I know I am a little behind the times, but on my drive back from Las Vegas, I finally caught Disney’s Frozen. I didn’t know much about it, but I knew it was kind of a big deal. My niece is going to be one of the characters for Halloween. I saw a Frozen themed birthday party next to a seminar I attended. The movie was constantly mentioned on TV. Finally, one of the songs from the soundtrack, Let It Go, was always on the radio.
Since I was driving, I listened to Frozen without the benefit of seeing the high quality Disney animation. I robbed myself of the full Frozen experience. But I gained insight to why this movie was so successful.
Back in the day when my friends and I made a public access television show, I first learned about improving our content by removing one of the senses from the table. We did a feature on paintball. We had a long video segment of walking through a grassy paintball field. It reminded me of the movie Predator. I used some of that movie’s intense soundtrack to create excitement and tension. However, when a more experienced editor saw that segment. He said it was no good.
Initially I was shocked. I thought, “Can’t you feel the intensity?” He fired back, “The intensity is only created by the soundtrack. If you watch the segment on mute. It is drawn out and boring.” It never occurred to me that my mind linked the video footage to Predator. I thought just by adding the soundtrack, it would magically make my viewer feel what I felt. How wrong I was. The video segment was shortened and extra transitions were added to make the clip more powerful. It is a shame I forgot this valuable lesson, until now.
My wife who was half attending to my son and half watching the movie could not figure out why I was laughing so heartily. In some of the opening scenes, I was totally cracking up at Ana when she first met Hans. The scene would be enhanced if I could see her facial expressions. But relying only on audio, I could hear how quirky she was. The dialogue was natural, quick, and witty.
Show Tune Songs
Frozen would not be a Disney “instant classic” if it didn’t have memorable show tune songs. I recall belting out my own rendition of Let It Go while speeding down the I-15. There is nothing better than listening to an inspirational song during a long commute. It helped get my second wind back. I laughed at the hilarious Fixer Upper. I was giddy like a school girl singing For the First Time in Forever and Love Is an Open Door. I’m just thankful none of my guy friends saw me or I wouldn’t hear the end of it.
Frozen works because it is a story about sisterhood, fitting in, and love. Men and women of all ages will relate to the bond between Elsa and Anna. Most sibling relationships fluctuate over time just like the one we see between the two sisters. We will never have to grapple with controlling magical powers. However, we all can relate with what makes us unique and trying to be ourselves in our relationships. Finally, we all have stories about finding or losing “The One”. We all can relate to love for our siblings, parents, and friends.
If I ever make a screenplay, I have to remember the lesson on natural and witty dialogue. In the meantime, I should apply this to my own writing, podcast, or videos whenever possible. I don’t think I’ll be belting out show tunes any time soon. But Pat Flynn may be on to something. He shows off his personality and taste in music when he sings his favorite songs during his podcast intros. If I want to connect with a larger audience, I need to remember to touch on universal themes. I am trying to be more specific in my topics to figure myself out. But in the end, if no one relates, then I will have to be content writing for myself.
Finally, I found it inspiring that the actress who voiced Elsa, Idina Menzel got the part from her old Rapunzel audition tape. She put herself out there and gave herself a chance. Even though it didn’t work out the first time, it opened a door to another opportunity. With the success of Frozen, you can say Idina was lucky she got rejected! Doesn’t this inspire you to get rejected more often? You never know what could happen until you try. All together now, in your best show tune voice, Let It Go!