A Square With A Horn

The background music that allowed Ben to reference the racist lyrics in “Ev’rybody Wants To Be A Cat” without repeating them, came from a Aristocats karaoke track on YouTube, and was excerpted for the purposes of comment and review. Sources consulted but not referred to include the “Disney Odyssey” blog entry on the Aristocats and the Woolie Reitherman entry on the D23: Disney Archives site. An album with offcuts and alternate tracks from the film, mostly by the Sherman brothers, was released in 2012 as “The Lost Chords of the Aristocats”, and incorporated into the 2015 “Legacy Collection” re-release of the soundtrack. Richard Sherman singing “Le Jazz Hot”, the song that “Ev’rybody Wants To Be A Cat” was written to replace, can be listened to at Archive.org.

And, as an editorial note: considering that The Aristocats seems to herald the end of the Disney/Sherman relationship, and three Sherman tracks were cut from the final version of the film, it’s interesting to watch the Disney Blu-Ray, the special features on which seem to be primarily about shoring up the Sherman/Disney legacy.

The above — uploaded illegally to YouTube by “AristocatsFan1231“, a strangely self-declared fixation if I’ve ever seen one — is one of the special features on the DVD and has a underlying mission statement of recasting Aristocats as a “Sherman Brothers Soundtrack”. This is despite the fact that the two most remembered songs are by Terry Gilkyson and by Floyd Huddleston & Al Rinker. But The Shermans, even though they had their own public falling out with The Mouse at one point, have been re-embraced and beatified as Disney Royalty and part of the magic that established the Magic Kingdom. (The hagiographic appearance of their early selves as part of the machinery that undermined E.L. Travers’ wishes in Saving Mr. Banks feels like confirmation of this.)

The fact that one can watch these special features and leave with what are arguably the worst of The Aristocats songs stuck in one’s heads may eventually lead watchers to wonder why the songs they enjoyed aren’t the ones being celebrated or even mentioned.

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