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Watch the Song Recording Sessions from 10 Classic Disney Movies

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With the release of the live-action Beauty and the Beast remake later in 2017, it will be exciting to hear Emma Watson sing classic Disney songs, such as “Belle” (Little Town) and “Something There.” In the meantime, take a look at the song recording sessions from 10 classic Disney movies.

1. “BE OUR GUEST” // BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991)

When Broadway star Paige O'Hara was cast as Belle in Beauty and the Beast, she had a little trouble adjusting and projecting her voice from performing to sold out large theaters to singing and acting in a small recording booth. In fact, lyricist Howard Ashman jokingly gave her the nickname “Ethel Merman” because of the full range of her voice.

2. “A WHOLE NEW WORLD” // ALADDIN (1992)

Although the pair didn’t perform Aladdin and Jasmine’s speaking voices, Brad Kane and Lea Salonga were the animated couple’s singing voices, respectively, in Aladdin. Co-director John Musker emphasized to the pair to really put real emotion and the thrill of flying behind their performance to capture the correct mood of the scene.

3. “PART OF YOUR WORLD” // THE LITTLE MERMAID (1989)

Voice actor Jodi Benson performed both the singing and speaking voices for Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Watch as lyricist Howard Ashman coaches Benson during a recording session for “Part of Your World” in 1989. She would later reprise her role in The Little Mermaid's straight-to-video sequels, as well as taking on Barbie in the Toy Story film series.

4. “LET IT GO” // FROZEN (2013)

Oh, we all know this song! In 2013, Disney unleashed the box office juggernaut Frozen on the world. The animated film gained global success partly due to the hit single “Let It Go,” which was performed by Broadway star Idina Menzel, as well as 24 other wonderful singers from around the world.

5. “I SEE THE LIGHT” // TANGLED (2010)

In 2010, Disney released Tangled, a CGI-animated film about Rapunzel. Singer Mandy Moore voiced the Disney Princess, while Zachary Levi played the dashing rogue “Flynn Rider.” “I See The Light” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song, but lost out to "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3.

6. "A GUY LIKE YOU" // THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1996)

Seinfeld's Jason Alexander performed the speaking and singing voice of Hugo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Charles Kimbrough and Mary Wickes join Alexander as Victor and Laverne, respectively, as a trio of gargoyles that befriends Quasimodo. Watch as they perform "A Guy Like You."

7. “STRANGERS LIKE ME” // TARZAN (1999)

In 1999, Disney hired Phil Collins to write and perform the soundtrack for Tarzan. He later won an Academy Award for Best Song for "You'll Be in My Heart." Watch Collins’s recording session for “Strangers Like Me” in multiple languages above.

8. “REFLECTION” // MULAN (1998)

Lea Salonga returned to Disney as the singing voice for the titular character in Mulan. A 65-piece orchestra accompanied her while she belted out the animated film’s hit ballad, “Reflection.”

Fun Fact: While B.D. Wong and Donny Osmond provided the speaking and singing voices for Captain Li Shang, respectively, Jackie Chan performed the voice for the three different versions of Mulan in China.

9. “FROM ZERO TO HERO” // HERCULES (1997)

Before Hercules was animated, singers Lillias White, Cheryl Freeman, LaChanze, Roz Ryan, and Vanéese Y. Thomas were brought in to record the song “From Zero To Hero,” while co-directors John Musker and Ron Clements blended live-action sequences and storyboards to help animators visualize the musical number.

10. INTO THE WOODS (2014)

In 2014, Stephen Sondheim’s hit Broadway musical Into The Woods was adapted to the big screen with a number of Hollywood A-listers, including Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, and Johnny Depp as The Big Bad Wolf.

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Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland Resort via Getty Images
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Big Questions
How Did the Super Bowl's 'I'm Going to Disney World' Slogan Originate?
Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland Resort via Getty Images
Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland Resort via Getty Images

It’s a Super Bowl tradition as recognizable as catchy commercials, lengthy halftime shows, and mounds of leftover guacamole, but how did the famous "I'm going to Disney World" and "I'm going to Disneyland" slogans make their way to (almost) every big game since 1987?

The idea for the slogan itself can be credited to Jane Eisner, the wife of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. In 2015, he recounted the story behind the tagline to Sports Illustrated:

"In January 1987, we were launching Disneyland’s Star Tours, an attraction based on Star Wars. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, my wife, Jane, and I had dinner with George Lucas, as well as Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, who had just become the first people to fly around the world without stopping. It was late and the conversation hit a lull as we waited for our food. So I asked Dick and Jeana, 'Well, now that you’ve accomplished the pinnacle of your aspirations, what could you possibly do next?' Rutan responded, without hesitation, 'I’m going to Disneyland.' And of course I go, 'Wow, that’s cool! You made the right choice.' But my wife interjects: 'You know, that’s a good slogan.'"

Around this time, the NFL playoffs were well underway, with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos set to face each other at Super Bowl XXI. What better time to unveil this new marketing slogan than at the biggest TV event of the year? Once Eisner decided on a time and place to debut the phrase, the teams’ two quarterbacks, Phil Simms and John Elway, both received identical offers: $75,000 for the winner to say "I’m going to Disney World" and "I’m going to Disneyland" to a Disney camera as they ran off the field after the game. This would then be used in a commercial with Disney World or Disneyland being shown depending on where it aired. (This is then oftentimes followed by an actual trip to a Disney park within the next few days, where the spokesperson takes part in a parade in his team's honor). 

Simms was hesitant at first, but once he heard Elway agreed to it, he was on board. The NFL also signed off on Disney’s plan, so now it was up to the company to find a way to get their cameras on the field before all-out madness could erupt. Tom Elrod, Disney’s president of marketing and entertainment in 1987, told Sports Illustrated:

"We wanted it to be authentic, but that meant being the first camera on the field, in the most frenetic environment you could possibly imagine. We’d be competing with broadcast crews and journalists and hangers-on and teammates, just to have some guy look into a camera and say, 'I’m going to Disney World.' It’s wild if you think about it. That first year, I don’t think anyone thought that was achievable."

It’s a good thing the reluctant Simms changed his tune about Disney’s offer, because his Giants beat Elway’s Broncos 39-20. Not only was Simms awarded his first Super Bowl win and the game’s MVP award, he also got a cool $75,000 for uttering two simple sentences (though he had to say both sentences three times each, just to be sure). 

The tradition has carried on ever since, except in 2005 for Super Bowl XXXIX and in 2016 for Super Bowl 50, when no commercials aired (though Super Bowl 50's winning quarterback, Peyton Manning, went to Disneyland anyway).

The slogan now extends beyond football, having been uttered by everyone from NBA players to Olympians and American Idol contestants. And even if they don't wind up in a commercial, chances are a championship team will still be greeted by a Disney park parade, like the one thrown for the Chicago Cubs in 2016. 

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Watch a Screenplay Go from Script to Screen in This Clip From Inside Out
Disney/Pixar
Disney/Pixar

If a movie were a person, its script would be the skeleton. The essentials—narrative, protagonists, dialogue, etc.—are all there, but they need to be fleshed out to fully come to life. Enter characters (either played by actors or animated), music, and special effects, and suddenly simple words on a page have transformed into a motion picture.

In the new Pixar-produced video below, which was first spotted by Gizmodo, you can compare the screenplay of 2015's Inside Out with the theatrical version released in theaters. The text scrolls down the screen's bottom half as a corresponding scene from the film progresses, allowing viewers to juxtapose what they're watching with what they're reading. This way, aspiring screenwriters and Pixar fans alike can see firsthand how a movie moves from a bare-bones script to a fully realized film.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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