With a new Frozen movie comes new Frozen songs, and the team has outdone themselves with some of these new tunes. But how do they measure up to all our original favorites?
The soundtracks for Frozen and Frozen 2 are both great. Let’s just say that now. They are full of talented vocalists and performers from beginning to end, and every Frozen song adds something to the story that makes it that much more enjoyable.
That said, it’s always fun to rank things, and there are definitely a couple of Frozen franchise songs that stand a little higher than the rest. And one or two that break my heart in all the worst ways. So read on for my thoughts on which songs are the best, which are the worst, and which ones just don’t stand out as much as they could.
Ranking every ‘Frozen’ song
17. ‘Love Is an Open Door’
I’m sure this decision will be met with some controversy. This has nothing to do with how pretty a song “Love is an Open Door” is or isn’t. This has everything to do with its purpose in the story. I just can never listen to this song the same way after learning Hans’ true intentions. I just read evil into all his parts and think about how underhanded and calculating you would have to be to try and steal an entire kingdom.
I am totally here for all the couples who are taking this song’s true message back from the Hans of it all, but in the context of the movie, this song is the worst. Sorry.
16. ‘Reindeers are Better than People’
The only reason this song is this low is because, as the only Kristoff song in the first movie, it seriously underutilizes the vocal talents of Jonathan Groff. I love Sven and Kristoff more than most, but this little ditty doesn’t use the talent they have to the best of its ability. That’s it.
15. ‘When I Am Older’
Olaf’s song in Frozen 2 doesn’t have the same charm as “In Summer” from the first movie. It just lacks a bit of the wholesome naivety that we’ve all come to adore from our chilly little buddy. He seems to just be operating under the delusion that adults have all the answers, even though he’s seen far too much evidence that adults rarely understand much more than younger generations.
I do appreciate the irony of this song paired with the overall themes and more mature nature of Frozen 2. There is a lot at play in the sequel that kids may not fully understand, but will definitely appreciate when they’re older. If that was the primary motivation behind the song, then I applaud the intention, but it just misses the mark Olaf set for himself in Frozen.
14. ‘All Is Found’
The second movie’s recurring lullaby is a delightful little ditty, but it just doesn’t have the impact that some of the bigger numbers from either movie have to offer. Not to mention it does go to a dark place, which the new character, Honeymaren, points out to Elsa in Frozen 2. I just have a hard time singing along to lyrics like, “But not too far or you’ll be drowned” with the same happiness as so many of the other Frozen franchise songs.
13. ‘Fixer Upper’
While this song is sweet coming from Kristoff’s chosen family, who have come to truly adore him over the years, it also delivers a complicated message that can get a little lost in the tongue-in-cheek manner intended. I still love the rock trolls and how much they adore their adopted son, but it can’t endear me to this song more than I currently am.
12. ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?’
While cute, and somewhat iconic (the “Do you want to build a snowman?” lyric is surely used by kids the world over on snow days when there’s finally enough snow to build their very own Olaf), it just doesn’t measure up to some of the other songs on both albums.
Not to mention that this song includes the death of Anna and Elsa’s parents, which is just too damn sad to be singing along to in the car. It just is.
This isn’t exactly considered one of the non-score tracks, but since it’s a choral arrangement that you can 100% sing along to, I’m including it here. I love this recurring musical theme. It helps to set the scene of where in the world Arendelle is, and, honestly, I remember pretty much every note of this chant and was really excited to hear it return at the beginning of Frozen 2 (and again at a very special moment).
10. ‘Lost in the Woods’
Okay, so I’m a sucker for a good ’80s power ballad. And when I heard the first electric guitar riff in the theater that signaled the beginning of Kristoff’s first powerful tune in the Frozen franchise, I was equal parts amazed and surprised. I mean, who expects the whole floating head effect in the middle of a Disney movie?
But the song is pretty delightful, and when you add in the singing reindeer and everything else going on in this beautiful song about getting lost in the emotional landscape of a relationship. It’s a sweet song for our male lead, and I am so glad we finally got to experience the full talents of Jon Groff in the Frozen world.
9. ‘In Summer’
This is definitely the superior Olaf song. Hands down. Maybe it’s the idea of a snowman who longs to spend days at the beach or maybe it’s the puddle lyric that always makes me giggle. It gives us an instant glimpse into Olaf’s personality and makes him an essential part of the team.
Not to mention that Josh Gad shines so brightly in this song. His voice is so well suited to Olaf, it’s hard to imagine any other voice in the role.
8. ‘Frozen Heart’
The first musical number in the original film, “Frozen Heart” lays the groundwork for the whole story at the start of its opening bars. We learn to “beware the frozen heart” and start thinking about all things icy before we even meet the Arendellian princesses or learn about Elsa’s powers.
With so many of these movies’ songs being sung by a couple of powerful ladies, hearing a male vocal heavy tune is a welcome dissonance. The blend of wonderful baritones and basses that make up this male chorus is a warm tone to the ear, no matter how cold the subject matter they’re singing about.
7. ‘Show Yourself’
Now we’re getting into the bigger, show-stopping numbers. This tune from Frozen 2 is really beautiful. Sung by Idina Menzel, this song comes later in the film, so it is doing some pretty heavy lifting in regards to the story.
Throughout this song, we see Elsa experiencing some powerful memories and unlocking some hard truths that need to come to light. It adds to the poignancy of this song, and makes the recurring lilt from Aurora a welcome addition to the recurring musical themes throughout both Frozen films.
6. ‘Some Things Never Change’
As the first major tune in Frozen 2, “Some Things Never Change” is really nice because we get a little bit from everyone in the song. I don’t think any of the songs in Frozen let us hear from Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and Kristoff all at once. So, to hear all of their wonderful voices in one number is a great way to return to Arendelle.
Not to mention that it’s nice to know that although there are going to be a lot of changes to Arendelle before Frozen 2, the most important things will never change.
5. ‘For the First Time in Forever’
While Let It Go is the song that got all the acclaim, I think The First Time in Forever is the song from the first movie that has stuck with me the longest. I find myself humming it occasionally, especially when doing things that I haven’t had to do in a while.
And it’s the first major song we get from Kristen Bell, who hasn’t had to sing much in her career before Frozen. She has an absolutely beautiful voice and Frozen uses it in all the most beautiful ways. You’ll see another Kristen Bell-led song coming up pretty soon in our ranking because anytime she gets to belt a melodic tune, I am so there.
4. ‘The Next Right Thing’
If Frozen 2 gets credit for anything, I hope it’s how honest and realistic the message in “The Next Right Thing” is. Watching Anna suffer her grief, alone in the cave, separated from the only person left in her life, is heart-wrecking, but such a great message for kids to see. Grief cannot be ignored. It must be felt and experienced, which can then be followed by moving on and persevering through tough times.
Not to mention that Kristen Bell’s voice is at its best in moments during this song. I sat in the theater, in awe at both the incredible message coming from Anna’s lips, and the incredible vocals Kristen gave to bring it to light.
It might start out sad, but by the end of this song, it’s almost anthemic in its mantra to “do the next right thing.”
3. ‘Let It Go’
We’ve all heard “Let It Go” a million times. After Frozen, it was literally everywhere for the longest time. You could hear it in department stores, elevators, the radio, and everywhere in between. Idina Menzel is a siren of a songstress, and this song of freedom felt as powerful as possible thanks to her vocals. \
Not to mention that it won an Oscar. I mean, it’s hard to rank a song like this any lower than the top 5 when it won an OSCAR. It just couldn’t take the top spot for a couple of very good reasons.
2. ‘For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)’
I know, I know. A lot of you are probably scratching your heads right now at how high this Frozen song has ranked for me. I just could not get over how stunning the blend of Kristen and Idina’s voices is during the most complex and difficult time in the movie. This is a single blink before Elsa freezes Anna’s heart.
The “For the First Time In Forever (Reprise)” gives us a truly artistic look at the turmoil each of the sisters is feeling at this particular moment. Elsa has just learned that she’s responsible for freezing the kingdom, possibly dooming them to cold, frigid deaths. Anna is in a visual representation of how different she and her sister are, not to mention how much power Elsa has at her fingertips. She built an entire ice castle from her magic, and Anna is literally standing on proof of Elsa’s enormous wealth of ice magic.
So hearing their beautiful voices blend over the turmoil of the situation and the visuals the animators put on screen is an incredibly meaningful juxtaposition. While these sisters’ voices may be in perfect harmony, their motivations are as discordant as is possible.
1. ‘Into the Unknown’
And my top pick for this ranking is the powerful first single from the soundtrack. There’s magic embedded into this tune that is above and beyond what we’ve had from any other song on the whole of the two soundtracks. I cannot get the beginning lilt from Norwegian songstress Aurora out of my head for more than an hour or two at the moment, but it’s the journey that Elsa goes on from the beginning to the end of this song that makes it my number 1.
When the song begins, Elsa is trying to ignore this mysterious voice that has invaded her peace in Arendelle. She has settled into her role as Queen, and doesn’t want anything to tempt her away. But, as we learned in Frozen, concealing problems and trying to ignore them away is a recipe for disaster.
And Elsa learned her lesson the first time. The lyrics make it clear that while she wants to just ignore the voice, she feels like it knows her soul better than she does. That it knows that while she doesn’t want any more adventures, she also isn’t where she’s meant to be, either.
That poetic message and the powerful vocals from a Broadway stunner like Idina Menzel make this song every bit as magical as “Let It Go” with the ability to go farther and faster if given the chance. I surely hope that I’ll be hearing this song everywhere I go because I love it so very, very much.
I was disappointed after I downloaded the official Frozen 2 soundtrack that there wasn’t a track with the incredible a cappella vocal arrangement of “Vuelie” that we heard in the film. It stuck out to me so much that I went on the hunt for the full score. I found the deluxe edition of the soundtrack, and with it, the stand-out moment of a huge Frozen 2 reveal. Please don’t miss out on this gorgeous song because it’s buried in the score.
Battle of the covers
I didn’t include the covers of either of the lead singles from these movies in the ranking because I am all about the actual movie music here, but there is a bit of a battle to think about in regards to the two pop covers.
‘Into the Unknown’
This phenomenal rendition of “Into the Unknown” by Panic! at the Disco turns the stunning female-driven melody into a driving rock song. It’s fierce and uncompromising, and I love how they morphed it into a song I would be happy to hear on the radio.
‘Let it Go’
I feel like this version of the classic song got less praise than the Frozen 2 equivalent, but I love Demi Lovato, and hearing her lend her voice to a song as beautiful as “Let it Go” seems like a no-brainer to me. I love it and routinely stick through the Frozen credits long enough to hear it, which is not always the case when you’re popping in a DVD on a cold winter morning.