Archive for the ‘Disney Music’ Category

Gallery 2 – Hollywood (1923-1928)

Friday, July 24th, 2009

oswaldReady for another treat coming straight from the Walt Disney Family Museum? Well here it is. The second gallery will again host some amazing Walt Disney treasures, including the telegram send by Roy to Walt which read “Don’t worry everything OK will give details when arrive”.

There is also picture of the marriage license and certificate of Walt and Lillian and a great drawing of Oswald from 1927. Feast your eyes on these gems in this second preview…

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Italy and a Musical rebirth

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Many of you might know that in the 15th century Italy gave birth to the “reneaisance movement”.Great landlords like De Medici, Pope’s and Kings shaked the world by commissioning Michelengelo, Raffaello, Leonardo and many others great forms of arts.one of these forms was Music.

For sure in the last 5 centuries music has evolved, but it has always had a certain link to theatres.In the last century theatres and music had a certain change in the way they where received thanks to Musicals, these wanted to unite dramatic opera’s to easier and lighter plots with less complex music.Great one’s like Andrew Llyod Webber and Cameron Mckintosh gave us classics like Phantom, Cats, Les Miserable as well as many others.

Any Disney fan would certainly say that Disney came into the game in an important way in the 1990’s, pulling out of their hat a few hits, and a few flops, but the few hits where really REALLY BIG hits!Lion King and Beauty and the Beast immediately come to mind!And With these Alan Menken, Disney legend and great composer, is at the center of it all.

He and his late partner, Howard Ashman, gave in the late 80’s and 90’s a deffinite (more…)

Area (Background) Music at Disneyland Resort Paris

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Instrumental music playing through (more or less) hidden speakers placed all over the Disney theme parks and even the areas outside the theme parks accessible to guests in the Disney resorts is one of the key elements in setting the atmosphere and making sure guests are totally immersed in the world of Disney. Frequently guests do not even notice the music except unconsciously as it is (mostly) cleverly selected for the different areas to fit the theme of each area. However, once it is noticed guests frequently fall in love with the music selections and enquire with cast members in the area or (in the Disneyland Park) City Hall whether the music is available for sale in the park. Unfortunately the answer is mostly no – even so in particular at the Disneyland Resort Paris CD releases such as “Frontierland en musique” and “Disneyland Resort Paris en musique” at least include a few selected background / area music tracks.

The problem with the majority of the background / area music however is, that it is not recorded specifically for Disney but is so called “needle drop” material, meaning tracks taken directly from other (in most cases: commercially available) record releases. So one would hope, that the resorts are maybe able, to provide a list which tracks are playing in which area (in other words: in which music loop) and from which sources they are. However, the information cast members have at their disposal is very limited in msot cases. This certainly does apply to the Disneyland Resort Paris. Therefore, one of the frequent questions asked on the web is: “Which music is playing in the background loop at ____? Anyone knowing where I can get it?” Luckily there is an answer as far as where to get the information…

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CAPTAIN EO has left earth

Friday, June 26th, 2009

I have the sad obligation to write the second obituary on the Mousekingdom Blog in less than 24 hours as Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, died yesterday at the age of 50 in his home at Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, CA. While the cause of his death has not been confirmed and an autopsy is underway, speculations (also fueled by a statement of the families attorney apparently) indicate medication or maybe a misuse of such could have played a role. Michael Jackson was currently preparing for his comeback concerts planned in London but recent rumors had indicated that he had suffered various injuries and attacks of weakness hampering the rehearsals.

Michael Jackson is certainly remember for what most probably will stay forever the best selling pop album of all times, Thriller, but had various worldwide smash hits around the globe in the course of its career before it faltered in the last years. He started performing professional at the young age of five with his brothers as “Jackson 5″ (who had amongst others the hit “ABC”). Michael Jackson was also one of the best known Disney fans worldwide who frequently visited in particular the original Disneyland as well as the Disneyland Resort Paris, where he signed the underside of the couch table in the Sleeping Beauty suite. A visit of his to the Disneyland Resort Paris in 1992 (opening year) can be seen in the you-tube clip embedded below.

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Congratulations to Mrs. Potts aka Angela Lansbury

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

… I know I am a bit late … but with Daisy and Donald both having birthday bashs I must have missed my deadline on this one – so here a belated but still heartfelt “CONGRATULATIONS!” to Angela Lansbury for winning her fifth Tony Award this past weekend in New York at the young age of 83 – this time for “best performance by a featured actress in a play” for her role in “Blithe Spirit” making her only the second woman to win five Tony Awards in her career.

And what a career she already had … and I am not just talking about her Disney career as star of the 1971 animated / live action feature “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”, being the voice of Mrs. Potts and performing the original version of the title song “Beauty and the Beast” of Disney’s now already classic animated feature (which btw she also performed as part of the live telecast for the opening of Disneyland Paris on its Central Plaza) or starring in the tv show “Murder, She Wrote”. Long before that (and still on-going) she has been one of the great dames of Broadway creating amongst others the title role in Jerry Herrman’s Mame (and recoridng the original version of “We Need A Little Christmas”) as well as Mrs.Lovett in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeny Todd. And I am not even going to talk about her various hits on the big screen thanks to Hollywood.

Pirates of the Caribbean Medley by Epica (Interview with Mark Jansen)

Monday, May 4th, 2009

epica-classiclong

On May 11th Epica will release their newest album “The Classical Conspiracy” taken from their live performance in Hungary. On the album you will find “classic” Epica numbers performed by an orchestra and classic music performed by Epica. Epica is a fantastic band who create a mix of rock, (symphonic) metal and “film music like” compositions with the classic trained voice of the beautiful Simone Simons. I am a big fan of their music and can’t wait to put their newest work into the CD player.

epica-classicconspiracyEpcia already proofed that metal can be mixed with Disney by performing at Disneyland Resort Paris in the past, but this time they add a Disney tune to their CD, a Pirates of the Caribbean Medley. Once I saw this play list for the new European version of the CD I contacted Mark Jansen from Epica and asked him about this project.

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Slow climb for Hannah Montana

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

It seems the strong showing of “Hannah Montana: The Movie” on the opening weekend had a longer than anticipated impact on the sales numbers of the soundtrack album. When I reported that the album made it back to #2 on the Billboard 200 Album Charts I found that already an impressive result as the album had fallen to #5 the prior week. I did credit this climb to the box office performance of the movie. Therefore, since the performance on its second weekend was less than stellar (dropping 60% according to Nikki Finke’s reporting), I assumed the climb of the soundtrack album would stall as well – meaning that Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus would not get to the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 Album Charts – which would have been a first for her, since all her prior albums actually debuted in that position.

Well, seems I was off with that assumption. While Billboard has not yet released the new charts on their website, the record companies already received them and Walt Disney Records screamed the good news out in a press release: the soundtrack album made it to the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 Album Charts in its fourth week of release! This also means that it de-throned the latest release of Rascal Flatts (issued on Disney’s Lyric Street) after just one week on the top – seems Disney is having a strong hold on that place in the sun. Obviously the soundtrack album did stay safely in the #1 position on the Billboard Soundtrack charts (where it sits since its release). And since every press release needs a record Walt Disney Record’s marketing department found one in this story as well: with her now fourth #1 album Miley Cyrus became the youngest artist ever to have four #1 albums in less than 3 years. Even so that sounds rather contrived (I assume there must be someone younger or just as young who had four #1 albums in 3 or more years): congratulations to Miley Cyrus for making it the #1 spot (and to the whole team at Walt Disney Records, the Disney Channel and the Walt Disney Company who are responsible for this success story).

Hannah Montana on the music charts

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

When I discussed the predictions and then the actual box office of “Hannah Montana: The Movie” last week I mentioned that it would be interesting to see how the success on the box office would influence the sales of the soundtrack album. That had been released in advance already but did sell less copies than prior Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus CD released. So with the first regular week with the movie out on the big screen it was time to check back in with the Billboard Charts for the US …

While the album still did not make it to the #1 spot of the Billboard Album Charts – it returned to #2 for the third week the album is on sale. Quite a feat which also earned it the title “greatest gainer” of the week. After debuting on #2 in the April 11, 2009 charts the album dropped to #5 for the week leading up to the big screen opening of the movie. The album did remain in the #1 spot on the Billboard Soundtrack Album Charts though, which it debuted on three weeks ago and which it did not relinquish inbetween.

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Intrada diggs deep in the Disney Archives

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

You know, it’s funny – originally I thought that this blog would allow me to write more opinionated peaces … but instead I now am struggling to find the time to blog all the purely interesting stuff I learn about or hear about … same happened today … so instead of a review (which I promise I will publish sometime soon) you get another blatant news / ad post. A bit more than a month ago, I reported that the small music label INTRADA had managed to get permission from Disney to release James Horner’s score to the Disney feature “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” as a limited edition of 3,000 copies (suprisingly they still have some copies left – I wonder whether that is another result of the current economic climate or might be due to the score itself, which I would call OK but not really outstanding after getting my CD … hah! I did hide a mini-“review” in the post!).

Anyway, just today INTRADA announced another release of a rare score from the Disney archives: Jerry Goldsmith’s score for the 1973 Disney picture “One Little Indian”. The movie tells the story of an army deserter who steals two camels from the army (Clint Keys played by James Garner) and then meets a 10-year-old boy (Mark played by Clay O’Brien) who was raised by Indians but now is a fugitive as well. Before the Disney style happy end (involving a beautiful widow and her daughter) Clint nearly gets hanged (and is set free in the last minute only) when Mark is captured.

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Hannah Montana – now THREE worlds?

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Hannah Montana and her life in two worlds – as pop star and high school kid – has won over hearts all around the globe with three tv seasons of the Disney Channel show so far (season four will be shot in 2010) and made the two soundtrack CDs top sellers just as well as Miley Cyrus’ first solo pop album. Earlier this year a limited run of a 3D concert movie surprised with its huge bx office return. So expectations are high for “Hannah Montana – The Movie” opening today in the US (the UK and most of Europe has to wait till May 1st, Germany till June 1st). Or should I say were high? As newsoutlets such as Reuters report, experts and studios assume that the movie will only open on the third spot (behind last weekends no-1-hit “Fast & Furious” and Dreamwork’s “Monster vs. Aliens”). Why that?

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY…

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

… to DIANA ROSS! One of the great divas she has sold more than 100 million records and won accolades as singer, performer and actress. Today she is celebrating her 65th birthday and she delights fans around the globe with her live shows. But why am I posting this on a blog dedicated to Disney? First of all: I think saying “Happy Birthday” to one of the great entertainers of the music biz is always fine – but then there is also an interesting Disney connection here, which fans often overlook … and no, I am not talking about her eternal hit song “Ain’t No Montain High Enough” being featured in “Disney’s Chicken Little” (even so that is a Disney connection as well) …

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The Jonas Brothers, The Purity Rings … & Mickey Mouse

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Much has been written about the success of The Jonas Brothers – frequently the three brothers have been presented as the typical Disney created artifical boy-band (even so they moved into the Disney fold only after Sony failed to market their major label debut as successful as the brothers had hoped), even more frequently critics and “music fans” past the tween stage have criticized their music … but the band continued to sell their two studio albums for Disney extremly good and played to sell-out crowds on their tours in the US and international … so the public debate in the recent months turned to the Purity Rings all three brothers wear (indicating that they have pledged not to have sex before marriage) … a story so “interesting” that even the (compared to the Hannah Montana concert movie) not so impressive performance of their concert movie on the box office didn’t manage to shoulder it aside. But this is about to change … forever … because finally we are going to learn the true story behind the Purity Rings … thanks to SouthPark episode 1301 … and let me tell you so much … it might not be the Jonas Brothers who want to wear the rings … but take a look yourself:

Are you D23?

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

d23membershipToday Disney’s new club D23 has been revealed. It’s the first day you can become a member and order the magazine and its benefits via the D23 website (although some issues of the first magazine already found their way onto some news stands days before the official release date). You can read all about it on the official site: D23 – The Official Community for Disney Fans.

The membership will cost you $74,99, but if you live outside of the USA you have to add a heavy postage cost of $57,95 on top of that. There is also some exclusive collectables already on offer on the web. For example the very first pin of a special 10 pin charter year series. On the pin you’ll find Tinker Bell. The pin is priced at $19,95, but if you want Disney to send it to Europe it will cost you about $45 more for shipping. $45 for shipping one pin? (imagine paying that for 10 pin releases) That doesn’t sound like something anybody can justify. A real shame… Maybe some items will be sold inside the park too. Like that some of use can save on overrated postage costs.

Never the less, I am very excited about the magazine and the special welcome gift and hope to be part of one of the conventions in the future as I am D23… Are you?

Picture copyrights Disney

Disney’s Secret “D23” Revealed Early

Friday, March 6th, 2009

d23magD23 was a little secret project of Disney which was going to be revealed on 10 March, a little over 4 days when you check the countdown clock on the official site. Nothing much was know, but speculation took place on many blogs and forums. But the secret is out a little early as some fans where able to find out what D23 stands for. D23 start out as a magazine and will be released on March 10. The magazine will be available in shops, and that’s how people found out about what D23 is. Some shop already got the first issue, together with the issue they probably also got some information on the release date and when they are allowed to sell it. Not everybody reading this information, just putting the magazine on their shelves early, and fans lucky enough to be near one of those shops got an insight on D23 early.

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TRON 2 Soundtrack by Daft Punk

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

daftpunkDaft Punk, a French electronic musical duo, known for their robotic persona’s performance, have scored the contract to write and perform the music for Disney’s TRON 2 movie.

The musicians, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter split their time between Paris and Los Angeles, where they have have assembled a new recording studio for the TR2N project. (Bilboard)

As a Tron Fan I always loved the previous soundtrack from Wendy Carlos and hope that Daft Punk will be able to step into those shoes.

You can see one of there video after the page break…

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