Anyone who's ever had "It's a Small World" stuck in his head knows how indelible Disney music can be. A new exhibit, opening today at Experience Music Project...
Anyone who’s ever had “It’s a Small World” stuck in his head knows how indelible Disney music can be. A new exhibit, opening today at Experience Music Project and running until next September, burbles with chirpy tunes and catchy lyrics from the first black-and-white Disney cartoons to the most recent multimillion-dollar stage production.
Painted the same bright yellow as Mickey Mouse’s shoes and peppered with interactive, old-fashioned nickelodeon-style kiosks, the ambitious exhibit attempts to appeal to all generations. It begins with videos, hand-scored music and pencil-drawn story boards from the 1930s, and ends with an homage to Walt Disney Records’ ability to churn out mini pop-stars. Disney’s first pop-darling, Annette Funicello, is featured alongside a running video of preteen Mouseketeers Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, wearing refreshingly innocent jumpsuits.
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“Disney: The Music Behind the Magic” Opens at 10 a.m. today and runs until Sept. 9, 2007, at Experience Music Project, Seattle Center, 325 Fifth Ave. N.; $19.95 adults, $14.95 ages 7-17, free children age 6 and under (www.emplive.org or 206-367-5483).
The kids will probably be most interested in mixing their own vocals at a child-size mixing table or making their own sound effects on an array of unlikely instruments. The cacophony is relegated to a sound-muffling room, where it is recorded and played back in sync with a Mickey Mouse cartoon.
For the analytical guest, two video booths outfitted with red plastic couches reminiscent of something from Alice’s Wonderland play snippets of Disney movies overlaid with narration from a variety of talking heads. Music experts, songwriters and producers explain how certain musical devices affect, say, the scene where Lady and the Tramp kiss over spaghetti. Nostalgic Disney artifacts — the original Mickey Mouse ears, costumes from the Broadway production of “The Lion King,” an animatronic bird from Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room — fill in the space between interactive stations.
The relatively small exhibit — viewable in less than an hour — culminates with a multiple-choice game show played on a kiosk. Grandpa will get the ones about “Steamboat Willie,” Junior will know the Hilary Duff lyrics, and everyone will walk away humming a Disney tune.
Haley Edwards: 206-464-2745 or email@example.com