Does anyone know if the music from Tarzan's Treehouse was ever released? Like on Disneyland Forever or something like that? I have the original movie soundtrack, but I love the way that Disneyland did the instrumental stuff in the Treehouse... it's really catchy!
Nope, none of it's ever been released. Here's some good background info on the music done for the attraction, taken from a Theme Park Adventure story a few years back:
[Rick] West: The music in the film was very powerful and played a very important role. The music in Tarzan's Treehouse plays a very significant role in the entire atmosphere and experience of the attraction. Who was responsible for the music in the Treehouse?
[Tony] Baxter: Of course, Phil Collins wrote the music, and then Bruce Gordon [one of the best-known Show Writers at Walt Disney Imagineering] kind of led the effort to convert it to a cyclic nature. I think the best cyclic piece of music ever written for Disneyland was for the Swiss Family Tree polka, because it never felt like it was reaching the end. It was always like, as I call it, ascending to the next verse, so you didn't feel like it was coming down, or that you'd reached the end. It was always capping itself. I don't know how they did that! Obviously, it's got to get back down to the start some time, but it was beautifully done.
We didn't want to have vocals, because again, that would become "artificial." So again, it was sort of similar to the idea of how far we went sculpturally or animation or whatever with the figures. The music was a similar thing. If you went all the way to the vocals, we felt it would become like you weren't in the tree; you were again removed, watching the movie. We just wanted the expression of the movie, so Bruce's goal was to create kind of a terror, or an anticipation sound for Sabor. Then, a sweet, very motherly fond remembrance moment that we happen to find, which is an actual lift from the treehouse sequence mid-way through the movie where Tarzan discovers that he's human; that's the actual score playing there, and Bruce was able to edit that so that the repeat comes quite naturally and you don't realize that it's ending and actually lifted from the film's score. Sabor and that scene are lifted from the film's score. The background music that plays throughout the Tree and the love scene between Jane and Tarzan is newly recorded by Andy Belling. Those were recorded new because the only versions of those themes were with either too much power or with vocals. So they had to be redone to repeat. And then of course, there are two that we have down at the base; "Trashing the Camp," which we lifted, an interstitial piece that just helps gets the kids started banging on the pots and pans. The other one, which was sort of our homage to the past; we took the "Swisskapolka" and converted it over to a very scratchy, "used" 78 r.p.m. record version and it's performed on a gramophone. We're actually using a tiny little speaker that is using the horn in the same way that the music would be reproduced authentically. We thought that was appropriate, because if the Swiss Family happened somewhere in the mid-1850s, the sheet music from that could easily have been recorded around the turn of the century, when Tarzan was taking place and carried this way. I'd always remembered Robert Redford's character in Out of Africa going everywhere [laughter] with classical music! So it's very conceivable that Jane - and there was a gramophone in the movie at the camp, so all of this kind of worked out really nice, and we have our homage to what is truly a wonderful piece of Disney music! I think people do appreciate that. For people that don't remember it, it's just a piece of extra show. For those who do, it's like, oh I remember that! That's the song from the old Swiss Family Tree!
You mean they never changed the name back? Well THAT sucks. Over on the "right" coast, they never change that attraction in Animal Kingdom back from "Dinosaur" to "Journey Into Extinction" either. Disney did a noble job with the tie-in, I think....designing and opening the ride based on the movie that didn't come out for another year and a half...pity that the movie sucked. Bigger pity that they tweaked the thing so much (so it could be a a family ride) that nowadays it's maybe 1/10th as exciting as it was during the previews (back then, those cars got you ROCKING in your seats. it was FUN! Now...ho hum).
It's not *just* a name change to the Treehouse... it's really a different (and permanent) attraction. The tie-in was done to save the aging attraction that would have been closed had it not been rethemed. Kids of today aren't familiar with the Swiss Family Robinson story, so having the Treehouse themed to Tarzan gives the attraction more of an impact on present-day visitors.
I really like the music to this attraction. It serves as the area music for the part of Adventureland just before New Orleans Square. It really sets a nice atmosphere for that part of the land. I would really love to see the track appear on the next Disneyland Official Album as the treehouse is one of the newest attractions at the park. Even though I believe the current Official Album is as close to perfect as we've ever seen, I can't help but long for more park music to see legitimate release.