Forget about the turkey and pie, this long weekend is all about “Frozen.” (OK, yes, it’s also about pie, mostly pie, but also about the latest and greatest animated Disney musical.)
Since Disney and Pixar said their vows and made their union official, the Mouse House has grown up its musicals some, winking at and somewhat subverting the girl-meets-prince formula of old. “Frozen” ups the ante on both the royal count (two princesses and a prince!) and the progressive themes (many reviewers have raised the possibility that Princess Elsa’s natural-born powers that she’s told to hide are a metaphor for gay kids oppressing their sexuality). The movie will undoubtedly kill at the box office, what with the family-centric holiday and long weekend, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about.
Let’s talk about how the soundtrack for “Frozen” is actually a metaphor for your Thanksgiving.
The earworm-y playlist, with the lead voice roles sung by Idina Menzel (who proved her chops onstage and onscreen in “Rent,” originated the role of Elphaba in “Wicked” and also appeared on something we’re told is called “Glee”), Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars majored in opera performance, who knew?), Jonathan Groff (need we even say?) and Josh Gad (“The Book of Mormon,” fools!) is now on Spotify for your listening pleasure, so grab your headphones and turn it up while you read up on our theory that this noise is more about sweet potatoes than princesses.
In “Frozen,” this is a pretty cool (pun intended) montage of Norwegian ice cutters going about their ice-cutting business. In Thanksgiving world, the intense chanting is perfect for the meal prep process. After all, the lyric “Beautiful! Powerful! Dangerous! Cold!” describes our state of mind while peeling apples for the pie. What, like your kitchen’s not intense? Whatever.
‘Do You Want To Build a Snowman’
You’ve met your young cousins, right? Good, because they wrote this song. It’s actually transcribed from their complaints to you. They’re all like, “Do you want to build a snowman? Or ride a bike around the halls?” and you’re like “Snow’s cold, dude.” “I think some company is overdue,” they say. “Can’t we have company inside?” And so on and so forth.
‘For The First Time In Forever’
Posed as Princess Anna’s (Bell) song of elation that her gated city will be opened for a day, we all know that this song is really a lament that Thanksgiving dinner comes just once a year. Really, there’s a lyric that straight up says “I wanna stuff some chocolate in my face.” (Elegant.) Also, you know that food-induced happiness and relaxation that you’re feeling, despite being surrounded by your possibly stressful family situation? Yeah, this song has that covered too: “Don’t know if I’m elated or gassy.” An existential question we’ve all faced one Thanksgiving or another.
‘Love Is An Open Door’
Romantic jaunt or ode to eating alongside the one you love? We beg you to listen to the declaration that “we finish each other’s…sandwiches!” before making that judgement call.
‘Let It Go’
Listen, if you think this song is about anything but unbuttoning your jeans and letting your pooch flag fly, I don’t know what to tell you. From Demi Lovato belting “I don’t care what they’re going to say” to her refusal to “conceal, don’t feel,” this is straight-up food baby territory. “It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small / And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all” — you know how on the way into your food coma, you’re like, “Oh, I’ll never eat again”? Yeah, fast forward an hour, when you’re spooning cold yams straight out of Tupperware and into your mouth, and this is your torch song.
‘Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People’
Think about your most grating great-aunt, then listen to this song. Picture her. Really focus on her. Are reindeer better than people? In your heart, you know what’s up.
Olaf the anthropomorphic snowman sings this clueless little ditty about how badly he wants to experience the warm season, all along not seeming to realize that it’ll quite literally be his undoing. “I’ll finally see a summer breeze, blow away a winter storm / And find out what happens to solid water when it gets warm!”
We don’t have the same melting problems as poor Olaf, but right about now, when the flurries are inescapable, skies grey, we’re falling victim to grass is greener syndrome as well. Summer! Remember summer? Let’s forget the part where we’re sweating uncontrollably into our hair, literally always sunburned and griping about how the air conditioning is either too high or not high enough. Right now, we can’t help but think “Oh the sky would be blue, and you guys will be there too / When I finally do what frozen things do in summer.”
‘For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)’
See above, and consider it your second helping. Thanksgiving is, after all, all about the leftovers.
It’s almost too easy: In the movie, a family of half-stone trolls nag and highlight their adopted son’s flaws, all the while insisting that he’s marriage material. “The way to fix up this fixer-upper / Is to fix him up with you!” OK, Aunt Susan, I get it. I see what you’re trying to do. That’s enough. Thanks.