In 2013, Disney’s Frozen took the world by storm, snagging two Oscars and over $1.2 billion at the box office. And it’s not hard to see why.
This heartfelt tale of sisters Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) inspired viewers of all ages, and the adventure continues in this November’s Frozen 2. The story this time takes Anna and Elsa beyond the boundaries of Arendelle, deep into an enchanted forest where the secrets of Elsa’s icy powers will be revealed.
Another factor that made Frozen an astronomical hit was its soundtrack. Written by husband and wife duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, these tunes have been perpetually playing in our heads ever since we first heard them. And the Oscar-winning pair have returned for the sequel, penning at least four new songs, including ‘Into the Unknown’, which is heard in the most recent trailer.
Now is therefore the perfect time to rank our seven favourite Frozen tracks in anticipation of Frozen 2.
7. 'In Summer'
Frozen may be all about Anna and Elsa, but what would it be without comic-relief companion Olaf (Josh Gad), a happy-go-lucky snowman who dreams of summer?
A testament to the writing abilities of the composers, this upbeat number is one of the best examples of comic irony we’ve seen. And while Gad’s vocals aren’t as spectacular as Bell's or Menzel’s, his animated performance makes every joke land, ensuring we have a huge smile on our face throughout.
6. 'Frozen Heart'
The first track of the film, ‘Frozen Heart’ introduces us to the work of the ice harvesters, who, alongside a young Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and reindeer Sven, engage in their daily work of cutting the thick ice.
Set to a steady, driving beat with a Celtic folk flavour, this short but sweet entry makes for a strong opener by establishing the wintry world of the film. Even after building to a jolly little jig, the song ends on an ominous note, foreshadowing the tragedy to come.
5. 'Fixer Upper'
This toe-tapping show tune is another ditty that will plant a giant grin across your face. It’s performed by an ensemble of trolls attempting to set up Anna with their adopted son Kristoff, and the hilarious lyrics and catchy rhythmic hook will have you humming the melody in no time.
But what we love most about this one is how it crams in so much energy and character via its musicality and animation. Likewise, we can’t talk about this song without praising Maria Wilson’s soulful vocals as troll Bulda.
4. 'Love is an Open Door'
Frozen may be praised for steering around Disney’s familiar ‘true love’ cliches. However, romance is still on offer courtesy of charming duet ‘Love is an Open Door’, depicting the budding relationship between Anna and Hans (Santino Fontana).
Nevertheless, Frozen cleverly subverts our expectations when their rushed engagement is called off moments later. The goofiness of the song’s participants makes it feel all the more human and endearing, and it’s the ideal karaoke track.
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3. 'Do You Want to Build a Snowman?'
Disney songs have a remarkable ability to communicate our understanding of a character's emotional arc. 'Do You Want to Build a Snowman?' is the perfect example, chronicling the fractured relationship between Anna and Elsa after the latter isolates herself from her sibling.
This song covers a number of tonal shifts, beginning with a reflection of young Anna’s delightful shenanigans, before the death of her and Elsa’s parents imbues the song with a poignant new meaning. Everything you need to know about the sisters’ relationship is encapsulated beautifully in this scene.
2. 'For the First Time in Forever'
This uplifting track is performed by Anna in a manner that expresses her hopefulness and optimism. Having been kept in solitude for years, she’s unbelievably excited about being around other people during Elsa’s Arendelle coronation – although of course that doesn’t work out as planned.
This is Kristen Bell’s opportunity to shine as a vocalist, and not one note is wasted. If that wasn’t enough, Elsa gets her own verse with a motif that will sound very familiar…
1. 'Let it Go'
Could our number one pick have been anything else? It’s the most played Disney song on Spotify and boasts 1.8 billion plays on YouTube. It also won an Oscar, became an anthem for empowerment and is instantly recognisable around the globe from just its introductory few bars.
Sung by Idina Menzel, who completely steals the spotlight with her powerhouse lungs, this sequence sees Elsa come into her own by embracing her icy powers. Elsa's aforementioned musical motif gains in stature as her environment undergoes a visually stunning physical transformation, taking centre stage in a sequence that never fails to impress.
If Frozen 2’s new songs are anywhere near as impactful as this, then we’re in for a spectacular Disney treat.
Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.