Disney animated musicals are the company’s pride and joy. They started the company, have helped stabilize the company, and had become synonymous with the Disney brand. However, they are kind of in a rut. By this, I don’t mean the stories themselves, but the music they present.
Tangled and Frozen, the two newest animated musicals, gave us Broadway caliber tunes. While the former had a more subtle and earthier vibe, they both seemed able to be performed on a Broadway stage immediately after their films premiered. I’m not knocking the music they gave us individually either, both had some great songs that I still belt in my room when I’m home alone. “FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FOREVERRRRR!!!!!” However, it is the same style. Along with Pocahontas. And Hunchback. And Beauty and the Beast. They all are too similar for me to allow me to love them as much as I could. That’s a key reason why my favorite Disney film of all-time is Hercules, because the music they presented was different. That gospel edge that was seen throughout the film was a clear risk, but ended up bringing the movie to new heights.
I know of the films officially announced by WDAS, none are musicals, but the rumored/pretty much guaranteed Moana will have Polynesian music prominently featured, which excites me to no end. THAT is what I want to see, taking the formula they have used a thousand times and creating new and exciting things with it.
Home on the Range, while one of my favorites, is a much hated Disney feature. While I can understand the story isn’t the greatest, my favorite part of the film is the inclusion of country music, something completely different for an animated film. Most actually commend some of the songs, even though they hated the film, because the writing and melodies given are so strong. Bonnie Raitt’s “Will The Sun Ever Shine Again,” I could argue, is one of the most stunning Disney songs ever written.
I think taking sounds we aren’t accustomed to hear in animated musicals and incorporating them into the medium would be great to increase ticket sales and change up the stream we have received.
Many might be saying “But, Frozen had classic Broadway and that is in the Top 10 Highest Grossing Films of All-Time!” and while I do understand, you have to admit that if we received that over and over and over, it will become old. Frankly, it is already old for me.
I truly feel that another country musical for the studio would be a fun change of pace that could create some fun tie-ins. Now, since we have received the “Tarzan treatment” already with HOTR, one with the characters singing the music would be very neat and interesting (especially in something like the dead My Peoples that I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see brought to the big screen. Did I say loved yet?).
Now, if they wanted to go super out-of-the-ballpark, but in a way that I think would warrant HUGE returns, give an upcoming Disney film the “Tarzan treatment,” where an off camera voice sings songs relating to the story that also have a radio play-ability factor that would be great for the CD release. I know this might warrant some groans, but having Katy Perry sign on to do music for Zootopia would be fun for everyone, as she loves wordplay and puns, and possible music for an animal buddy-cop comedy yearns for something like that. And after her smash “Roar,” how can you not NOT include that in the film, or something to that effect?
What do you think of WDAS films’ music? Would you like a shake-up in the genre department? Let me know in the comments below or on the discussion boards.