Why 'Let It Go' From Disney's 'Frozen' Needs an Oscar
PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- There is little to no consensus on music, which makes it duly important to recognize anything approaching it.
As scores of kids, parents, music teachers, glee club leaders, theater majors, directors and casting agents have already discovered within the last few months, there is perhaps no single piece of music that generated something resembling consensus in 2013 quite like Let It Go from Disney's Frozen. Holy sweet mother of all things, that song is just ubiquitous, pervasive and -- perhaps most frustratingly of all -- catchy.
An entire generation of kids already knows the words by heart, an entire sea of parents begrudgingly makes the same claim and an entire company had the shrinking core of its business jolted back to life by it. It's taken on a life far bigger than the movie it came from, and for that -- and with apologies to Pharrell William's insanely bouncy Happy from Despicable Me 2, Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O's The Moon Song from Her and U2's Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom -- it deserves this year's Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Consider that, since opening at the end of November, Frozen has made $384 million in the U.S. alone and $980 million worldwide... and is still chugging through its first run. Its soundtrack, meanwhile, has sold more than one million copies and is only the second soundtrack to do so since 2010 (the Pitch Perfect soundtrack hit one million in December). The Frozen soundtrack topped the Billboard 200 again this week for its fifth non-consecutive week at No. 1. Since Nielsen SoundScan began powering the Billboard 200 chart on May 25, 1991, only four soundtracks have spent at least five weeks at No. 1: Titanic, Waiting to Exhale (five weeks in 1996), The Lion King (10 weeks in 1994 and 1995) and The Bodyguard (20 weeks in 1992 and 1993). The last soundtrack to hit even four weeks at No. 1 was Bad Boys II in 2003.
That soundtrack put two versions of Let It Go on Billboard's Hot 100. While former Disney kid and part-time TV talent show host Demi Lovato's version from the film's credits peaked at No. 38, Idina Menzel's version from the film itself hit No. 18. That's the same Idina Menzel who gave the world the definitive version of Defying Gravity from the Broadway hit Wicked and already sealed her place in in musical theater's pantheon of beloved belters. Never mind that her version of Let It Go charted below Pharrell's No. 2 for Happy. The charts aren't really where this story ends.
Disney released a sing-along version of Frozen in theaters on Jan. 31 with karaoke-style onscreen lyrics. It also posted a version of Let It Go sung in 25 languages, as if a world accustomed to the various Idol series, X Factor, The Voice, Glee, etc., wasn't going to produce dozens of covers on its own.