Disney Sing Along Songs Vol. 5: Fun With Music Review 

Theme Song by Brian Setzer and owned by Walt Disney Records

Theme Song by Patrick DeRemer and owned by Walt Disney Records

Things are getting better and better for this series folks. This next set of volumes of the series is pretty much its Golden Age. This Golden Age is shown by the complete rejuvenation of energy in the series. This is because the baby steps of the Animation Renaissance were taking place and this is the first volume that is used to promote the next big Disney movie which would become a series standard during the full blown Animation Renaissance. In this case it was Oliver and Company. This is also where Mr. Owl returns as the primary host with Ludwig Von Drake taking over for a few songs. It also returns to the class lesson structure in volume 1 with Mr. Owl teaching the class the basic dynamics of music and sound while Ludwig Von Drake talks about basic history and styles. This makes this volume slightly educational as well as extremely entertaining. Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to Sing Along Songs Volume 5 Fun With Music!!

Part 1

Part 2

Fun With Music

As with tradition the title song starts us off and it is a very short song from Mickey Mouse Club (1950s). The song is about how music is the universal language and how it is one of the greatest unifying aspects of culture and humanity and it’s well “fun”. The tune is okay, but it’s not catchy at all. It still conveys the theme of the volume very well because it gives this introduction to the universalism and diversity of music so the rest of the show can elaborate on that by having more diverse and better songs. As a title song goes this one holds less weight because the main draw and cover of the volume is from Oliver and Company. So it’s quite obvious that while this is technically the title song the iconic song used to represent the volume is actually going to be the next one.

Why Should I Worry

Mr. Owl introduces the concept of combining notes and creating a melody that can be used to define certain aspects of the world. In the case of the soundbyte from Oliver that tune represents the city and we now go into the true iconic song of the volume. This is a great song! I thought of putting it on the underrated songs list, but it has grown in popularity and recognition to the point where it didn’t make the cut. Like Bare Necessities it is Dodger’s way of life. He is so in tune with New York and has learned the rhythms and styles of the city’s daily grind and operations and is so down to earth that he can survive and doesn’t need to care about much of anything and can enjoy life to its fullest. With a great tune and excellent vocals by the great Billy Joel this song shows off Dodger’s mastery of New York City and how connected he is to every fabric of it because he listens to the city’s beat and rhythms. If there’s one problem with the song it’s more a part of the movie. Technically the movie is all about Oliver, but with this song it’s just so good and so well staged and Billy Joel’s presence is forever stamped into the film and song that Dodger becomes the star and stays the star when he’s supposed to. This is a song I can say is too good, but still I love every second of it.

With A Smile and a Song

Way back in my Snow White review I said that this song was most likely used to calm the audience down with the classic Disney charm following the supposedly unconventional Disney scary forest scene. The song is small and sweet and warm. It keeps to the theme of how music by showing how music can be used to make someone feel at ease and a sense of serenity. A nice little song that does a good job of contrasting the previous energetic song.

Let’s All Sing Like the Birdies Sing

Alright we got a theme park song in here and not just a theme park song, but an obscure one. It comes from Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and occurs after the awesome opening theme that one would have expected to show up. This song shows the aspect of the theme that not just humans can sing, but so can birds and how anyone can learn how to sing like the birds. This song is just great and I love the exposure it’s getting on this volume. So simple and well written as well as really catchy. Come on everybody “Let’s all sing like the birdies sing! Tweet, Tweet, Tweet, Tweet, Tweet!”

All in the Golden Afternoon

This song covers the theme by showing a song can be written pretty much about anything even flowers. This song from Alice in Wonderland is pretty good. It’s far from being the best on the volume, but it’s catchy enough and captures in a subtle way of stepping into the surreal world of Wonderland.

While Strolling Through The Park

Mr. Owl takes a break because the stock footage is running out and introduces Ludwig Von Drake again to discuss the history of various musical styles. Von Drake starts with early pop music and gives an extremely brief, but good lesson about how it started in the late 1800s and early 1900s by people going to vaudeville shows to hear the latest tunes form Tin Pan Ally type songwriters. The song and footage is from one of my favorite Mickey cartoons The Nifty Nineties where it takes place in well the 1890s and has Mickey as an average Joe in the time period and meeting Minnie and him asking her out and their eventual date. The song is a very simple, short and very good song about how Mickey and Minnie met each other in the park.

Boo Boo Boo

Von Drake introduces the age of the 1930s by telling as that the microphone and radio made music more popular than ever and brought a style called crooning to fame. What proceeds is something so odd I can’t describe it. It is one of the most surreal things I’ve ever seen from Disney. It’s from the Disney featurette Symposium of Popular Songs. If you thought the Pink Elephants scene was a mindfuck then check this action out because with the Pink Elephant scene you could right that off by saying Dumbo was intoxicated, but this you can’t do that. What is this? It’s one of the best songs on the volumes, but the visuals are just freakin nuts. It’s awesome and weird at the same time! You have to see this for yourself.

Green With Envy Blues

Alright! Von Drake gets to sing for us now! After Von Drake paints a guitar and obviously is able to bring into actual use he discusses the next phase of music which is early rock and R&B. He sings a kick ass song called The Green With Envy Blues. Von Drake puts everything into the song and is awesome!! The song is from Adventures in Color and the visuals are great with Von Drake dancing around the stage playing his guitar. The song is catchy and I often find myself singing it randomly. A great song!

Good Company

The volume hasn’t forgotten that Oliver and Company is the representative movie for the volume and chooses the little friendship song between Oliver and Jenny as the next song. It’s an okay song. It’s sweet enough, but let’s face it in comparison to Why Should I Worry this Oliver and Company song is underwhelming. Solid, but it can’t beat Billy Joel.

Blue Danube Waltz

This is another weird selection. Von Drake introduces the concept of the records and the waltz and plays the classical Mozart piece that is done by nothing, but snoring. The notes emanate from the record and make Von Drake drowsy and end up making him take a nap. I admit this was a creative way of giving control back to Mr. Owl, but huh?

Old MacDonald Had a Band

Mr. Owl is back as our host and he shows us the musical concept of the big band with this swingin’ rendition of the classic children’s tune. There’s nothing else to say. We’ve all heard the tune before and it’s done very creatively and is solid.

Scales and Arpeggios

Ugh… Another song from probably my least favorite Disney animated feature. I think this song is mediocre at best. It is just bland to me just like the movie itself. I do like the informative introduction by Mr. Owl and it shows non musically inclined people a basic element of music.

Why Should I Worry? Reprise

Oh Yeah!!!!!!!!! This is the best reprise and finale in the series yet!!!!!! Actually I’d go as far to say this is one of the best reprise’s in the entire series!!!!!!!! What a perfect way to end the volume by showing one of Disney’s best endings. It does break the tradition of not having the official title song have a reprise, but it was established and marketed early on that this was going to take over the reprise duty. Awesome!!!

Final Thoughts

This volume is excellent!!! Almost EVERY song whether it be known or obscure and pretty much all of them were obscure were such great songs used in creative ways and even educated us somewhat as well as entertained us that is amazing!!!!!!!!!! This is an artifact of the Mr. Owl saga’s Golden Age and it is an excellent volume!!!! Stay tuned next time where the Animation Renaissance begins and the Sing Along Songs evolve with another complete home run and is possibly even better and that is Disney Sing Along Songs Volume 6: Under the Sea!!!!!!!!!!


All video owned by Walt Disney Home Video

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