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Toon Talk CD Round-Up: House of Mouse & Michael Crawford
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Toon Talk CD Round-Up
This week, we shine the Toon Talk spotlight on two recent Walt Disney Records releases, now available through Amazon.com (see related links below).
House of Mouse
Original Television Soundtrack
Regular Toon Talk readers may recall in my Disney song special a few weeks ago this plea: "Where, oh where is the House of Mouse soundtrack?" Well, all you House fans out there, it has finally arrived. And all who have been delighted with that series' cleverness and slyly irreverent humor since it's debut last January will not be disappointed by this fun collection of songs from the Emmy-winning, Annie-nominated program.
Have you been chomping at the bit for the next season of House of Mouse to begin? Well, this album serves as a sneak preview, as most of the songs are from episodes that have not yet aired. Consider that a spoiler alert for those who don't want to hear or read about the new songs until after they have seen the new episodes.
For those of you who may not be familiar with House of Mouse (what, have you been hiding under Skull Rock all year?), the series is set in the titular club, co-owned by Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. The night spot, located on downtown Main Street in Toon Town USA, has a very exclusive clientele: namely, the stars of every Disney animated film, short and television series past, present and future.
At one table, you may see Timon and Pumbaa sitting next to a very nervous Jiminy Cricket, while at the next table Cruella de Vil is measuring Lady and the Tramp for the newest additions to her wardrobe. The series is full of wry sight gags and in-jokes, and is a must see for any Disney fan.
(House of Mouse is part of ABC's One Saturday Morning block of children's programming. Check local listings for showtimes.)
Part of the entertainment at the House of Mouse (in addition to the MouseWorks cartoons shown on the big screen) is live performances by the club staff (including Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto) and various Disney guest stars (O'Malley & the Alley Cats being a constant no-show). These are the songs featured prominently on this soundtrack.
Included in my aforementioned Toon Talk Top 101 Disney songs, the theme song to House of Mouse, "Rockin' at the House of Mouse", was written, produced and performed by Brian Setzer. Setzer gained fame as a member of the late, great Eighties rock band The Stray Cats, and was at the forefront of the recent revival in the popularity of swing music. He brings touches of both styles, rock and swing, to the theme song, making it, well ... rock and swing. Two versions of the song appear on the album, the track used in the show itself and an extended, Radio Disney-friendly cut. You will be hard pressed to resist the urge to get up and boogie along with this one.
Aside from three instrumental tracks (two jammin' bridge tracks performed by the "House of Mouse Band" and a MouseWorks theme medley that is pure toon tunes), the remaining songs are split between take-offs of classic Disney songs and musical theater-style originals.