Disney has become one of the most important companies in musical theatre. As everybody knows, it’s a movie company and they have created lots of animation movies that are considered classics today. But they started their journey in theatre only 20 years ago. One month ago, in America, they released a short documentary celebrating these two decades of music and theatre of Disney. Have you seen it? It’s called ‘Backstage with Disney on Broadway: Celebrating 20 Years’. I think it’s really interesting, I enjoyed a lot, because I love Disney musicals and I’ve grown up watching over and over again all movies.
Everything started with ‘Beauty & the Beast’. I saw this show in Barcelona a few years ago. I saw it twice and I got amazed about the effects and the songs. The stage was decorated like the castle of the Beast and you had the feeling that you really were there. This show, that sadly is not in Broadway and London anymore (hopefully will be a revival someday), is an adaptation of one of the best Disney movies. Everybody knows the story and most of the songs, but it’s completely different to see it live. It’s a show made for children and adults so they can enjoy the special effects and the new songs. My favourites are ‘If I Can’t Love Her’ and ‘Home’.
But then arrived ‘The Lion King’, one of the most successful musicals in history. Julie Taymor produced this show with the popular songs by Elton John. Everything is brilliant in this musical; it gives the best of theatre to the audience. The costumes make you feel that you are also living the story with the animals, and the rhythms of the songs transport you to Africa. With new songs specially created for the show, my favourites are ‘Shadowland’ and ‘Endless Night’.
But there’s more, in 20 years, there’s been more shows like ‘Mary Poppins’, ‘Newsies’, ‘Aida’, ‘Tarzan’, ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and ‘Aladdin’. It’s 20 years of good theatre, exploring all the potential of scenic arts, of truly joy. As a musical lover, I must recognise all Disney works throw all these years. Thanks God that is producing new shows very frequently. For sure, we’ll see ‘Frozen’ soon live on stage and it will be amazing. But I still have some musicals that I really would like to see someday like ‘Mary Poppins’ or ‘The Little Mermaid’. Thank you Disney for all the stories and songs!