I belong to the generation that saw the big come back from Disney in the late 80’s and early 90’s. My childhood was filled with animated classics like The Little Mermaid, The Beauty and the Beast and O Rei The Lion. I remember watching The Hunchback of Notre Dame in the movie theater and thinking that I had never saw something as beautiful as that.
As a child I tended to get obsessed with movies and watching the same picture over and over again so, obviously, I knew (and still know) all the songs from my favorite Disney movies by heart.
As soon as I started to dig up more about French music, it occurred to me that I should also search for the French versions of those songs I loved so much in my childhood. And I soon found out that, like it happened in the U.S., the songs in French were sang by great French artists. The cool little shrimp, in The Little Mermaid was dubbed by the amazing singer Henri Salvador, for instance.
Speaking of him, Henri Salvador collaborated in more then one film from Disney. Apart from dubbing Sebastian, he also made a French version for the classic The lion sleeps tonight. The song features in The Lion King.
In the player embedded down here, you can listen to the song Le lion est mort ce soir:
And how about watching some of the amazing scenes from those Disney movies in French? Down here are some of my favorite scenes ever!
Finally, I wanted to post here a last scene that, even though I never really liked the song, it represents a historical moment for animation.
The dinner scene, in The Beauty and the Beast, was the first time ever in the cinema history when computer animation was used in a feature film. The executives from Disney were apprehensive with the idea of mixing computer generated images with traditional 2D animation, but were convinced, after seeing that the technique had improved, that it could be done.
After the great looking result, producers and investors were more inclined to use computer animation and nowadays, as everybody knows, the technique is widely used and it represents the largest part of the animation market.