ANIMATION SPIN
October 30, 2018 posted by Greg Ehrbar

Mickey Mouse’s Scary Record Collection, Part 2

We wrap up our Halloween/Mickey salute with some strange recordings in which Mickey, Goofy, Tigger and Pooh are mixed in with some genuine audio frights.

HALLOWEEN SONGS & SOUNDS
Walt Disney Records 80825-7 (Compact Disc)
Available for download on iTunes and Amazon

Released in 1997 and 2008. Compilation Producer: Nancy Matter. Sound Effect Segment Producer: Jymn Magon. Art Direction: David Braucher. Running Time: 27 minutes.

Voices: Jim Cummings (Tigger); Wayne Allwine (Mickey Mouse); Bill Farmer (Goofy).

Original Songs: “Which Witch is Which?” by Phil Baron, Richard Friedman; “They Don’t Scare Me” by Stephanie Gold, Steve Gold; “The Werewolf Song” by Marco Marinangeli, Jeff Delman; “Shake Your Bones” by Roy Zimmerman, Melanie Harby; “I Wanna Scare Myself” by Michael Silversher, Patty Silversher.

Classic Song: “Heffalumps and Woozles” (from Winnie the Pooh and The Blustery Day) by Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman.

“Frightening Situations”: “Night Creatures,” “Haunted House,” “The Dungeon,” “The Witches,” “Encounter in the Fog,” “Mad Scientist’s Laboratory.”

From the late ‘70s to the early new millennium, a number of excellent recordings were created using the Disney characters singing new songs and very familiar ones—usually with an amusing twist. There aren’t quite so many today, but the earlier albums are still largely available either on disc or as downloads, plus the songs seem to reappear on eternal compilations.

In 1997, a number of songs were recorded by Mickey, Goofy and Tigger. Goofy was a perfect fit for the Halloween pop novelty classic, “The Monster Mash,” Mickey insists that various frightening things don’t scare him, and Tigger seeks to scare himself. Some of Walt Disney Records’ best go-to songwriters, including Phil Baron (of Willio and Phillo and Goin’ Quackers!) and the Silvershers (who among other songs, wrote the Gummi Bears theme we mentioned a few weeks back).

Winnie the Pooh does not appear on the album at all, yet he is featured prominently on the 1997 and 2008 covers. This is a curious thing, because Pooh generally skews young. Yet the second half of this album contains selections from the 1979 album, NEW Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House (see below). This follow-up album to the gold-record winner from 1964 –that we talked about last week—is a far more disturbing listening experience for the very young than its tongue-in-cheek predecessor. It’s weird to hear a grave digger meet his doom, or a young lady pursued by a knife-wielding nutcase (though the scream from the original album has been edited out), on an album with the silly ol’ bear on the cover. Apparently no one seemed to mind, since Halloween is all about make-believe scary stories, but Pooh’s presence is still perplexing.


MICKEY’S MONSTER BASH
Fun and Frightful Songs and Sounds
Walt Disney Records 80825-7 (Compact Disc)
Available for download on iTunes and Amazon

Released in 2000. Compilation Producers: Randy Thornton, Ted Kryczko. Running Time: 31 minutes.

Voices: Wayne Allwine (Mickey Mouse); Bill Farmer (Goofy); Sterling Holloway (Kaa); Ken Page (Oogie Boogie); Thurl Ravenscroft, Jay Meyer, Chuck Schroeder, Verne Rowe, and Bob Ebright (Singing Busts); Bill Lee, Loulie Jean Norman (Ghosts).

Songs: “Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett, Leonard Capizzi; “This is Halloween” and “Oogie Boogie’s Song” (from The Nightmare Before Christmas) by Danny Elfman, Steve Gold; “Trust in Me” (from The Jungle Book) by Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman; “Grasshopper” (from A Bug’s Life Sing-Along) by Gary Powell, Chris Martin; “Be a Hyena with Me” by Gary Powell, Chris Martin.

Scary Sounds: “The Chamber,” “A Grave Matter,” “Haunted House,” “A Dark and Stormy Night,” “Ghastly Bats and Rats,” “Phantom Kitties.”

Veteran Walt Disney Records Producers Randy Thornton and Ted Kryczko seem to have taken more care with this album than the previous release, combining some of the character songs from the Pooh release with a few additional classic Disney songs.

The major change is in the sound effects section. Instead of simply picking up bits and pieces from the 1979 album, various elements from both the 1979 and 1964 Chilling, Thrilling albums were blended with new dialogue material featuring the voices of Mickey and friends, lending a comic approach to the proceedings. No knife-wielding nutcase this time, either—but plenty of phantom kitties!


Walt Disney Studios’
NEW CHILLING, THRILLING SOUNDS OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE

Disneyland Records #2507 (12” 33 1/3 RPM LP / Stereo)

Released in 1979. Producer: Jymn Magon, Gary Crawford. Writer: Gary Crawford. Running Time: 34 minutes.

Frightening Situations: “Night Creatures,” “Haunted House,” “The Dungeon,” “The Witches”, “Encounter in the Fog,” “A Grave Matter (The Grave Robbers),” “Mad Scientist’s Laboratory.”
Eerie Sound Effects: “The Elements,” “Creatures,” “Ghosts and Phantoms,” “Frightening Devices,” “Haunting Music.”

Producer (and Disneyland Records President) Jimmy Johnson saw no need to follow the success of 1964’s Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House with a sequel, though he did experiment further with the very odd The Sounds of Christmas. But 15 years after the original release, another producer—Jymn Magon—took on the task of taking the album many steps further, using stereo sound and improved technology.

“I hired a radio guy from Washington D.C. (an old buddy) to fly out to California and take the reins on that record, because I was super busy with Mickey Mouse Disco,” Magon told me. “His name is Gary Crawford, and he worked really hard on writing the ‘audio screenplay.’”

The jacket disclaimer reads: “This album will scare your socks off. Parental guidance suggested.” The 1964 Chilling, Thriling album contained a similar, albeit more formal, disclaimer. But the 1979 album is definitely more intense than the earlier one. While there are certainly scarier movies out there today that millions of kids watch, it’s of course up to responsible parents and caregivers to decide what’s best for individual kids.

The situations on side one have no narration, just vivid sequcnces of movie-like sound designs in full stereo using a wider range of effects, many created just for the album. “When the time came to record all the sound effects, I went with Gary to a Hollywood sound stage and we whipped up a lot of live effects,” Magon recalled. “For example, the swinging dungeon blade was actually a broom. The weird piano music was something I came up with on the spot. It was a fun evening.”

The music is included on side two. As on the first album, side two offers sound effects in grouped by categories, also in full stereo. Like Johnson, Magon followed this album another sound effects LP that was also highly unique called The Sounds of Outerspace.

NEW Chilling, Thriling Sounds of the Haunted House sold for several years both on vinyl and cassette tape, then both the 1964 and 1979 versions vanished with the arrival of compact discs. For several years, only a few selections from them would appear in various places (including that kooky Pooh CD). The 1979 album was not reissued in its complete form. The 1964 original, however, has gained such a following and significance that iTunes made it available as a download. That was followed by a commemorative vinyl edition from Walt Disney Records, packaged in its original white cover (without the “Spooky Party Hints”) for the first time since the original 1964 release.

3 Comments

  • I remember how the 1979 “Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House” didn’t have very many effects from Disney’s sound library; they did have a few of the thunder effects but that was it. I did also recognize the hooting owl and squeaking bats from Hanna-Barbara, and the howling wolves from “Sesame Street” along with one of the thunder sounds they used to always use with Count von Count (I believe those “Sesame Street” sound effects came from the Major Records library from Valentino.)

  • The song “I Wanna Scare Myself” was actually originally from the 1996 ABC special “Boo to You, Winnie the Pooh”. I have the cassette for “Halloween Songs & Sounds” but I believe Mickey was on the cover of my copy instead of Pooh and friends. I might need to dig that out of the house to make sure.

    • Thanks for that info, Nic!

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