Tag Archives: Let it Go

Frozen II “Into the Unknown” (2019)

*warning: spoilers for Frozen II below

The other song that I really liked the most in Frozen II is “Into the Unknown”, Elsa’s first big solo in the story. In this song, Elsa addresses the mysterious voice that has been calling her in a voice that only she can hear. The song takes place late at night when everyone is asleep, everyone except Elsa, who can’t sleep due to the voice’s incessant calling.

Ah ah, ah ah
Ah ah, ah ah
Ah ah, ah ah ah ah

I can hear you but I won’t
Some look for trouble
While others don’t
There’s a thousand reasons
I should go about my day
And ignore your whispers
Which I wish would go away, oh oh

Ah ah, ah ah

Oh

Ah ah ah ah, ah

frozen2-into-the-unknown.jpg

Now what’s interesting about this song is that Elsa is turning the conventions of this song-type onto its head. Most Disney characters would simply sing about how they’re curious about this voice and want to go on an adventure. But Elsa openly defies this idea, saying “I’ve HAD my adventure (i.e. the first Frozen), go bother somebody else.” And yet, at the same time, Elsa also verges into traditional territory, admitting that she wants to follow the voice, but she’s afraid of the consequences. And this fear is understandable, since Elsa is queen and she has an entire country to think about.

You’re not a voice
You’re just a ringing in my ear
And if I heard you, which I don’t
I’m spoken for, I fear
Everyone I’ve ever loved is here within these walls
I’m sorry, secret siren, but I’m blocking out your calls
I’ve had my adventure, I don’t need something new
I’m afraid of what I’m risking if I follow you

Into the unknown
Into the unknown
Into the unknown

Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah

Ah

Ah ah ah ah, ah, ah

What do you want? ‘Cause you’ve been keeping me awake
Are you here to distract me so I make a big mistake?
Or are you someone out there who’s a little bit like me?
Who knows deep down I’m not where I’m meant to be?
Every day’s a little harder as I feel my power grow
Don’t you know there’s part of me that longs to go

Into the unknown?
Into the unknown
Into the unknown

571ea74f-f2ac-4857-8811-3706937cda1b-FROZEN_2_TRAILER_Desktop_Thumbnail.jpg

Another detail I like about this song is how Elsa imitates the voice at the end of each verse (the third time she sings “Into the Unknown” her voice ululates like the voice, showing how it’s slowly but surely influencing her).

Ah ah ah ah
Ah ah ah ah

Whoa oh oh
Are you out there?
Do you know me?
Can you feel me?
Can you show me?
Ah ah ah ah

Ah ah ah ah

Ah ah ah ah

Ah ah ah ah

I also really like the sequence where Elsa…for lack of a better description enters the magic world where her ice magic seems to come alive around her. Apparently this somehow grabs the attention of the spirits (according to Elsa’s own explanation moments after this song ends) but I still don’t entirely understand how that happened. Storytelling issues aside, the “magic world” is beautifully rendered, and provides a brilliant example of how Elsa is literally getting lost in her magical abilities.

Ah ah ah ah
Ah ah ah ah
Ah ah ah ah
Ah ah ah ah

Where are you going?
Don’t leave me alone
How do I follow you (Ah ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah)
Into the unknown? (Ah, ah, ah!)

Having listened to this song a number of times, I can see why people are comparing it to “Let it Go” from the first film. It’s definitely a similar song in style, but the tone, to me, is different. “Let it Go” was about Elsa proclaiming her new identity and letting go of the past. “Into the Unknown” is about Elsa hesitating to follow a destiny that might take her away from all that she knows and loves, quite a different story than the first song. But while different, I don’t love it any less, and in fact I really enjoy the back and forth that Elsa has with the voice by the end of the song.

Let me know what you think about “Into the Unknown” and Frozen II in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Frozen II “All is Found” (2019)

Frozen II “Show Yourself” (2019)

My Thoughts on: Frozen II (2019)

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

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Frozen “Let it Go” (2013)

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.”

“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.

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)

Frozen “Love is an Open Door” (2013)

Frozen “In Summer” (2013)

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

My Thoughts on: Frozen (2013)

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