Disney, Reviews

[REVIEW] Frozen (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Deluxe Edition]

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Tomorrow the waiting will be over because tomorrow Disney’s Frozen will finally be released in theatres! With Disney’s 53rd animated feature, Disney is returning to the genre that made its films so popular: Musical fairy tales!

Yesterday Disney released the full Frozen soundtrack including the songs and score. The two-disc deluxe edition even contains deleted songs, deleted scores and instrumental versions of the songs in Frozen. This reviews is of the deluxe edition soundtrack.

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Cover of the Deluxe Edition of the Frozen soundtrack.

Songs

The musical songs in Frozen are written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the husband-and-wife songwriting team that earlier worked on the 2011 Disney film Winnie the Pooh and Broadway’s Book of Mormon. For Frozen, they wrote a total of nine songs that made the cut into the final film. Here’s a list of all these songs:

  • Frozen Heart – Cast of Frozen
  • Do You Want to Build a Snowman? – Kristen Bell, Agatha LeeMonn, Katie Lopez
  • For The First Time in Forever – Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel
  • Love Is An Open Door – Kristen Bell, Santino Fontana
  • Let It Go – Idina Menzel
  • Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People – Jonathan Groff
  • In Summer – Josh Gad
  • For the First Time in Forever (reprise) – Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel
  • Fixer Upper – Maia Wilson and Frozen Cast

Robert and Kristen did a wonderful job composing these songs. I absolutely adore then and can listen to most of them on repeat all day long. Since the songwriters come from a Broadway background, the songs are very “Broadway”, making me hope that Frozen will one day become a Broadway musical itself. The songs are very modern, so today’s audiences that are used to pop music will definitely enjoy them. Interestingly, while the songs do feel much more modern, they still have the feel of classic Disney songs from the Disney Renaissance.

Wow, this soundtrack is filled with so many wonderful songs that are destined to become Disney classics. “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” is a lovely song that expertly progresses the plot, showing us the world from Anna’s perspective as she grows up. “For The First Time in Forever” is another winner and, trust me, you won’t be able to get it out of your head. That songs reprise is particularly interesting as it is a bit operatic; a style that is rarely (if ever) used in Disney animated films. “Love Is an Open Door” is a quirky, even a little bit cheesy tune that works perfectly in the movie. There really can’t be anything more said about “Let It Go.” It’s a masterpiece and might be a contender for the new quintessential Disney “I Want” song. (Watch out “Part of Your World”!) Idina Menzel absolutely kills it. What I love about all these songs is that they are wonderful in the movie, by both driving the plot and narrative. But they also work as standalone Disney songs, whether you know the context of the film or not.

I really love most of the songs, but at the same time I don’t like “In Summer” and “Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People At All”. These songs just weren’t as good as the other songs. Also I hated they gave Jonathan Groff a silly 50-second song. Come on Disney! You hire an amazing artist that can sing beautifully and you give him a song like this? I would be more ok with “In Summer” if Jonathan at least was given another song as big and dramatic as “Let it Go” or “For The First Time in Forever.”

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Score

The score of Frozen is composed by Christophe Beck. If you look at his musical pedigree, he basically has composed anything and everything in Hollywood from The Hangover and Burlesque to The Muppets. To be honest, before he composed the 2012 Disney short Paperman, I had never heard of him, but I became a fan instantly after falling in love with that score. So hearing he was scoring Frozen made me even more excited for the film and soundtrack.

Frozen has a pretty lot of score tracks, so I won’t list all the different titles here. For me a score is good when it’s something new and something that has never been done before. That’s why I love all the Pixar scores and the Wreck-it Ralph score because they are novel, catchy and groundbreaking. However, that’s also why I pretty much hate every DreamWorks score; when I listen to a DreamWorks score, I instantly get pretty bored because I get feeling that every track is the same. This this wasn’t the case with Frozen though.

I love this score! While the Tangled score had a very medieval feel to it and the Wreck-it Ralph‘s score had a bit of a retro 80s flair, the Frozen score didn’t have a particular special style–it was just a classic orchestra. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that’s bad. Christophe Beck composed the score in a special way that didn’t make listening to it boring; he weaved the tunes and melodies from the lyrical songs into the score and added choirs singing, all of which give a very magical touch that fits Frozen perfectly. He used interesting tunes and instruments to enhance the score. This is not only a soundtrack that you’ll want to listen to relive the movie, but it also makes perfect background music while you’re doing something else. It really is fantastic. My only complaint is that I would’ve loved the score to more seamlessly be infused with influences and sounds from the Norwegian music and culture, instead of the traditional Western orchestra.

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Deluxe

For a few dollars more you can also buy the 2-disc Deluxe edition of the Frozen soundtrack. Well what does this Deluxe soundtrack all contain? Well, to start off, not only does it include all the songs and musical score track that made it into the final movie, but it also contains the original demos from these songs. These demos are mostly acoustic and performed by the songwriters themselves. Next up are deleted songs (also sung by Robert and Kristen) since not all the songs that were written for Frozen ended up in the final film. Lastly, the deluxe edition also contains the deleted score tracks as well as the score from from the Olaf and Sven teaser trailer. Last but not least are the instrumental versions (or karaoke tracks) of almost all the songs in Frozen and, of course, Demi Lovato’s version of “Let It Go.”

I do love the unused score. It’s beautifully composed, just like the score that did make it into the final film. I like that the  teaser trailer score was included because I’ve loved that score since I first heard it. It’s really not something that is traditionally included or released, so I enjoyed that. I really like the karaoke tracks as well. I can’t sing, but I do it anyway, so this is a way for me to belt out these songs anytime I want. However, not all the songs got karaoke tracks They didn’t include all the songs (No “Fixer Upper”, “Do You Want Wo Build a Snowman?” and a few more), which was really disappointed because these are some of my favorite songs in Frozen. You can’t win them all.

I think it’s great Disney gave us the choice to buy a regular or Deluxe edition. Of course I chose the Deluxe edition and I really like the extras it has. I probably won’t listen to the demo’s and deleted songs all the time, but it’s fun to have them on your phone so I can listen to it every once in a while. This is a Disney lovers delight, having all these deleted and unused songs at our fingertips. Usually these things are reserved only for Blu-ray releases, so its a rare treat that Disney gave us all of them on the CD. I hope this become standard practice because this Deluxe edition soundtrack was a real treat.

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This is basically what happens to anyone listening to this soundtrack.

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Conclusion

The Frozen soundtrack is a great addition to your Frozen or Disney collection. This soundtrack not only contains the songs and scores, but you’ll also hear a lot of fun extras that you’ll definitely enjoy. The music is definitely one of the most modern-day Broadway inspired musicals Disney has ever released and I’m positive that most of the songs are worthy to become Disney classics. They’re new and refreshing and hopefully a new generation will grow up with songs like For The First Time in Forever and Let it Go, like we did with A Whole New World and Beauty and the Beast. If you have the money, definitely splurge to buy the deluxe soundtrack because it’s worth every penny. Disney did a stellar job putting this soundtrack together (music, extras, packaging). Like I said before, I loved it and definitely buy it!

✮✮✮✮

Purchase

Frozen (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack): Amazon | iTunes

Frozen (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Deluxe Edition]: Amazon | iTunes

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About Max

Max is an animation addict from The Netherlands. His favorite animated movies are Beauty and the Beast and Ratatouille, and he is a big fan of everything Disney, Pixar or DreamWorks related. He loves reading and collecting art books and one day he hopes to work for a major animation studio. Follow his art blog: http://maxdenhartog.tumblr.com