A young girl who melted hearts singing the hit song ‘Let It Go’ from the Disney animated film Frozen to entertain a crowded bunker in Kyiv has made it safely out of Ukraine.
Amelia Anisovych, who is aged just seven, went viral last week when footage of her singing the instantly recognisable hit while dozens of people hid from Russian bombs in the Ukrainian capital was posted on Facebook.
The adorable rendition was shared hundreds of thousands of times across various social media platforms and earned Amelia messages of support from the song’s original singer Idina Menzel and composer Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
But many feared ‘the little girl with the beautiful voice’, as she was described by Anderson-Lopez, would become yet another tragic casualty of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Fortunately, it was revealed yesterday that after six days in a bunker surviving on almost no food or water, little Amelia completed a gruelling two-day journey to Poland, and is now living safely with her grandmother.
She made the trip with her 15-year-old brother Misha, while mother Lilia and father Roman stayed behind in Kyiv.
Lilia, 39, told The Sun: ‘I always knew Amelia was very talented and a sweet angel and now the whole world knows the same.
‘But it is a tragedy that she is only a star because of so much death and destruction.
‘I was so sad to wave goodbye to my children but it was the best thing to do to make sure they are safe.’
A girl named Amelia sang a Ukrainian version of ‘Let It Go’ to a crowd of people packed into a bomb shelter in Kyiv
Video of Amelia’s performance was first shared on Facebook on Thursday by Marta Smekhova, who says she stopped by to help decorate the shelter
A crowd at the shelter watches the little girl and records the performance on their phones
Video of Amelia singing at the shelter was first posted to Facebook on Thursday by Marta Smekhova, who says she filmed it with permission from the girl’s mother.
‘From the first word, there was complete silence ]in the bomb shelter]… everyone put their business aside and listened to a song by this girl who was just beaming light… even men couldn’t hold back the tears,’ Smekhova wrote.
In the video, Amelia belts out a version of ‘Let It Go’ for those sheltering in the bunker. Some are seen lying on the floor, while others stand or sit around Amelia and record her performance on their phones.
The song was originally recorded for the soundtrack of the animated Disney film Frozen. Sung by actress Idina Menzel and written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 2014, Disney released a compilation of 42 foreign-language versions of the song, including translations in Ukrainian and Russian.
When Amelia finishes, the crowd erupts in cheers and applause.
‘Bravo! Bravo!’ one voice exclaims, as a shy and rosy-cheeked Amelia clutches her hands in front of her face.
Smekhova said she filmed Amelia while visiting a bomb shelter in Kyiv.
‘Seeing in one of the Kyiv bomb shelters, how children draw bright pictures in half-darkness, I, of course, couldn’t silently pass by… I stopped, praised, offered to do a little exhibition to somehow decorate this not so happy place,’ she wrote on Facebook post.
She says she painted images with a boy and a girl.
‘The girl turned out to be so friendly, so talkative…
The woman who filmed the video wrote that Amelia told her she ‘loves to sing,’ prompting the woman to encourage her to perform
Marta Smekhova detailed her encounter with Amelia in a Facebook post on Thursday. She noted the video’s impact, adding, ‘Look Russians, against whom you are fighting!’
‘She told me that besides drawing, she loves to sing… and whispered shared her dream that she wants to sing on a big stage in front of the audience…
‘So what’s the matter ? – I’m saying, – now we’re organizing… do you see honey how many people are here? that’s what you sing for!!!’
Smekhova said Amelia was worried because it was her first performance. She also said it was loud and that people may not hear her.
‘Needless to say worried for nothing..
‘From the first word in the [bomb shelter] came complete silence… everyone put their business aside and listen to a song by this girl who was just beaming light…
‘Even men couldn’t hold back the tears ..’
Smekhova went on to acknowledge the video’s impact.
‘I showed this video to people in different cities of Ukraine, it was seen by foreigners in different parts of the world! Amelia, your singing left no one indifferent!’ she wrote.
‘Look, Russians, against whom you are fighting! Only a coward can fight against civilians, take away childhood from defenseless children! You let your children go to the stew, making them into cannon meat… and our children radiate light, and even in a raw dark basement it does not blink, but ignites even brighter!’