This video explores how Disney uses languages in songs throughout several of its movies, including Moana, Frozen, Brother Bear, Lilo and Stitch, and Pocahontas.
Some things I learned from watching?
- The difficulties of translating songs because of syllable differences between languages
- Moana’s We Know The Way seamlessly transitions between Tokelauan and English without changing the melody - something new to Disney
- How songs sung by characters on screen vs. songs sung off screen in native languages can convey culture to an audience
- Some songs in Brother Bear were sung in Iñupiat but by a Bulgarian choir
- Nani sings Aloha’Oe to Lilo, a song about farewells written by Queen Lili'uokalani, Hawaii’s last monarch
- A lot of Native American music is sung with vocables: syllables that don’t have linguistic meaning but are significant as lyrics for music