Written by: Big Ross, CC2K Staff Writer
Big Ross is cool under pressure as he takes on his AFW challenge.
I have never seen Frozen. This is perhaps not surprising as I am not a 10-12 year old girl, hence I am not in the target demographic. Despite its Snowpocalypse-like assault on popular culture and the blizzard of memes it and the hit song “Let it Go” unleashed upon the Internet, I know little to nothing about it. I know there is a young woman named Elsa who has Iceman powers. I know there is an anthropomorphic snowman named Olaf. I don’t know if he, like Frosty,is a jolly happy soul, though I suspect that he is. I know Elsa wants to let “it” go, whatever “it” is. I presume that there is an abundance of snow and ice and singing. That’s it. I think I had heard “Let it Go” exactly once in its entirety when Idina Menzel performed it at the Oscars last year. All of that is to say that I was completely unprepared for my AFW assignment, a mission impossible if ever there was: listen to “Let it Go” on repeat. For 3 hours. Continuously. Fortunately for my sanity, our AFW overlord is benevolent, and decreed that I only need listen to it 25 times in a row, and record my thoughts in real time. I write this before I begin. What follows are the results of my attempt to complete the assignment. I don’t know if I will make it. Tell my wife that I love her. May Crom have mercy on my soul.
March 22, 2015 1:02 PM – For this assignment I will be listening to the official performance of “Let it Go” by Idina Menzel, with the accompanying video from the Official Disney channel on YouTube. The link is above. I will be using the Listen on Repeat website to allow for continuous repetition, thus negating any need for me to keep pressing the play button, though that would certainly add another wrinkle to this assignment/experiment. I will attempt to keep track of the iteration of the song as I record my thoughts. I am beginning the playback….now.
1) Elsa is singing of a “kingdom of isolation”, and dealing with a storm raging inside. She has had to “conceal, don’t feel”. What has she been concealing? Her ice powers? Is she letting go of the control needed to keep them in check? Oooh, it appears so. Now she’s building a staircase and castle with her powers, she’s definitely letting the storm rage on.
2-6) “Be the good girl you always have to be” now that’s an interesting line. As is “I don’t care what they’re going to say” and “funny how some distance makes everything seem small.” And “no right, no wrong, no rules for me”. There’s definitely another layer to this song. “That perfect girl is gone”, again, you could take it literally and assume she’s talking about her ice powers, or it could be her ice powers are a metaphor for something else. Could it be her sexuality? I find it interesting that Elsa starts out in this video dressed very conservatively: very long, dark colored dress and cloak; she’s even wearing gloves and has her hair up in a tight braid. but by the end she literally lets her hair down, and replaces her gown with a much more revealing dress. She’s showing a lot more skin. Is she also wearing more makeup at the end? Is this struggle she’s feeling related to the transition from a girl to a woman? Is the storm a storm of hormones? Is she going through puberty and letting go of the ridiculous standards imposed upon women by parents and society? Is Elsa going through the same transition every Britney and Christina and Selena has gone through, abandoning that clean, “good-girl’ image for a more independent woman comfortable with her sexuality? Am I reading too much into this song? Or is this obvious, and that’s why it’s been so popular?
7) She’s definitely wearing more makeup at the end of the video compared to the beginning. That has to be significant.
8) Is Elsa the villain of this movie? The way she’s dressed at the beginning makes me think of Maleficent. Very similar color palette. Lots of black and purple. But by the end she’s in a sparkly light blue dress. Does she start as a villain at the beginning and become redeemed somehow?
9) “My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around”. That’s a pretty cool line, actually. Kudos to whoever figured out how to work “fractals” into a Disney song.
10-12) I may be going crazy, but do gay men like this song? At the beginning when she calls herself “the queen,” I’m sorry but I immediately thought this question, and now the lyrics have taken on a whole different meaning. Elsa could just as easily be singing about a gay person’s struggle to keep their sexuality a secret. And the freedom and power they might feel with accepting who they are and leaving “the past in the past”. The “storm” could be the storm of controversy and criticism coming from bigots and homophobes,or just as easily family who judge and condemn them. Let that storm rage on, it won’t stop them from being who they are, ie “the cold never bothered them (me) anyway”.
13) Wow, I just want to take a time out from all this existential nonsense and comment on Menzel. The lady has got some pipes.
14) On a related note, at the end of this video there’s a portion of another performance of “Let it Go” playing with an ad to listen to more music from Frozen. Is this Demi Lovato? I saw another video for “Let it Go” with her name on it. This is…not good. Especially after listening to Menzel a dozen times or so, Lovato just doesn’t cut it. Not even close. Just no.
15) “That perfect girl is gone” This line is also ironic given that Elsa looks pretty darn perfect by the end of the video (not that she was not perfect at the beginning). Wait, do I think Elsa is attractive? What’s wrong with me? Just move on.
16) “My power flurries” “one thought crystallizes like an icy blast” Puns are fun.
17) Wait, Elsa is only wearing one glove, yet she can blast ice powers out of both hands after she takes the glove off. Was she wearing two gloves earlier? If not, this seems like an obvious error. Also, the Dr. Manhattan moment when she builds the ice castle is very cool.
18-19) I wonder when this song happens in the movie? Why is she on the mountain in the middle of nowhere? She’s wearing a crown, so she is a princess; where is her kingdom? Has she been exiled? Is everyone afraid of her ice powers? How did she get ice powers? Was she born with them? Is she a mutant? I feel like Elsa becomes a hero/good person by the end of this movie, but this could easily be a supervillain origin moment right here. Remember in X2 when Magneto asks Pyro his name, and he replies “John”, and Magneto asks what his real name is? I feel like this scene/song could be that sort of moment for Elsa. That can’t be what this is, but it would be cool.
20) Oh, wow. I just noticed she casts off her crown towards the end. That seems like some powerful symbolism. It could be related to what I was saying earlier. She’s done being the typical Disney princess.
21) Elsa makes a snowman at one point, and it looks like that Olaf character. Does she create Olaf? Can she give snowmen life? She could create an army of sentient, animated snowmen. Though this one doesn’t seem to be alive, so maybe not? That would be cool, if she was going down the villain route I mentioned earlier. I think I have the seed for a much more exciting movie here.
22) Ugg, this alternate performance at the end is so jarringly different and inferior, why would anyone listen to that?
23) Gawd, I’m almost done. Almost made it. Just a few more. You can do this.
24-25) “you’ll never see me cry”, have I pointed that out already? No, I don’t think so. Why would she say that? I guess it makes sense if she was condemned and exiled for being different, but why exile your princess just because she has ice powers? I mean, she has freaking ICE POWERS, that is just cool (pun! Ha!) and very useful.
Okay…okay. Yeah, that’s it. I made it. 25 times in row. Not so bad, actually. Menzel gives a hell of a performance, and that refrain has a nice hook. I can see why so many people made videos of themselves singing this thing. Only time will tell if it has crystallized onto my cerebral cortex. But you know what?
Let the song play on, “Let it Go” didn’t bother me anyway.