Tag Archives: Frozen

Frozen II “Show Yourself” (2019)

*WARNING: major plot spoilers for Frozen II. DO NOT continue if you haven’t seen the film yet!

Of all the songs featured in Frozen II, one of my immediate favorites was “Show Yourself”, a song that comes late in the film as Elsa sets off to discover just who has been calling her and upending her life as the queen of Arendelle. After (literally) harnessing the Nokk, the water spirit, Elsa rides across the Dark Sea to Ahtohallan, a river of memory preserved in the form of a glacier.

Every inch of me is trembling
But not from the cold
Something is familiar
Like a dream I can reach
But not quite hold

I can sense you there
Like a friend I’ve always known
I’m arriving, it feels like I am home
I have always been a fortress
Cold secrets deep inside
You have secrets too
But you don’t have to hide

Show yourself
I’m dying to meet you
Show yourself
It’s your turn

Are you then one I’ve been looking for all of my life?!
Show yourself!
I’m ready to learn…
Ah-ah-ah-ah

Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah

So far so good. This feels like we’re finally reaching the true climax of the story and rightly so. This voice has haunted Elsa since the beginning of the story, and now it appears that we’re finally going to see who this voice belongs to. And it appears that the owner of the voice is close at hand as Elsa chases it farther into the ice.

I’ve never felt so certain
All my life I’ve been torn
But I’m here for a reason
Could it be the reason I was born?
I have always been so different
Normal rules did not apply
Is this the day?
Are you the way
I finally find out why!!?

Show yourself!
I’m no longer trembling!
Here I am
I’ve come so far!
You are the answer I’ve waited for
All of my life!

Oh, show yourself
Let me see who you are…
Come to me now
Open your door
Don’t make me wait
One moment more!

Right about now, however, is where things began to go slightly sideways for me. On its own, I absolutely love every moment of this song. However, taken in context with the film, this part doesn’t make too much sense. Of course I see the revelation they’re going for, that Elsa is the 5th spirit, but at this point in the story I have no idea how we’ve gotten to that point. And the fact that I’m aware of this during the song made it lose just a little something for me (beautiful moment though it is).

Oh, come to me now
Open your door
Don’t make me wait
One moment more!

Where the northwind meets the sea

(Ah-ah-ah-ah)

There’s a river

(Ah-ah-ah-ah)

full of memory

And of course this is the moment where I (temporarily) put aside my confusion and just completely teared up. This moment is beautiful, with the song coming in, and Elsa somehow coming face to face with the spirit of her mother. I don’t understand how this is possible (and it could have been slightly better explained), but it is.

Come my darling, homeward bound

I am found!

Show yourself!
Step into your power
Grow yourself
Into something new

You are the one you’ve been waiting for

All of my life

All of your life

Oh, show yourself

You

Ah-ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah!!!

Despite a few storytelling flaws, “Show Yourself” remains a powerful song and one of my favorite moments in the entire film. Let me know what you think about “Show Yourself” in Frozen II and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Frozen II (2019)

Frozen II “Into the Unknown” (2019)

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

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My Thoughts on: Frozen II (2019)

*warning: potentially minor spoilers for Frozen II below

I’ve been looking forward to Frozen II for a really long time, so much so that the first teaser convinced me to sit down and watch the first Frozen film earlier this year. Given how much the original film blew me away, I was really excited to see if the sequel would do something similar. And while Frozen II is a great film, I will say right from the start that it is not as good as the original.

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I say that because Frozen II, a great film as I said before, doesn’t quite hit the mark with its plot. In broad strokes the story is great. Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven are pulled into an adventure that threatens the very existence of Arendelle. Going to the far north, they find an enchanted forest locked away by a barrier of mist due to something mysterious that happened over thirty years earlier. Our heroes must uncover what really happened and make it right in order to free the forest and the people trapped inside. Thus far, the story is great. It’s in the details though, where things begin to slip. The story takes some…unexpected turns. Some of them make sense, others don’t, and if you’re not closely following along you might lose track of what’s going on.

One twist that isn’t explained very well is what happens with Elsa. The film almost explains why these things are happening to Elsa, but it doesn’t quite get there. I think I understand what happened where Elsa is concerned, but I don’t know for sure, and that’s a problem. One twist in particular, at the end of “Show Yourself” (a beautiful song by the way, I was crying by the end), had me wanting to scratch my head because I didn’t understand how we got to this point. It’s almost like the filmmakers skipped over a plot point in their haste to get to an admittedly beautiful moment.

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Those issues aside, Frozen II is beautiful to look at. The animation has evolved by leaps and bounds, with some startling and amazing effects that make everything feel so alive. I really like the “moments in time” and I thought it was a cool (no pun intended) concept.

As much as I enjoyed Frozen II, I hope there is not a Frozen III. There really is nothing more to add to the story at this point. We know, mostly, why Elsa has her powers, no plot threads remain unresolved. At this point, Arendelle should be left in peace. As I said before, the film isn’t perfect, but the brilliant animation and songs (especially “Into the Unknown” and “Show Yourself”) pretty much make up for it.

Let me know your thoughts on Frozen II in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Frozen (2013)

Animated Film Reviews

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

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

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Frozen “Love is an Open Door” (2013)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

As I said in my official review of the film, one of the great things about Frozen is the way it subverts the traditional Disney love story. At first, it looks like Anna and Hans are going to have the “love at first sight” relationship that has (for better or worse) defined Disney for most of its history. They meet on Elsa’s coronation day, appear to be instantly smitten, and have a wonderful time at the following party. During this latter time, they also engage in the traditional Disney love song, which usually goes something along the lines of “my life was incomplete before I met you, now I’m so happy, etc.”

The presence of “Love is an Open Door” at the beginning of the film should in hindsight be a big clue that things are not going to end well between Anna and Hans. Seriously, think about the nature of this song. Doesn’t it sound like something you’d hear at the end of the story, after going through trials and tribulations and the couple realize they’ve found that perfect one? It sounds exactly like that, only Anna and Hans have literally just met.

Okay, can I just, say something crazy?
I love crazy!

All my life has been a series of doors in my face
And then suddenly I bump into you

I was thinking the same thing! ‘Cause like…
I’ve been searching my whole life to find my own place
And maybe it’s the party talking or the chocolate fondue

But with you…
But with you I found my place
I see your face

And it’s nothing like I’ve ever known before
Love is an open door
Love is an open door

Frozen_-_Love_is_an_Open_Door.jpg

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Right here we can see that Anna’s definition of love is way off base. Since her only sister has stayed behind her closed bedroom door, Anna now defines love as “an open door” which translates to anyone paying her attention. Not to state the obvious, but that isn’t love. Poor Anna is so excited that someone (an admittedly handsome someone) is paying attention to her that she falls in love (or at least thinks she does) on the spot.

Love is an open door

With you!
With you!
With you!
With you!
Love is an open door…

I mean it’s crazy
What?
We finish each other’s—
Sandwiches!
That’s what I was gonna say!

I’ve never met someone
Who thinks so much like me!
Jinx! Jinx again!
Our mental synch-ro-ni-zation
Can have but one explanation:

You-
And I-
Were-
Just-
Meant to be!

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Here’s another detail that suggests there really isn’t anything to this whirlwind “romance.” Notice that for most of the song, Hans is following Anna’s lead with what to say. The best example might be when he says “We finish each other’s-” and you expect the finish to be “sentences” but as soon as Anna blurts out “sandwiches” Hans is like “Yes I was going to say that!” Right…because everyone talks about finishing each other’s sandwiches. Again, in hindsight, it’s clear that Hans is only saying what Anna wants to hear (and the smitten princess is oblivious).

Say goodbye…
Say goodbye…

To the pain of the past
We don’t have to feel it anymore
Love is an open door
Love is an open door
Life can be so much more

With you!
With you!
With you!
With you!
Love is an open door…
Can I say something crazy? Will you marry me?
Can I say something even crazier? Yes!

With all of this being said, I love “Love is an Open Door.” It’s a brilliant parody of Disney romance songs and provides some levity before everything goes south with Elsa and her ice powers (which is literally the next big development in the story once Anna and Hans drop the bombshell that they want to get married despite having just met each other).

Let me know what you think about “Love is an Open Door” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Frozen “Frozen Heart” (2013)

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

Frozen “Let it Go” (2013)

My Thoughts on: Frozen (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

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

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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?

for-the-first-time-forever.jpg

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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)

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

Frozen “Frozen Heart” (2013)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Frozen_Heart.png

Of all the ways I thought Frozen would begin, I didn’t expect it to be with a group of ice harvesters hauling up huge blocks of ice. However, in retrospect, this opening absolutely works because it lays out the major themes of the film before we’ve even met any of the main characters (sure we do see young Kristoff and Sven but we don’t know who they are yet).

In “Frozen Heart,” the harvesters are sawing away on top of a frozen lake and singing about the dangers of a frozen heart:

Born of cold and winter air
And mountain rain combining
This icy force both foul and fair
Has a frozen heart worth mining

So cut through the heart, cold and clear
Strike for love and strike for fear
See the beauty, sharp and sheer
Split the ice apart!
And break the frozen heart

Hyup! Ho! Watch your step! Let it go!
Hyup! Ho! Watch your step! Let it go!

Beautiful!
Powerful!
Dangerous!
Cold!

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Ice has a magic, can’t be controlled
Stronger than one! Stronger than ten!
Stronger than a hundred men!

Hyup!

Born of cold and winter air
And mountain rain combining!
This icy force both foul and fair
Has a frozen heart worth mining

Cut through the heart, cold and clear
Strike for love and strike for fear
There’s beauty and there’s danger here
Split the ice apart!
Beware the frozen heart…

It’s immediately clear that this song is referring to Elsa and her ice powers, which are both beautiful and dangerous. The power of ice is stronger than a hundred men and should be feared. However, looking back after the film, some of the lines can also be interpreted as referring to Hans, who most definitely has a “frozen heart” given how he used Anna and left her to die in an attempt to usurp Arendelle’s throne for himself.

Icemen.png

While listening to this song, something about it felt familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. Then I learned that “Frozen Heart” is a tribute to Dumbo’s “Song of the Roustabouts” and it all made sense: the heavy cadence, the rhythmic singing, both songs are performed the same way (albeit with wildly different subject matter). Also, like the song in Dumbo, “Frozen Heart” is performed in the evening, with low light. This really is the kind of musical performance that sucks you right into the story.

“Frozen Heart” is a great prologue/introduction to the film and is the first of several great songs in Frozen. Let me know what you think of “Frozen Heart” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

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

Frozen “Love is an Open Door” (2013)

Frozen “Let it Go” (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

My Thoughts on: Frozen (2013)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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Six years after the fact, I finally managed to watch Disney’s Frozen, loosely based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson. And, this should surprise nobody, I loved it. The story is set in the kingdom of Arendelle and follows the two princesses Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna. Elsa (for reasons never explained) is born with ice powers that she fights to control as she grows up. It’s very sad to watch Elsa go from loving her powers as a young child to being terrified of them as she gets older, refusing to let anyone in to help her.

Another part of what makes Frozen so great is the way it completely subverts the traditional Disney princess story. Anna, at the start of the film, is in so many ways the traditional princess we’ve grown up with: she believes in love at first sight, she’s perpetually optimistic, and she’s incredibly naive. Enter Prince Hans and after Elsa is crowned queen we have the typical courting/romantic song between Hans and Anna that quickly leads to a marriage proposal (that Anna immediately accepts). It feels perfect…until Elsa actually reminds her sister that “you can’t marry someone you just met.” It feels like a slap in the face but Elsa is absolutely right. That’s been the critical flaw in the classic Disney films (and even in the Disney Renaissance; think about how long Ariel knew Eric, or how long Belle actually stayed with the Beast). And I love that Disney finally put this out there in one of their films, the truth that real love doesn’t work that way!

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Another interesting part of Frozen is how Elsa is unintentionally setting herself up as the villain (at first). For example, when her ice powers are revealed at the party after the coronation, everyone’s reacting as if she’s doing it on purpose. People are screaming and running as if Elsa is trying to hurt people but she’s not. We can see that she’s actually just scared and acting on instinct. And speaking of villains, I love how transparent the Duke of Weselton (“Weaseltown”) is about wanting to take over and/or exploit Arendelle. It’s perfect for keeping us distracted from the true villain of the film…Hans!! Seriously, the revelation that Hans has been using Anna all this time is one of the best villain reveals that Disney has ever done. It genuinely made me gasp because I did not see it coming.

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Now that I’ve finally seen Frozen, I’m very excited to see Frozen 2 later this year. I’m still hoping that we’ll get an explanation as to where Elsa’s ice powers come from, since the film’s only explanation is that Elsa was born with them. But there has to be more to it than that, ice powers don’t just arrive out of the blue.

Frozen is definitely one of the best Disney films to be released in the past decade and I’m glad I finally watched it. Let me know what you think about Frozen in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Animated Film Reviews

Frozen “Let it Go” (2013)

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

Frozen “Let it Go” (2013)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Frozen-movie-poster

I have a confession to make: I have never seen Frozen in its entirety. At the time the film came out, I was buried head over heels in graduate studies and barely had time to notice the film’s release, let alone go see it in the theater. Two years after this hit film became a phenomenon, I finally decided to check out clips of the film online, which is how I (finally) discovered “Let it Go.”

Frozen “Let it Go” (2013)

“Let it Go” is also known as the Disney song that little girls and boys have been obsessed with for nearly three years and counting. It’s true that “Let it Go” is one of those songs that can easily get stuck inside your head, but it remains a beautiful song regardless.

Disney-Frozen-Elsa-Let-it-Go

To set up the context, “Let it Go” takes place after Queen Elsa has accidentally revealed her ice powers to the people of Arendelle (her kingdom, or queendom I supposed I should say). Embarrassed and humiliated, Elsa flees the city, causing a deep winter to fall as she does so. Now wandering alone in the mountains, Elsa decides that she is sick and tired of hiding who she truly is and lets her powers loose.

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 tried

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!

Let it go! Let it go!
Can’t hold it back anymore!
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

Before this song was created, Elsa was going to be the villain of this story. I believe it was going to be along the lines of Anna was the good sister and Elsa became evil, or always was evil, something like that. However, after songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez created the song and brought it to Disney, the writers looked at each other and said “We can’t make Elsa a villain now, not with a song like this!” So the story was changed.

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

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!

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

It’s fascinating to watch how quickly Elsa’s powers expand in scope. She goes from creating whisps of snow and ice, to creating a snowman (Olaf), to a stairway of ice, and finally, the ice castle. With each successful creation, you can see confidence (and joy) growing in Elsa’s face. At last she is free to use her powers without anyone to tell her she can’t. And really, the song is only “sad” for the first verse, starting with verse two “It’s funny how some distance…” the background music becomes happy, and almost playful, matching Elsa’s rising spirits.

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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!

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

Once the stairway is created, the tempo really begins to pick up and the scene quickly changes to the creation of the castle, beginning with that giant snowflake rapidly spreading over the ground below Elsa. And then, as Elsa raises her arms, the camera cuts back to show this HUGE ice palace rising from the ground; that moment is pure Disney magic!! Watching the palace complete itself, I felt like a little kid again after watching Cinderella’s gown appear for the first time. Disney doesn’t always succeed in creating these moments, but when they do, they really do! After her palace is finished, Elsa has one last change to make: she manipulates her powers to create a brand new dress after literally letting her hair down and proclaims an eternal winter from the completed stronghold of ice.

frozen_ice_palace

I am a huge fan of Idina Menzel by the way (I’ve listened to RENT and Wicked hundreds of times each), and she absolutely slays this song with her awesome voice. She actually auditioned for the role of Rapunzel in Tangled (2010) and while she didn’t get it, Disney remembered her and looked Idina up when Frozen was in pre-production.

It’s not surprising that Frozen is receiving a sequel  and this time I will make sure to watch it in the theater.

That’s all I have for “Let it Go,” the song is so amazing that it really speaks for itself as to how brilliant it is. I hope you enjoy listening to it!

See also:

Frozen “Frozen Heart” (2013)

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

My Thoughts on: Frozen (2013)

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

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

*All images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

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For more great Disney songs, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z