Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

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"Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"
Song by Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monn & Katie Lopez
from the album Frozen
PublishedWonderland Music Company
ReleasedNovember 25, 2013
GenreShow tune
LabelWalt Disney

"Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" is a song from the 2013 Disney animated feature film Frozen, with music and lyrics composed by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. As of 25 November 2016, the total sales of the digital track stands at 1,600,000 downloads according to Nielsen SoundScan, placing it second on the list of all-time best-selling Christmas/holiday digital singles in SoundScan history (behind Mariah Carey's 1994 hit single, "All I Want for Christmas Is You").[2]


After Elsa accidentally harms Anna with her ice powers, she locks herself in her bedroom. The song captures three different moments at which Anna tries and fails to persuade Elsa to spend time with her - as children, teenagers, and adults. Within the film, the last of these moments occurs after the sisters' parents have died at sea in a storm.


At one point Disney considered removing the song from the film because as originally composed, it was too sad and it was also too complicated in that it contained too much exposition.[3] However it was put back after being well received by the Disney staff. StitchKingdom explains, "due to pacing of the film, this song was constantly being cut and put back in during the film’s development. Ultimately, studio employees demanded it stay in."[4] During the film's development, Lopez at one point had to travel to Los Angeles to work in person with the production team to try to fix the song, and they had to sit down and work through how Elsa sounds versus how Anna sounds.[3] Christophe Beck, who wrote the film's score, added the interlude for the montage scenes.

After the film was released, a fan put together a version of the song to show how a reprise could have worked at the climax of the film, when Elsa realizes that Anna is completely frozen. Commenting on the fan clip in January 2014, Anderson-Lopez mentioned that at one point, she actually had pitched a reprise of the song for the film's climax.[5] Lopez added, "if you watch it in the flow of the movie, it would be jarring to have them break into song at that moment."[5]

When the same clip was mentioned in an interview, director Jennifer Lee explained that according to Disney music producer Chris Montan (who has worked on nearly every Disney and Pixar animated film from the start of the Disney Renaissance), it is traditional in Disney animated musicals to have no more songs after the end of the second act.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Thematically, the idea of having the two princess sisters on opposite sides of a door within the same shot - both desperately wanting to open it but unable to - was something that greatly appealed to the songwriters.[6]

The song received widespread acclaim from film critics, music critics, and audiences. Kyle Smith of The New York Post dubbed it a "classic".[7] USA Today called it "a lovely musical number that illustrates Anna's emotional yearning, sung with heartfelt sweetness by Bell."[8] Alonso Duralde of The Wrap labeled it "poignant".[9] Moviefone describes the song as "sob-inducing", and "the best song in Frozen".[10] Scott Mendelson of Forbes talks about the "richness and a subtle sadness to the core relationship between Anna and Elsa, of so much time lost to fear, self-doubt, and some questionable parenting at a key juncture", and goes on to describe "Do You Want To Build A Snowman" as a "beautiful's just one of a handful of terrific songs".[11] Mendelson added, "I was deathly afraid [it] would come back as a climactic refrain should the story end badly."[11]

Sputnikmusic said "the songs complement the gorgeous visuals well, especially in the first extended cut "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" and its tear-pleading climax and conclusion", and argues "it’s one of the few vocal tracks far removed from the crushing vapidity of the other material".[12] The Rochester City Newspaper described the song as "character-establishing", and noted that along with "Frozen Heart", it "deeply resemble[s] Disney's song output under Alan Menken...and that helps them feel instantly familiar". The soundtrack review adds, "While "Snowman" works better in the film (the visuals fill in some of the song's gaps) the twee-cute vocals and gorgeous melody help its memorability".[13] AllMusic said this song and the love duet "Love Is an Open Door" have "contemporary Broadway dazzle".[14]

Other languages[edit]

Several other language versions of the song have been successful. The Japanese-language version called "Yukidaruma Tsukurō" (雪だるまつくろう, "Let's Make a Snowman") was sung by Sayaka Kanda, who played 15-year-old and 18-year-old Anna, as well as Sumire Morohoshi and Natsuki Inaba, who played Anna aged 9 and 5 respectively. It appeared on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 in April and May 2014, peaking at number 39, and was popular enough to be certified platinum for 250,000 digital downloads by the RIAJ in January 2015.[15][16] The Korean-language version was sung by Yoon Si-young, Lee Ji-min and Park Ji-yoon. In March 2014, it reached number 115 on the Gaon Singles Chart, after being downloaded 17,000 times.[17][18]

Charts and certifications[edit]


Kristen Bell sang the song live as her character throughout every stage of her life at the Vibrato Grill Jazz Club in Los Angeles to celebrate the film.[35]

Twenty-six members of the Disney Channel Circle of Stars performed a cover video of the song in July 2014.[36][37][38]

Austin & Ally star Laura Marano performed a Hawaiian version of the song at Disney's Aulani Resort & Spa for Disney Parks' Frozen Christmas Celebration on ABC with Kamehameha Schools Children's Chorus singing the children's chorus.

SM Entertainment trainees Koeun, Hina, Herin, and Lami covered the song in the Korean edition of Mickey Mouse Club in 2015.

Country singer Mickey Guyton recorded the song and released it on November 6, 2015 to digital retailers and music streaming services. Her version charted at number 57 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Perlman, Jake (February 10, 2014). "On the Scene: 'Frozen' cast performs live for the first (and probably only) time ever". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 10, 2014. It was the first time the cast had ever sung the songs live and the first time many had sung the songs at all since they recorded the soundtrack a year and a half ago.
  2. ^ Staff, Billboard (November 25, 2016). "What Are the Top-Selling Holiday Songs?". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c August, John; Aline Brosh McKenna (February 1, 2014). "Episode 128: Frozen with Jennifer Lee — Transcript". Scriptnotes. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  4. ^ "REVIEW: 'Frozen' Soundtrack Disney's Best Since 'Beauty and the Beast'". Stitch Kingdom. 2013-11-04. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  5. ^ a b Watkins, Gwynne (January 15, 2014). "Frozen Composers Assess 6 Fan-Created Homages to Their Songs". New York Media LLC. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  6. ^ Exclusive interview with the talented duo behind the music of Disney's Frozen at
  7. ^ Smith, Kyle (November 20, 2013). "Disney's 'Frozen' will melt your heart". The New York Post. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  8. ^ Puig, Claudia (November 26, 2013). "'Frozen' mixes song, wit and heart in magical winter tale". USA Today. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  9. ^ Duralde, Alonso (November 3, 2013). "'Frozen' Review: Disney's Best Animated Musical Since 'Beauty and the Beast' (Video)". The Wrap. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  10. ^ "'Frozen' Song 'Do You Want to Build a Snowman?' Made Even More Sob-Inducing by Fans (VIDEO) - The Moviefone Blog". Moviefone. 2013-12-31. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  11. ^ a b Mendelson, Scott (November 19, 2014). "Review: 'Frozen' Is Disney's Triumphant Reaffirmation Of Its Cultural Legacy". Forbes. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  12. ^ "Review: Disney Soundtracks - Frozen: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Sputnikmusic. 2013-11-25. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  13. ^ DeTurck, Matt (November 27, 2014). "CD Review: Disney's "Frozen" Soundtrack". Rochester City Newspaper. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  14. ^ Phares, Heather. "Frozen [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]". AllMusic. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  15. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot 100 2014/05/12". Billboard (in Japanese). May 12, 2014. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  16. ^ "レコード協会調べ 1月度有料音楽配信認定" [Record Association Investigation: January Digital Music Download Certifications] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. February 20, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  17. ^ "Gaon Digital Chart 2014년 3월 2주차". Gaon (in Korean). March 1, 2014. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  18. ^ "Gaon Download Chart 2014년 3월 2주차". Gaon (in Korean). March 1, 2014. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  19. ^ " – Kristen Bell – Do You Want to Build a Snowman?". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  20. ^ "Kristen Bell Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "Chart Track: Week 10, 2014". Irish Singles Chart.
  22. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  23. ^ a b "Gaon Digital Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Chart. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22.
  24. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  25. ^ "Kristen Bell Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  26. ^ "Billboard - Artists - Kristen Bell - Heatseeking songs". Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  27. ^ "Kid Digital Songs : Feb 21, 2015". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  28. ^ "Billboard - Artists - Kristen Bell - Holiday 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  29. ^ "Billboard - Artists - Kristen Bell - Holiday Digital Songs". Billboard. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  30. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  31. ^ "Certificaciones Mensuales 2014". Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Facebook. July 28, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  32. ^ "British single certifications – Kristen Bell – Do You Want to Build a Snowman?". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Do You Want to Build a Snowman? in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  33. ^ "The Big 9 in 2014: Disney". HITS Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. December 9, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
  34. ^ "American single certifications – Kristen Bell – Do You Want to Build a Snowman?". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  35. ^ "Kristen Bell sings "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" live. [VIDEO]". Wimp. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  36. ^ Stutz, Colin (July 20, 2014). "Disney Channel Stars Team to Cover 'Do You Want to Build a Snowman?' from 'Frozen'". Billboard. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  37. ^ Bricker, Tierney (July 16, 2014). "26 Disney Channel Stars Come Together for the Most Epic Frozen Cover Ever". E! Online. E! Entertainment Television, LLC. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  38. ^ Walsh, Hadley (July 18, 2014). "26 Disney Channel Stars Come Together For A Fun Cover Of 'Do You Want To Build A Snowman?'". The Huffington Post., Inc. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  39. ^ "Mickey Guyton Album & Song Chart History - Country Airplay". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media.