This year marks a decade since “Frozen” was first released in theaters, and CNN’s Chris Wallace still has some questions about the Disney film. Specifically, he’s not totally clear on how the Oscar-winning “Let It Go” was actually an empowering anthem for young women — so he decided to ask Idina Menzel about it directly on a new episode of “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?”
In a new interview posted on Sunday, Wallace discussed the massive impact “Let It Go” had on Menzel’s career, and what impact she herself had on the song. (As it turns out, she specifically asked to put it in a higher key, so her voice would sound a bit more “innocent” and younger for Elsa while singing).
But, after discussing the mechanics of it, Wallace noted that he was about to make the interview “a little weird” because he had a bone to pick with the song.
“I want to spend some time talking about ‘Let It Go’ because I don’t get it,” he said, laughing at Menzel’s non-verbal reaction. “I didn’t get it when I saw the movie, I didn’t get it when every one of my grandchildren were singing the darn song.”
He noted that his particular issue with the song is that it’s “supposed to be about women, or a girl’s empowerment,” but that in reality, Elsa is “so messed up with her curse” that she just gives into it. Wallace also cited previous interviews with the songwriters, in which they noted that, in the early stages of “Frozen,” they weren’t sure if Elsa was actually going to be a villain.
In response, Menzel paused for a moment, before admitting that she herself had thought about some of that before. Still, she was a bit confused on Wallace’s stance.
“Why do you think it’s not a song of empowerment?” she shot back. “‘Let the storm rage on.’ She’s been holding these — all of her power, she has to hold it back. She has to wear these gloves. Because if she really allows herself to be herself, and to unleash this power, she might hurt people in her life.”
Menzel added, “So, to me, it’s about — especially as women — embracing that thing that makes us so powerful … perhaps even ferocious, that makes us extraordinary in the world, and not being afraid to share that, and be ourselves.”
But, that wasn’t enough to assuage Wallace’s concerns about the song. He went on to point out that what Elsa did next was to isolate herself, prompting Menzel to chuckle and retort, “I love that you’re telling me the plot in this interview.”
You can watch the full exchange in the video above.
“Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” drops Fridays on HBO Max and airs Sundays at 7 p.m. Eastern on CNN.