Extraordinary Magic in Everyday Life
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and radio stations are beginning to change their tunes to holiday favorites. If you’re looking for some different variations of classic Christmas music, Disney has produced a number of fun albums over the years. The best are those that highlight a specific franchise or character world, and go to town with the theme. Choosing which characters will sing which songs, altering the occasional lyric to fit each personality, and compiling each soundtrack to be a blend of Christmassy goodness with Disney lore, here are some worth seeking out.
Disney’s Family Christmas Collection: This was the soundtrack to my childhood Christmas memories. The album features Walt Disney Records veteran Larry Groce, whose voice is heard on many children’s albums Disney produced several decades ago, along with Mickey Mouse and friends for a rousing holiday time. Unlike the other items on this list, this title focuses on simply having a good time rather than comedy, and succeeds in this goal well. A real gem of Disney’s Family Christmas Collection is its voice cast. It includes a fascinating lineup of two major eras in Disney history: Clarence Nash in what has to be one of his final performances as Donald Duck and Wayne Allwine in one of his earliest performances as Mickey Mouse.
Phineas and Ferb Holiday Favorites: Released at the peak of Phineas and Ferb‘s popularity, this album is a bit of a combo. It splits its contents between songs from the Christmas Vacation episode of this hit Disney Channel animated program and new versions of traditional holiday songs. The latter are the most worth purchasing, as they are downright hilarious. They hit the nail right on the head, especially if you’re a fan of this series and its fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek style of humor. The highlight? Dr. Doofenschmirtz deciding what he wants to ask for in the cast rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together: Not strictly a Disney album if you want to get technical, but we might as well count it part of the family following Disney’s 2004 acquisition of the Muppets. This 1979 title followed a television special of the same name and songs. It’s a nice mixture of the tones of both other albums we’ve mentioned: some songs have that nostalgic feel that Mickey gives off, while others prompt guffaws like the Danville crew. If there’s any ensemble cast that knows how to put on a show, it’s the Muppets. The personalities Jim Henson and the Muppet performers developed these characters to have are so strong that audio without visuals is not a barrier to the enjoyment of their antics, but rather a wonderful new medium from which to do so. I’m particularly fond of Miss Piggy getting outraged when she mistakes Gonzo singing about figgy pudding for, well… piggy pudding.
Do you have a favorite Disney Christmas music collection? Make sure to come back next week when we discuss some of the parks’ best holiday albums.
(Image © Disney.)
Blake studies Electronic Media and Film at Appalachian State University. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade in Frontierland and then sprint to Main Street in time to see it again. You can find him on Twitter @olddirtyblake or at BlakeOnline.com.