Of all the hit animated movies that Disney has made and of all the Disney Princesses that fans fall in love with, few have ever had quite the impact of Frozen and Elsa, as voiced by Idina Menzel. The film is one of the studio’s biggest hits ever, in no small part thanks to the phenomenon that was the song “Let it Go.” It is the song Menzel is most known for, so of course, she sings it often. The problem for her now is that she actually made the song harder to sing.
The stars of Frozen have all talked at one time or another about the way that the film has changed their lives. Speaking with CNN, Idina Menzel says she had some understanding of what it would mean for her career in general to become a Disney Princess, but she had no clue that the film or the song would become the cultural touchstone that it is today. If she had, she might have not made the choice to sing the song so high, because now she has to do it every night. Menzel said…
I knew it was a real accomplishment and a great get to be a Disney princess, to be welcomed into the Disney family and be in a musical, I knew that that was pretty epic, but I had no idea it would become the phenomenon that it did. So, I came in once and I sang it and I came back another time, because they had written another part to it and they changed some of the lyrics. I realized that I felt like my voice sounded too mature, in order to really embody this young woman that you see in the movie, so I asked them to take it up — I don’t know why I did that, because when I’m in concert all over the world and I have a cold and I just want to kill myself.
Menzel’s thought process here is perfectly sound. Elsa is a young woman in Frozen and the voice actress wasn’t sure if the character was really going to sound like a young woman coming into her own the way she had previously sung “Let it Go.” So she decided to sing the song higher in order to give her voice a more youthful feel.
Elsa is only supposed to be 21 years old in the first Frozen and she’s been living her entire life in the castle. It’s pretty key to the character that she comes across as young and vulnerable. It’s hard to argue that Menzel’s decision here didn’t work. "Let it Go" became the song that kids loved and parents got very tired of, and it also won the Oscar.
Unfortunately for her, it now means that every time she sings “Let it Go” she has to work that much harder because the song is just that little bit higher. It seems part of her wishes she hadn’t done that now. Menzel continues…
But I asked them, ‘Let’s take it up a half-step and see,’ because then it sounds a little bit more innocent in my voice, a little younger. As I was watching it just now, I was thinking, ‘Jeez, what was I thinking there.’ But, I’m glad, because she sounds a little younger and little bit more vulnerable.
While “Let it Go” may require a lit bit more from her whenever she sings it, Idina Menzel admits that the change she asked for worked perfectly, and so she’s still glad she did it that way.