Did Beijing Copy Disney’s ‘Let It Go’ for Its 2022 Winter Olympics Song Bid?

August 3, 2015 Updated: August 3, 2015

Beijing’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, announced last week, has encountered its first public setback: An official song that was part of the bid—and potentially intended for the Olympics themselves—has been called out being too close an imitation of “Let It Go,” the hit ballad sung by American actress and singer Idina Menzel from the Disney animated movie “Frozen.”

The International Olympic Committee voted to let Beijing host the games on July 31. 

Caijing, a well-known Chinese financial magazine, conducted an analysis of both “Let it Go” and “Snow and Ice Dance,” the Chinese song, and found that they had similar prelude chords, an eight-beat introduction, played at an almost identical tempo, and had the same instrumentation. Caijing has since removed the post, but the news is still on Chinese news portal Sina and elsewhere.

According to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics bid committee’s website, “Snow and Ice Dance” is composed by Zhao Zhao, a graduate from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. Zhao was one of the composers for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, and was the producer of “Best Wishes From Beijing,” China’s official song for the 2012 London Olympics.

Fortunately, the lyrics of “Snow and Ice Dance” are very different from “Let It Go,” and it is performed as a duet by Sun Nan and Tan Jing, a male-female duo.

Chinese netizens on microblogging site Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, expressed sarcasm and shame at having an official Olympics song sound so similar to a popular Disney song.

“Feel like singing ‘Let it Go,'” wrote the user xxxlcj.

Ou Haochen wrote: “This is so embarrassing. How many times is this going to be played during the Winter Olympics.”

“If this song is really going to be played [during the Games], I would rather that we didn’t get awarded the Winter Olympics~we cannot face such humiliation,” wrote the user Qi Pa Tuan-Ba Ba-MAMA-Zai Zi Men.

China is “a nation known for piracy,” wrote Song Jia is Here.

This isn’t the first time this year that China has been accused of producing a Disney knockoff. In July, Chinese citizens accused the movie “Autobots” for plagiarizing Disney and Pixar’s 2006 film “Cars.”

See below to compare “Snow and Ice Dance” and “Let It Go.” Here is a side-by-side comparison by Chinese netizens.