Frozen’s Oscar-winning song Let it Go might be a hard act to follow, but Frozen II’s signature tune Into the Unknown is a worthy successor, receiving an Oscar nomination this year for Best Original Song. It’s just one of many new musical numbers that flavour the sequel, with characters both old and new testing their vocal range.
Of course Frozen II features Disney princesses and themes of female empowerment, but it’s not just about the girls. In one of the film’s funniest moments, Jonathan Groff performs an ‘80s power ballad, Lost in the Woods, which empowers boys to feel free to express their feelings. And the actor – who is both the voice of Kristoff and his trusty reindeer companion, Sven – was delighted, and hopes it delivers a positive message of acceptance to all little boys.
“Oftentimes it’s girls who are singing out about pining after a man and their frustration at not being able to express it; like now the man has left and they’re alone singing about it. But the first Frozen and Frozen II, in many ways, inverts that,” he says.
“So here’s a man pining after a woman, trying to come to terms with his emotions and sing about it and I think that Frozen II just continues to challenge your expectations of what these stories are and I think for Kristoff, you feel what you feel and your feelings are real, so let down your hair and go for it.”
“When I was three years old, I dressed up as Mary Poppins; my mom allowed me to go in full drag. I had great parents in that way, and I hope that kids come and see this movie and feel like they have the opportunity to express themselves.”
A newcomer to the cast, Evan Rachel Wood is introduced as the voice of Queen Iduna, the mother of Elsa and Anna, seen in flashbacks.
After hearing Wood sing, songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez immediately set about writing a song for her – All is Found – about a river that holds all the answers. “The lullaby is beautiful and I love it because it leaves such an impression on her daughters. You can see why Anna and Elsa love to sing so much. And although she left them too soon, she’s still very much present in their hearts and in their spirits. I think she’s still there to guide them,” says Wood, who practiced the song at bedtime with her own son Jack.
Josh Gad, reprising his role as snowman Olaf, also has own song, When I Am Older. “I want to apologise ahead of time because I think a lot of these songs are going to be earworms,” he laughs. “I’ve played them in my own household and my kids will not stop signing them.”