2 Disney Soundtracks You Need to Hear Today

When we talk about Disney soundtracks, we usually think of films. It’s easy to see why. From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Encanto, the studio is responsible for some of the most memorable music ever recorded. But the brilliant music isn’t just reserved for the silver screen. Two of Disney’s best soundtracks come from television: the soundtrack for Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur and music from The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder

While the traditional Disney soundtrack is a bit like a Broadway cast recording, these two collections are more like a traditional album. In fact, they’re the sort of brilliant gems you’d be thrilled to find digging through the crates of your favorite record store, with tunes you’d listen to on the radio without a second thought. 

Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur

In February, Disney introduced the animated series Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, based on the Marvel comic series of the same name. The cartoon follows the adventures of a brilliant 13-year-old girl named Lunella Lafayette and her gigantic T-Rex, Devil Dinosaur. Set in New York’s Lower East Side, the show’s roster of characters is a paragon of diversity and representation, with each story depicting a tight knit community and family at its core. 

The animation is an explosion of color and the action is packed with the sort of frenetic energy you’d expect when dealing with characters who have just exited the tween years. So, it only makes sense that the soundtrack would need to be just as dynamic. 

Disney turned to GRAMMY Award winning musician and producer Raphael Saadiq to write and produce the soundtrack. A member of the multi-platinum selling band Tony! Toni! Toné!, Saadiq has also produced music for artists like Jill Scott, D’Angelo, Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, and others. Along the way, he’s amassed industry accolades and recognition as one of the most important voices in music. 

Speaking with The Verge about his work on Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Saadiq stated, “When I watched cartoons as a kid, there was a lot of serious orchestration. A lot of funk, a lot of R&B, and a lot of soul — all kinds of different styles of music. I wanted that for Moon Girl, too. Every episode was a challenge — which I knew it was going to be — because they were pushing me to do very different things week in and week out.”

The star of the series, Diamond White, performs frequently on the soundtrack, including on the show’s theme song, “Moon Girl Magic.” The album also features appearances by performers like Daveed Diggs, Jane Handcock, and Taura Stinson. While not included on the actual album, the show also features music by Childish Gambino. 

When describing the sort of musical journey that the music should provide, Saadiq stated, “It’s almost like listening to a concert, and there’s variations of a Bill Withers — the emotions of a Stevie Wonder and a little Prince. But sometimes the emotion’s more like Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, or you’ll hear drops of A Tribe Called Quest and just hardcore SP 1200 hip-hop.”

The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder: Music from the Series

Creating the soundtrack for Disney’s The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder can’t have been an easy task. After all, the original soundtrack featured a theme song performed by Solange and Destiny’s Child, as well as some of the greatest music ever made. With songs like “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys, “Use ta Be My Girl” by The O’Jays, “More Love” by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, and “Video” by India.Arie, to name just a few, it was a powerhouse collection of soul and R&B. How on earth do you follow that? 

But to make the show they envisioned, creator Bruce W. Smith knew that music would remain integral, stating, “You can’t mention our show without mentioning music. Solange and Destiny’s Child did a fantastic job of really laying out the original theme song, so we wanted to hand over that mantle to someone else to realize the full potential of what they laid out for today.”

It starts with the theme. Kurt Farquhar, the composer for the original The Proud Family theme song, returned for The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder. This time, singer-songwriter Joyce Wrice would perform the song. 

Speaking to Rolling Stone, she once said, “Music was my first love. My sibling I never had.” Her 2021 debut album, Overgrown, was described as drawing,  “on the classic R&B of the late Nineties and early 2000s, showing the range that fans of the genre were accustomed to seeing from artists like Aaliyah, Brandy, and Mariah Carey, and combines that sound with modern songwriting and guest appearances from some of today’s rising artists.” 

Despite all of that, she did admit some nerves stepping into the shoes previously filled by artists like Solange and Beyoncé, telling Billboard, “It was really intimidating in the beginning, because I respect them so much. But I feel great. I listen to them even to this day, so it’s really an honor to be in this position. I feel very fortunate.”

In addition to the music by Wrice, the soundtrack features performances by CeeLo Green, Tone-Loc, and a surprisingly brilliant rendition of Prince’s “When Doves Cry” performed by Tommy Davidson (who plays Oscar in the series). 

Farquhar served as the composer for the series, as well as the songwriter for the original songs featured throughout. An article in Animation Magazine noted that the song writing process involved going, “back and forth from current needle drops like Lizzo to redoing songs by older artists like Shuggie Otis and The Brothers Johnson.” The end result is an album’s worth of songs that you’d love to get on vinyl and listen to any time, day or night.  

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