Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How Musical Theater Saved Disney Animation As We Know It

Disney animated features have actually been a childhood staple for generations. Snow White was the very first, and continues to be just one of the most loved films of all time. These magical animated features hit a serious lull in the 1980s when live action films became more popular. It was a dark time where Disney's production of cartoon fairy tales appeared to be over forever. But, somehow, the animated feature fought back and came to be stronger than ever. There is no doubt that the Disney Company would not be where it is today without the influence of musical theater.

Tales such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and The Beast are all remarkable visually, but it is their tales, so full of heart and genuine, that caught the hearts of viewers all over the world. Taking a massive risk with their company, Disney Animation packed as much emotion as possible into the short films using an approach performers have relied on since the dawn of time: the power of song. With a character singing his or her feelings, exposition, entertainment and changes can easily flow effortlessly from one scene to yet another, offering a broad review of a character's thoughts, sensations and plans in a short period of time. And of course, it is overwhelming romantic, comedic or unfortunate reliant on the situation.

Exactly how often do little girls and boys recite lines from their preferred characters? Certainly not as frequently as they sing their hearts out to their favored musical numbers. It is not just about catchy sound tracks that appeal to a young audience. Disney musicals are filled to the brim with complex feelings, character development and sensational vocal performances.

Alan Menken, composer extraordinaire for the most loved movies in history, discussed his work on The Little Mermaid saying: "Disney's animated films early on had a connection to operetta... making animated musicals enabled us to connect back into the Disney tradition." Not surprisingly, The Little Mermaid, which inspires youngsters and adults alike, went on to win 2 Oscars for best score and best song of 1989.

Nonetheless, the true effect of musical theater's influence on Disney, wasn't seen till "Beauty and the Beast's" was the first animated feature to be selected for best picture in 1991. Notice just how both films, along with The Lion King have gone on to relive their magnificence as Broadway Musicals, with a terrific amount of success. An increasing number of animated features are being seen as viable choices for staging, because they were generally animated versions of well considered musicals.

The Disney Theme Parks, specially Walt Disney World additionally have live presentations of the movies that cycle through, such as the long running Beauty and The Beast and more recently, Finding Nemo.

Guillermo Larrazabal is in charge of new product development at The Orlando Vacation Store, one the largest Orlando Travel Companies leaders in Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld vacation packages. Visit us for vacation tips from experts and how to save on your Walt Disney World Florida vacation package.

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