Composers Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez together composed the music for 2011’s “Winnie the Pooh” and the musical adaptation of “Finding Nemo,” but just this morning nabbed their first Golden Globe nomination for a different Disney property. “Let It Go” from “Frozen,” performed by Idina Menzel, is now up for a 2014 for Best Original Song.
Lopez and Anderson-Lopez have earned acclaim for their work on Broadway and in TV/Film — in their own right for musicals like “In Transit” and “Book of Mormon” and together on projects like kids’ TV show “Wonderpets”
Below, I talk to the couple about their nomination, females in the working music world and their next theater endeavor.
Congrats on your nomination. You”ve each earned awards in theater and in film. What does the Golden Globes nomination mean to you?
Robert: We”ve been watching the Golden Globes forever. We never imagined being nominated for one. It”s an incredible honor and we”re grateful.
Kristen: I”m so excited, for Tina – that is, Tina Fey and Amy Pohler. Totally.
There”s different versions of the song out there, and it seems to work for very different reasons. Did you write with that in mind, how”d that work?
Robert: When we wrote “Let It Go,” we already had Idina in mind, she was such a great Elsa. And then when Disney came back and said “We want to do a different version” and this time it was with Demi Lovato. We got to work with another producer, tailor a different version, change the bridge. But we love both versions.
Why do you think “Frozen” worked as a movie on the whole?
Kristen: I think it”s a wonderful message about families, and about how fear can distance us. You can strengthen the bond if you go toward the love, that is, true love will heal everything. It”s a good message for the holidays, or any time. I love the message that sisterhood is just as valid and strong as romantic love.
Speaking of women”s representation, you just don”t always see a lot of women composers and writers in the Best Song or Best Score field. Do you feel pressure or have any thoughts about being one of the few recent entries there, Kristen?
Kristen: First, I”m just thrilled and grateful to be here and to have a nomination. Statistically there”s something going on there [in the nominations]. Fifty percent of people graduating from these writing schools are women, and they are less and less represented as time goes on. I feel like I have been inspired and learned so much from the amazing female writers that I have in my life. They”re a wonderful group of women that I”m hoping will be a part of changing the playing field.
And with “Frozen” and “Catching Fire” leading the way with female protagonists, I”m excited for more doors to be opened to female stories.
You guys have written for kids, for families and for adult-only audiences. What does it take to write – lyrics especially – music that”s funny for a variety of audiences?
Robert: We look to be a little subversive, no matter what audience. We”re always looking where that line is, try and skate very close to that line. When people are surprised, that”s when they”re likely to be affected by a story.
What”s next for you in 2014?
Robert: We have a lot of projects lined up. The one we actually can talk about is “Up Here.”
The musical with Alex Timbers?
Robert: Yeah, it”s about consciousness. It”s reverent about all things romantic comedy and yet looks at cosmic questions and self.
Are there more Disney films – or any other films – you”re working on in the future?
Robert: We loved working with Disney. We had the best time working with them hope to have another chance to do it again.