Thank you so much for your post; I have just ordered Mouse Tracks ! One of the biggest appeals for me about Disney films, much as you have said, that I love the voice work behind it. (Is that your Haunted Mansion video?! I loved it!)
That has indeed filtered down to the theme parks and who now voices who in what park, are they the original artist, when was it recorded, why was it changed, etc etc. All of these questions that I have never found an answer to! Only just different little bits and bobs you pick up over time. I love to know about 'sound-a-likes' as well, as who is playing what character now that the originals have passed away or grown too old.
As you said, I do wonder why they did no new track for Snow, when they did for all the other rides ? For example, in The Little Mermaid ride, Jodi said she 'tweaked' her original Part of your World recording, but it was mainly just the original track, as they like to use that wherever they can. But, you cannot apply that same logic to the Under The Sea section, as that was completely re-recorded ?!
Yep, I made that video a while back as part of my book project presentation. Glad you enjoyed it!
It's interesting that they did that too for the LM ride with Under the Sea. Again, I'm probably assuming it's due to the musical needs of the ride. Buddy Baker once said that composing theme park music compared to film soundtrack really separates a lot of the boys from the men in the business. A theme park ride composor not only has to record music that is fitting to the attraction itself, but also has to work rather mathematically to be able to get all the music to flow together. Take for instance the instrumental music that Buddy Baker and Bobby Hammack had to arrange and record for It's A Small World. They had to find a way to have each little country segment have its own unique music backing track, but arrange and compose them in a way so it's not a grand cacophony of noise when you flow past them, but instead having to have each musical track flow harmoniously into each other. Buddy had to work and do a similar technique when he composed the music for the Haunted Mansion.
I'm so happy to hear that you ordered the book. I'm sure that you'll love it Another great resource that helped me in my discovery of early Disney theme park voice work is this site: www.burnslands.com/voices
Voice actors just have been a constant admiration of mine since my high school days when I started to get into acting and drama. I'm just amazed by the talent of people like Paul Frees, June Foray, and Corey Burton who are so verstaile with their voices, that they can transcend any type of character immediately, from being terrifying villains to goofy sidekicks to handsome heroes and beautiful heroines, all with altering the sound of their voice. My ultimate voice acting idol is Paul Frees, because he was not just a guy who was good at doing "funny voices," but an extremely versatile actor who could not only do amazing voice work but also real acting.
Just out of curiosity Tim, how would you rank the DLR FL dark rides?
In terms of personal opinion, these are my favorites in how I would rank them:
1) Snow White's Scary Adventures
2) Alice In Wonderland
3) Pinocchio's Daring Journey
4) Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
5) Peter's Pan Flight
I know it's probably heretical to have Peter Pan in last place since so many revere the ride so highly.
Just in comparison, to the others it has to be at the bottom of my list by default. I still love the scenes of flying over London and Neverland, but compared to the others, I'd probably have to put it at my bottom.
Snow White is at the top naturally because for me any Snow White ride is my fave. XD But also because I think after Tokyo's, DL's is probably second best incarnation. It mainly has the advantage of having the awesome facade with the Queen peering out the tower window, and the queue area with the raven's shadow and hearing the Witch in the background create the sleeping death spell. Also, another benefit that DL's Snow White has like Tokyo's is constant upkeeep and plussing of new technology and effects. Recently, Tony Baxter and some of the other Imagineers added a new special effect to the Queen's chamber, in which the Queen now only transforms into the Witch at the mirror, but the entire throne room changes with the spell. You can see some of the new effect here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3JuWBib ... re=related
I had to rate all the remaining three above Peter Pan too, simply because there's nothing quite like them. I love Alice In Wonderland not just because it's a unique dark ride, but it's probably one of the most beautiful ones that Disney has made in terms of the setting and soundtrack. I only wish that more Disney parks other than DL would have an Alice dark ride, because it truly is a beautiful ride.
It's hard for me to place Pinocchio in the middle of the list since I feel it's a tie with Alice, but I put it as third simply because there's also identical versions of it you can find in Tokyo and Paris and not unique to the park like Alice and Toad. That being said though, when I went to DL, this was one of the rides that I absolutely loved. For some reason, Pinocchio and Snow White seem to be the two dark rides that many Disneyland fans don't like. Most of it I think though has to deal with the fact that these two rides are so damn dark and grim, yet that's what I love about them. They were called "dark" rides for a reason, after all. The one thing that really sticks out to me more than anything is the Pleasure Island sequence. Outside of Peter Pan, I feel it's probably the most immersive scene in any Fantasyland dark ride. Maybe it's because you're going through the scene for so long with so many vignettes to see, but I was so impressed when I got to ride through it in person. Everything from the creepy organ rendition of Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee, to seeing all the gaudy amusements surrounding you just felt like you really immersed into the scene. Top that off with scenes like going into the pool parlor and seeing Lampwick turn into a donkey, and the Blue Fairy disappear before your eyes, and the ride was just instantly one of my favorites.
Again, like Pinocchio, I hate to put Mr. Toad as the fourth on my list since it's one of my favorites, but had to in process of elimination. I loved this ride not just because it's the only Mr. Toad ride in the world now, but because I simply love this attraction for how nuts and crazy it is. The dual track WDW Toad will still be the best one, but DL's is a lot of crazy fun too. After all, what other Disney ride would let you crash into a train, die, and be sentenced to an eternity in hell?