In 2013, Disney came out with Frozen, the movie about Queen Elsa and Princess Anna of Arendelle, the two sisters who overcame all the odds with just the power of their love. Five years later, Anna and Elsa came to the Broadway stage, featuring all the same songs and characters we adore, but with new snappy and sassy songs. One of these songs is called Monster.
Sung by the incredible Caissie Levy (Elsa) at the emotional climax of Elsa’s journey. It is when Elsa is in the midst of great emotional turmoil as she tries to figure out how to stop the eternal winter she set all over Arendelle, all while being hunted by Prince Hans of the Southern Isles. It is a moment of great anxiety for her, as she tries to figure out how to stop herself from hurting any more people.
The title of the song, Monster, is the word that Elsa uses to describe herself over and over again. In the first chorus, she sings, “Is the thing they see, the thing I have to be? A monster, were they right? Has the dark in me finally come to light? Am I a monster, full of rage? Nowhere to go but on a rampage. Or am I just a monster in a cage?” It is a song that resonates with a lot of people. Everyone, at some point in their life, can relate to Elsa’s questions of “am I a burden to people?” or “How badly am I hurting this person?” Everyone has moments where they don’t know who they are. But is this song a good song for a musical whose main demographic is young children?
The main question Elsa keeps wondering is “If I died, would the people of Arendelle be free of my storm?” Essentially, Elsa wants to die in order to free the people she loves. Personally, I believe that the queen is considering suicide by allowing Hans and the guards to kill her. As someone who has a lot of little children in my family who love Frozen, I know that I wouldn’t love for them to hear of their favorite queen wanting to die.
While all the other songs in the musical are kid-friendly and, for the most part, upbeat, Monster is a song of desperation, fear, anxiety, and depression. Even though it is a catchy song and sung by the incomparable Caissie Levy, it is not a song that young children should be listening to. It has some mature topics that shouldn’t be put into children’s heads, such as death and depression. As much as I love the musical and all of it’s new music, I can’t help but disagree with the writers of the song, Robert Lopez and Kristen-Anderson Lopez, in their decision to write such a mature song for such a young audience.