Tag: disney movies (Page 3 of 5)

Aladdin on Carpet with Jasmine

‘Aladdin’ Diamond Edition Worth the Wait

When I saw Disney’s Aladdin in the movie theater, way back in 1992, I remember being blown away by not only the caliber of the music, but also the incredible performance of Robin Williams. Sure, Jasmine is included in any princess merchandising, and Aladdin is remembered for being the plucky boy who won her heart, but it was Robin Williams’ genie that stole the show.

Aladdin is very loosely based on Arabian Nights, with an even looser grasp on the culture or time period in which its set. Aladdin tells the story of a homeless, poor boy, who resorts to stealing in order to feed himself and his pet monkey. Princess Jasmine, the Sultan’s restless daughter, sneaks out and discovers the streets are more dangerous than she realizes. Aladdin comes to her rescue, but the Sultan’s evil steward, Jafar, throws Aladdin into jail, hoping to use him for his own schemes. Jafar is controlling the Sultan with a magic staff, but he needs Aladdin to venture into the Cave of Wonders and retrieve a magic lamp. Aladdin finds the lamp but beckons the genie himself. The genie then serves Aladdin, eventually putting an end to Jafar and helping Aladdin win Jasmine’s hand.

Aladdin uses the same successful formula used by The Little Mermaid, that was released only three years prior. The combined talents of directors Ron Clements and John Musker, plus music by the incredible Alan Menken, made Aladdin a non-stop comedy/action fest.

However, it’s the performance of Robin Williams as the Genie that makes Aladdin wholly unique. There isn’t another Disney movie with as frenetic, as inspired of a performance. Robin Williams brought his sharp comic timing and pop culture rants to a role could easily have been forgettable. In fact, Robin Williams won a special award at the Golden Globes for his performance. Robin Williams died far too soon, and  Aladdin will forever be a testament to Williams’ prodigious talent.

Aladdin also won Academy Awards for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.

The Diamond Edition of Aladdin has everything: Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy. Really, I don’t need to convince you of how wonderful it is to have Aladdin in such high definition, especially after the last DVD was released as long ago as 2004. Fans of Robin Williams will delight in “Genie Outtakes,” and listening to Alan Menken talk about his process for composing award-winning material in “Aladdin:’ Creating Broadway Magic” thoroughly tickled this musical theater geek. There are other bonus features to round out the whole package.

Let’s hope Disney doesn’t hide this gem of a film for another eleven years.

Descendants cover art (PRNewsFoto/Walt Disney Records)

Disney’s ‘Descendants’ Soundtrack

Disney has a long, long history of scoring wonderful music for movies. Walt Disney Records will release the soundtrack for Disney’s Descendants on Friday, July 31, the day the eagerly-anticipated movie premieres on Disney Channel (8:00 p.m. ET/PT).  The soundtrack pre-order is available now.


It features the single “Believe,” performed and written by 16 year-old recording artist Shawn Mendes (Island Records) and original songs performed by the Descendants cast, plus bonus tracks and a score suite.

Disney’s Descendants stars Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart and Sofia Carson as the teenage sons and daughters of Disney’s most infamous villains.  With a knowing wink at traditional fairy tales, the live-action movie fuses castles with classrooms to create a contemporary, music-driven story about the challenges in living up to parental and peer expectations. The notable cast also includes Mitchell Hope, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Maz Jobrani, Kathy Najimy and the Tony Award-winning Kristin Chenoweth.  Emmy Award-winning Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) directs, choreographs and executive-produces Disney’s Descendants.


The movie’s soundtrack showcases a broad range of music — from the opening number, a pulsating electronic dance song “Rotten to the Core,” and the percussion dance number “Did I Mention?” written by Grammy and Emmy Award winner Adam Schlesinger, to the stirring ballad “If Only” written by Adam Anders (Glee) and performed by Dove Cameron, and the finale anthem “Set It Off.”  It also features a hip-hop a capella take on “Be Our Guest” (from Disney’s Beauty & the Beast) and the showstopper, a comedic Broadway-esque tune “Evil Like Me” written by Tony Award nominee Andrew Lippa (Broadway’s The Addams Family, The Wild Party) and performed by Descendants stars Kristin Chenoweth and Dove Cameron.  A bonus track reprises “Rotten to the Core” performed by the movie’s Sofia Carson.


Disney’s Descendants marks another connection between Disney and Shawn Mendes who last year was named Radio Disney’s “Next Big Thing” and entertained audiences with his performances at the 2015 Radio Disney Music Awards and the Radio Disney Family VIP Birthday on Disney Channel.  His debut album, Handwritten (April 2015) entered the Billboard 200 chart at No.1.  This summer, he will perform on select dates of Taylor Swift’s North American stadium concert, The 1989 World Tour.

Updated August 10, 2015

Walt Disney Records’ soundtrack to Disney Channel’s hit movie Descendants debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart after scanning 42,000 units (includes TEA and SEA) in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The soundtrack marks the 5th Disney Music Group album in 7 weeks to debut in the Top 10 (Teen Beach 2, Breaking Benjamin, R5 and Bea Miller).

In addition to its chart-topping Billboard debut, the album ranked No. 1 on Billboard’s Soundtrack chart, No. 1 on the Children’s chart and No. 1 on both the Digital Album and Top Albums charts. The album also fast-tracked its way to No. 1 on the iTunes Album Overall and Soundtrack charts. Additionally, combined views for all videos on VEVO exceed 25 million, and the focus track “Rotten to the Core” has over 12.7 million views to date.

Disney Channel’s premiere and encore telecasts of Descendants reached 15.5 million Total Viewers, including over 6 million Kids 6-11 and nearly 5 million Tweens 9-14. Friday’s July 31st premiere telecast was TV’s #1 cable movie of 2015 with 6.6 million Total Viewers. Its availability on the WATCH Disney Channel App resulted in 1.4 million record-setting views since Friday, July 24.


Disney’s Descendants track list:

1. Rotten to the Core Performed by Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Cameron Boyce and Booboo Stewart
2. Evil Like Me Performed by Kristin Chenoweth and Dove Cameron
3. Did I Mention Performed by Jeff Lewis, Mitchell Hope
4. If Only Performed by Dove Cameron
5. Be Our Guest Performed by Mitchell Hope,Spencer Lee, Kala Balch, Marco Marinangeli
6. If Only (Reprise) Performed by Dove Cameron
7. Set It Off Performed by Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart, Mitchell Hope, Sarah Jeffrey and Jeff Lewis
8. Believe Performed by Shawn Mendes

Bonus Tracks

9.  Rotten to the Core Performed by Sofia Carson
10. Night Is Young Performed by China Anne McClain
11. Good Is the New Bad Performed by Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson and China Anne McClain
12. I’m Your Girl Performed by Felicia Barton
13. Descendants Score Suite Performed by David Lawrence


For more information on Walt Disney Records’ releases, become a fan at Facebook.com/disneymusic or follow at Twitter.com/disneymusic.

See music videos from the Disney's Descendants soundtrack.

Source: Walt Disney Records

Joy / Inside Out / Disney-Pixar

‘Inside Out’ Easter Eggs

Inside Out is Pixar’s latest movie, about what goes on inside a young girl’s mind. Her emotions are the main characters, each one of them performing different duties for Riley, the 11 year-old girl they inhabit. Riley isn’t too happy because they just moved to San Francisco. When Joy is lost in the recesses of Riley’s mind, it’s up to the other emotions to hold down the fort until Joy can make her way back.

Inside Out was directed by Pete Docter, who also directed Up. His daughter was the inspiration for the movie.

Pixar (and Disney, for that matter) is notorious for including Easter Eggs in their films. For instance, you will find “A113” in every Pixar movie; it represents the classroom at California Institute of the Arts where Brad Bird and John Lasseter (Pixar folks) studied character design. Here are Easter Eggs for you to spot in Inside Out.


The background memories on shelves inside or outside of Headquarters are shots from the “Married Life” scene in Up.


As Riley and her parents trek to San Francisco, they come across birds on a telephone wire from production designer Ralph Eggleston’s 2000 short film For the Birds.

Top 5 Disney Sing-along Movies - Click here!


The globe in the Riley’s classroom has been used in all the Toy Story films.


One of Riley’s classmates is wearing a camo pattern made up of Toy Story characters.


Some of the background city cars of San Francisco have bumper stickers from Cars.


Dad’s company, Brang, is a nonsense word intended to sound like a startup that would fit in with the San Francisco tech scene.


A sign on a parking meter in San Francisco reads, “Quarters and Dollar Coins or Barter During Burning Man.”


As a tribute to the Walt Disney Family Museum, the filmmakers set Riley’s hockey rink in the exact spot the museum is located in San Francisco.

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