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Episode 923

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First, Will heads to Canada to look at A Cosmic Christmas. Then, in spirit of The Twelve Days of Christmas, and the 50th anniversary of his passing, Christian, Pandy, and Kelly discuss each of their 12 favorite Walt Disney songs. (Followed by a swift kicking of the songs and movies they have less-than-fond feelings for.) Which song does Pandy insist has gay undertones? Which of Christian's picks briefly traumatizes both Wilsons? And which classic Disney number is actually about Alan Turing? Before presenting the main course, however, Pandy and Christian serve an appetizer of outtakes from year two of List and Shout! [ 2:20:35 || 69.5 MB ]

 

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Very fun guys, a lot of my favourites got shout outs. Big props on the high position for Hellfire as well as the endorsement of Enchanted. I'm kinda an animation purist for Disney so I don't care for Poppins or that ilk, but Enchanted truly gets what Disney is about.

Gotta say guys, I also have a Disney heavy musical soundtrack on my ipod for long journeys. Quick note, Tangled is really fun and worth a look. Also, I saw Moana for the second time today and it is just excellent. If I were doing a top 25 Disney songs it'd chart three entries easy. But I'm only going to do 12. However it must be stated that I was not a Disney fan growing up with one notable exception so I came to a lot of this as an adult. On top of that whilst I went back and saw a lot of classic Disney my knowledge is far from complete (no I'm not going to go watch Great Mouse Detective), plus a lot of what I like about going back through the old stuff is animation style (Sleeping Beauty in particular is stunning) so I'm not that high on many pre-renaissance songs. And because it's far from the official report that you guys provided, it's in no particular order.

The Bare Necessities- Back when my dad was in the merchant navy he and his shipmates used to sing the songs from Jungle Book all the time and it passed down to me. Seriously, everything down to the exact Scat singing in I Wanna Be Like You is burned into my brain. Bear Necessities is the best though. I still remember how proud I was as a kid when I first nailed the Pawpaw verse. The ultimate chillout zero responsibility song, even more than In Summer or Hakuna Matata.

Love is an Open Door- Kristen Bell duet with Santino Fontana aka Greg from the musical-heavy show Crazy Ex Girlfriend aka Prince Heel Turn. Awesome insta-charm chemistry continuing the critique of the old school meet and marry issue in Disney. They're perfect for 3 minutes but how much does that tell you?

Heavens Light/Hellfire- The ultimate villain song. Couldn't say it better than Christian, it's all about this guy who is seeking absolution for lust when in reality he's guilty of so much worse. However the track is combined with Heavens Light which is such a soaring hopeful ode to the absolving nature of love. It's two sides of the same coin, Hellfire is the stronger piece but it's actually made better when combined.

Prince Ali- It's a tough call on this one and honestly I can see why most would go Friend Like Me, but the sheer pomp and grandeur of this is staggering. It's practically a villain song. That final key change just solidifies it for me as a personal fave.

How Far I'll Go- Strong entry here from Moana. It's the 'I want' song and like Part of Your World it recurs but I think does so much more powerfully, melding with the other songs to the critical I Am Moana emotional climax. I think part of what puts it over Ariel's is the fact that Moana has a much stronger character arc, but it's also just the way they use it throughout.

Gaston- When I was a boy I ate four dozen eggs every morning to help me get large, but now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs so i'm roughly the size of a BAAAAARGE!

I'll Make A Man Out of You- The ultimate montage pep song. And Pandy is totally right, there's homoerotic undertones. Reading into it a little I honestly think that part of the reason Shang is so hard on Mulan and washes her out is because he finds her a little...confusing.

I Just Can't Wait To Be King- Yep. When I'm in the car I even sing the Rowan Atkinson parts.

A Whole New World- Probably my biggest concession to sappy romanticism but it actually fits very nicely as a counterpoint to Prince Ali. It really did come down to this or One Jump Ahead which is probably the best character introduction in Disney but I can't help it, this is classic for a reason.

I Won't Say I'm in Love- Speaking of sappy romanticism. Actual character examination from a love interest? The cynical side of love expressed against a gospel chorus? Sold.

For The First Time In Forever- Another peak I Want song. I have problems with Frozen such as the missing crucial characters, who ran the kingdom after the parents died, as a practical solution who kept them apart etc, it feels like there's a missing surrogate parent figure missing. However like with Tangled what they're looking for is a feeling more than a lived in reality. It's a great intro to the charming goofy Anna mixed with Elsa's sad responsible tune.

And because every list needs a song that you're humming right now.

You're Welcome- Again, from Moana. It's pure Lin-Manuel Miranda in construction and I still don't know if the Rock is the right guy to sing it but I've been humming this the last two weeks so they got something right. Mauie is kind of what Hercules should have been, plus a big hunk of Gaston, plus the Genie in some ways. He's very much like his western demi god brethren, there's a lot of Thor in there, he's pure ID unbound by mortal concerns. And it's hugely fun.

Edited by Stavros

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(no I'm not going to go watch Great Mouse Detective)

You monster!! Although, by contrast, my Disney (animation) film watching dropped off at Princess and the Frog.

Righto, I'll give you my top 12 Disney songs if I'm sticking to the one-per-animated-movie rules. And I will do this.......in no particular order!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!

Heavens Light/Hellfire (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)- By thunder, this is awesome! Shows a tortured side to Frollo's villainy in which his repression shows the fundamental hypocrisy behind his persecution of the gypsies, and when he's voiced by Tony Jay, that just puts it up another notch. Then you add the visuals of faceless monks haunting him and chanting under him as he has "a little trouble with the fireplace", to which Kevin Kline says "I see...."

Goodbye So Soon (The Great Mouse Detective) - Also awesome, in a totally different way. To try and sell it to Tom, the Moriarty analogue (as played by Vincent Price) leaves the Holmes/Watson analogues in a death trap, Bond-style, as he heads off to realise his evil scheme, stating that he would've stuck around if they hadn't showed up late! So instead, he's recorded an original song to mockingly bid his arch nemesis farewell before he perishes, and it's both wonderful and, because of Price's singing style, rather camp! Also, having bought the DVD for Richard's birthday one year, I left his house serenading it with him as I moved off towards my car - great memories!

Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid) - Many strong choices in The Little Mermaid, but I love the up tempo nature of this one and the distinctive singing style which I just hadn't come across before - granted, I was 4 or 5 when I first saw this. As with any great song, it has been lovingly parodied (The Simpsons in this instance) and I also remember some kind of Royal Variety Performance put on by CBBC in which the song was performed live by Dave Benson Phillips. One for the "For Our American Listeners" file...

Gaston (Beauty and the Beast) - Fuck yes!

Baby Mine (Dumbo) - On it's own, it's sweet - with the accompanying graphics within the larger context of the movie? Utterly devastating, and powerful enough to move one to tears.

Oo-de-lally (Robin Hood) - A favourite of mine from childhood given my Robin Hood fanboyism, and actively trying to sing along fast enough to keep up. This was my benchmark for speed-karioke until the Barenaked Ladies released 'One Week'.

I'll Make a Man Out of You (Mulan) - Can't add much more to what's already been said, save for I never knew it was Donny Osmond of all people who sung this!!

The Bare Necessities (The Jungle Book) - Utter classic and introduced people like me to bandleader Phil Harris, when a "bandleader" really isn't an actual thing (certainly nowadays). But man, can he voice a bear?! ......and a stray French cat....

Friend Like Me (Aladdin) - Confirms the film's turn for the surreal, which is why I like it standing apart from Little Mermaid/Beauty & The Beast (yes, the protagonist happens to be male as well - I did notice). More importantly to the film, shows the audience exactly how far the potential of Aladdin's newfound possibilities can extend, before reigning them in with 3 ground rules afterwards.

Zero to Hero (Hercules) - Screw your spunky love interest song, this is the best montage song I've seen before Trey Parker wrote/re-used the ultimate one. Gets over the progression of the story, with (visually) a number of great references to Greek myths mixed with imposing 20th century celebrity cultural trappings onto an Ancient Greek demigod, and how much it's pissing off Hades (one of the most underrated Disney villains btw). Vocally, it's the best use of the gospel choir/Greek chorus aspect, even if that's always been a weird dichotomy.

Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmations) - The original beef song, in which a failed composer takes his ire out on a successful businesswoman in the fashion industry, and actually ends up rich off the back of it by the end of the film. Hopefully Cruella sued the bejeezus out of him for character defamation (and no, I'm not saying that as a lawyer) because Roger is an utter prick in that movie.

Hakuna Matata (The Lion King) - The much needed uplifting aspect of the film to close young Simba's arc after a harrowing previous 10 minutes, and luckily restricts Simba singing too much - as an adult I kinda hate young Simba, which is why I can't give the nod to 'I Just Can't Wait To Be King'. Plus it nails down the backstory of Rosencrantz and Guildernstern in minutes! I think that's how they're spelt....

Honourable mentions:

Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (An Actor's Life for me) from Pinocchio - because Father Wilson would sporadically break out singing this when we were growing up.

Let's Go Fly A Kite from Mary Poppins - David Tomlinson sings so gaily about the finer pursuits of a simple child's activity that upon running into his old bosses, he's not only re-hired but promoted! Also features Dick van Dyke's final blast of amusing accent torture.

That's How You Know from Enchanted - pretty much covered it on HAA! but worth reiterating that it is the pinpoint moment in which Amy Adams fully arrives as a major star.

 

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On top of that whilst I went back and saw a lot of classic Disney my knowledge is far from complete

You know, I have had at least two or three conversations with various people on the site before about doing a podcast covering the Disney Animated Canon. I really should get to that one of these days.

So, going along with the list, I'll follow Stavros's lead and offer up my own. I'm going to say, it's also going to be Disney Renaissance and on heavy as well. Also, a bit villain song heavy as well. Haven't seen Moana. Also, going to stick to animated because then I don't have to think about Mary Poppins.

When You Wish Upon a Star - It's a classic for a reason. Also, anytime anyone says Walt Disney was evil or something, I can just point to Cliff Edwards, the singer of the song and voice of Jiminy Cricket. They paid his hospital bills and even offered to pay for his burial. It's a song about hope.

Cruella DeVil - Outside of probably the source of a later slander lawsuit against Roger and Anita, it's a rather catchy song. It perfectly covers who Cruella is without her being involved in it at any point.

Poor, Unfortunate Souls - The Little Mermaid defined what Disney animation would be for the next decade. Ursula offered up a villain song that really helped define each one after it. Pat Carrol is the second best used car salesman among the Disney Villains and her song is menacing but enticing as well.

Belle - Confession: Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie. Belle and it's later reprise are one of the best "I Want" songs there are. A stereotypical I Want song is sung by the protagonist, explaining to us why they don't fit in and want more. Belle takes the turn of the town singing why they all have a problem with Belle/their relationship with her. It's not until the reprise that we get a full exploration about what Belle really wants.

As a sidenote, if we were including original songs from the musicals, "Home" would go on here as well. It's a second I Want song for Belle but it also defines her attitude towards essentially being imprisoned.

Friend Like Me - Robin William is just so bombastic here that you can't help but sing along. Up until this point, Aladdin is a good enough film but this is the moment that changes it into upper tier Disney. There's just this huge surge of energy that Williams injects in one song and, from there, the entire film gets invigorated.

Whole New World - I usually don't care for the breakaway pop hits but fuck it, this is just too good to pass up. It's romantic, a good duet, and never boring. In some movies, this song would break the momentum *cough*lionking*cough* but here? It just helps to keep moving.

Circle of Life - Confession: I don't care for The Lion King. I have my reasons but the music by Tim Rice, Elton John, and Hans Zimmer is some of the best of the Disney Renaissance. Note that I am mainly talking about the film version. I hate the Elton John cover. There's a majesty to this one that sets the tone for the entire movie.  that follows. There are entire moments that give me chills.

Another side note: He Lives in You from the stage musical (and to a lesser extent The Lion King 2) is probably one of my favorite songs period.

Heaven's Light/Hellfire - Probably the best of all the villain songs, you have to include the music leading up to it to set the contrast. This is one of the great ones. It's also a character singing about lust in a Disney movie. I love that part so much. It also adds dimension to a character like Frollo who, otherwise, is just an unrepentant puppykicker.

I'll Make a Man Out of You - A bit of backstory: I'm the gay guy in a circle of mostly straight guys. That said, this is the song that, if it comes up, we all start singing along with. Mulan doesn't have a ton of great songs (some good background music though) but this is definitely a stand out. It's fun, dramatic, and it's that rare song that rewards a baritone.

Friends on the Other Side - Definitely the best song from The Princess and the Frog. Keith David is awesome. We can all agree on that. What really makes this one awesome is the way he strings along rhymes, doing some solid singing with talk-singing. The visuals rock also which helps make this one top-notch.

Mother Knows Best - Funny yet a bit threatening. Donna Murphy does a wonderful job here. Outside of being a funny song, it also works a great job of moving the story forward also.

For The First Time in Forever - Another I Want song but it's also Kristen Bell. It's a good set-up for the rest of the film, getting everyone's motivations in place before going into the main film. Yes, Let It Go is the most famous song from the film but its still not the best.

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Thanks for the feedback, gentlemen, and very strong choices! (Frozen and Moana notwithstanding; I can't stand the former, but am teetering towards catching the latter while it's still in cinemas.)

Had Pandy's latest jingle come out before we recorded, Prince Ali would probably have made the bottom 6.

You know, I have had at least two or three conversations with various people on the site before about doing a podcast covering the Disney Animated Canon. I really should get to that one of these days.

DO IT!

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You know, I have had at least two or three conversations with various people on the site before about doing a podcast covering the Disney Animated Canon. I really should get to that one of these days.

DO IT!

Seconded, although I'd add as a caveat that it should be Will and a guest host per episode/film, a la when Kellen oversaw the Advent calendar programming a few years back, or like we discussed when planning that Nic Cage podcast last year.

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You know, I have had at least two or three conversations with various people on the site before about doing a podcast covering the Disney Animated Canon. I really should get to that one of these days.

DO IT!

Seconded, although I'd add as a caveat that it should be Will and a guest host per episode/film, a la when Kellen oversaw the Advent calendar programming a few years back, or like we discussed when planning that Nic Cage podcast last year.

If you do that, I'd love to be on the Fantasia episode.

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And I'd be demanding the Robin Hood and Great Mouse Detective spots, whilst throwing my hat into the ring for a few others.

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And I'd be demanding the Robin Hood and Great Mouse Detective spots, whilst throwing my hat into the ring for a few others.

Damn straight. As the resident Dane, I wouldn't mind talking about The Little Mermaid as well...that is, of course, if you do move forward with this Disney cast and if you actually want to bring in guests. This is your baby, Will.

Edited by You Know Who

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