Disney has released a multilingual version of 'Let it Go', the Oscar-nominated song from the film 'Frozen', featuring verses sung in Mandarin and Cantonese.
The 25-language version of the song also includes Latin American Spanish, Bahasa Malaysian, and a host of European languages. However, as PRI's The World notes, one continent is seriously underrepresented:
From Africa there's ... nothing. Not one language. The same goes for South Asia. Between them, these two regions acccount for for more than 3,000 of the world's languages.
I contacted Disney to ask why they ignored such a huge part of the world. But no one returned my calls and emails. (One Disney representative did say to me as she connected me to a colleague's voicemail, “Thank you, Sir. And you have a magical day.”)
Disney, of course, has long been criticized for its preference for white-skinned heroines. Before the release of "Frozen," a Tumblr called This Could Have Been Frozen re-imagined Elsa the Snow Queen as black, Tibetan, Mongolan, Iniut and other ethnicities.
Given that dissatisfaction, the release of this song seems like a missed opportunity. It wouldn't have taken much to have had "Let it Go" recorded in say, Zulu or Yoruba, and included in the multilingual mash-up.