Earlier this year, Walt Disney Pictures scored a runaway hit with its unlikely reinvention of one of the studio’s most frightening villains as an unlikely heroine. Maleficent enchanted audiences to the tune of a $234 million-plus gross with its retelling of the fairy tale Disney first dramatized in 1959’s Sleeping Beauty. A highlight of the 2014 film’s soundtrack was Lana Del Rey’s haunting rendition of “Once Upon a Dream,” penned for Sleeping Beauty by tunesmiths Sammy Fain and Jack Lawrence (with a little help from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky). Come October 7, Mary Costa’s original version of the song will be heard on the latest volume of Walt Disney Records’ deluxe Legacy Collection series. The Legacy Collection: Sleeping Beauty follows releases for The Lion King and Mary Poppins, and will feature on two CDs the original soundtrack to Walt Disney’s classic animated film plus a Lost Chords presentation (vintage demos and new, fully-produced recordings of the songs) and other rare bonuses.
When Walt Disney envisioned Sleeping Beauty as an animated film, he knew that he wanted to incorporate the music of Tchaikovsky into its score. The Russian composer (Swan Lake, The Nutcracker) had completed his Sleeping Beauty ballet in 1889, setting to music the same story by Charles Perrault, La Belle au bois dormant (1697), from which Disney drew inspiration. (Disney also drew upon The Brothers Grimm’s version of the tale.) It fell upon George Bruns, a mainstay of the studio’s music department since 1953, to adapt the classical compositions for use in the film. Bruns, a four-time Academy Award nominee and co-writer of such Disney fare as “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” and “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me),” proved himself more than up to the task. He composed the orchestral score, and contributed to the songs, as well. Other songwriters including Fain and Lawrence, Winston Hibler and Ted Sears, Tom Adair and Erdman Penner all made contributions to the song score.
Much as Sleeping Beauty broke new ground visually – it was the first animated picture to be shot in the Super Technirama 70mm widescreen process, as well as the second full-length animated picture to be released in anamorphic widescreen – it innovated musically, as well. Disneyland Records’ Tutti Camarata was so impressed with the orchestral score, recorded in Germany, that he wanted to present it on the soundtrack album along with the songs. (Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is recognized as birthing the first commercially released soundtrack album, but as became common for most musical films, the album only contained the songs.) Camarata’s practice became the standard at Disneyland (today Walt Disney Records) and elsewhere.
What will you find on The Legacy Collection volume? Hit the jump to find out!
The first disc of the upcoming Sleeping Beauty replicates the complete, 19-track score restoration created by producer Randy Thornton in 1996 (presumably in remastered form). The second disc premieres a new Lost Chords collection on CD; this, of course, is the series in which Disney excavates rare demo recordings of outtakes and presents them alongside new productions of the never-before-heard songs. Three such outtakes – “It Happens I Have a Picture,” “Riddle, Diddle, One, Two, Three,” and “Evil, Evil” – premiere here, along with new versions of each. The demos are performed by familiar voices including Hans Conried (Disney’s original Captain Hook in Peter Pan) and the film’s voice actors Verna Felton (Flora and The Queen), Barbara Jo Allen (Fauna) and Bill Thompson (The King). The new renditions are sung by Dennis Kyle, Randy Crenshaw, Cindy Robinson and Kevin Michael Richardson. This set is rounded out by four bonus tracks including two unique album versions from the original 1959 soundtrack presentation produced by Camarata and two rare Sleeping Beauty-themed cuts from Disney’s 1961 soundtrack album to The Parent Trap (which included “Themes from Other Great Motion Pictures” on its second side).
The Legacy Collection: Sleeping Beauty is due from Walt Disney Records on October 7. You can peruse the track listing and pre-order below!
- Main Title / Once Upon a Dream / Prologue
- Hail to Princess Aurora – Performed by Disney Studio Chorus
- The Gifts of Beauty and Song / Maleficent Appears / True Love Conquers All – Performed by Disney Studio Chorus
- The Burning of the Spinning Wheels / The Fairies Plan
- Maleficent¹s Frustration
- A Cottage in the Woods
- Do You Hear That? / I Wonder – Performed by Mary Costa
- An Unusual Prince / Once Upon a Dream – Performed by Mary Costa and Bill Shirley
- Magical House Cleaning / Blue or Pink
- A Secret Revealed
- Skumps (Drinking Song) / The Royal Argument – Performed by Bill Thompson and Taylor Holmes
- Prince Phillip Arrives / How to Tell Stefan
- Aurora¹s Return / Maleficent¹s Evil Spell
- Poor Aurora / Sleeping Beauty – Performed by Disney Studio Chorus
- Forbidden Mountain
- A Fairy Tale Come True
- Battle with the Forces of Evil
CD 2: The Lost Chords of Sleeping Beauty and Bonus Tracks
- It Happens I Have a Picture (Demo) – Performed by Hans Conried and Bill Thompson
- It Happens I Have a Picture – Performed by Dennis Kyle and Randy Crenshaw
- Riddle, Diddle, One, Two, Three (Demo) – Performed by Verna Felton, Barbara Jo Allen and Coleen Collins
- Riddle, Diddle, One, Two, Three – Performed by Cindy Robinson
- Evil – Evil (Demo) – Performed by Hans Conried and Bill Thompson
- Evil – Evil – Performed by Kevin Michael Richardson, Randy Crenshaw and Dennis Kyle
- Sleeping Beauty Overture (Bonus Track)
- Blue Bird / I Wonder (Album Version) – Performed by Mary Costa (Bonus Track)
- Woodland Symphony / Once Upon a Dream (Album Version) – Performed by Mary Costa and Bill Lee (Bonus Track)
- Love Theme from Sleeping Beauty (Bonus Track)
CD 1 sequence first released on Walt Disney Records CD 60881-7, 1997
CD 2, Tracks 1-6 previously unreleased
CD 2, Tracks 7 & 10 from The Parent Trap, Buena Vista BV-3309, 1961
CD 2, Tracks 8-9 from Sleeping Beauty, Disneyland 4018, 1959