If you grew up some time during the last half century, and had a) watched movies and/or b) went to Disneyland even once, we'll guess the following examples will be very familiar to you:
1. "Look at this stuff, isn't it neat, wouldn't you think my collection's complete? Wouldn't think I'm the girl, the girl who has everything?"
2. "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down..."
Songs from "The Little Mermaid" and "Mary Poppins" and "Beauty & the Beast" and Disneyland attractions like "Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room" and "it's a small world" are part of the pop culture fabric. Fact? Fact. Now Alan Menken and Richard Sherman, musical legends who helped create this tune-filled legacy, will take the stage together for one night only.
We hesitated before trotting out the old "one night only" chestnut there, but it fits: Disney fans know this is a big deal, as does pretty much anyone with a love of iconic soundtracks and scores. Mr. Menken, the composer on "Mermaid" and several later films, and Mr. Sherman, who, alongside his brother Robert, created much of that classic Disney '60s sound, will perform together on Saturday, Aug. 10.
Where? Why Anaheim, of course. No shocker there. The Menken-Sherman concert will be a centerpiece to the mega Disney fan convention, D23 Expo. Here are the numbers on Mr. Menken and Mr. Sherman: They've worked on more than three dozen Disney films and two dozen theme park attractions combined. Oh, and the number of Academy Awards won? A big ol' ten.
Yeah, that's huge. And, nope, we're not going to pull out the old guard/new guard chestnut, given that we've already trotted one out. It's true that the Sherman Brothers are very much associated with the Walt Disney himself, and the musical sound of the company at mid-century. And it's true that Mr. Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman were very much a part of the company's movie resurgence in the 1990s. So different time periods and feels will be much on display in the show.
But isn't Disney always a swirl of old guard/new guard/now guard/all guard? That's part of its secret: Nostalgia isn't simply nostalgia. It's part of the now, and past favorites carry as much water for fans as the newer and shinier models.
Meaning you still know all the lyrics to all of those "Little Mermaid" songs and you can still sing the theme from "it's a small world" over and over and over. And over. And over. (Mr. Sherman, you really created the ultimate earworm there, and for that we applaud you, with respect.)