The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Original Soundtrack

Walt Disney Records, 2004

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


There are times in this job where it does not pay to be a thirty-something male.

Despite the fact I just bought my 8-year-old daughter the special-edition DVD of The Princess Diaries, I've never seen the movie, nor do I have any burning desire to. I also haven't seen The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, despite my daughter's constant reminding that she hasn't seen it, either. Let's just say that these two movies have certain demographics they're aiming for, and I most definitely don't fit them.

Needless to say, the soundtrack to the latest outing from Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews also isn't aimed for my aging, wax-and-Aerosmith-clogged ears. Any young girl who has spent any amount of time watching The Disney Channel will know most of the artists on this disc, and will probably find themselves singing along with every note. To them, I say: if it makes you happy, God bless.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

To the adult, this collection is somewhat lightweight, although not unpleasant, but does end up lacking some substance. The re-emergence of Andrews as a singer following throat surgery (one Andrews says was botched) some years ago should be a matter of celebration, but even for someone who dislikes Andrews, this re-emergence pales to her glory days.

Featuring a lineup so heavily reliant on Disney talent one almost expects to see Piglet and Eeyore get writing credits, the bulk of the material features names which will be familiar to the younger generation. Artists like Lindsay Lohan ( Freaky Friday), Raven ( That's So Raven) and Christy Carlson Romano ( Kim Possible) all get their turns in front of the microphone. Some of them turn out to be respectable, such as Raven; others, like Lohan, sound like Avril Lavigne imitations. (Lavigne herself makes an appearance with "I Always Get What I Want" -- now there's a helluva lesson for kids to learn, especially with Christmas just around the corner.)

In the end, adults will end up scratching their heads wondering what the youth of today see in performers like Jesse McCartney, Rachel Stevens (whose song isn't even featured in the film) and Renee Olstead, while the kids might wonder why artists such as Wilson Phillips and Norah Jones are included in this mix.

That brings us to "Your Crowning Glory," the duet between Raven and Andrews. Anyone who knows Andrews's film career remembers her golden pipes in such films as Mary Poppins and The Sound Of Music. I know that just her being able to sing at all after the surgery is remarkable -- but having her octave range cut in half and being reduced to nearly a croak is just disappointing. No offense is meant towards Andrews; I just call 'em like I hear 'em.

If you have young girls anywhere from ages 8 to 13, chances are good you'll be hearing a lot of The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement blaring from their boomboxes. I guess there are worse things they could be listening to.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2004 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Walt Disney Records, and is used for informational purposes only.