Disney Musicals

Most likely, everyone has seen musicals. As a child, we were being raised on Disney, which would mean a high chance of seeing a musical. Disney is well-known for musicals- if you were born in the 90s, you were around a lot of Disney classics. Now, what are some of my favorite movie to stage musicals?

Newsies

This is the most recent Disney musical that entered my life. It entered my life August 2016 when I saw the tour. At the time, Joey Barreiro was Jack Kelly- due to him being my first, he became my favorite Jack Kelly. I was loving the relationship between Jack and Cruchtie and the entire relationship between all the Newsies. In so many ways, this relationship parallels the Students of the ABC- a brotherly love that feels like family, and both are standing up for a cause they truly believe in.

Let me first talk about those incredible and high-energetic songs. Songs like “Seize the Day”, “The World Will Know”, “Carrying the Banner”, and “King of New York” are just fun songs to listen to. At the same time, there are the more emotional songs (not always in the sad sense)- some of these songs are sad while other are not. Those more emotional songs are songs like “Santa Fe (Prologue), “Santa Fe”, “Letter From the Refuge”, and “Something to Believe In”. Due to “Santa Fe” and “Letter From the Refuge”, we have a well-rounded soundtrack- “Santa Fe” is a sad song while “Letter From the Refuge” is a heartbreaking song. Musical theatre soundtracks with a combo of positive and negative emotions usually are the best musicals. That is because of how realistic they are= don’t forget in life, we go through both types of emotional.

Now what about characters. My all-time favorite Newsies are Jack and Crutchie, which is mostly due to the intimate and special bond they share. I love it when friendships are like that. Jack Kelly is a complex character- he is talented in art and he is so protective of his brothers especially towards Crutchie. He is that kind of leader who do anything to protect his brothers- that is why “Santa Fe” is a sad song. He just witnessed this big fight break out and saw Crutchie being arrested- this really does cause him some inner conflict. Jack would rather protect his brothers- he cares a lot more about them than the cause. Crutchie has this just incredible optimism and spirit. Here is what I love about Katherine- she provides a strong female voice in a cast of mostly male, and makes a strong love interest for Jack.

Obviously I love the plot- when I love the plot, characters, and songs, that usually leads the musical to be a favorite of mine. I just love seeing this bond and love how these guys stand up for what they believe in. They never once give up- you can feel their determination the strongest in “Once and For All”. The fact that these brothers stood up for what they believe in really makes an incredible story- still can’t believe that the Newsboys Strike of 1899 really happened. Part of why I love the stage show is due to the mind-blowing dance- no wonder it got the Tony for best choreography.

Favorite Song: “Seize the Day”

Frozen

I have loved this musical since I saw the animated film. When I heard the musical was going to be a stage show, I got really excited. I was so ready to see this stage show, but knew I would have to wait for a tour. When the US Tour was launched, I badly wanted to see the stage show, and it was what I was looking forward to the most in 2020. But when COVID hit, I had to deal with a postponed show. Frozen being postponed was the hardest musical to deal with the disappoint. Now, I have to wait till Blumenthal brings the musical back- they haven’t rescheduled the musical yet.

Well, here is what I love about Frozen. I love how the true love isn’t between two lovers, but two sister’s instead. I almost feel as if I am watching a simpler version of Wicked- if that makes sense. Anna and Elsa are incredible sisters- I relate to Anna so much. Like Anna, I am the outgoing, optimistic, and younger sister. I truly understand their sisterhood due to having a sister myself.

The songs are so catchy and emotional at the same time. Of course, the stage show has “Love is an Open Door”, “Let it Go”, and “For the First Time in Forever”, but added songs make the musical even more emotional. With the additions of “Monster”, “What do You know About Love”, and “True Love” really create a well-rounded musical. Yes, the US Tour cut out “True Love”, but still view it as a part of Frozen. Seriously, that makes no sense because it belongs to Anna, one of our two protagonists, and happen at a very pivotal and emotional moment for her. I was really annoyed by that actually- that song never deserved to be cut, but so thankful it is on the Original Broadway Soundtrack.

Favorite Song: either “Let it Go” or “For the First Time in Forever”

Lion King

Obviously, I was raised with the Disney classics so it is of no surprise I included Lion King. I did see the animated movie, and the stage show in elementary school. The problem was I didn’t exactly remember seeing the stage show. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” was the song that I remembered the most from Lion King. Some people were surprised I don’t remember seeing the stage show, but you have to remember I was only in elementary school.

When I found out that the musical was touring to Charlotte in 2018, I wanted to see Lion King. I wanted to actually have a memory of seeing the stage show. It was a girls night out- what I mean by that is seeing it with both my mom and sister. We were in the orchestra at the aisle- best seats ever. While I was actually watching the stage show, I could understand why people were surprised I don’t remember seeing it. There were people who thought that Lion King would push past Wicked when I saw it, but did not happen- to tie with Wicked or soar past is really difficult.

Lion King is a high energetic and romantic musical. Songs like “Endless Night”, “Can you Feel the Love Tonight”, ” Shadowland”, “Circle of Life”, “They Live in You”, “I Can’t Wait to Be King”, and “Hakuna Matata” really make Lion King such an incredible musical.

Like with pretty much any Disney musical, it is a spectacle and dance show. I mean, those costumes alone are just incredible. The fact that I was at the aisle of the orchestra really made “Circle of Life” really special. Those characters are incredible- from Simba to Mufasa to Nala to Zazu” to “Rafiki”- those are all such incredible character. Do you know what “Endless Night” and “Shadowland” do- they further develop both Simba and Nala.

Favorite Song: “Can you Feel the Love Tonight”

Beauty and the Beast

Just like Frozen, a musical where I never once saw the stage show. Beauty and the Beast hasn’t toured for years or had a revival on Broadway. However, I somehow came across the entire Broadway Soundtrack- obviously, I already heard “Beauty and the Beast”, “Be Our Guest”, “Gaston”, “Belle”, and “Something There”. This musical is one of the most romantic soundtracks. I think I most have heard some of the other songs through Pandora- as in “If I Can’t Love Her” along with others. I knew right when I heard the new songs, that I wanted to see the stage show.

All I have seen of Beauty and the Beast belongs to both films. “Evermore” is a perfect replacement” for “If I Can’t Love Her”. Having “If I Can’t Love Her” in the musical is perfect- after all the song is a heartbreaking love song, and does develop Beast a bit further. I love all the enchanted objects and Beast and Belle of course. Of all classic princesses, Belle is the one I relate to the most: I am both unique and also a bookworm. Belle is such a brave, strong, and independent young woman. Beast goes through a drastic transformation- he really does become a better person as the story continues.

As for the plot, it is so magical. It really does show that beauty comes from within. Gaston may be so handsome, but he is truly a beast on the inside, and while Beast may look a Beast, he really is beautiful on the side. So, I love how they showed that through those two characters.

Favorite Song: “Beauty and the Beast”

Aladdin

The most recent Disney musical I saw in person was Aladdin. Crazily enough, I saw the live action film the same year. I literally saw Aladdin on 9/11- something exciting to look forward to on the same day tragedy happened.

Well, just a fun musical to look at. Well, this seems to be case for ALL Disney musicals- spectacle, dance, and high energy songs. From “Whole New World” to “Proud of Your Boy” to “Friend like Me” to “These Palace Walls”, etc make Aladdin such an incredible musical. I do love Aladdin, Jasmine, and The Genie. Do you know what I really loved about the addition of “Speechless” in the film- it made Jasmine a stronger character.

Favorite Song: “Whole New World”

Mary Poppins

Well, the other day I watched the film of Mary Poppins. It has the famous “Supercalifragilstic (you know what I am talking about), “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”- among others. All I have seen of this musical was through the film. I only know of the songs from the movie. Never once saw the stage show- it hasn’t toured for a long time.

What is in Common?

Disney musicals do share a couple things in common. High energetic songs, spectacle and dance, and comedy. I found something in common between the romance- the main song always seems to have this type of innocent and “magic” quality in them. I saw this pattern happen with “Something to Believe In”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, and “Whole New World”. This also tends to be in common- a combo of positive and negative emotions in the score- usually the strongest musicals share both sides.

8 thoughts on “Disney Musicals

  1. Disney musicals are always a lot of fun. They will always have a special place in my heart. I think Beauty and the Beast will probably always be my favorite, maybe partially because it was my favorite movie when I was small. These days, Aladdin’s Original Broadway Cast Recording is a big favorite, too!

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    • Disney musicals, yes, are always fun.

      The only Disney musicals I saw in person are Newsies, Aladdin, and Lion King. This year would have added another if the pandemic never happened

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  2. I grew up loving the movie of Newsies, and I would love to see it in person on Broadway someday! My favorite song is definitely Santa Fe. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Broadway adaptation of Disney (even if The Lion King is amazing too). I was really disappointed when the new movie adaptation came out and didn’t have “If I Can’t Love Her.” I love that song so much! The Little Mermaid is another one with exceptional added songs on Broadway, like “She’s in Love” (hilariously great!) and the “If Only” quartet. Gosh, musicals are great…

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  3. I hope you get to see Mary Poppins on stage, I loved it, loved the film, even loved the sequel, favourite song is definitely the chimney sweep song, and I even forgive Dick Van Dyke’s dodgy London accent! The disappointment with the stage show is that they set it in Victorian rather than Edwardian times (why?!) which means the whole Votes for Women is left out, a major omission in my view!

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    • I did love the sequel as well- for the most part, sequels struggle, but that wasn’t the case for Mary Poppins.

      Just to see the musical- I have to wait till it tours the US. However, the Disney musical I am most focused on is Frozen- it got postponed this year, and that was the biggest disappoint

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