Disney Classic: A Magical Night: Disney Movies in Japan Get the Concert Treatment

In Japan, they have these multimedia “Disney Classic: A Magical Night” concert events. There’s an orchestra, a Japanese emcee, and English singers who perform various roles in the film for the night. This isn’t a concert; it’s a full-on movie experience where the singers perform the dialogue form the film and provide various sound effects. These events have happened since 2002.

The General Format

The program runs about two hours. The conductor comes out and plays a prelude. Sometimes, it’s a classic Disney short, like “Steamboat Willie.” Sometimes, it’s a medley of songs. A Japanese emcee comes out and says a few words to the audience at some point. After intermission, the movie starts.

How Did I Find These?

These listings are in Japanese, which I don’t read and cannot actively search for. I listened to all of the Disney ambient music I could find on YouTube with park music from Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. I clicked on a couple of Shanghai Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland music collections. However, it wasn’t until I had listened to a majority of what was available that these showed up in the queue. I didn’t know what they were, but the previews looked interesting enough. I clicked.

Disney Classic: A Magical Night Creativity

In order to perform these shows, the directors need to figure out how to pare down stories, so they fit within the time limit while maintaining the feel of the original. Choreographers need to train the singers to do the dance and movements that correspond with each number. And they all need to have practiced over and over to get everything right for the night of the performance. None of this happens accidentally. Take a look at the shows and see what you think. Then, take the lessons you learn and use them in your life.

For more on the Disney Company, check out “Penguinate! The Disney Company” for essays, short stories and activities designed to harness your creativity. “Disneyland Is Creativity” offers a history of the park related to research-backed principles of creativity, and “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” offers a history of the beloved attraction as well as research-backed principles on creativity.


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