Disney: The Music Behind the Magic
Opening November 5, 2006
Nearly everyone is aware of the worldwide influence of Disney animation and theme parks, but few people realize that music is the foundation of the studio’s remarkable success.
On November 5, 2006, Experience Music Project (EMP) will present Disney: The Music Behind the Magic, the first museum exhibit to tell the story of how Disney has used music to hook audiences, drive its timeless narratives, and succeed in everything from cartoons, television, theme parks, and live-action films to Broadway and the Billboard charts.
Since it was founded in 1928, Disney has been creating some of the most memorable and timeless music in the American canon. But until now, no one has ever told the remarkable story of how critical music was - and still is - to its success. Disney: The Music behind the Magic explores Disney’s innovative use of music from the release of the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, to the theatrical productions of Tarzan and Mary Poppins that debut on Broadway this spring and fall.
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More than 65 rare artifacts from the Disney archives, most of which have never before been on display, including animation storyboards, musical charts, rare recordings, sound effects equipment, Mickey Mouse Club outfits, and costumes from theatrical productions such as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.
Five interpretive films, all of which are being made specifically for the exhibit and feature Disney artists and experts with excerpts of Disney films to illustrate key points:
Four exciting interactives designed to create hands-on experience for visitors of all ages:
- The first film explores Disney’s innovative musical storytelling in its early animations, from Steamboat Willie to Bambi.
- The second film examines the critical role of music in Disney’s animation renaissance in the late 1980s, starting with The Little Mermaid; it features filmed interviews with composers Alan Menken and Phil Collins, film critic Leonard Maltin, and other Disney historians.
- The third film looks at the music and making of Mary Poppins, the pinnacle of Disney’s live-action musicals. It includes interviews with the film’s composer, Richard Sherman, as well as other Disney artists and experts.
- The fourth film considers Disney’s musical legacy, exploring its influence and impact on popular music and culture
- The fifth film is a 15-20-minute overview of Disney music shown in our theater and introducing visitors to the exhibit themes and narrative.
- Name-That-Disney-Tune is a game show in which four contestants or teams test their knowledge of Disney melodies, lyrics, composers and performers.
- Sound Effects Challenge has four visitors work as a team and use Foley equipment to create and record the sound effects for one or two Disney cartoons, then watch the results to judge their future as SFX experts.
- Remix Disney Hits is a chance for visitors to remix hit songs by Walt Disney Records artists and then compare their mix to the original release.
- Become a Disney Star is a singing interactive in which visitors sing the lead vocals to a variety of Disney songs, with coaching on how to improve their performance.