Remember when the Lord of the Rings trilogy was coming out, and each film had a special new song attached to it? Well, the new song for Frozen 2 feels kind of like a rip-off of one of those wicked good songs, circa 2003. If you loved Annie Lennox’s “Into the West,” the new song from Frozen 2, “Into the Unknown” is basically the same thing, only, you know, Disney-fied.
With Frozen 2 hitting theaters on November 22, most parents are probably wondering if the movie will contain new earworms like “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” or, more chillingly, a song that could possibly de-throne “Let It Go” as the new thing your kid belts-out apropos of nothing. After listening to “Into the Unknown”, the answer is…no. This song is clearly not as “good” as “Let It Go” insofar as it doesn’t seem as addictive. (You can listen to it above and make up your own mind though!)
Weirdly, the song does rely on the word “go” in a way that feels pretty desperate. It’s like the Disney version of “Glass Onion:”; that Beatles song from the White Album that contains other Beatles songs. (That song began with John singing “We told you about Strawberry Fields…” which, is just, well, not great.) Here, by having Elsa sing the word “Go” really early in “Into the Unknown” the song totally tips its hand and admits that — nope — it will not be nearly as epic as “Let It Go” and will instead, be a totally fine, but not great, song-sequel; kind of like when Oasis tried to top “Champagne Supernova” with “All Around the World” and failed miserably. If this song is a representative of the movie itself, then Frozen 2 will basically be an okay movie that is also nothing to write home about.
But, more strangely, the overall feel of “Into the Unknown” really does feel like a bargain-basement version of Annie Lennox’s epic “Into the West”, which was created specifically for Return of the King. This might be an unfair association, but considering that Frozen has more in common with Tolkien than it doesn’t, this feels 100 percent fair. Plus, if you want to split Hobbit hairs (and who doesn’t) the original cartoon version of The Hobbit was famous for the folksy ballad called “The Greatest Adventure,” which also feels like it could have inspired “Into the Unknown.”
In other words, “Into the Unknown” is not bad, but it’s no “Let It Go” simply because it tries to copy “Let It Go” and two versions of songs made for J.R.R. Tolkien movies a bit too overtly. So, if you’re somewhere in your mid-to-late 30s, you probably liked this song way better when it was being sung in the Shire.