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Phil Does Brother Bear

Phil Does Brother BearSir Etch-A-Sketch Reports On Phil Collins' Songs for Disney's Brother Bear

Hey folks, Harry here. It distresses me a bit to hear that Phil Collins may have 'regurgitated' the music we'll be hearing in Brother Bear, but then again, I just get amazed that these songs have even been recorded. I suppose it is all a part of working on an animated flick, but maaaaaaan, how weird must it be for Phil Collins to have to wait for 4 years or so to perform or sing any of these songs. WEIRD.... Well, here is that fantastic Disney executive? Disney manager? Disney Animator? Disney Director? Disney Janitor? That's right, I'm talking about Sir Etch-A-Sketch....

Hello Fearless One, 

It has been quite some time since my last confession. Truthfully, things are just now beginning to get interesting here again. Atlantis has nearly crushed my heart, executive decisions have damaged the film, which was headed full steam into a new bold direction for all of us here at Disney Animation. And when ENG was released there was a held breath and mild panic at the abysmal opening numbers, but thankfully despite the hatred for the project that Mon fuhrer exhibited towards it, the voice of the animators and old fashioned story and gag men like Joe Ranft managed to save the film from complete disaster. 

Work on Treasure Planet and Lilo & Stictch continues to amaze most everyone here. It is a genuine pleasure to be working on these films. They have a great sense of being something special. Lilo & Stitch will be huge. 

However, this is not the reason I am writing to you. Here recently we had the recording sessions with Phil Collins for the songs he is recording for Brother Bear. At the earliest, I believe you should be hearing these songs in 2003, attached to the video release of Lilo & Stitch that Fall. 

These sessions are basically the most intimate sort of personal concerts you would ever have. In a way it is quite difficult to believe I am sitting there with a small group of people (Aaron, Chuck, Bob and even Roy for a bit) in the booth watching Phil Collins perform for us. 

Now add to that the little fact that these songs have never been heard before. That they will not be being hummed by people for another three or four more years, and that the songs will be tweaked and re-recorded yet again. 

Now I notice you had a report on the basic story for Brother Bear. And I noticed that you were a bit down on the Mowgli – look-alike design that was reported. There were and have been other looks. More developed more manly, but some other executives like the ‘kid’ look. Personally, I would like to see this film take a serious look at the animism and Indian belief systems instead of the whole Phil Collins thing where he sings: "Eat swim fish n sleeeeep is all we do everyday is onnne long paaarty, if you’re still in doubt, let me say again, life don’t get any better than this!" 

I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let me start with the music. 

I was there to hear six tracks being laid down. 

There was a three and a half minute ‘Intro Song’ that has yet to be titled. A little over a minute and a half song called "Father’s Footsteps" A long 4 minute innocuous whiney piece called Grizz's Song, which basically is an elevator music twist on ‘this can’t be my destiny’ really not very pleasant. The next two were upbeat and fun, think montage sequence showing the pleasures of being a bear, and these were two parts of the Fishing Song, each about a minute and a half. And lastly there was the Title Song called Brother Bear a long 5 and a half minute apologetic and learning to live with the past song. 

In all I feel the songs do not necessarily serve to help make this a better film. Sure for tie in and music CD considerations, it is absolutely important to have the songs and Phil Collins, but frankly the music is some of the worst in Phil Collins’ career. And if you remember, I was a fan of his Tarzan work Harry. 

It is strange to see Brother Bear moving on the development chart here at Mousedom, but holding it side by side Lilo and Treasure, this feels stylistically unevolved. Retreading everything that those two are pioneering into the past. I wish they had kept Brother Bear as serious as a certain Spirit across town. 

Phil has regurgitated the same rhythms and non-offensive elevator music. The idea that he ever used to be a Rock-N-Roll star is seemingly now a thing of the past. They can not all be good I suppose. 

I will keep you appraised of how things progress,
Sir Etch-A-Sketch

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