Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Movie Score Mania: Frozen

Disney's latest animated hit, Frozen, has been killing it at the box office, bringing in almost $1 billion dollars, and is on its way to becoming the highest grossing animated film of all time.  Some of this is because of the great story but most is due to this amazing music throughout the film.

The film, which wasn't advertised as a musical, is very much one, and a great one at that thanks to its beautiful animation and wonderful score.  Composer Christophe Beck helps bring out the fairytale nature of this film with pieces like "Marshmallow Attack!", "The Trolls", and "The North Mountain".

The soundtrack starts of with the vocal pieces from the film, "Frozen Heart" being the first.  This song has a very Nordic feel to it, which is a perfect way to start off the film and set the tone.  Next is my favorite song, "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?".  Ever since I first watched this film I haven't been able to stop singing this song.  I love how it progresses perfectly from child to teenager to adult in both lyrics and tone.  And the way they cover the death of Elsa and Anna's parents was beautiful.  It was subtle, yet very powerful, especially with the verse that follows.  It absolutely pulls at the heartstrings.

Next up is "For The First Time In Forever", which gives you a great sense of how sheltered Anna has really been for all these years, and Kristen Bell pulls off this awkwardness wonderfully.  This is also the first we hear of Idina Menzel's singing, which is beautiful, and a nice contrast to Bell's.  Idina get to showcase her talent in the Academy Award nominated song "Let It Go", which also gets a Demi Lovato cover at the end of the film.  Menzel's version, however, is much more powerful, evoking real emotion from the audience.

They lighten the mood after such a powerful track with two very fun songs, "Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People" and "In Summer", a song about all the things Olaf the snowman will do during summer (it's quite entertaining).  There are a few more songs after this and then we get into Christophe Beck's beautiful score.

Beck's score simply sounds like winter, if winter had a sound.  We also get some great choral pieces such as in "Vuelie".  "The Trolls" has more of a fantasy feel to it, mysterious yet subtle.  In "Marshmallow Attacks!", it's a more fun and actiony piece where you can totally picture being attacked by a giant snow beast.

The strongest parts of this score is clearly the adventure aspect in which Beck rightfully focuses on and is featured in he tracks "The North Mountain", "Wolves", "Summit Siege", and "Return To Arendelle" which all have an exciting feel to them.  

The first disc wraps things up with "Epilogue" which is a basic reprise of the score's main themes, primarily "Elsa and Anna".  The second disc of this edition of the soundtrack is filled with a lot of demo tracks and instrumental versions of its songs, a nice treat for real fans of the film.

Beck's score is very strong, enjoyable, and is very memorable in every way, and I would be surprised if it didn't win an award at the Oscars.  I would definitely recommend picking this up if you really enjoyed the film and the music within.

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