Childhood Musicals- The Importance

There are different phases when it comes to musicals, which it was for me. So far, it was the childhood musicals, middle school/ high school musicals, and the college musicals. Those combined are way I am the musical fan I am today.

Yes, the childhood musicals are the beginning of what I know them to be. After all, it is very hard to not to be exposed musicals after childhood. After all, several of children are exposed to Disney, which makes an amazing chance they will come across a musical at least once in my life time.

While Wicked truly was the beginning of my musical theatre journey, those childhood musicals still made a part in my love for musicals. Due to being born in 1994, I was around the classic Disney musicals: Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, and Aladdin were the ones I remember the most. It was their main love song that stuck with me the most- I fell in love with “Beauty and the Beast”, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, and “A Whole New World” are a huge reason why I know I saw those musical movies. It was the childhood musicals that made me want to see Dance/Spectacle in musicals, and they started one of the core emotions: the one of excitement.

It wasn’t just Disney musicals I fell in love with in childhood. The ones I remember the most outside of Disney were Annie and Sound of Music. “Tomorrow” and “Edelweiss” are my favorite songs from those musicals. Now that I know of emotional connection in musicals, I now have realized why I loved them and why both of them are meaningful. I was connected to Annie’s optimism- I am also an optimistic person. So without knowing, I already formed an emotional connection with Annie. Just like Annie, I couldn’t figure what the meaning of Sound of Music, but after picking up on emotional connection, I know exactly why it is one of the meaningful musicals- it belonged to family and music. They also formed a role in the foundation of musicals.

I really don’t remember if love was also was an emotion I discovered in elementary school or middle school. While three love songs stuck with me in elementary school, I honestly don’t know if I picked up on love. So, that was a huge reason why I usually say excitement and joy began the first core emotions, and at the time had no idea there were five of them. Some of my childhood musicals had sad or heartbreaking songs, but I honestly had no idea.

There is something about childhood musicals that can’t be expressed in other musicals. After all, when I see them I feel like a child again, and then of course there is the nostalgia. I love all of them more than ever now- now that I am aware of the five core emotions. Those musicals really started the foundation of what I want in a musicals. So, they played a huge part in my journey before the love was sparked.

What do you think makes childhood musicals so special?

Favorite Major Characters (that are not the main character)

You know how we have protagonists in musicals, who serve as the main characters. There are still characters who are quite important- these are called major characters. Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out who are the secondary characters and who belong in the major characters——-the secondary characters are the next level down. So here some of my favorite major characters.

  1. Genie
  2. Jasmine
  3. Katherine
  4. Nala
  5. Fiyero
  6. Raoul
  7. Eponine
  8. Enjolras
  9. Fantine
  10. Marius
  11. Cosette
  12. Beast
  13. Lumiere
  14. Chip
  15. Mrs. Potts
  16. Cogsworth
  17. Crutchie
  18. Davey
  19. Rafiki

I wish I could think of more major characters. I know I love more than this list.

If I Can't Love Her

We once again are back in France and another Disney musical. It is a romantic comedy that is truly magical. What musical am I referring to- Beauty and the Beast. Why do I love Beauty and the Beast?

Songs:

The songs are truly wonderful to listen to. They are magical, exciting, romantic, and heartbreaking. For the most part, they are exciting and romantic. Belle and Beast’s relationship develops over time: that is why you have both “Something There” and the truly magical and enchanting “Beauty and the Beast”. Even “If I Can’t Love Her” plays a part in this- that is the heartbreaking song in this. Songs like “Belle”, “Gaston”, “Be Our Guest”- especially “Be Our Guest” are exciting numbers despite “Gaston” belonging to the villain of the musical.

Characters:

Belle- She is an incredible main character. She is brave, independent, strong, and a bookworm, but the town she lives in thinks she “rather odd”. She can see beauty from within- she strongly loves her father and you see that constantly throughout the musical and eventually through her love for the Beast.

Beast- At first, you might hate him, but in reality he is an amazing character. He is so complex and yes, he does has a temper problem. Look- when Belle comes, she teaches him how to love and become a better person. Beast was trapped as a Beast (he is really a prince in disguise-at the time he was selfish and cruel leading to a curse on the castle). He is in a lot of despair and grief- he isn’t the real monster of Beauty and the Beast- he is truly kind and gentle after falling in love with Belle.

Gaston- well, well, well-Gaston is our true monster. If you think about it, this musical technically in some ways is a love triangle between Belle, Beast, and Gaston. Gaston’s only goal was to marry Belle-however not with the right intentions. Gaston is so in love with himself that I don’t think he even loved Belle to begin with- I think because Gaston is so handsome, I think he just wanted to marry Belle because of her beauty.

Maurice- The only one who thinks he isn’t crazy is Belle. He got captured by the Beast and tried to stop Belle from taking his place. Eventually, tried to get help, but the whole town thought he was having delusions about a beast and enchanted objects. He loved his daughter that much- to keep her safe.

Lumiere/Cogsworth/Mrs. Potts/Chip- I love the enchanted objects. There is something amazing about them. It makes the musical to be quite magical in so many ways.

Plot: Major Spoilers:

It all started when an old beggar woman entered the castle to escape the bitter cold. It was home to a selfish and unkind prince. She offered him a rose to escape the cold, but he would not let her in. Trying again to enter, the prince still said “no”. Now seeing there was no love in his heart, the old woman turned into a beautiful enchantress and cursed the entire castle. The curse could only be broken if he could fall in love and be loved in returned, but the rose was magical- he only had until the last petal fell. The prince was turned into a Beast. Who would love a beast?

Now, our story begins

Our story begins with a prologue explaining the castle and curse. Belle is our main character. It is in our entire first song (“Belle”) that we get to meet our main character and villain. “Belle” may be a long song, but it makes us get to know the town and lifestyle Belle lives and who is in her way. We also get to know what the town thinks of her.

The story truly starts when Belle actually takes her father’s place at the Beast’s castle. Maurice was supposed to go the market, but because of going the wrong way, he ended up at the Beast’s castle and got captured. Good thing, Belle realized her father was missing and that the horse her father was riding knew the way to the castle. Having so much love for her father, Belle ended up taking her father’s place- that is a huge moment when you can see that she is a brave character.

The way Belle and Beast’s relationship develops is interesting. First, Belle wants nothing to do with him. However, after an incident in the West Wing, that is when we start to a change in the Beast: that is when he finally sees he made a big mistake and ended up going after Belle to save her from the wolves: after that, Belle could have escaped, but from being a caring person she took Beast back. They have warmed to each other a little bit more despite a little bit of screaming due to Beast’s temper. It was during “Something There” when they develop feelings for each other and finally at “Beauty and the Beast” when they have fallen in love.

However, over in the background with Gaston, he still is trying to find ways to marry Belle, but clearly she isn’t interested and she already made that clear to Gaston. When Belle finds that her father is in danger, Beast does let Belle go, but little does Beast know that she will come back. Gaston, out of anger after finding out about Belle’s feelings for the Beast, decides to kill him- this is when Belle wants to warn him. Gaston is a horrible person and doesn’t care about anyone but himself and not even his sidekick, Lefou.

This is truly a magical and enchanting musical.

Conclusion:

This is one of three musicals I love that takes place in France. The songs are truly romantic. I love most of the characters. I love the plot due to the romantic and magic found in it. Out of all the classic Disney princesses, I think it is Belle I relate to the most.

Favorite Song: Beauty and the Beast

Favorite Protagonists of Musicals

One of the most crucial elements of a musical is the protagonist (the main character). It is their story that we want to follow along with the various subplots. Who are some of my favorite protagonists?

  1. Elphaba/Glinda
  2. Aladdin
  3. Belle
  4. Simba
  5. Elsa/Anna
  6. Jack Kelly
  7. Christine
  8. Jean Valjean
  9. Annie
  10. Oliver
  11. Harold Hill
  12. Maria- the Sound of Music one

Why do two have two protagonists listed. Frozen and Wicked just happen to have two main characters in them, and I wouldn’t choose one over the other to be the primary protagonist.

Heartbreak in Love for Musicals

Romance is a common theme for musicals. It is a beautiful emotion filled with fragility, vulnerability, and innocence. The innocence comes from the young characters. What happens when a character deals with unrequited love, breakup, and betrayal. The nature of heartbreak enters- that deals with even more emotions: sadness and anger and heartbreak. Of course you are hurt, but the way these characters deal with it vary. What are examples of some of these songs? This time- coming from movies and stage shows.

Major Spoilers

  1. I’m Not That Girl
  2. I’m Not That Girl (Reprise)
  3. On My Own
  4. If I Can’t Love Her
  5. If I Can’t Love Her (Reprise)
  6. Evermore- this is Beast’s version of If I Can’t Love Her from the 2017 Beauty Live Action movie
  7. This Nearly Was Mine
  8. All I Ask of You (Reprise)
  9. As Long as He Needs Me
  10. Somewhere
  11. True Love-I listened to this song before a couple of times, but can’t believe they are cutting it from Frozen. It is a pivotal and important moment for Anna- after Hans confesses he doesn’t love her (so after he betrays Anna). Just by listening to the song alone, I knew the song was heartbreaking and where it happened. Cutting it almost makes it seem as if she wasn’t one of our two protagonists. Hopefully it stays in the Original Broadway Soundtrack.

This is the list of heartbreaking love songs. A lot of young characters. Some are ironic (the ones where things improve) and some are non-ironic (the ones where nothing improves). Heartbreak is just as beautiful as the typical love songs. They just have more emotions and are more likely to drive you to tears.