Music Break – Favorite fairy tale music inspired by ABC’s ‘Once Upon A Time’

I just started catching up on the ABC show Once Upon A Time this past weekend, so that inspired me to pick the music for today’s Music Break. I’ve only watched two episodes from the first season but I quite like it so far, though some of the acting is a bit over the top. As someone growing up with Disney fairy tale movies, the premise appeals to me so we’ll see if the show has enough going for it to keep me interested. Nice to see Robert Carlyle in it as Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold. The Glasgow-native is easily the best actor on that show, and no I’m not just saying that for my penchant for Scottish actors 😉

Anyway, inspired by that show, here are three favorite fairy tale music from the classic and current fairy tale movies:


You can’t beat the classics. Even 75 years later, Snow White is still hot property, what with two films made with that character this year alone! There are really too many to choose from as the whole soundtrack is great, but I love this finale of Love’s First Kiss. It’s enchanting, sweet and full of hope, the kind of stuff Disney music is known for, and the choir singing Someday my Prince will come really warms the heart.

Original music by Leigh Harline and Paul J. Smith, with Adriana Caselotti and Harry Stockwell as the voice of Snow White and Prince Charming, respectively.

P.S. My all time favorite music from Disney ‘Princess’ movies is actually Once Upon a Dream from Sleeping Beauty, which I’ve highlighted in a stand alone post a year ago.

TANGLED (2010)

Tangled is Disney’s 50th animated feature and it boast the maestro that is Alan Menken as the composer. I grew up listening to his Disney songs, it’s amazing how he could keep churning up beautiful music for every piece that fits the theme of the film so perfectly! According to IMDb trivia, he’s currently tied with famed costume designer Edith Head for third most Academy Awards won, with eight Oscar win. He has won best score and best song for four Disney animated movies: The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992) and Pocahontas (1995).

This romantic piece is by far my favorite from the film. I always tear up every time I watch it. The scenery with all those lanterns are pure Disney magic, I love Rapunzel’s face as she watches them fly to the sky. I LOVE both Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi’s voice in the duet, I had no idea he could sing so well! I was rooting for this to win Best Original Song at the Oscar, but ironically, Randy Newman’s We Belong Together for Pixar’s Toy Story 3 ended up taking the trophy.

BRAVE (2012)

I was thrilled when I heard that Scottish composer Patrick Doyle was going to work on this film! I LOVE his work in Sense & Sensibility and Thor, among others (see my tribute post). Per Wiki, in order to bring some of Scotland’s native flavor to the music, Doyle used native Scottish instruments such as bagpipes, a solo fiddle, Celtic harps, flutes and the bodhrán, with an electronically treated dulcimer and cimbalom to give it a more contemporary feel. “I employed many classic Scottish dance rhythms such as reels, jigs, and strathspeys, which not only serve the action but keep it authentic,” said Doyle.

Well the result is a gorgeous and lush Celtic music that adds so much to the authenticity of the film. I like the joyful and rousing Touch The Sky that matches the exuberance of Princess Merida, but my favorite is the instrumental piece that captures the Scottish theme so well. I LOVE this one called Legends Are Lessons, especially after the 2:35 mark when the bagpipes start playing. I wish I could be transported to the Scottish Highlands as I’m listening to it! 😀

I hope you enjoy these songs. What are YOUR favorite Disney/Pixar soundtrack?

33 thoughts on “Music Break – Favorite fairy tale music inspired by ABC’s ‘Once Upon A Time’

    1. Hi Michael! I haven’t seen Wreck-It-Ralph yet but BRAVE is tough to beat. I just LOVE the Celtic music, Patrick Doyle’s become one of my fave composers now.

    1. Yeah, can’t beat the Disney classics. It’s one of the Disney dvds I own, though my fave is still Sleeping Beauty but I’ve done a stand alone music break for that one.

      You should give Once Upon a Time a try, it’s pretty good.

  1. Haha! Great post Ruth. I think your more Scots than I am ;-). Superb to see Bobby gettin’ a mention as well as Brave. Like Michael said, Its been the best animation I’ve seen so far this year.

    1. Ahah, I can’t be more Scottish than you Mark, I’ve never even been there! So it’s Bobby eh? 😉 So do you still see him often then? I’d imagine he lives partly in Hollywood for the show right?

      I just love BRAVE, I’m gonna get the Blu-ray this Black Friday as it’ll be heavily discounted on Amazon, yay!

      1. Well, it was Bobby when I was introduced to him. 😉 I’ve not seen him for a while now as my daughter doesn’t attend the same school that his son did. I used to meet him all the time but sometimes he would disappear for long periods. I can only assume he was working. In fact, I think it was Once Upon A Time he was working on when I first met him.

        He’s probably a really busy guy but I’m very tempted to see if he’d do an interview with me for my blog. What do you think?

        1. Oh Mark you absolutely should interview him!! I’m sure he’d be delighted, I mean he seems like a very affable bloke. I think you should ask him, I look forward to reading your interview! 😀

          1. I’m might work up the courage to ask one day. Anytime, I met him though, I always played it down that I was even impressed by him. I wanted him to feel okay in my company and not see me as some celebrity stalker. That being said, he’s a lovely guy and you never know… He might agree.

            1. I hear ya Mark, I think that’s a wise move to be ‘nonchalant’ about his work as an actor. But I think if you told him that you respect his work and want to just pick his brain about his profession, I can’t imagine he’d refuse.

      2. PrairieGirl

        Once Upon a Time location shooting is in and around Vancouver, British Columbia (gorgeous place!!). They also use a BC studio, so at least while they are filming there I’m guessing that’s the cast and crews temporary home. Wikipedia says he lives in Glasgow with his wife and three children.

        1. Wikipedia is spot on there PrairieGirl. He does still live in Glasgow. I’ve met his wife and youngest child and as I was saying to Ruth, I’m going to see if he’ll do an interview with me for my blog. 🙂

          1. PrairieGirl

            Hey Mark, glad to see you confirm that RC indeed does live in Glasgow. I really like it that he hasn’t “Gone Hollywood” like another of your countrymen (ha ha, his initials are GB, but I still love him nevertheless… ;-D) And oh my, if you get to do an interview, wow, that would be super! He is absolutely the best in OUAT.

            1. He certainly hasn’t went “Hollywood” and I respect him for that. He’s a ar better actor than, say, Ewan McGregor but chose not to go down the same line. As far as I’m concerned, Carlyle is the best Scottish actor around at present and has been for a number of years. I’m not sure of what kind of exposure he gets in the U.S. but he’s does a lot of British tv stuff that just blows your mind. I’m reluctant to ask him for an interview but I suppose, if you don’t ask you don’t get. 😉

              1. I hear ya Mark. I think the underrated ones are usually the better actor. I quite like Ewan though, even though man that guy is a workaholic. He must do like five or six movies a year!

                To tell you the truth, I wish GB hadn’t moved to LA and all that, I guess you could say he’s too ‘Hollywood’ now, I read in a magazine that he has a huge house there and he’s in tabloids a lot. I used to wish when he was still doing BBC shows like The Jury that one day he’d be famous and I’d see him everywhere. Now I wish he’s still a bit more ‘obscure’ y’know.

                I really respect Carlyle for being a family man and staying true to his roots, yet he still gets work. I think cinephiles know him here in the US as he’s done some great work, plus he’s in a Bond film which increases one’s exposure exponentially. He’s not a ‘household name’ though, but that’s probably what he wanted anyway. I long for GB to do more supporting roles like ‘Bobby’ does once in a while. Better than being a leading man in sub-par movies, y’know. But like Becky ‘Prarie Girl’ said, I do still have a soft spot for him, I think I always will 🙂

                1. A I’m a great supporter of all Scottish performers Ruth. I have to be, it’s such a small country and not many are likely to do the same (yourself excluded) 😉 I greatly admire mcGregor and GB but Carlyle’s integrity shines for me. He could’ve had it “Hollywood” style but chose not to for what would seem like family reasons.

                  Here’s a little TRUE story from the Carlyle household…. I was working this day but my partner took my eldest daughter Willow along to their house for Carlyle’s youngest son Pierce’s 5th birthday party. My youngest daughter Bonnie was about 9 month old at the time. According to my partner, she witnessed Robert and his wife shed a little tear that their youngest son had now reached such an age. As a result, they were completely taken with my 9 month old as if if was never going to happen for them again. They were kissing and cuddling her as if to remind themselves that it was all over now… They would never have another baby. (this was my partner’s explanation of events and personally I couldn’t give a shit! I just wanted a Q & A with Bobby) 😉 True story though!

  2. PrairieGirl

    Favorite Disney song? Easy! You’ll Be in My Heart by Phil Collins from the animated Tarzan (1999). It totally deserved its Best Original Song Academy Award in 2000.

    1. Oh right, that’s an awesome one for sure! I do have a penchant for the more ‘princess-y’ Disney flicks though but that one by Phil Collins is superb!

  3. I must say I don’t know Disney/Pixar music too welll, but I love that Brave soundtrack. I used to watch Once Upon a Time but it was a little bit too cute and family-orientated for my taste 🙂

    1. Glad you love Brave, it’s just a well-made film all around. Ahah well, I think the network calls themselves ABC Family so naturally it’s purposely not ‘dark’ like those in Showtime or HBO.

  4. I like “A Whole New World” from Aladdin and “Under The Sea” from The Little Mermaid from the old films. I adore Tangled! That very scene with the lanterns was beautiful, especially if you’ve seen it in 3D

    1. Can’t go wrong with your choices Asrap, there’s not many Disney songs I didn’t like. Man, now I wish I had seen Tangled in 3D, we actually saw it on Blu-ray and bought it soon afterwards.

  5. It’s funny, when it comes to Disney, I was never a big fan of their fairytale films. Apart from maybe Aladdin. Much preferred their animal films – all the music from The Lion King! Never fails to give me chills or send me to tears.

    With you on the soundtrack from Brave. Love the feel of the whole album. A couple of tracks bring tears to my eyes, especially track 16 – Noble Maiden Fair!

    1. Great choice Jaina, The Lion King definitely reign as one of the best soundtracks ever. I need to rewatch it one of these days, I remember tearing up during the Mufasa death scene.

      Hey you just came back from Scotland right? I hope you’ll post the pictures!

  6. Great post, Ruth! I’m a sucker for a good Disney theme even back to Sleeping Beauty (which was really Tchaikovsky, but whatever). And I totally agree with you about Once Upon a Time – I like the new take on the old fairy tales, but Robert Carlyle is pretty much the only reason I keep tuning in.

    1. I adore Sleeping Beauty, yes it’s Tchaikovsky’s genius obviously. Glad to hear you’re watching OUaT as well, Carlyle is such a great but underrated actor!

  7. I’m Scottish and have been meaning to see Brave for ages! Need to get around to it soon. Sounds like it’s a good one. Carrying on from some of the comments above, one of my friends lived in the same block as Robert Carlyle in Glasgow for a while. Don’t they ever actually met though….true story.

    1. Hi there, welcome to FC! I hope you see BRAVE soon. I think it’s a must see for every Scot 🙂 Oh that’s cool that your friend lives near Mr. Carlyle, he seems like a very down to earth fellow.

    1. Ahah, sounds like my Superman VHS tape when I was a wee girl. I think kids tend to watch things over and over, but fortunately for you Tangled is lovely even for adults 🙂

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