In a particularly cold climate? for music sales, Frozen broke virtually every Hollywood rule — no “prince charming” narrative or genre trends — to become the year’s biggest phenomenon. The soundtrack moved more than 3 million copies, making it the best-selling album of 2014, and produced an out-of-the-box hit for Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go,” which surpassed a pop version by Demi Lovato to become the first original Disney song to reach the Hot 100’s top 10 since 1995.
Idina Menzel, cast member, Elsa; performer, “Let It Go”: Early on, the Elsa character was written as this very conventional nemesis in a Disney movie, this witchy character. The credit is with the Lopezes, who got this idea and wrote a song about her powers and embracing who she is and being comfortable with how to harness her power.
Robert Lopez, co-writer, “Let It Go”; soundtrack composer:Elsa’s situation reminded me of the first time you fail a test as a straight-A student and everything goes out the window.
Kristen Anderson-Lopez, co-writer, “Let It Go”; soundtrack composer: I took that further to reflect how women feel every day, that we’re under so much scrutiny to be thin and perfect.
Menzel: It showed this strong female character with a sense of self, but ?also emphasized to young girls how to find that voice.
2014’s No. 1’s: J Balvin & Farruko | Idina Menzel & the ‘Frozen’ Soundtrack | Tove Lo, Kiesza, & Nick Jonas | Taylor Swift | Barbra Streisand | Weird Al Yankovic | Ed Sheeran & Charli XCX | Nicki Minaj | ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Soundtrack | Enrique Iglesias | Kacey Musgraves | Santana | Sam Smith | Iggy Azalea | Jason Derulo | Meghan Trainor, Nico & Vinz
This article first appeared in the Dec. 20 issue of Billboard.