Kat Chow, with NPR's Code Switch, put together a short piece on the history and the prevalence of the well-known nine note "stereotypical Asian theme." As described in a 2005 Straight Dope forum question: You know, the one that goes dee dee dee dee duh duh dee dee duh. Featured heavily in braindead Hollywood flicks made by clueless directors who want to give a scene an "oriental" feel. Also a variation of it can be heard in David Bowie's "China Girl." [more inside]
Animation veteran Steve Moore recently posted a short from the archives of Disney TV Animation, written by Dan O’Shannon, narrated by Garrison Keillor, and voiced by Mia Farrow, Michael Richards, June Foray, and Adam West, all set to a jazz soundtrack. Take 15 minutes and watch Redux Riding Hood. Steve tells the story of the short on his blog. (Via Cartoon Brew)
Nants ingonyama bagithi baba! It's been nearly two decades since that glorious savanna sunrise, and once again The Lion King is at the top of the box office. It's a good chance to revisit what made the original the capstone of the Disney Renaissance, starting with the music. Not the gaudy show tunes or the Elton John ballads, but the soaring, elegiac score by Hans Zimmer which, despite winning an Oscar, never saw a full release outside of an unofficial bootleg. Luckily, it's unabridged and high-quality, allowing one to lay Zimmer's haunting, pulse-pounding, joyful tracks alongside the original video (part 2, 3, 4), revealing the subtle leitmotifs and careful matching of music and action. In addition, South African collaborator Lebo M wove traditional Zulu chorals into the score, providing veiled commentary on scenes like this; his work was later expanded into a full album, the Broadway stage show, and projects closer to his heart. Speaking of expanded works, there were inevitable sequels -- all of which you can experience with The Lion King: Full Circle (download guide), a fan-made, three-hour supercut of the original film and its two follow-ups. Want more? Look... harder... [more inside]
Requiem for a Mermaid. Requiem for a Lion King. Requiem for Pocahontas. Requiem for a Hunchback. (Previously: Requiem for Ferris Bueller, Toy Story Requiem.)
Unlike many cinematic exports, the Disney canon of films distinguishes itself with an impressive dedication to dubbing. Through an in-house service called Disney Character Voices International, not just dialogue but songs, too, are skillfully re-recorded, echoing the voice acting, rhythm, and rhyme scheme of the original work to an uncanny degree (while still leaving plenty of room for lyrical reinvention). The breadth of the effort is surprising, as well -- everything from Arabic to Icelandic to Zulu gets its own dub, and their latest project, The Princess and the Frog, debuted in more than forty tongues. Luckily for polyglots everywhere, the exhaustiveness of Disney's translations is thoroughly documented online in multilanguage mixes and one-line comparisons, linguistic kaleidoscopes that cast new light on old standards. Highlights: "One Jump Ahead," "Prince Ali," and "A Whole New World" (Aladdin) - "Circle of Life," "Hakuna Matata," and "Luau!" (The Lion King) - "Under the Sea" and "Poor Unfortunate Souls" (The Little Mermaid) - "Belle" and "Be Our Guest" (Beauty and the Beast) - "Just Around the Riverbend" (Pocahontas) - "One Song" and "Heigh-Ho" (Snow White) - "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" (Cinderella) - Medley (Pinocchio) - "When She Loved Me" (Toy Story 2) - Intro (Monsters, Inc.)
You've probably seen (and heard) his version of Alice in Wonderland, but have you seen The King and I, Harry Potter, The Sword in the Stone, or Mary Poppins?
Little Big Star (free software, currently in beta - video) it's the first guitar rythm game with support for real instruments. In the next months two more products of the same kind should be released, Disney Star Guitar and Guitar Rising. [more inside]
For whatever reason, this girl has uploaded over a hundred and fifty videos of Disney songs dubbed in Icelandic (as well as a few other languages). I just can't wait to be king, Strange Things, the Siamese cat song.
Covering The Mouse. An MP3 blog dedicated to cover versions of Disney songs. My favorite so far is Gene Simmons' cover of "When You Wish Upon A Star."
High School Musical is becoming somewhat of a phenomenon amongst preteens and teens a like. Recently hitting the top of Billboard Charts, and drawing unprecedented amounts of traffic toThe Disney Channel's website. Yet, there are still detractors . The made-for-tv movie is also involved in a controversy related to its pricing (via digg.com) in the ITunes Music Store.
The Sound of Magic: an amazing homage to the ambient sounds of various Disney Mecca, is also an amazing site: beautiful, whimsical, nicely architected, and with plenty of content [via DollarShort]