Frozen 2's Most Emotional Song Was Deeper Than You Realized

The most emotional song in Frozen 2 was actually based on the real-life experiences of several people who worked on the movie. When the sequel to Frozen was announced, a film known for its beautiful narrative and unforgettable music, audiences were excited to hear what songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez had up their sleeves for Frozen 2. Between the passionate piece sung by Elsa (Idina Menzel), "Let It Go," or the more whimsical tune, "In Summer," sung by Olaf (Josh Gad), the songwriters had set the bar pretty high for themselves in Frozen. While the reviews for Frozen 2 were mixed, the plethora of songs in the movie carried important messages.

Led by a voice that calls out to Elsa, the characters of Frozen 2 work to uncover the mysterious happenings in the Enchanted Forest and what it all means for the people of Northuldra and Arendelle. Each character has their own arc in which they grow and change in relatable ways to young viewers. The movie is marked with well-timed laughs, a little bit of romance, and, of course, a growing tension among the characters that crescendos to perhaps the most memorable, or certainly one of the most tearful, scenes in the entire movie.

Related: Frozen 2: Anna's Journey Echoes Frodo's from Lord of the Rings

During the darkest moment of Frozen 2, Anna (Kristen Bell) finds herself cold and alone, facing what seems like an insurmountable task all by herself. It's a moment that comes right after Olaf suddenly melts in her arms, indicating that something dire has happened to Elsa, too–perhaps the most unthinkable thing. It is at this point that Anna expresses her grief and the seemingly insurmountable she is up against while singing the deeply emotional song, "The Next Right Thing." Inspired by the lived experiences of at least three people that worked on the movie, the song deals with loss and grief, and what one can do to try and take the next step forward when it may feel like the world is against them. Chris Buck, the co-director, lost his son the same week the original Frozen premiered in theaters in 2013. In addition, Andrew Page, a music producer on both films, had lost his daughter. The songwriters have said that they wrote "The Next Right Thing" with both of these profound instances of loss in mind (via The New York Times).

Kristen Bell, who voices Anna in both Frozen movies, has also been very open on her social media and in various interviews about her own struggles as a person with depression and anxiety. As Bell spoke to Frozen 2 screenwriter and director, Jennifer Lee, about the story arc for her character, she wanted to delve into what it's like for Anna to have to navigate things on her own. "I really wanted a song about what she's going to do when she doesn't know what to do... that turned into something much more profound for our songwriters" (via NPR). Based on the performance Bell gave singing "The Next Right Thing," it is clear that she was drawing on her own experiences to help to convey the feelings Anna was working through.

Disney's movies often draw inspiration from other sources. Classic Disney princess movies were often based on fairy tales. More recent Disney movies, while still frequently inspired by myths and folklore found all over the world, have been given more breathing room to explore topics that young viewers can relate to, such as how to handle grief and loss in the Frozen sequel. The robust soundtrack from Frozen 2 is a work of art in and of itself, even without knowing what real-life experiences inspired the songwriters. Coupled with that knowledge, however, Anna's emotional song is surely one that many viewers, young and old, can relate to. Knowing when and how to do the next right thing may seem like a simple concept, but it is sometimes this very thing that can pull one out of their darkest moments.

Next: Frozen 2: Anna Was Already A Better Ruler Than Elsa (Before Becoming Queen)



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