Stunt-Casting A More Modern Disney Soundtrack
The other night I watched Beauty and the Beast for the first time in roughly forever. I was shocked by two things: How much of the plot I had forgotten, and how many of the songs I remembered. It's like that for most Disney classics: I can't tell you what happened but I do remember how great the songs were.
It's been a long time since there's been a great Disney soundtrack, and, personally, I miss that. Not to sound like an old man in his rocking chair, but kids these days don't know what they're missing.
I say Disney needs to dust off that old copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales and call up some modern acts to throw a bit of spice in to the old formula. Not only would stunt casting the composing duties create a buzz but we'd get some great soundtrack albums out of it.
So, which artists have that knack for catchy tunes and the ability to get the story to happily ever after? Let's wish upon a star that these names would be up for consideration.
Photo by Marco Torres
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There are usually a series of events that you know will take place in most of these films. At some point the hero will face adversity, they'll fall in love, and in the end they'll grow up, no matter their literal age. Adversity, love, growing up -- all things that show up in the average Taylor Swift track
It's hard to deny her ability as a songwriter, and her songs have the right amount of melodrama to tug at our heartstrings. All she needs is the right story, preferably one with a lot of star-crossed love.
Based on his solo releases, the Love King isn't the type of artist you might think to write a collection of songs aimed mainly at children. However, when you consider his production work, the choice to go with him makes a lot of sense. Along with his brother, he's written and produced three of the biggest tracks of the last decade, songs that had massive crossover appeal and made tons of money.
Not only that, but you know his "characters awkwardly falling in love during a montage" track would be a killer. You'd be humming it before you got out of the theater.
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Composing a fantasy musical seems like a natural fit for Rivers. As an artist, he likes to push his composition abilities by experimenting with new modes of songwriting. In his personal life, he likes playing Dungeons & Dragons. Combine the two and he may end up writing enough songs for a one disc soundtrack and a five disc expanded edition.
Make it a story about an awkward half-elf trying to find his place in the world and it'll be magic. Plus, working on something that isn't under the Weezer name might stop the "it's not as good as Pinkerton" complaints before they start.
Colin may be the best storyteller in indie-rock. Consider The Hazards of Love. It's a highly literary concept album that features multiple speaking roles, memorable melodies, and a storyline that features a shape-shifter, ghosts and a fairy queen. He's also tackled the retelling of an Irish epic and the tale of a pair of sailors trapped in a giant whale. Meloy should be able to adapt to pretty much whatever the studio decides to throw at him, and write some good singalongs in the process.Ween
Silly songs/serious musicians. Over the course of their career the duo of Dean and Gene Ween have tackled everything from hard rock to pure country to Caribbean rhythms to noise. They take the familiar sounds of modern music and make them completely their own. There are few acts who have the sonic palette these guys can draw upon.
As a bonus, Gene recently said that he was interested in working on some "Disney-soundtrack-era Phil Collins"-type tunes. With a major studio financing their sessions, the band could deliver either their masterwork or a fascinating disaster. At that point, the plot might not even matter.
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