Tag Archives: film music

Peter Pan “You Can Fly!” (1953)

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One of my favorite moments in Peter Pan is when Peter teaches the Darling children how to fly and they set off for Neverland. As a little kid, I loved the idea of just being able to launch into the air and fly like a bird (imagine my disappointment when all the happy thoughts in the world couldn’t get me off the ground). “You Can Fly” serves as a transition from the ordinary world of London to the extraordinary world of Neverland. This song is different from other Disney songs in that, apart from some half-sung verses at the very beginning, Peter and the Darling children don’t sing at all. Instead their journey to Neverland is narrated by a chorus.

Each of the children has a slightly different style of flying. Wendy is the most graceful, John uses his umbrella to turn corners, and Michael (being the youngest) has an almost clambering style (think of how little kids kick in a swimming pool). Naturally none of them are as good as Peter, who can do all kinds of tricks while he flies.

Think of a wonderful thought,
Any merry little thought,
Think of Christmas, think of snow, think of sleigh bells,
Off you go, like reindeer in the sky!
You can fly, you can fly, you can fly!!!

Think of the happiest things,
It’s the same as having wings,
Take a path that moonbeams make,
If the moon is still awake,
You’ll see him wink his eye (ohh…)
You can fly, you can fly, you can fly!!!

I absolutely love the moment when Michael stops and notices Nana trying to fly after her charges. It gets even funnier when he grabs Tinker Bell and sprinkles some fairy dust on the confused canine, sending her soaring into the air bottom first. The only reason Nana can’t follow is because she’s tied by her leash, so she can only float awkwardly in the air as the children fly away. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if Nana had been able to fly with them (probably she would have kept trying to take the children home).

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Off you go with a Hi and Ho
With the stars beyond the blue
There’s a Never Land waiting for you
Where all your happy dreams come true
Every dream that you dream will come true

When there’s a smile in your heart
There’s no better time to start
Think of all the joy you’ll find
When you leave the world behind
And bid your fears good-bye
You can fly, you can fly, you can fly, you can fly, you can fly!

Tinker Bell, being the jealous type, is not thrilled that Wendy is coming along. She’s already trying to sabotage the trip by messing up her reflection in the water but it quickly comes back to haunt the fairy as she’s nearly snapped up by several hungry fish. This won’t stop Tinker Bell though, as she’ll try again once they reach Neverland.

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When there’s a smile in your heart
There’s no better time to start
Think of all the joy you’ll find
When you leave the world behind
And bid your fears good-bye
You can fly, you can fly, you can fly, you can fly, you can fly!
You can fly, you can fly, you can fly!

The song fades away with Peter and the children well on their way to Neverland, “second star to the right and straight on till morning.” I can’t overstate how much I love listening to this song, it’s a perfect Disney tune. It’s full of joy, innocence, and a rising sense of adventure as they fly onward to Neverland.

What do you think about “You Can Fly!”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Peter Pan “Following the Leader” (1953)

Peter Pan “What Made the Red Man red?” (1953)

Peter Pan “The Elegant Captain Hook” (1953)

My Thoughts on: Peter Pan (1953)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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The Fox and the Hound “A Hunting Man” (1981)

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“A Hunting Man” might be one of the shortest Disney songs I’ve ever heard. It comes in the second half of the movie when the hunter Amos Slade (Jack Albertson) is returning from a long hunt with his two dogs Chief (Pat Buttram) and a now-grown up Copper (Kurt Russell). As he drives home, Amos is happily singing about his life as a hunting man.

I ain’t got no job, I’m a hunting man.

And I’d rather have a dog than a dollar.

So let’s go banjo ring-a-ling-a-ling, ho!

Give a little hoot and a holler!

This “song” is barely long enough to be a verse in a regular Disney song, but it does give an idea about the kind of man Amos Slade is. While the hunter is presented as the story’s villain more often than not, this song shows that he really isn’t a “bad” man. Hunting, for all its cruelties, is how Amos earns his living, and it truly makes him happy because he gets to spend time with his beloved dogs. The only reason he gets mean is when someone (like a certain fox) gets in the way of his hunting.

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And that’s about it for “A Hunting Man.” Like I said, it’s one of the shortest Disney songs I’ve ever heard, but it does give some insight into the character of Amos Slade. Let me know what you think about this song in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

The Fox and the Hound “Lack of Education” (1981)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

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The Fox and the Hound “Lack of Education” (1981)

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Unfortunately, I end up saying this about a lot of older Disney films, but The Fox and the Hound is yet another example of a Disney film that is all but forgotten. Loosely based on Daniel Mannix’s 1967 book of the same name, The Fox and the Hound follow a young fox named Tod (Keith Mitchell/Mickey Rooney) and a bloodhound pup named Copper (Corey Feldman/Kurt Russell) as they strike up an unlikely friendship. Tod’s other friends, including an owl named Big Mama (Pearl Bailey), attempt to convince Tod that being friends with a bloodhound (especially when you’re a fox) can only lead to trouble. This is the point of “Lack of Education” where Big Mama and the rest of Tod’s friends attempt to spell things out for the young fox: that if he continues trying to be friends with Copper he’s going to wind up dead.

You listen good Tod, because it’s either education or elimination!

Now, if you’re so foxy and old Chief is so dumb
Then why does that hound get the fox on the run?
‘Cause he’s got the hunter –
and the hunter’s got the gun
Ka-blam, elimination!
Lack of education!

If you pal around with that Copper hound
You’ll wind up hanging on the wall
Keep you nose to the wind –
and you keep your skin
‘Cause you won’t be home –
when the hunter comes to call

Oh, Big Mama, I know Copper would never track me down.
Well, Copper, he’s my best friend.

Ho ho, your best friend!

Now, Copper’s gonna do what he’s been told.
Suppose he won’t chase no fox in no fox hole?
Along comes the hunter with a buck shot load.

Ka-ka-blam!

Elimination.

Lack of education!

Tod seemingly makes a good point when he says Copper would never track his best friend down, but while this is true now, Big Mama knows all too well that with enough time and training, Copper will hunt anything down. She doesn’t want to upset the young fox, but in her mind it’s better if he’s made aware of the facts of life now. Of course, this being a Disney film, Tod doesn’t take the lesson to heart and tries to maintain his friendship with Copper, with increasingly disastrous consequences.

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Unlike many Disney songs, “Lack of Education” is performed in more of a “speak-sing” style (meaning the performers are half-talking and half-singing) and Tod doesn’t sing at all. It’s a short, blunt moment that goes completely over Tod’s head, which makes sense, after all who wants to believe their newfound best friend will one day hunt them down and kill them?

I hope you enjoyed this look at an underrated Disney classic. Let me know what you think about “Lack of Education” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

The Fox and the Hound “A Hunting Man” (1981)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

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The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride “He Lives in You” (1998)

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In the late 1990s and 2000s, Disney went on a spree of creating sequels to all of their animated films, most of which paled in comparison to the originals. However, there were a few successful follow-ups and The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride is one of them. The story follows Simba’s (Matthew Broderick) daughter Kiara (Neve Campbell) as she finds herself becoming friends (and later much more) with Kovu (Jason Marsden), the alleged son of Scar and Zira (a lioness who followed Scar, even after Simba returned to the Pride Lands), leader of a band of exiled lions. If the first Lion King is based on Hamlet, then the sequel is clearly Romeo and Juliet (only there’s a happy ending in this version).

 

The film starts, like the original, with a sunrise and the animals traveling again to Pride Rock to acknowledge the new heir to the throne. “He Lives in You” actually comes from the Broadway version of The Lion King and was initially sung by Mufasa to Simba (speaking of the Great Kings of the Past) and later by Rafiki. Like “The Circle of Life,” this song also mixes some Zulu into the lyrics.

Ingonyama nengw’ enamabala
Ingonyama nengw’ enamabala

Night
And the spirit of life
Calling

Oh, oh, iyo
Mamela (Listen)
Oh, oh, iyo

And a voice
With the fear of a child
Answers

Oh, oh, iyo
Oh, mamela (Listen)
Oh, oh, iyo

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Ubukhosi bo khokho (Throne of the ancestors)
We ndodana ye sizwe sonke (Oh, son of the nation)

Wait
There’s no mountain too great
Oh, oh, iyo
Hear the words and have faith
Oh, oh, iyo
Have faith

Hela hm mamela (Hey, listen)

He lives in you (Hela hm mamela, hela)
He lives in me (Hela hm mamela, hela)
He watches over (Hela hm mamela, hela)
Everything we see (Hela hm mamela, hela)
Into the water (Hela hm mamela, hela)
Into the truth (Hela hm mamela, hela)
In your reflection (Hela hm mamela)
He lives in you

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As Kiara is presented to the animals of the Pride Lands, we can see Mufasa’s spirit watching over the proceedings, clearly pleased with how things are going. I think it really helps that this film opens like the original story, it provides a sense of continuity, the idea that this is a real follow-up to Simba’s story. This song is also a call back to Rafiki’s message to Simba in the original film (“That’s not my father, it’s just my reflection.” “You see…he lives in you.”)

What do you think about “He Lives in You?” Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Daniel Pemberton talks Gold (2016)

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Gold is a 2016 American crime drama film loosely based on a true story about a fraudulent gold mine established in Indonesia and the aftermath when the fraud is uncovered. The film was directed by Stephen Gaghan and stars Matthew McConaughey, Édgar Ramírez, and Bryce Dallas Howard. The musical score for Gold was composed by Daniel Pemberton (Steve Jobs, The Man from U.N.C.L.E) and in this video Pemberton talks at length about how he got started with creating the music for this film.

 

Daniel Pemberton explains that his initial concept for the score was the sound of bells (which in themselves can create a myriad of sounds). What fascinated me about Pemberton’s approach to the score is the way he incorporated the sound of the New York Stock Exchange opening bell into the music. That sound is, as Pemberton puts it, the essence of capitalism and greed, which makes it perfect for the score. What’s also interesting is the way the composer manipulates the sound of the stock exchange bell. By altering the sound, the composer can create entirely different effects and meanings. This is one of the reasons Daniel Pemberton is quickly becoming one of my favorite film composers, he can take unusual sounds and instruments and fully incorporate them into the score (and you’d never know unless he told you).

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Let me know what you think about Gold and Daniel Pemberton’s interview in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Daniel Pemberton talks The Man from U.N.C.L.E (2015)

Daniel Pemberton talks Steve Jobs (2015)

Daniel Pemberton talks King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Brian Tyler scoring Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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Based on the bestselling novel by Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians was one of the best romantic comedy films of 2018. The film follows Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she travels to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick Young to attend his best friend’s wedding and discovers Nick comes from an immensely wealthy family. The score for this film was composed by Brian Tyler to accompany a soundtrack full of songs that mostly speak about money (which is a major theme of the movie).

This behind-the-scenes video shows Brian Tyler in the midst of a scoring session for the film. As I’ve said many times, it’s always fun to watch the composer at work, and Tyler is a particular favorite to watch, as you can always tell he’s completely into his work. The pieces covered in this video are “Text Ting Swing” and “Love Theme from Crazy Rich Asians.” I enjoyed listening to both of them, they each feature Brian Tyler’s signature flair and actually made me want to listen to more of the soundtrack.

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I hope you enjoyed this brief, behind-the-scenes look at the scoring of Crazy Rich Asians. Let me know what you think about it in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Brian Tyler “Alien vs. Predator: Requiem” scoring session (2007)

Brian Tyler scoring Partition (2007)

Brian Tyler talks War (2007)

Brian Tyler talks Rambo (2008)

Brian Tyler “Law Abiding Citizen” scoring sessions (2009)

Brian Tyler “Dragonball Evolution” scoring session (2009)

Brian Tyler talks The Expendables (2010) 

Brian Tyler talks Fast Five (2011)

Brian Tyler “Battle: Los Angeles” (2011) scoring session

Brian Tyler scoring session for Iron Man 3 (2013)

Brian Tyler “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2014) scoring session

Brian Tyler conducting and scoring Now You See Me 2 (2016)

Brian Tyler “Power Rangers” scoring session (2017)

Brian Tyler conducts The Mummy (2017)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Dumbo “Pink Elephants on Parade” (1941)

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“Pink Elephants on Parade” might possibly be one of the most psychedelic and mind-twisting pieces of animation that early Disney ever produced. The song comes after Dumbo has been forced to become a circus clown and is still deeply depressed over being separated from his mother. The well-meaning Timothy Q. Mouse takes Dumbo to get a drink of water to help him feel better, not realizing that a bottle of champagne has been added to the watering trough. As a result, both Dumbo and Timothy quickly become intoxicated (remember, this is 1941, different time, different standards) and begin seeing things, particularly strange pink elephants that quickly take over the screen. The song “Pink Elephants On Parade” comments on how unnatural it is to see pink elephants and what a disturbing sight it is. The song’s purpose is to 1) lighten the mood after all of the terrible things that have happened to Dumbo and 2) transition the story to the eventual discovery that Dumbo can fly.

Look out! Look out!
Pink elephants on parade.
Here they come!
Hippety hoppety.

They’re here, and there.
Pink elephants ev’rywhere!

Look out! Look out!
They’re walking around the bed.
On their head!
Clippety cloppety.

Arrayed in braid.
Pink elephants on parade!

What’ll I do? What’ll I do?
What an unusual view!

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I could stand the sight of worms
And look at microscopic germs
But technicolor pachyderms
Is really too much for me!

I am not the type to faint
When things are odd or things
are quaint
But seeing things you know that ain’t
Can certainly give you an awful fright!
What a sight!

Chase ’em away!
Chase ’em away!
I’m afraid need your aid
Pink elephants on parade!

Hey hey hey

Pink elephants!
Pink elephants!
Pink elephants….

Once the elephants take over, Dumbo and Timothy disappear from the song and are not seen again until the elephants fade away. Until then, the screen is full of multi-colored elephants twisting and turning into different shapes. I know some people have commented on finding this scene scary or even a little disturbing, but I don’t personally remember being scared, if anything I thought it was funny. That being said, the song does contain some very surreal animation; for example a snake becomes an elephant dancer, which transforms into a ball, which becomes a floating eye (definitely not something you see every day). Also, if some of the footage looks familiar, it’s because part of it was recycled for “Heffalumps and Woozles” from Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968).

Let me know what you think about “Pink Elephants on Parade” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Dumbo “Look Out For Mr. Stork” (1941)

Dumbo “Song of the Roustabouts” (1941)

Dumbo “When I See an Elephant Fly” (1941)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook