The Essential Disney Collection
Performed By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Silva Screen Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Who doesn't love Disney songs? Every generation has their own favorites from the Disney songbook like Hakuna Matata from The Lion King, Tale As Old As Time from Beauty and the Beast, Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid and more. On November 3, 2014, Silva Screen Records released a special album featuring the songs of Disney as performed by stars of the London stage called The Essential Disney Collection.
This album contains some of the most popular songs from Disney movies performed by such notable artists as Louise Dearman (Wicked), Helen Hobson (Mama Mia!), Helena Blackman (South Pacific) and more. The songs span decades of Disney films and include tracks from recent hits like Frozen, Tangled and The Princess and the Frog to older hits like Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book and Song of the South. Each artist performs with celebrated orchestras including London Music Works and The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
As soon as I began listening to The Essential Disney Collection, a smile spread across my face. Starting with the track, Let it Go from Frozen, the album touches most of my favorite songs from most of my favorite Disney films. I loved singing along to Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas, Reflection from Mulan, A Whole New World from Aladdin, Tale As Old As Time from Beauty and the Beast, Part of That World and Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid, and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and Spoonful of Sugar from Mary Poppins. I enjoyed listening to lesser known songs from films I hadn't seen like Go the Distance from Hercules, I See the Light from Tangled, We're All In This Together from High School Musical. Then, there were tracks I had forgotten like Almost There from The Princess and the Frog and The Sorcerer's Apprentice from Fantasia.
There were songs I were surprised not to see in this compilation. Most notably missing were songs from The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty and Pinocchio. Still, it's only a single CD compilation and you can't include them all. Most of the artists on this album do an excellent job with the Disney songs, though I wasn't thrilled with Chuck Colby's rendition of You've Got A Friend in Me from Toy Story and I think Helena Blackman rushed a bit through Tale As Old As Time.
Sure, these aren't the original artists performing our favorite Disney hits, but they do an excellent job and fans of Disney songs like myself are going to love listening and singing along with each track on the album. The Essential Disney Collection is a must have for any Disney fan out there!