded in locating Elsa and is now attempting to persuade her to come home and undo the eternal winter she created when she fled Arendelle. On the surface, this seems like a great plan but it is automatically doomed to failure for a number of reasons.

Most of these reasons lie with Anna herself due to a problem that’s been developing since we first heard “For the First Time in Forever.” Here’s the thing: all this time Anna has been living in a completely different story from Elsa. Anna, up to this moment, is still the stereotypical Disney Princess: happy, bubbly, eternally optimistic, and a firm believer that “true love at first sight” can fix everything. Not only does this make her diametrically opposed to her sister and how she thinks, she also has no idea of what Elsa has been going through in trying to keep her ice powers hidden all this time, and is therefore going about her plan all the wrong way.

You don’t have to protect me. I’m not afraid!
Please don’t shut me out again
Please don’t slam the door
You don’t have to keep your distance anymore

‘Cause for the first time in forever
I finally understand
For the first time in forever
We can fix this hand in hand

We can head down this mountain together!
You don’t have to live in fear
‘Cause for the first time in forever
I will be right here

—————————–

Elsa tries gently to tell Anna to go home before she accidentally does something to make the situation worse, but Anna isn’t listening. She’s so convinced she can just “fix” this situation that she’s not taking in what Elsa is saying and, well, things get worse from there.

Anna…
Please go back home, your life awaits
Go enjoy the sun and open up the gates

Yeah, but-

I know!
You mean well, but leave me be
Yes, I’m alone but I’m alone and free!
Just stay away and you’ll be safe from me

Actually, we’re not
What do you mean you’re not?
I get the feeling you don’t know
What do I not know?
Arendelle’s in deep, deep, deep, deep… snow.

What?
You’ve kind of set off an eternal winter… everywhere.
Everywhere?
It’s okay, you can just unfreeze it.
No, I can’t. I— I don’t know how!
Sure you can! I know you can!

This is it, the crux of the entire scene and the climax of this reprise. We have Elsa and Anna singing two different songs at the same time. Anna’s convinced that her optimism will make this all better while Elsa is rapidly spiraling out of control with fear and self-loathing. She tries one last time to get Anna to stop forcing the issue (“Anna, please, you’ll only make it worse!”) but her sister still isn’t listening. And then it comes, the moment that gets to me every single time: Elsa’s second to last note (“I”) morphs into an almost primal cry of frustration before she finally snaps out “I CAN’T!” and loses her temper, setting the second half of the film into motion.

Anna: (Elsa:)
‘Cause for the first time in forever
(Oh, I’m such a fool, I can’t be free)
You don’t have to be afraid
(No escape from the storm inside of me)
We can work this out together
(I can’t control the curse)
We’ll reverse the storm you’ve made
(Anna, please, you’ll only make it worse!)

Don’t panic
(There’s so much fear)
We’ll make the sun shine bright!
(You’re not safe here)
We can face this thing together
(No…)
We can change this winter weather
(I…)
And everything will be all right…
(I can’t!!!)

I would never go so far to say that Anna brought this on herself, but this sequence does show why it’s not always wise to persistently offer help to someone when you don’t fully know the situation. Of course Anna means well, but her lack of information (admittedly not her fault since Elsa has kept her ice powers to herself since childhood) leads to catastrophic consequences in a sequence that is heart wrenching to watch.

Let me know what you think about the reprise of “For the First Time in Forever” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Frozen “Frozen Heart” (2013)

Frozen “For the First Time in Forever” (2013)

Frozen “Love is an Open Door” (2013)

Frozen “Let it Go” (2013)

Frozen “In Summer” (2013)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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Frozen “For the First Time in Forever” (2013)

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After Elsa accidentally injured Anna with her ice powers when they were both small children, their parents made the decision to close the castle up and raise the two girls away from the outside world. So for the next 10-15 years (I’m not sure how old Elsa is at the start of the film), the pair are raised in near isolation, which only increases when their parents die. But now it’s the day of Elsa’s coronation as Queen of Arendelle and the castle gates are finally going to be opened! Of course Anna is completely excited about the prospect of meeting new people (any new people) and possibly encountering true love. This is the set up for “For the First Time in Forever”:

The window is open, so’s that door
I didn’t know they did that anymore
Who knew we owned eight thousand salad plates?

For years I’ve roamed these empty halls
Why have a ballroom with no balls?
Finally, they’re opening up the gates

There’ll be actual real live people
It’ll be totally strange
Wow, am I so ready for this change?

‘Cause for the first time in forever
There’ll be music, there’ll be light
For the first time in forever
I’ll be dancing through the night

Don’t know if I’m elated or gassy
But I’m somewhere in that zone
‘Cause for the first time in forever
I won’t be alone

I can’t wait to meet everyone! (Gasps) What if I meet the one?

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I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, Anna at the start of the film is the stereotypical Disney princess. She wants to meet her Prince Charming, she wants the fairy tale romance, etc. And she’s even envisioned the perfect way for it to happen:

Tonight, imagine me gown and all
Fetchingly draped against the wall
The picture of sophisticated grace

I suddenly see him standing there
A beautiful stranger, tall and fair
I wanna stuff some chocolate in my face

But then we laugh and talk all evening
Which is totally bizarre
Nothing like the life I’ve led so far

For the first time in forever
There’ll be magic, there’ll be fun
For the first time in forever
I could be noticed by someone

And I know it is totally crazy
To dream I’d find romance
But for the first time in forever
At least I’ve got a chance

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The fatal flaw in Anna’s plan is visible from the start: she’s dreaming about meeting “a beautiful stranger” and falling in love like that. But we all know, you don’t fall in love with strangers and it takes more than a fun evening to really get to know someone. To be sure, you can start getting to know someone in a single night, but enough to propose marriage? Nope, not a chance. Now, contrast Anna’s optimism with how Elsa feels about today. Unlike her sister, who’s mostly retained her optimism, Elsa has lived in increasing fear and depression about keeping her ice powers hidden and under control. The worst part? She can’t even tell her own sister about what’s bothering her:

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, put on a show
Make one wrong move and everyone will know

But it’s only for today
(It’s only for today)
It’s agony to wait
(It’s agony to wait)
Tell the guards to open up the gate…
(The gate…)

For the first time in forever
(Don’t let them in, don’t let them see)
I’m getting what I’m dreaming of
(Be the good girl you always have to be)
A chance to change my lonely world
(Conceal)
A chance to find true love
(Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know)

I know it all ends tomorrow
So it has to be today
‘Cause for the first time in forever
For the first time in forever
Nothing’s in my way…

Basically, Elsa and Anna have opposite perspectives on today: Elsa is only opening the gates because her duty requires it, she just wants to get through the day with her secret intact. Anna, meanwhile, is ecstatic and wants the day to never end. With opposing mindsets like this, it was only inevitable that things would end badly (and boy did it ever!) I really like “For the First Time in Forever,” it’s Disney musical at its finest (and I’m so glad Disney brought this style of music back).

Time for some trivia! Eugene and Rapunzel from Tangled make a blink and you’ll miss it cameo when Anna comes running out of the gates. Also, the painting of the lady on a swing that Anna jumps in front of is another Tangled reference, as the real life painting served as a visual inspiration for the animation style of that film. I’ve also read that the bust that ends up in a cake bears some resemblance to the statue of Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid. I sort of see it (and it makes sense since Hans Christian Anderson also wrote The Little Mermaid) but it wasn’t the first thing that came to my mind.

Let me know what you think about “For the First Time in Forever” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Frozen “Frozen Heart” (2013)

Frozen “Love is an Open Door” (2013)

Frozen “Let it Go” (2013)

Frozen “In Summer” (2013)

Frozen “For the First Time in Forever (reprise)” (2013)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook