Beijing Games song sounds like Frozen's Let It Go

BEIJING • On Friday, the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to Beijing, despite protests from environmental and human rights groups.

Now some people are drawing attention to what may be another problem, one that could entangle China in a dispute with Walt Disney Co.

An official song of the games, The Snow And Ice Dance, they asserted, is suspiciously similar to Let It Go, the wildly popular ballad sung by Idina Menzel in the 2013 Disney animated film Frozen.

On the YouTube page for The Snow And Ice Dance, one of 10 official songs of the games, many of the comments were in Chinese, although it was not clear how many of them came from the mainland, where an official ban on the YouTube site makes access difficult.

A number of commenters struck a surprised or sarcastic note.

"Rubbish country," wrote lecky- lecky. "Only understands how to copy copy copy."

Ben Wang wrote: "Their shame knows no bounds."

Caijing Online, the website of a prominent Chinese business magazine, also noted the similarities and offered a technical analysis that went beyond the melodic parallels.

Among the main points: Both songs employ a piano as the major instrument, have similar prelude chords and an eight-beat introduction, and they run at almost exactly the same tempo.

That article also inspired online comments. A reader named Tujiang Elapse said parts of the song were similar, but not all.

Another reader, Moxin, lamented that China did not lack creative people, so why had it copied the song?

Asked to comment, a spokesman for the Beijing Games organising committee, Ms Xiao Junfeng, asked for questions to be submitted by fax, saying she could not comment without authorisation, which she did not have.

She did not respond immediately to the faxed questions.

Mr David J. Jefferson, vice-president of corporate communications at Disney in Studio City, California, also did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

Accusations of plagiarism and other forms of intellectual property theft are not new in China, where the legal concepts of trademarks and copyrights are not rigorously enforced and remain a source of tension between China and the United States.

Just last month, a dispute erupted over a Chinese animated film, The Autobots, in which the characters look remarkably like those in Cars (2006), produced by Disney's Pixar Animation Studios. Viewers called The Autobots a shameless copy, but the film's director said he had never even seen Cars.

The first of the 10 songs that were presented on the organising committee's website is performed by actor Jackie Chan and titled Waking Up The Winter.

Second is Come And Ski On The Great Wall, performed by Lu Han and David Tao.

The Snow And Ice Dance is third, sung by male-female duo Sun Nan and Tan Jing.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2015, with the headline 'Beijing Games song sounds like Frozen's Let It Go'. Print Edition | Subscribe