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  1. #1

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    Disney dumps veteran songwriter Alan Menken for Randy Newman

    Here's a interesting article I found at : http://theseaofwakingdreams.blogspot...s-like-we.html

    Many fans of the traditional Disney Animated Musical features rejoiced at the news that Disney is finally getting into 2D Animation again with "The Frog Princess".
    One of the many reasons for the excitement for people like me was that the key filmmaking team behind this project was gonnna be the same as "The Little Mermaid" which bought about the last "Golden Age" of Animation.
    It just seemed right and poetic, if u will...That once again the Directing team of Ron Clements & John Musker along with the amazing composer, Alan Menken would bring about this re-birth of the Classic Disney Musical. Cause these storytellers and Alan's music played a very important part in the success of all those disney musicals Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty & The Beast etc.

    However, the news just broke this week that the new Animation head honcho and disney, John Lasseter (of Pixar), has decided to replace Alan Menken with Randy Newman and give him his Musical debut Randy Newman is no stranger to Pixar, he has been a staple composer for most of their movies and specially all of John's movies (Both the Toy Storys,Bug's Life, Cars).

    This sent many Alan Menken fans into a fit of anger (including myself) with people already predicting Frog Princess to be doomed and the saying how John L. is gonna turn Disney into Pixar 2!

    But on further discussion with a friend in Animation (who was equally disappointed with the switch),it led to him doing some investigations.
    Which in turn led to quite an interesting discovery which might explain this move.

    It SEEMS, The Frog Princess could be Disney's first African American princess, in a New Orleans-ish setting with a Jazz soundtrack and not a very theatrical soundtrack!
    And that might explain the preference of Randy Newman over Alan Menken.
    I can honestly say, IF this is a fact...am actually excited by this decision and its about time Disney shook things up in this direction!

    Coupled by the fact that Alan Menken is swamped with so many projects for Disney already , with bringing Little Mermaid and Sister Act On Broadway , writing songs and scoring the 2d/Live Action hybrid "Enchanted" etc etc..it just might just be the best thing to have happened!

    Am happy again...for now! :-)
    Growing older is manditory
    Growing up is however, optional

  2. #2

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    Re: Disney dumps veteran songwriter Alan Menken for Randy Newman

    Menken is pretty busy so i see no problem with using someone else. I'd preffer someone other than Newman though. Not a big fan of Randy. All of his songs sound exactly the same to me.




  3. #3

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    Re: Disney dumps veteran songwriter Alan Menken for Randy Newman

    It will be interesting to see an African American princess too.

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    Re: Disney dumps veteran songwriter Alan Menken for Randy Newman

    Why does it have to be "dump?"

  5. #5

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    Re: Disney dumps veteran songwriter Alan Menken for Randy Newman

    Quote Originally Posted by Xharryb View Post
    Menken is pretty busy so i see no problem with using someone else. I'd preffer someone other than Newman though. Not a big fan of Randy. All of his songs sound exactly the same to me.

    I agree!!

  6. #6

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    Re: Disney dumps veteran songwriter Alan Menken for Randy Newman

    If they go with a New Orleans twist, Randy Newman will be perfect. I don't love EVERYTHING Newman has done, but the soundtracks to "Seabiscuit" and "Avalon" are in my top five of all time. The man is a friggin genius when it comes to capturing the sound and spirit of the late 19th century.

    Then of course there's "The Natural" and "Ragtime".

    He captures the spirit and feel of the turn of the century like no one else.

    If the Frog princess comes from a swamp near New Orleans, Randy Newman was the perfect choice.

    If she comes from Ariel's neighborhood, that just ain't gonna happen. No one can do Menken like Menken.

    But...um....yeah. I'm a relatively huge fan of Randy Newman. The guy can't sing to save his life, but his music is pensive, melancholic, introspective, and well written.



    Assuming of course you are not counting "I Love L.A.", "You Can Leave Your Hat On" and "Short People."

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    Re: Disney dumps veteran songwriter Alan Menken for Randy Newman

    And who didn't like "Our Town" in Cars?? Best tune of the movie,(written by Newman) and James Taylor was another perfect choice.

    Just sayin.

  8. #8

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    Re: Disney dumps veteran songwriter Alan Menken for Randy Newman

    The headline for this topic is VERY misleading. Alan is definitely
    STILL in the Disney family, right now, primarily working on a few
    shows being preparred for Broadway. And Alan is still working
    on Disney Animated films, too. Just not on one particular film.

    Jim Hill media addressed this topic a few days ago, and said that
    John Lasseter is just trying to differentiate several of the upcoming
    Disney Movies.

    Now, I'm not a huge Randy Newman fan, and I think Alan has
    certainly shown a much wider range of style than Randy could
    ever hope to achieve. But it is good to add a little variation to
    the movies.

    Disney was doing this, even before John was overseeing
    the animated movies, Elton John on Lion King, Sting on Emperors New
    Groove, Phil Collins on Tarzan. Hopefully we'll see someone in charge
    of Songs for some of Pixar's upcoming movies, other than Randy Newman.

  9. #9

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    Re: Disney dumps veteran songwriter Alan Menken for Randy Newman

    I seem to be paddling out here all by myself here with my appreciation for Newman, but I believe that Newman and Menken are two completely different types of composers with different types of strengths. Menken is the quintessential broadway composer and has that gift for creating show stoppers and beautiful ballads. So if you are comparing the two in terms of who would be a better broadway composer, Menken is WAY out in front with a broader background and palate of melodic ideas.

    In terms of writing SONGS, Newman's sound from song to song is very similar as he voices his chords in similar ways and tends to use the same types of progressions in his writing. His use of brass and winds is also very distinctive. However, I think Newman's true strength is in the area of scoring for film, like his uncle. And for the movies I mentioned above, I believe he NAILED the mood of each film. I usually don't run out and buy soundtracks, but I purchased both Avalon and Seabiscuit without hesitation.

    Ironically, though, I can't imagine the soundtrack from either Toy Story OR Bug's Life WITHOUT the sound of Randy Newman. Especially Bug's Life. His instrumentation just lifted that film to a whole different level. I think Lasseter knew that Nemo needed a different feel and mood, and hence did not use Newman for that.

    But again, if this Frog Princess is from a swamp down South, that whole Randy Newman sound would be perfect as he grew up in New Orleans and will bring those influences into the score. In this instance, he would be an ideal choice.

  10. #10

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    Re: Disney dumps veteran songwriter Alan Menken for Randy Newman

    Quote Originally Posted by localdisnyfan View Post
    If they go with a New Orleans twist, Randy Newman will be perfect. I don't love EVERYTHING Newman has done, but the soundtracks to "Seabiscuit" and "Avalon" are in my top five of all time. The man is a friggin genius when it comes to capturing the sound and spirit of the late 19th century.

    Then of course there's "The Natural" and "Ragtime".

    He captures the spirit and feel of the turn of the century like no one else.

    If the Frog princess comes from a swamp near New Orleans, Randy Newman was the perfect choice.

    If she comes from Ariel's neighborhood, that just ain't gonna happen. No one can do Menken like Menken.

    But...um....yeah. I'm a relatively huge fan of Randy Newman. The guy can't sing to save his life, but his music is pensive, melancholic, introspective, and well written.



    Assuming of course you are not counting "I Love L.A.", "You Can Leave Your Hat On" and "Short People."
    Gotta agree with you across the board, here. But you forgot Pleasantville. IMHO, "The Mural" may be one of the best pieces of film music ever written.

  11. #11

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    Re: Disney dumps veteran songwriter Alan Menken for Randy Newman

    Hmm..Interesting. I agree with what has been said above. I hope he writes the songs and doesn't sing. He maybe a gifted songwirter..but I've never been a fan of his singing.
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