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  1. #1

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    Fictional Auditory Crossover: When Hanna-Barbera Met Disney

    In 2009, the live-action/animated feature film, Mary Poppins, will be 45 years old (not to mention the fifth anniversary of the musical based on that and P. L. Travers' originating book series by the Sherman Brothers, Julian Fellowes, George Stiles, and Anthony Drewe). I was reminded of that while surfing the web, where I encountered this Hanna-Barbera memorabilia.

    I just don't get it - like why the Donald Duck Messrs. Hanna and Barbera utilized Disney songs on an LP featuring their own licensed characters from their cartoon, The Flintstones? Could they have given Robert M. and Richard B. the permit to use them in their record or did they toed Disney territory? I don't know, but it reminded me of one of my childhood memories.

    I spent the last few years in my native New Jersey (I now live near Tampa.) by going to Six Flags Great Adventure. When I was walking in one of the themed areas, I heard something familiar from the speakers, which turned out to be the instrumental score of another Disney film, Beauty and the Beast. A few days following the trip, I wondered why the heck the staff of the Warner Brothers-licensed park piped this in the complex.

    Why the heck indeed! Once I conjured the experience up to my grandparents, my late grandfather hypothesized and assured me that a befuddled, elderly woman piped the wrong soundtrack in the speakers, thus pitting Disney against non-Disney. I did not ask them after going to the park the second time, hearing the strains of the orchestral theme from the 20-year-old Universal film, The Land Before Time, until I turned on the TV to watch TLC's Ready, Set, Learn.

    On one episode of one of Ready, Set, Learn's shows, Skinnamarink TV, on one of the "Two of A Kind" sketches, the fictional pair of conjoined twins introduced themselves to some food vendor. While doing so, they broke into "Getting to Know You" from The King and I (probably months to a year before WB adapted it into an animated feature). I was thinking, What the peas? Were the creators of the show lumping Sharon, Lois, and Bram with the late, great Rodgers and Hammerstein? I asked my grandparents why, but my grandmother used the same "elderly lady" hypothesis to state why the Broadway hit was performed in a defunct children's show.

    Here's a message to Kidsongs fans like me: please don't get me started with the scene when the children put on a show for their parents in "A Day at Camp." It contains a whistleable tune from a Disney film, Snow White (I haven't seen it yet as a child, but take a gander from the beginning to 1:40):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=http:...?v=4TvpSHPAkvoBecause of those experiences in childhood, I'm beginning to comprehend the audial aspect of fictional auditory crossover. Fictional crossover is the concept of interspersing two or more characters, settings, and utopias of distinct licensed origins into one plot. Fictional auditory crossover, on the other hand, is the concept of interjecting a song or auditory media in an otherwise discrete visual or auditory media, record or TV.

    Fictional auditory crossover can be used in different ways. The exact music used in a discrete media can be a direct reference to the former's origin. In "My Fair Mandy," an episode of the Cartoon Network show, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Mandy not only dresses up as Dorthy from The Wizard of Oz and has a Toto-like pooch accompany her on her balloon trip over a cardboard rainbow during the talent portion of the Little Miss Scurvy pageant, but she also sarcastically (at first) sings the signature tune, "Over the Rainbow," as well! Also, this media crossover can be used to reinforce a theme of the media. In the case of the sketch from Skinnamarink TV, the twins broke into "Getting to Know You" to tie in with the theme of friendship. In "A Day at Camp" in Kidsongs, the kids paint, glue glitter, and snip to "Whistle While You Work" to prepare for the upcoming show.

    The most intriguing thing about that media-based crossover is for some sort of tribute. I think the folks at Hanna-Barbera are using songs in the LP from Mary Poppins (Yes, Virginia, it has "Spoonful of Sugar" in it.) as a tribute to the late, great visionary. One blogger states that the idea of having Fred Filntstone sing a Disney song stems from the boredom he and mate Barney Rubble bear when working in the rock quarry. Fred considers via classifieds that he wanted to be a brain surgeon, only to discover that he must obtain a college degree. He then finds another about songwriting and then embarks on his new career. Each time he presented his song to Barney, he sings a song from the 1964 feature - and Disney wasn't even born during the time Fred penned his songs (providing that they lived a million years ago). Presumably, what Joe and William were doing is paying tribute to Walt with such a puzzlement of an LP, released a year after the film.

    I now learned that some elderly lady didn't mix the soundtracks on purpose. If the media have to have something interesting to refer to another media or to utilize something to enforce the theme, they sometimes use songs or music from the media in the form of fictional auditory crossover - and yes, I have coined that term myself. If a record label would record a CD similar to the LP but this time involving Barney and Friends, give me Baby Bop soloing on the Stiles-and-Drewe vehicle, "Practically Perfect," any day!
    Last edited by whizkidforte; 11-30-2008 at 08:34 AM. Reason: further revision

  2. #2

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    Re: Fictional Auditory Crossover: When Hanna-Barbera Met Disney

    That is an odd crossover. It would be interesting to know how HB got the right to the Mary Poppins songs, as Walt was protective over his property. And would P. L. Travers need to give permission to HB, also???

    I took a look at some of the other HB records that were on reverse side of the album cover, and a couple of those look vaguely familiar. Although some of the other records have similar stories that Walt used, none of the others have the same music, like Mary Poppins.

    Although, thinking back to some of the Flintstones shows, they did often used celebrities of the 60's with a "Flintstone-ized" name, so using a Mary Poppins theme with the Flintstones would work, but the question is how HB got the rights to use the songs.
    Last edited by Aladdin; 11-29-2008 at 07:21 PM.

  3. #3

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    Re: Fictional Auditory Crossover: When Hanna-Barbera Met Disney

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    That is an odd crossover. It would be interesting to know how HB got the right to the Mary Poppins songs, as Walt was protective over his property. And would P. L. Travers need to give permission to HB, also???
    That also reminds me of another memory. While cruising with Carnival in the past, two of the cruises I've been to (the Tropicale, now owned by Costa, and the most recent, the Inspiration) each had a Disney song performed live. I didn't worry too much about the instrumental version of "Someday My Prince Will Come" from Snow White, performed by the big band on the Tropicale, mostly because I vacationed on it in 1995, three years before Dinsney Cruise Line charted the oceans. I had a bit of a tacit fuss on the Filipina vocalist's rendition of "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas (the Disney film) because it was performed outside of DCL, on the Inspiration last year.

    Again, if the cast of the PBS children's show, Barney and Friends, do songs from the Broadway version of the Disney film and P. L. Travers book series, let me hear Baby Bop sing "Practically Perfect." Fate knows what George Stiles and Anthony Drewe would think.

  4. #4

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    Re: Fictional Auditory Crossover: When Hanna-Barbera Met Disney

    Remember... older music may no longer be under the songwriter's copyright, so someone else could record their own version of the music. If so depends on when it was written, the original author, etc.
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