Do You Want to Build a Snowman?
"Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" is a song from the 2013 Disney animated feature film Frozen, with music and lyrics composed by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. As of 25 November 2016[update], the total sales of the digital track stands at 1,600,000 downloads according to Nielsen SoundScan, placing it second on the list of all-time best-selling Christmas/holiday digital singles in SoundScan history (behind Mariah Carey's 1994 hit single, "All I Want for Christmas Is You").
|"Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"|
|Song by Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monn & Katie Lopez|
|from the album Frozen|
|Published||Wonderland Music Company|
|Released||November 25, 2013|
After Elsa accidentally harms Anna with her ice powers, she locks herself in her bedroom. The song captures three different moments at which Anna tries and fails to persuade Elsa to spend time with her - as children, teenagers, and adults. Within the film, the last of these moments occurs after the sisters' parents have died at sea in a storm.
At one point Disney considered removing the song from the film because as originally composed, it was too sad and it was also too complicated in that it contained too much exposition. However it was put back after being well received by the Disney staff. StitchKingdom explains, "due to pacing of the film, this song was constantly being cut and put back in during the film’s development. Ultimately, studio employees demanded it stay in." During the film's development, Lopez at one point had to travel to Los Angeles to work in person with the production team to try to fix the song, and they had to sit down and work through how Elsa sounds versus how Anna sounds. Christophe Beck, who wrote the film's score, added the interlude for the montage scenes.
After the film was released, a fan put together a version of the song to show how a reprise could have worked at the climax of the film, when Elsa realizes that Anna is completely frozen. Commenting on the fan clip in January 2014, Anderson-Lopez mentioned that at one point, she actually had pitched a reprise of the song for the film's climax. Lopez added, "if you watch it in the flow of the movie, it would be jarring to have them break into song at that moment."
When the same clip was mentioned in an interview, director Jennifer Lee explained that according to Disney music producer Chris Montan (who has worked on nearly every Disney and Pixar animated film from the start of the Disney Renaissance), it is traditional in Disney animated musicals to have no more songs after the end of the second act.
The song received widespread acclaim from film critics, music critics, and audiences. Kyle Smith of The New York Post dubbed it a "classic". USA Today called it "a lovely musical number that illustrates Anna's emotional yearning, sung with heartfelt sweetness by Bell." Alonso Duralde of The Wrap labeled it "poignant". Moviefone describes the song as "sob-inducing", and "the best song in Frozen". Scott Mendelson of Forbes talks about the "richness and a subtle sadness to the core relationship between Anna and Elsa, of so much time lost to fear, self-doubt, and some questionable parenting at a key juncture", and goes on to describe "Do You Want To Build A Snowman" as a "beautiful song...it's just one of a handful of terrific songs". Mendelson added, "I was deathly afraid [it] would come back as a climactic refrain should the story end badly."
Sputnikmusic said "the songs complement the gorgeous visuals well, especially in the first extended cut "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" and its tear-pleading climax and conclusion", and argues "it’s one of the few vocal tracks far removed from the crushing vapidity of the other material". The Rochester City Newspaper described the song as "character-establishing", and noted that along with "Frozen Heart", it "deeply resemble[s] Disney's song output under Alan Menken...and that helps them feel instantly familiar". The soundtrack review adds, "While "Snowman" works better in the film (the visuals fill in some of the song's gaps) the twee-cute vocals and gorgeous melody help its memorability". AllMusic said this song and the love duet "Love Is an Open Door" have "contemporary Broadway dazzle".
Several other language versions of the song have been successful. The Japanese-language version called "Yukidaruma Tsukurō" (雪だるまつくろう, "Let's Make a Snowman") was sung by Sayaka Kanda, who played 15-year-old and 18-year-old Anna, as well as Sumire Morohoshi and Natsuki Inaba, who played Anna aged 9 and 5 respectively. It appeared on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 in April and May 2014, peaking at number 39, and was popular enough to be certified platinum for 250,000 digital downloads by the RIAJ in January 2015. The Korean-language version was sung by Yoon Si-young, Lee Ji-min and Park Ji-yoon. In March 2014, it reached number 115 on the Gaon Singles Chart, after being downloaded 17,000 times.
Charts and certificationsEdit
Austin & Ally star Laura Marano performed a Hawaiian version of the song at Disney's Aulani Resort & Spa for Disney Parks' Frozen Christmas Celebration on ABC with Kamehameha Schools Children's Chorus singing the children's chorus.
Country singer Mickey Guyton recorded the song and released it on November 6, 2015 to digital retailers and music streaming services. Her version charted at number 57 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
- Perlman, Jake (February 10, 2014). "On the Scene: 'Frozen' cast performs live for the first (and probably only) time ever". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
It was the first time the cast had ever sung the songs live and the first time many had sung the songs at all since they recorded the soundtrack a year and a half ago.
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