If you haven’t been watching Disney Channel this summer, than you might not realize that a 2018 remake of Freaky Friday premieres August 10th and you definitely don’t know that the soundtrack is now available. Music has played a major role in every film version of Freaky Friday, and believe it or not, this is the fourth. The original 1976 film featured an earworm called “I’d Like to Be You For a Day” from the songwriters behind Pete’s Dragon. The seldom remembered 1995 TV version starring Shelly Long made excellent use of the standard, “You Make Me Feel So Young.” And the 2006 remake starring Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis featured the bop, “Ultimate,” which launched Lohan’s short lived music career.
Where the 2018 DCOM gets an edge over previous films is that this one is actually a musical. More specifically, it’s a film adaptation of the Disney Theatrical production that launched in 2016 and is now being licensed to schools and community theaters around the world. Laughing Place reviewed the production in it’s original performance in New Jersey (I got to see the second and final version in San Diego) which starred Heidi Blickenstaff as the mother, who reprises her role in this DCOM. The Cast Album from that production was released in 2017 and featured 20 tracks. The DCOM trims it down to just 12, two of which were written for the film meaning half of the songs from the stage musical are omitted.
Other than the new voices on the DCOM Soundtrack, the biggest difference comes in the production of each song. They have unmistakably received a pop makeover, with some songs even sounding like a remix compared to their Cast Album counterparts. Lyrics have been altered as well to be TV-G (the stage version and Cast Album reflect some PG-13 themes, aimed at a high school audience).
What many Disney Channel viewers likely didn’t realize is that the network’s summer branding, “Disney Channel Go,” was based around a song from the musical and film called “Go,” which stands out as the best song on this soundtrack. It’s uptempo and becomes a bop in the hands of the producers of this version. If there’s one song you want to sample before seeing the film, it’s “Go.”
The soundtrack starts with one of the new songs called “What It’s Like to Be Me,” written by star Cozi Zuehlsdorff. It’s followed by songs from the show by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey. In addition to “Go,” the film includes the show’s opener, “Just One Day,” and memorable songs like “I Got This,” “Oh, Biology,” and “Today and Everyday.” There is one new Kitt/Yorkey song written for the film called “At Last It’s Me,” a very fun pop song and a great way to end the film.
Two songs from the show appear here as bonus tracks, a ballad called “After All of This and Everything” and a fun song called “Not Myself Today.” My hope is that they filmed both songs and that they end up on the inevitable extended DVD. Among the songs cut from the show, the biggest upset is “Busted,” which was a hilarious and fun song where Ellie and Katherine discover that they have secrets from each other now that they’re in each other’s bodies.
After seeing the Disney Theatrical show, I was sad that Disney didn’t have enough faith to take Freaky Friday to Broadway before licensing it out. But the news of a DCOM adaptation excited me and overall, the soundtrack lives up to my expectations. I’m excited to sit down with some popcorn and watch the film on August 10th and until then, I’ll be listening to this soundtrack on repeat. What are you waiting for? “Go” listen to it!