Disney previewed two of their most anticipated movies of the holiday season Wednesday (Sept. 29), giving press and employees a look at the scenes and sounds from the still-under-construction "Tron: Legacy" and "Tangled." (Watch out, movie fans: spoilers ahead.)
At an event on the Disney lot in Burbank, Calif., Studio Chairman Rich Ross unveiled 23 minutes of "Tron: Legacy," the sequel to the 1982 techie classic. Several scenes were shown out of order from the first half of the film - "Tron: Legacy" isn't due in theaters until Dec. 17 - but it gave a good sense of the much-anticipated score by Daft Punk.
Samples of the score have already leaked - some of it can be heard at tronsoundtrack.com - and the leaks promised a mix of the duo's club romps with a propulsive orchestral backing. The fragments heard in the screened clips were cleverly intertwined with the action on the screen: a chase sequence was almost a traditional orchestral arrangement, while a fight scene in a futuristic stadium seemed entirely computer-generated.
Daft Punk recorded the score using a 100-piece orchestra at AIR Lyndhurst Studios in London.
One surprise: When Sam Flynn (played by Garrett Hedlund) heads to a defunct arcade to track down a mysterious page sent by his father, he plugs in the arcade games to a jumble of digital music that slowly resolves into Journey's "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)." (Get it? No? Go see the original "Tron.")
The "Tron: Legacy" soundtrack will be released by Walt Disney Records on Nov. 22.
On the kiddie end of the spectrum, "Tangled" is Disney's version of the Rapunzel fairy tale, featuring voicework by Mandy Moore and "Chuck's" Zachary Levi. The movie features music by Disney go-to-guy Alan Menken - he's won eight Academy Awards, including for his work on "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin" and "Pocahontas," and lyrics by Glenn Slater, who worked on Disney's "Home on the Range."
Like all of Menken's work, the songs are sweet, tuneful and effective at moving the plot along, and Slater shows a wry hand with the lyrics, especially on the "Mommie Dearest"-esque anthem "Mother Knows Best."
"Tangled" will be released November 24 - Thanksgiving weekend - with the soundtrack dropping Nov. 16 on Walt Disney Records.