Let it Go (a musical interlude)

I saw this on NPR.org yesterday and I can’t stop watching this multilingual version of “Let it Go.”

I cried the first time I watched this.

A cynic will hear the Disney machine marching across the world. I hear a powerful ballad about not hiding your true self and the joy of finding the freedom to be you being sung in 25 languages.

I also cried during the Coca-Cola Super Bowl commercial. If that tells you anything. Both of these popular culture vignettes highlight cross-cultural commonalities and the power of music. Forget the products being sold. Focus on the fact that even when I can’t understand the exact words, I understand the emotion.

I gravitate toward things like this because as a species, we sometimes need reminders that people have a lot more in common than we might realize.

We are currently witnessing legislation in Arizona and Kansas turn back the clock to an era of history when people were expected to “be the good girl you always have to be” and “conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.”

One of the lessons I took away from frequent Disney movie viewings is that while differences might not be understood by the majority group, they should be accepted and celebrated because they are what make us individuals. Ariel was ridiculed for wanting to live above the water. Belle was teased for liking to read. Mulan was shamed for not conforming to gender norms. Disney also taught me that societal restrictions should be questioned.

So, back to the multilingual rendition of one of my favorite Disney songs:

I particularly love the Cantonese lines (my grandparents spoke Cantonese), the Norwegian lines (the cultural inspiration for the film), and the Flemish finale.

Has anyone who is fluent in other languages watched a dubbed Disney film? I assume that the core of the story remains the same, but that local idioms and cultural references are incorporated. Is this true? I feel empowered by Elsa, Mulan, and Merida. Does that translate?

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