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Spoilers ahead for Frozen II.
As far as Disney's animated blockbusters go, there are few quite as prolific as Frozen. Elsa and Anna's story about sisterhood and grief became a phenomenon, inspiring countless pieces of merchandise and Halloween costumes. Disney broke new ground by making a full theatrical sequel, the aptly titled Frozen II. The new movie catches up with the beloved characters years after the original, especially with the big opening number "Some Things Never Change." There's one part of Elsa's vocal solo that has been bothering fans, although it turns out that it was all planned by songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
After a quick flashback, Frozen II truly begins with "Some Things Never Change." After hearing the siren call for the first time, Idina Menzel's Elsa reflects about what she has, and what she doesn't. The Queen of Arendelle decides to go out and seize the day with her loved ones, but music lovers notice that her final note was a B flat, and therefore never resolved musically. While some music fans found that particular note jarring, Kristen Anderson-Lopez recently explained the reasoning behind Elsa's vocal track. As she put it on social media,
Well, that clears things up. It looks like Elsa's last note in "Some Things Never Change" wasn't a misstep, but a purposefully minor tone that foreshadows the character's upcoming journey throughout Frozen II. She is already longing for something else, despite having so much love within the walls of Arendelle.
Kristen Anderson-Lopez's comments come from her personal Twitter page, which the songwriter regularly uses to directly communicate with the generations of Frozen fans. This includes those more familiar with music theory, who went on social media to discuss the B flat in question. It happens during the lyric "seize the day", when Elsa decides to stop pondering her issues and spend time with the likes of Anna, Olaf, Sven, and Kristoff.
Frozen fans can re-watch the original movie in Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.
As a reminder, you can check out the full "Some Things Never Change" sequence below, which was released in order to market the sing-a-long version of Frozen II which was arriving in theaters. Elsa comes in with Idina Menzel's first vocal solos, before she singer would belt out two different powerhouse numbers later in the movie.
As you can hear, the chord never resolves when Elsa vows to seize the day with her loved ones and the Kingdom of Arendelle. This was done purposefully, to tease the journey and longing she'd be feeling later in the movie. Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez approached the music of Frozen II with care and specificity, which seems to be an ongoing theme with the crew.
Frozen Co-director/writer Jennifer Lee took her time to properly develop a story for the characters, before returning to theaters with Frozen II. The movie wasn't simply a cash grab, but a new story that tackled themes of grief, masculinity, and indigenous people. The songwriters took this methodical approach to the music, allowing songs to further flesh out the movie's characters.
Frozen II is back in theaters now. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.