Walt Disney Records’ The Legacy Collection is now up to six titles with their latest release celebrating the 75th anniversary of Walt Disney’s Pinocchio. The collection aims to offer the most complete soundtracks of some of Disney’s most iconic properties. And while the line is highly collectable, this release proves that they aren’t all created equally.
Disc 1 is an exact clone of the same Pinocchio CD soundtrack that was first released in 1992. This same version is a mostly complete score (more on that in a second) with every music queue from the film. The score for Pinocchio is magical, written by Leigh Harline, and the best way to appreciate every nuance is to listen to it separate from the film without the visuals, dialogue and sound effects to distract you. The source material is on the older end of Disney’s catalogue, so the audio quality isn’t as great as the other releases. I feel like it could have sounded better with a more recent restoration.
There is one major flaw with the soundtrack that is hard to overlook. “Little Wooden Head” is missing all vocals and is presented as an instrumental only track. I found notes by Walt Disney Records producer Randy Thornton online that say the only song they had separate dialogue and music tracks for was “When You Wish Upon a Star” when they made the remastered soundtrack. All other songs sound exactly as they do in the film, with sound effects and dialogue in tact. “Little Wooden Head” features lots of score leading up to the song itself, but I would imagine some editing could have been done to include both the orchestral prelude and then switch to the song from the film, with Geppetto’s singing and all. I sincerely thought Disney was going to correct that error with this release and am disappointed that they didn’t.
Disc 2 features eight tracks, which amount to 15 minutes. The first three tracks are Lost Chords, all of which are new recordings. Previous Lost Chords releases have included original demos as well. There’s no explanation in the book for their absence, but I’m assuming the original demos were lost to time. The three Lost Chords are “No Strings,” “As I Was Saying to the Duchess,” and “Rolling Along to Pleasure Island.”
The other five tracks are by Cliff Edwards, the voice of Jiminy Crickett, and are from the I’m No Fool segments of The Mickey Mouse Club. They are a welcome addition, but it feels like more could have been added. Jiminy Crickett appeared in another Disney film, Fun and Fancy Free, which had a song called “I’m a Happy Go-Lucky Fellow” that was originally written for Pinocchio. It’s never been released on CD or digitally and would have been a nice addition. Cliff Edwards also had a Disneyland album as his alter ego Ukulele Ike called “Ukulele Ike Sings Again.” Selections from that (or the full 30 minute album) would have also been a welcome inclusion. Edwards also recorded a Disneyland record for the story of Pinocchio.
This release uses the same digipack packaging, keeping consistency with the previous releases. The artwork by Lorelay Bove is gorgeous, some of my favorite in the series so far. The book has four sections, the first of which is historical background on the film by Disney historian Jim Fanning. Next is The Lost Chords by Russell Schroeder, which offers information about other songs that were written for sheet music and the original records (these also would have been logical Disc 2 additions) and the context for the three deleted songs that are included. A section of lyrics is followed by a gallery of concept art with information written by Dave Bossert. Both discs slide into cardboard sleeves in the back that feature track listing.
If you’re not collecting all of The Legacy Collection releases and already own the Pinocchio soundtrack, Walt Disney Records gives little reason to buy it again. Those that are collecting all twelve of the currently planned releases will be disappointed with the bonus disc which offers only three songs that can’t be purchased elsewhere (and they amount to 3½ minutes). But if you’ve never owned the Academy Award winning music from Pinocchio, this release is nicer than the previous single disc version.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.