Frozen 2 has blown into theaters this past month, and it has sparked quite the debate.
Before we dive into that, let me just say that I think the first Frozen is the better movie. (Come at me!) It told a more concise story, and the emotional notes hit me in the feels better. This second adventure of Elsa and Anna’s, while visually and imaginatively more appealing, didn’t form a connection with me in the same way.
But that’s not what we’re here to discuss.
We’re here to dissect the two songs that have been raging in everyone’s mind.
Okay, well, maybe saying “everyone’s mind” is an overstatement, but you get what I mean.
The first Frozen featured that all-too-familiar tune, “Let It Go.” If you haven’t heard this song, you seriously must have been living in outer space. Even the people living under rocks knew about “Let It Go.” And despite the populace’s growing annoyance with hearing the song on every child’s lips, there’s a reason why it got so popular.
It’s a damn good song.
The melody is powerful and the lyrics are strangely relatable to many people.
So when audiences went to go see Frozen 2, many were expecting to have a new “Let It Go.”
What they got instead were two potential runner-ups, neither of which live up to the original.
Both “Into the Unknown” and “Show Yourself” are the contested successors to “Let It Go’s” success, and much like that blue-black/white-gold dress, it is dividing the internet.
So for today’s post, I thought I’d take a look at why each song is a possible contender.
Placement in the film
Both songs kind of fail in this category. “Into the Unknown” comes too early in the story, and “Show Yourself,” conversely, came too late.
“Let It Go” was placed after the major complication of the first film, when Elsa’s powers were outed to the people of Arendelle. It’s the song that perfectly represents Elsa’s change into the person she becomes by the end of the story.
“Show Yourself” has swayed numerous people to its side largely because Elsa gets an outfit change during the number. In “Let It Go,” everyone remembers Elsa changing from her restrictive wardrobe as queen of Arendelle into that snazzy blue dress made from her ice powers (?).
During “Show Yourself,” Elsa changes from her original blue color to a pure white dress. Not only that, but her loosely braided hair is let looser. And while I do appreciate losing the restriction of elastic hairbands, I’m still not sure how I feel about a character learning something about themselves being represented by shifting hairstyles.
The End Credits reprise
Disney clearly has their own take on what song is the new “Let It Go.”
In the first movie, “Let It Go” was given a reprise sung by Demi Lovato to mark the beginning of the end credits.
“Show Yourself” was snubbed in favor of “Into the Unknown” for having a reappearance during the end credits. Panic! At the Disco released an incredibly bumping version of “Into the Unknown,” a version that, if I do say so myself, matches the pitch of Idina Menzel’s voice to a tee.
“Let It Go” called out to many listeners because it spoke of being hampered by society’s ideas of right and wrong, until you finally decide to stop caring what they think and “let it go.” It was a theme that practically everyone on the planet can relate to.
Heading off into a mystical world because you hear a strange voice is not something that forms a connection with audiences easily in terms of theme, which is why “Into the Unknown” loses this round.
And while “Show Yourself” is technically about Elsa discovering the identity of the mystery voice, if you were to just read the lyrics without knowing the movie’s plot, it would feel as if Elsa is singing to a side of herself that she has kept hidden her whole life. Which feels a tad more relatable in terms of theme.
Those Unreachable high notes
If there is anything “Let It Go” is known for, it’s being nigh unsingable by mere mortals. Those high notes Idina Menzel tosses out like candy are as distant to the average shower-singer as Mt. Everest is to the average walker.
While “Show Yourself” does feature those kinds of heights toward the end, “Into the Unknown” reaches those peaks a whole lot more. That and the quicker tempo make it feel like a similar beast to its predecessor.
Bottom line, this is actually a case of whichever you prefer. I find myself humming “Into the Unknown” more than “Show Yourself,” so I’m more likely to be found in that camp.
But if you were to say you’re in the other camp, the “Show Yourself” one, I could not fault you for that at all.
But yeah, “Let It Go” is still better.