Skip to comments.Disney Is Tolerant of Anything in Its Movies...Except God - 'Frozen' Songwriters Reveal
Posted on 04/12/2014 11:22:08 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The husband and wife team behind the Oscar-winning Frozen said on Thursday that while Disney is open to bringing songwriters from diverse backgrounds, God is the only thing that they have seen censored since they have worked there.
Speaking on NPR's Fresh Air show, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez told host Terry Gross that some of the preconceptions outside of the industry folks might have about Disney may not be exactly true.
"Disney is not this sanitized place that you might imagine it to be. I mean, they hired Ashman and Menken after they did "Little Shop of Horrors," which was sort of the Avenue Q of its day. It was very campy and very kind of...a little off color and racy. And I don't think Disney has any problem with employing people who have, you know, done off-color stuff in the past," Lopez, who co-wrote the satirical Book of Mormon, said.
Anderson-Lopez noted, "It's funny. One of the only places you have to draw the line at Disney is with religious things, the word God."
"Yeah. You just can't," agreed her husband.
A confused Gross followed up with her guests, asking "You can't say the word 'God'?"
Lopez hesitated, "There was even a - well, you can say it in Disney but you can't put it in the movie," which his wife affirmed.
After Gross pointed out that Lopez's Tony-award winning Broadway was about faith, he brushed off her point, saying that the media attention had always highlighted Matt Stone and Trey Parker, writers of the show South Park.
While Lopez and Anderson-Lopez refused to elaborate about Disney's religiosity, they freely shared about their inspiration for Let It Go.
"Basically when this song came to us, we were on a little stroll through Prospect Park in Brooklyn near our house, and we both started to sort of improv what Elsa might be feeling like. So we stood up on picnic tables," said Lopez.
"We got very emo," continued Anderson-Lopez. "You know, we had been listening - we decided we didn't want this song to be a traditional Disney princess song. So we were listening to singer-songwriters like Amy Mann and Tori Amos and Sara Bareilles. And we just wanted to approach this song in a different way."
"And actually it was Bobby who kept saying I feel like if I were a high school student, that this would be that moment that you had worked, and you'd studied, and you hadn't gone out, and then you just failed a test miserably. And what would that feel like? And he came up with the line," she added.
Gross later joked that parents "would probably prefer that their children sing (singing) hold it in, hold it in...Like hold it back because, like, sometimes you don't want kids to, like, let it go because they're just going to be like - they're so crazy as it is. Do you know what I mean? Like you want them to have a little bit of inhibition."
Anderson agreed with Gross' pointed but suggested a different message for the song that she saw as one she would share with her two children, who also sing on the Frozen soundtrack.
"That's true, but I think at the end of the day, letting - getting the message of don't allow fear or shame to keep you from being the person you should be, I imagine on a global level that's a good lesson for them to have before teenager-hood. If they've been living with fear and shame, and then it's really going to hit the fan."
While the Book of Mormom has been criticized by some at mocking the LDS church and coming across as "gratuitously vulgar and even sacrilegious," Lopez has defended the film's lyrics and content, instead insisting that he and his fellow writers have an "appreciation of Joseph Smith," and were "careful not to point out a lot of negative stuff about Mormons."
Lopez also was quoted in the BMI piece as arguing that the show was "really pro-religion and pro-faith. It's not saying that religions don't do bad things, but it does say that when taken the right way, religion can accomplish a lot of good in people's lives."
After Lopez won an Academy Award in February, he became an EGOT, or a recipient of an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.
Frozen has taken in $1,097,430,622 worldwide and as of Tuesday, the soundtrack had sold 1.9 million copies domestically.
They did poorly enough with "Hunchback of Notre Dame", although I will give them props (I'm not sure "credit" is the right word) for changing the priest character into a judge.
Grasp that, and you grasp it all.
I clearly remember in the movie “Aladdin” they specifically used the term “Allah”.
Which still isn’t God, so it’s ok.
I know many people want Disney in their kids’ lives as when we grew up. That Walt is gone forever. Just say, ‘Let it go’.
Hefner and Disney
Somewhere between Never Neverland and Wonderland
In a land called Never Wonderland
There lived a beautiful wealthy young divorce
With a checkered past and a bad memory
Who should probably remain nameless
And men traveled from far and wide and try to win her hand
And she took in stragglers from all over the known world
Her newest guests were as her mother called them
“The latest Russians to defect”
One’s name was Hefner the other’s name was Disney
Disney smoked a pipe and was very philosophical
He was constantly surrounded by go go girls
He used to take pictures of them without any clothes on
And sell them to the neighborhood children
Hefner on the other hand was not so introspective
He loved a good story just like anybody else
In fact he loved the myths of Never Wonderland so much
That he made elaborate molded plastic sculptures
Of the characters in the myths
And then he’d set them out in the garden
Until he had built a whole ‘nother land in Never Wonderland
Which he called Hefnerland
The neighborhood children loved them
They had lots of fun playing in Hefnerland
And looking at all Disney’s go go pictures
Because they didn’t know any better
And they didn’t know any worse
But the beautiful, wealthy, young divorce thought
That they were only after her money
Sometimes she even wished they would go back to Russia
But between you and me they were really dupes of the Wicked King
Who wanted to rob the children of their dreams
T Bone Burnett
T Bone Burnett is fantastic. “Proof Through the Night” is one of my favorite albums. But apparently T Bone is not such a fan, because he won’t release the original versions, instead he re-worked the songs, with a different feel, and released those. I think it’s a shame.
And that, Folks, is a real trip...
I have refused to spend money on Disney for a few years now. No parks or films. They are not pro family any longer. God forbid you show up there for homo week. You’ll just end up seeing things you wish you hadn’t.
A family member who is very liberal but did not know about homo week booked a reservation for that time and bought us tickets. As my kids were older and know what’s what I figured we’d be fine. I did warn her what him what he was walking into as they had young ones but it was brushed off as not important.
It was very entertaining to watch his kids asking questions like, Daddy, why does that man have makeup and a beard?
There’s an expression, “They were laughing WITH me, not AT me.” Nope, we were laughing AT you. But 70 year old men with breasts, grown beards, and lipstick in Disney (I don’t care what week it is) want to be looked at, and should expect to be laughed at, or they shouldn’t dress like clowns. My family member’s kids picked up a little on our attitudes, I think, and not in the way their parents wanted them to...I’m afraid we taught them a little “intolerance” for diversity...
Whoops, that’s a weird sentence. It’s I did warn HIM what HE was walking into...
Walt must be spinning in his grave at what’s been done to his company.
Well, at least he has a nice Sherman brothers score to accompany it. :)
Is this why a scene in DAVY CROCKETT has been removed where Bowie is placed in an Alamo room and a Mexican, fighting with them, points to a statue of the Madonna of Guadalupe and says Bowie is now under her protection!
I distinctly remember that scene when I saw the movie back about 1955.
It has been removed along with the scene where Davy outfoxing Thimblerig when he first meets him.
The opening music in FROZEN is Eatmenen Vuelie, which means “Fairest Lord Jesus”...
Disney and the Bass family let in Mike Eisner
Which later begat Bob Iger
What else to expect
The moral collapse of Disney is just a snapshot of our collective downfall the past 40 years
Anyone younger than boomer simply has no timeframe to really see it in such contrast
This collapse unleashed a youthful politically correct Stalinist replete with skinny jeans....facial hair and horn rimmed glasses who owns hybrid the woman usually drives
NPR itself is an example of antagonism against the God of the Bible.