The summer schedule at Disney’s Hollywood Studios puts the music of Pixar on a pedestal.
A show titled “The Music of Pixar Live! A Symphony of Characters” features a full orchestra performing a 40-minute homage to Pixar films, along with accompanying video and character appearances on stage and clips of some of the famous folk who helped create the memorable songs.
“Since the very first sound cartoon in 1928 — it was “Steamboat Willy” — music has been an essential part of what animation does,” said Pete Docter, the show’s creator and a two-time Academy Award winner. “And though we today use computers instead of pens and paint, it is no less important.”
The show runs three times nightly this summer in the Theater of the Stars following daily performances of “Beauty and the Beast.”
With a selection of famous Pixar-film music such as Peter Gabriel’s “Down to Earth” from “Wall-E” and John Mayer’s “Route 66” from “Cars” playing over the speakers leading up to the concert, the crowd is worked up, literally, by the little green army men characters from “Toy Story,” making audience members follow directions and even pulling a few out of the crowd to do light drill-sergeant activities such as pushups and jumping jacks. The crowd is also invited to vote via text or online in a series of Pixar-related “would you rather” questions such as “Which character from ‘Up’ would you most like to hang out with?” Live results are posted, and you can swing the results if you don’t like what you see.
Then the orchestra is introduced and transitions from select scores from one Pixar movie to the next with the help of costumed characters such as Buzz Lightyear and Woody from “Toy Story” and Sully and Mike Wazowski from “Monsters, Inc.”