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Hong Kong Disneyland creates New Language Versions of Signature Theme Song

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Latest Travel News Wednesday, 3 October 2007

In a heart warming show of peace, childhood hope, joy and understanding between people, 16 children representing four countries and regions gathered in Hong Kong this week to record new editions of the world renowned soundtrack for Hong Kong Disneylands version of its a small world.

In a talent search that started three months ago, Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) selected the young musical talents to sing the original theme song in Cantonese, Putonghua, Korean and Tagalog (Philippines).

Singing in their own languages, the childrens voices will be featured in an expanded Asian scene, connecting more dots in the unity of people of different origins. With the four new languages added, this upcoming attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland will play 10 translated versions of the unforgettable theme song, Its A Small World (After All). The song is enjoyed by millions of guests continuously around the world during any 24-hour period, uniting people of different race and spreading the message of embracing cultural diversity.

With the opening of its a small world fast approaching in 2008, we have been looking for talented young voices to bring our classic song to life in several new languages from throughout the region, with the same child-like vocals found in the original soundtrack, said David Fisher, Show Writer, WDI.

The all-new soundtracks are unique to Hong Kong Disneyland and it will be our first time using stereo audio effects inside the attraction. The new attraction will inherit the originals long-lived message of peace and harmony through the international language of music.

Gathered at the Drama Theater of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts on Tuesday, children representing Beijing, Hong Kong, Korea and the Philippines performed the signature theme song in a media event, It's A Small World (After All) in their own language, and under  the tutorage of famous music producer Chiu Tsang-hei. As the Choral Director of the production, Chiu has been involved from the early stages of talent casting to ensure the quality voices found for the attraction.

The WDI team has also decided to use the same Cantonese lyrics translated more than 30 years ago by the Hong Kong music legend James Wong. To give a modern twist to the new edition, Lin Xi, one of the most talented lyricists in the current local pop scene, was invited to specially work on the Putonghua version. Produced by a cross-over team of talents from different countries, age groups and generations, the piece itself is a testament to the fact that the world can be united through the international language of music.

it's a small world was originally created by Walt Disney as an exhibit at the 1964-65 New York Worlds Fair to benefit UNICEF. The catchy and mesmerizing theme song composed by brothers Richard and Robert Sherman is repeatedly featured throughout the attraction. The signature song plays continuously, on average, 1,200 times a day during a 10-hour operating day at each Disney Park. Across the globe, it is estimated that the song and melody are therefore played over 4,800 times at four Disney theme parks. Numerous Internet articles have cited the title tune as one of the most recognizable tunes of all time.

Currently the Walt Disney Imagineering project team is finishing the intricate sets, dolls and toys, and mechanical devices used within the attraction. Installation of the sets and front faade begins in October and will continue throughout the year. its a small world at Hong Kong Disneyland is scheduled to open in the first half of 2008.

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