Disney's Greatest Volume 1
Walt Disney Records, 2001
REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/11/2001
I am of split minds when I look at a CD collection such as Disney's Greatest, presently made up of two separate albums scanning over 60 years of movie music from Walt Disney's fabled history. On one side, I can appreciate how such a disc - in today's example, Disney's Greatest Volume 1 - crosses generational lines and draws young and old together in the appreciation of the music that has made more memories than anyone can imagine.
On the other hand, the skeptic in me comes out and wonders, "Wasn't it two years ago that the Classic Disney series of discs came out and covered almost the exact same ground?" Granted, Tarzan wasn't part of the collection at the time, but if you invested in the five discs that made up Classic Disney, do you really need to part with another $15 or so for this disc? And what about the other compilations which have featured some of this music?
This duality of the mind also comes into play when examining the track selection for this first volume. On the positive side, there is a fair selection of music from the past and the present which whould bring smiles to the faces of anyone who listens to this disc. Then the skeptic in me comes back to the surface and asks aloud, "Wouldn't it have been better for the people who compiled this to have mixed up the old and the new, instead of working in reverse chronological order - and almost inviting kids to turn the disc off at the moment the film titles don't sound like the movies they've watched until they've worn out Mom and Dad's VCR?"
In all reality, Disney's Greatest Volume 1 is the kind of collection that all but invites people to poke holes in the track selection. "Kiss The Girl" is included from The Little Mermaid, but neither "Under The Sea" nor "Part Of Your World" made the cut? "Heigh-Ho" made it this time from Snow White And The Seven Dwarves, but "Someday My Prince Will Come" didn't? Phil Collins makes it onto this disc with "Strangers Like Me" (what?!? No "You'll Be In My Heart"?), but Elton John's version of "Circle Of Life" doesn't? (The cast rendition from The Lion King is featured instead.)
Yet, for all the armchair quarterbacks among us, one does have to admire the way that Disney tries to capture their history in 20 songs - an impossible task, in all reality. If anything, this disc is meant to be more of an overview than as the definitive collection. And, if you look at this volume in that light, it serves its purpose well. Besides, anything that will make the little house-apes bound around in glee for 40 minutes or so while Mom and Dad get some quality time together (you know - Taster's Choice time) can't be that bad.