57 years ago today, on July 17, 1955, The Happiest Place on Earth became a reality when Disneyland opened its doors in Anaheim, California! What better day to take a virtual trip to the Walt Disney Archives?
Touted as “the largest Disney archives exhibit in the world,” Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives officially opened on July 5 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. At over 12,000 square feet, the exhibition boasts 500+ artifacts from every area of the Walt Disney Company, from animation to theme parks to motion pictures and, of course, music. Currently scheduled to run at the Reagan Library until April 30, 2013, the opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives was attended by Robert Iger, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO, and Nancy Reagan, former First Lady. The exhibition also celebrates the friendship between Walt Disney and Ronald Reagan; the then-actor and future President even served as one of the celebrity hosts of Disneyland’s opening day on July 17, 1955. At the Library, you can expect to see original correspondence from Walt Disney, Mary Poppins’ dress, retired theme park vehicles, props, models and even Walt’s office. Now, Disney’s D23 fan club, the sponsor of the Treasures, has teamed with Amazon.com to offer a digital album soundtrack to the archival showcase. A Musical Tour: Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Reagan Library is available exclusively at the online retailer and offers 23 tracks from the Walt Disney Company’s considerable audio vault.
A Musical Tour offers highlights from each era of the company’s successes in non-chronological sequence. It, appropriately enough, opens with “Turkey in the Straw” from 1928’s animated short subject, Steamboat Willie, which introduced the world to Disney’s cultural ambassador, Mickey Mouse. It then takes in musical moments from a number of the studio’s pioneering motion pictures including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (the complete soundtrack to which was recently reissued by Walt Disney Records and Intrada) as well as modern classics like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Toy Story. The Walt Disney Pictures story is even brought up to date with the inclusion of tracks from 2010’s Tron: Legacy and 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger.
Hit the jump for much more, including the full track listing and order link!
The music of Disney’s theme parks is also well-represented, and there’s even a special treat in the form of Walt Disney’s famous, original spoken dedication of Disneyland from that day in 1955. You’ll also hear “Grim Grinning Ghosts” from The Haunted Mansion, “Yo-Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)” from Pirates of the Caribbean, and John Williams’ stirring soundtrack to the Star Tours attraction. (Another Disney composing talent, Michael Giacchino, recently re-arranged Williams’ themes for the 2011 update of the ride.) The album closes with a tribute to another United States President, none other than Abraham Lincoln, via the main show portion of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Some of the compilation’s choices are a bit offbeat, such as Dr. John’s recording of “Cruella de Vil” from 1996’s live-action 101 Dalmatians remake starring Glenn Close, and a score excerpt from Trevor Rabin’s National Treasure from the 2004 film.
The digital album retails for $9.99 from Amazon.com and can be ordered at the link below. All tracks are also available individually with the exception of Williams’ Star Tours suite and the music from Mr. Lincoln. (A physical edition would seem a no-brainer to sell at the exhibition’s gift shop; we’ve received no word yet on one, however.) You can find more details about Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library here!
A Musical Tour: Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Reagan Library (Walt Disney Records, 2012, digital-only)
- Turkey in the Straw (from Steamboat Willie, 1928)
- Overture (from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937)
- Main Title/Cinderella (from Cinderella, 1950)
- Main Title/Once Upon a Dream/Prologue (from Sleeping Beauty, 1959)
- Walt Disney’s Dedication of Disneyland (July 17, 1955)
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1954)
- A Spoonful of Sugar – Julie Andrews (from Mary Poppins, 1964)
- Cruella de Vil – Dr. John (from 101 Dalmatians, 1996)
- Alice’s Theme – Danny Elfman (from Alice in Wonderland, 2010)
- Theme from Tron – Wendy Carlos (from Tron, 1982)
- Derezzed – Daft Punk (from Tron: Legacy, 2010)
- Captain America March – Alan Silvestri (from Captain America: The First Avenger, 2011)
- Star Tours – John Williams (from Star Tours attraction)
- Fantasmic! Exit Music (from Fantasmic! theme park production)
- Grim Grinning Ghosts (from The Haunted Mansion attraction)
- Yo-Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me) (from Pirates of the Caribbean attraction)
- He’s a Pirate – Klaus Badelt (from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, 2003)
- Be Our Guest – Jerry Orbach and Company (from Beauty and the Beast, 1991)
- Circle of Life – Carmen Twillie and Company (from The Lion King, 1993)
- Under the Sea – Samuel E. Wright and Company (from The Little Mermaid, 1989)
- You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Randy Newman (from Toy Story, 1995)
- National Treasure Suite – Trevor Rabin (from National Treasure, 2004)
- Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (from Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction)