It’s amazing the kind of things you can discover on YouTube.
I recently discovered these clips of Disney princesses performing their songs from the classic movies.
As in, the actual voices of Ariel, Belle, and others.
I watched the Jodi Benson clip above with mixed emotions.
I mean, it’s great and all to see one of your favourite voices of all time sing one of your favourite Disney songs of all time.
But we have to remember that “The Little Mermaid” came out in 1989, and that was 24 years ago!
Which means that Jodi Benson is now 24 years older than she was when she did the movie, which explains why her voice, although still recognisable, isn’t exactly the same as on the CD.
It’s kinda like if Michael Jordan comes back on the court today to play an exhibition match.
He’d probably still be better than 99% of people in the world, and we may still see glimpses of his trademark moves, but it’s just not the same Michael Jordan we saw on TV in the 90′s.
That’s one thing.
The other thing is that I feel that I’ve kinda lost a bit of my innocence after watching this clip, after seeing the REAL person behind the voice perform.
Maybe it’s just me…but you know how quirky I can be in my thinking.
In my mind I would have preferred to keep this image of Ariel (albeit a 2D cartoon character) being the actual owner of this amazing voice.
I would have preferred to have kept this fantasy in my mind, but alas, now this fantasy has been shattered.
Now on to Belle from “Beauty and the Beast”…
Honestly, this video clip affected me even more than the first one.
The good thing is that I almost shed a tear of joy when the crowd shouted along “Good morning Belle!” at 0:22 of the clip.
You can tell that this crowd is truly an aficionado crowd, which is nice.
The bad thing is I couldn’t bring myself to sit through this entire clip.
To me, it’s much more unwatchable than the first clip.
Because Paige O’Hara sounds nothing like she did back in 1991.
It’s shattering to see something like this.
It’s kinda like when we first saw Muhammad Ali, the greatest fighter of all time, struggling with Parkinson’s disease and being a far cry from when he was arguably the fittest athlete in the world.
But hey, look, I perfectly understand that it’s been 22 years since the film, and voices change as people age.
I’m not blaming her at all.
I’m just sad that this has affected my fantastical notions of Belle which I have been keeping in my mind for the past 22 years.
I find such things very important.
It’s like what they always say about telling a child that Santa doesn’t exist.
Ariel or Belle?
Anyhow, since we’re on this subject, I’ve been deliberating about this for the longest time: Who’s got the more beautiful voice – Ariel or Belle?
(I’m talking about back when the films were made of course, not right now.)
I’m fully aware that there is no conclusive and definitive answer to this, but it’s fun to just think about it.
I can’t decide which voice I love more.
Of all the princess voices Disney has had, in my mind it’s still ultimately down to Ariel and Belle as having the greatest two voices of them all.
That much I’m certain.
I once read somewhere that Disney had chosen Jodi Benson as Ariel because she had this all-American quality to her voice, whereas for Paige O’Hara being Belle, she had a slightly more European quality to her voice (since Belle was supposed to be from France).
Anyway, it’s really open to personal tastes.
But if you were to put a gun to my head and forced me to choose between Ariel or Belle, well, then I guess I would have to go with…Ariel.