The song “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen seemed inescapable for several months, with innumerable YouTube covers of the song and children playing it on repeat. Now, it seems it’s made its way to the upcoming 2022 Olympics as Chinese internet users are claiming that their country’s anthem is more than a little reminiscent of Queen Elsa’s signature song.
The song, titled “The Snow and Ice Dance,” begins with a piano intro that is more than a little similar to the intro to “Let It Go,” moving into a first verse that — while not exactly the same — does share more than a passing audible resemblance. Eventually, it brings in a male vocalist and branches into a duet, leaving any direct “Let It Go” similarities slightly by the wayside before picking them up again mid-song.
According to CNN, the Chinese business magazine Caijing was the first to make allegations of plagiarism, going so far as to make a chart detailing similarities between “The Snow and Ice Dance” and “Let It Go” in length, tempo, arrangement, and tune. They eventually retracted their report, but it has been shared and reprinted elsewhere since then. Chinese internet users especially have been driving the similarities home, making their own videos swapping between “Let It Go” and the new Olympic anthem to show how close the two are. Even American fans are beginning to do the same, including the YouTube channel Disneyland Experience:
Comments from Chinese fans collected by The Hollywood Reporter show that feelings are all across the board on this, from accusatory to ashamed. One, who goes by Baobao Boey, simply states:
“They are very wise, in that they have changed everything they can. However, the music and the rhythm are really similar. You will think it is “Let It Go” if you take out the voice.”
Another, who goes by Wo shi ni, simply says that they feel they are “losing face” and would prefer to consider “The Snow and Ice Dance” to be an adaptation of “Let It Go” rather than a ripoff.
Some news sources are using this occasion to reflect upon and examine China’s previous entertainment output, as this is not the first case of something approaching (or even being outright) plagiarism. And many are questioning whether the song’s similarities to “Let It Go” struck the right chord, as it were, and helped Beijing win the Olympic bid. Either way, it has caught the world’s attention, and the event is still seven years away.
[Image: Wikimedia Commons]