Disney Reaching Out to Collaborative Audiences
Since the dawning of Walt Disney Productions, Walt himself was known for his many connections and his diverse, global network, which inevitably proved to have been a huge factor behind his success. In terms of his company’s musical attributions, Disney has not only featured nationally re-known actors, musicians, producers, and the like, but has also been the birthplace for many future starlings and A-list celebrities. While some may argue that the company’s successes have been due to the big names behind the “magic” produced, it certainly lead to profitable results through boosted sales, increased advertising, and wide publicity. Since most notably in the 1940's with the premiering of Disney’s first musical animation, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, the producers behind the scenes have been avidly at work using those same strategies to succeed in today’s modern world. Extending these aspects and techniques to broaden their franchise through dubbing video games, television shows, and movies, the musical movement has definitely reached a much wider audience over time.
In a lesser known branch of the franchise, within the genre of techno-pop/alternative rock, video games have lent a huge hand to reaching a wider audience for Disney. Partnering with other companies, such as Square Enix or Nintendo, some of the scores creators have been able to compose have become iconic in almost every players’ and viewers’ memories. In the recent success behind Disney’s “Kingdom Hearts” series, the main title theme, “Simple and Clean” by Hikari Utada, has opened up doors for varying cultures to share in their relative experiences of the games. Using a celebrated artist like Utada has also brought fans of the different worlds together, creating a whole new community. Disney has used this strategy to release their brand in different translations for different fans across the globe, even connecting strangers and new webs together in order for various launches in new musical genres.
In the short film industry, recently released “Paperman” and “The Blue Umbrella” have had their wordless scores trending all over different social media sites, having thousands, if not tens of thousands, of shares on platforms like SoundCloud, GrooveShark, Spotify, Youtube, and even on non-musically related media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Shoutouts and hashtags from fans have also drastically increased popularity and interest regarding the music behind the two shorts, providing free advertising for the producers and collaborative musicians behind the scenes. “The Blue Umbrella Suite”, in particular, has garnered much attention from a diverse audience, new to the airy, nostalgic sounds and gentle melodies riding off the staccato, acoustic rhythms the music creates.
With these few examples, Disney has provided a new outlet to create a whole new industry behind their works. Stars from “Mulan” (Christina Aguillera), “Hannah Montana” (Miley Cyrus), and even Youtube’s Alyson Stoner (“Phineas and Ferb”) may have originated from very differing genres, however, each musician shares its musical roots with Disney. Using collaborations and lyricists to create their music has greatly expanded their known audience and industry, which may seem like a win-win for anyone’s case. These specific aspects behind Disney’s productions are just a brief glance behind the vast curtains behind their success. However, with the work Disney innovators continue to put into the musician’s works involved with various projects, Disney can be expected to continue having their musical successes and strategies shared with the world’s audiences.
Marie, S. (2014). Alan Menken 162 Success Facts — Everything you need to know about Alan Menken. New York, NY: Emereo.
Thomas, B. (1994). Walt Disney: An American Original. New York, NY: Disney Editions.