"It's a Small World" Music Changes!


FROM THE LA TIMES...........

What?s the most played song in the world?

?It?s a Small World,? which plays on a continuous, 48-bar loop at one of five Disney theme parks around the world.

What?s the most annoying song in the world?

See above.

After a yearlong rehab, Disneyland will unveil the completely revamped It?s a Small World attraction on Feb. 5.

The beloved boat ride, which originally debuted at the 1964 World?s Fair before moving to the Anaheim theme park, will add approximately two dozen new Disney characters throughout the attraction, install a controversial new scene and update the now-classic song.

Walt Disney Imagineering music director John Dennis was charged with blending in new musical arrangements and counterpoint melodies to the maddeningly catchy multilingual song ? ?plussing? in Disney-speak.

?It was really about introducing some new elements to make it exciting and to give it a new twist, but not to take it over and change it,? Dennis said. ?We found places and gaps to sort of fill in and create little new vignettes without taking anything away.?

The changes include three new musical arrangements based on the ?Small World? melody, including folk instruments, wood flute and percussion in the African scene, traditional Chinese instruments in the Asian scene and solo vocals, guitars and bass in the new pre-finale scene.

Similar existing ?musical arrangements? include the gurgling mermaids, yodeling yodelers and the oh-lah-lahing can-can girls.

The biggest musical change involves the addition of five new instrumental counterpoint melodies derived from classic Disney films, including one in the Asian scene, one in the South American scene and three in the European scene.

Among the newly introduced Disney counterpoint melodies in the European scene is ?All in a Golden Afternoon? from ?Alice in Wonderland.?

The sauntering lilt of ?Golden Afternoon? was weaved into the holes and rests of ?Small World? with only a few minor key and tempo adjustments, Dennis said.

?You might not catch it the first time,? Dennis said. ?Even if you don?t catch any of these, the experience isn?t diminished at all.?
 

Gurgitoy2

Active Member
Very interesting...so they are adding Disney melodies as well as characters! It's quite a bit like Hong Kong Disneyland's after all.
 

BLM07

Member
If they change the yodeler track, heads are gonna roll :(
 

Horizons

Playlist Author
All Ears had an interesting review of the revised IASM attraction (check it out).

However, this is just downright wrong! Apparently, they'll put Stitch anywhere. :D

iasw_stitch1.jpg


Photo taken by Laura Gilbreath
 
I don't go to Disneyland, so unless they change the WDW version to match at some point, I don't know that I will ever see this one. I agree with you Horizons, they will put Stitch anywhere. I think it is mainly that he appeals to kids so much. Both of my nieces love him to death. Their mother jokes with them about who is more like him and she calls them "626," Stitch's experiment number. He is OK to me, but even my husband likes him more than some of the traditional characters. I think it is his naughty behavior that appeals to the kids and the wise guys like my husband. I am glad to see that they at least kept the characters in line with the design of the other dolls in the Small World ride. Now, I am going to have to hear the music myself before I can make any comment on that. My youngest niece loves this song to death, so I have had to sing it to her many, many times. I am the only one in the family that knows all the words. I don't think I can learn to add the other songs in, so I don't think I will be able to change from the old song for a long time.
 

Horizons

Playlist Author
even my husband likes him more than some of the traditional characters.
I really liked the movie and the TV series. But I grew tired of the character when he started showing up EVERYWHERE!

My youngest niece loves this song to death, so I have had to sing it to her many, many times.
I will admit, It's a Small World is one of the attractions that I will collect any audio that I can get my hands on, from any park (I normally just collect music from WDW). :D

Care to upload your rendition of the theme song? :)
 

Magic Music

Administrator
Playlist Author
I think it is his [Stitch's] naughty behavior that appeals to the kids and the wise guys like my husband.
I love Lilo, myself. One of my very favorite Disney characters of all time?and an original creation at that. I can take or leave Stitch. As for the changes to it's a small world, I really don't have a problem with them. I could see Walt making constant little changes to the attraction, not waiting decades to 'plus' it.

"My friends need to be punished."
"Leave me alone to diiiiie."
 

Horizons

Playlist Author
I really don't have a problem
Are you sure? :D

You know, I'm afraid to admit this. There are a few restrooms in the MK where Stitch makes an audio appearance (in Adventureland and Tomorrowland if I'm not mistaken). I have actually tried to find the source material for these. :)
 
I really liked the movie and the TV series. But I grew tired of the character when he started showing up EVERYWHERE!

I will admit, It's a Small World is one of the attractions that I will collect any audio that I can get my hands on, from any park (I normally just collect music from WDW). :D

Care to upload your rendition of the theme song? :)
I can sing it for you and record it to my computer, but I will have to tell you that it will probably drive you more crazy than the actual music. My niece just loves it when I sing it. She is 2 years and 4 months and every time I sing it and I stop, she says" Ginn," which is her word for "again." I think you would get just as sick of hearing me sing it as you would of hearing the song over and over. Don't worry though, I can carry a tune. I did take 2 1/2 years of voice lessons in college and backed out of a music major about half the way through. Too much music theory for me! I do love to sing, even if my niece is the only one who wants to listen.
 

stevek

Member
Rode the updated ride today and really enjoyed the changes. From a musical standpoint, the "character based" underliners are very non-intrusive to the main SW melody. You really don't hear them until you get right next to the actual character and it's tastefully intertwined. I think the negativity and outright ridiculous bashing from some fan sites is completely unfounded.

Would love to see if Disney will release a new soundtrack of the ride...Randy?
 
You know, I'm afraid to admit this. There are a few restrooms in the MK where Stitch makes an audio appearance (in Adventureland and Tomorrowland if I'm not mistaken). I have actually tried to find the source material for these. :D

---Imagining Horizons in the next stall saying "Quiet! I'm recording in here" :) ---
 

Horizons

Playlist Author
---Imagining Horizons in the next stall saying "Quiet! I'm recording in here" :D ---
I have not been desperate enough to resort to a bathroom recording, at least not yet. The closest I came was the Garden Grill loop. However, I know a few people who have tried this method. They are more daring than I am. :)
 

eyore

DLRP explorer
Premium Member
Playlist Author
I have been tempted. There are a couple of "restrooms" in DLRP that have nice music (Adventureland in the Islamic building) and near to Toad Hall restaurant but, being French, there is a large "gap" around the cubicle doors (it's intentional and about a 1" gap between the door and side jams when closed - there's rubber things so they won't close any closer) so you can see in rather well.
I'm not sitting in there with wires and electrical stuff.
Goodness knows what they would think I was up to :D
 

Horizons

Playlist Author
Just tell anyone who asks that you have orders from your doctor to make audio recordings of your bowel movements. :)
Let's hope the doctor didn't prescribe the induction method to capture these recordings. :D
 

eyore

DLRP explorer
Premium Member
Playlist Author
Or binaural - I have a bad back as it is :D
Getting back on topic, the Youtube video didn't seem too bad. I liked the Alice and white rabbit.
This may be something that was always bound to happen although maybe Walt never wanted to mix the characters but just wanted to show the kids from around the world as one.
Still, it could have been a lot worse.
 

almandot

Member
I almost posted earlier when the article came out but didn't cuz I was tired from my Florida trip :D I was confused because it didn't seem like a big deal adding soundtrack elements if the characters were going in because that's what small world has all over the place(bagpipes, can can girls, etc) but the article was making it sound like these 5 disney songs were going to become a part of the main loop in its most basic form. So I just waited to go on it and see which they meant and it was the former.

**Rant from an arm-chair imagineer. Feel free to skip****
I'm not really happy about the dolls going into the ride. Do I really care about rides receiving updates? Not really.. But they told us it would be blended into the ride, and while it was blended it wasn't exactly subtle. The characters are placed in heavy focal points so that as your boat turns in their direction your eyes don't really have a choice but to go directly towards them, except in the case of peter pan and aladdin, peter gets the focal point of the moon up above so if you look up at that which people usually do you get distracted to see him instead and same with aladdin and the magic carpets though that one is directly on top of your head. It's not a "hide and seek" or "find the character" game in the least bit, it's a HERE'S A CHARACTER game just like people expected and disney denied. =P And the America scene really does feel like they just added it so they could add woody and jessie and use the cowboy and indian from the finale as an excuse for why it's blended. It's a bit more akward to go from a farm and ranch into the finale than it was from a dark rainforest. I almost want America to start off the ride then go into a trip through the world and then into the grand finale, it'd piss off the internet even more but something like putting America in the first room with more to the scene than they did and then you could put the ice scenes in a more condensed format(it's pretty sparse to begin with) in the room before the finale and the darker background with ice colored scenes would blend into the white finale room. And then I'm also left wondering why they just didn't go more into it with more characters because they certainly had more to go by that fit into the sections(I would've expected a Tarzan swinging around in the background :p).

**End rant****

**Blabbing from an arm-chair disney music fan. I should really get a recliner :)****
But let's talk music...the way they talked constantly about the music director slaving over song lists and working hard to seamlessly blend the music, I was expecting a lot more from the hype =P One thing before all that though, they do match the song and don't overpower it really but because of the speakers and instruments used in most of them they really do have a piercing element that spears them into what you're listening to, similar to how they visually take up the focal point.

The three caballeros one felt the most mixed into the atmosphere of the room and the one I liked best.. The aladdin one felt incredibly simple and easy "a whole new woooorld......*wait for a break in notes* a whole new woooooorld...*wait for a break in notes* a whole new wooooooooorld... etc". Cinderella's was pretty simple too and something that I even started humming in my head when I first read about characters and music being added to the ride.. Bibbety bobbity boo sung to the beat of small world is pretty straight forward. Alice's "Golden Afternoon" felt a little more complicated to do even though it's still straightfoward in the end. I think I was expecting "In a World of My Own," thought that would've been more difficult even though it works out in my head and seems like it would've blended into the background more(which I think is a good thing :p). Also interesting that they went with "When you Wish Upon A Star" for Pinocchio. It almost sounds like "Got No Strings" for a second and that's what you'd expect to hear but then it became clearer to me. I might've gone for a slow rendition of "Little Wooden Head." It fits really well to me in the music and in the scene and fits the pinocchio doll especially since he's a lifeless puppet there. Ariel's is the most "intrusive." She's the little girl that's going to grow up to be a singer and so you get treated to a 6 year old girl being daddy's little princess and belting out the song. She's pretty loud and you don't really have a choice but to think "okay that's ariel and she's sure singing the song...."

I didn't notice anything in Africa where Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa were. The band's always been there playing like that haven't they? The article just mentioned that as one of the musical additions is all so I was trying to listen for something.

Once again, just another review by an internet loafer sitting in his pajamas at his computer spewing his thoughts ;)


P.S. I have a question about the key the song's played in.. Did it change over the years? Did the key they sang the song inside the ride used to match the key the queue music plays in? Things like the bagpipes and other elements feel like they match the key from outside (which I believe was the loop from the world's fair?) and I'm wondering if the ride changed key during some change in the music at some point in existance?
 

wedroy1923

Moderator
Premium Member
Playlist Author
Slightly off topic: but, did they cheap out on the new characters? From the photos I've seen, the new characters - Alice, Lilo, Cinderella and such appear to not "sing" . . . well, they look like static figures rather than being of the eyes blinking and mouth moving variety.

Just curious. That seems more offensive to me than melding in new tunes with the old.
 

Club 33

Playlist Author
I have not been desperate enough to resort to a bathroom recording, at least not yet. The closest I came was the Garden Grill loop. However, I know a few people who have tried this method. They are more daring than I am. :D

Can't IMAGINE who would go to such lengths...
 

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