During the "rediscovery" of the animated musical following the success of "The Little Mermaid", there have been some memorable melodies and theme songs that have been embedded in the collective minds of all that have seen and listened. Many have their favorites and I am no different from them.
The score to "Pocahontas" ranks at the top of my list. Alan Menken, who had so masterfully added music to the lyrics of his late partner Howard Ashman, worked with lyricist Stephen Schwartz. The pair fashioned four of the most deliberate and passionate songs to ever grace a Disney film.
The Academy-Award winning "Colors of the Wind" is presented in its original form, featuring Judy Kuhn (vocals for the title character) as well as the pop release sung by Vanessa Williams, heard over the end credits. Both are befitting a story line heavy with an ecological mindset.
Mel Gibson the singer? Well, he does a more-than-adequate job on "Mine", a duet with David Ogden Stiers. This composition has the actors' respective characters engaged in a vocal "duel" over the fate of the land in this New World. IT is one great tune.
"Savages" is a tour de force for the composers. It is never preachy but is a determined and not-so-subtle look at prejudice.
The "love ballad", also heard at the end credits roll has to be the most hypnotic ever done by the studio. "If I Never Knew You" is too beautiful for words, and the pairing of Jon Secada and Shanice could not have been more appropriate. They are vocal magic.
For sheer majesty, the cut entitled "Farewell" works for me. It is heard as the ship carries the wounded "John Smith" away from his beloved Pocahontas. The strings swell as the Native American maiden runs to the hilltop to bid him "adieu". At the ledge of the cliff, the girl waves for the last time.
The music heard, like most of the score, just sends the clichéd "chill up my spine".
Do you get the idea that I like this disc?