"The Cold Never Bothered Them Anyway": Songwriters Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez Revamp the Fairytale with "Frozen"
27 Feb 2014
Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
It may feel that winter will never come to an end, but for husband and wife "Frozen" songwriting collaborators Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, this chilly season has been like a summer holiday.
Inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale "The Snow Queen," the writers happily reveal that their latest hit project "Frozen" takes a contemporary page from the songwriting bible of collaborators Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, whose work together invigorated Disney's animated films with detailed, character-driven songs that feel as though they lept off the Broadway stage.
"I just wrote a thank you letter to Alan Menken telling him that he created the architecture and we're just living in it," Lopez confessed. "He and Howard really created this form and brought it to where it is now - all we did was try and write one of those." Added Anderson-Lopez, "The entire time we were working, we had the creed: 'What would Ashman do?'"
That formula sent "Frozen" skating away from the box office with nearly $1 billion in worldwide grosses since its release last November, while the breakaway single "Let It Go," performed by Tony winner Idina Menzel in the film and covered by pop star Demi Lovato, has turned into a YouTube phenomenon.
"We didn't know it was going to be this kind of hit until super duper late in the game," Lopez admitted. "We were just trying to..." "Not suck," Anderson-Lopez interjected laughing.
The couple are not strangers to juggernaut success. Lopez is the Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning writer of The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q and the children's series "The Wonder Pets," and along with Anderson-Lopez, whose work includes In Transit, Finding Nemo - The Musical and the 2011 film "Winnie the Pooh," they could complete their mantle of honors at the Academy Awards on March 2. Their song "Let It Go" from "Frozen" is Oscar-nominated for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song. Should "Let It Go" win, Lopez will become one of the select group of writers to have won the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.