Walt Disney Pictures’ Aladdin came out twenty-three years ago, right smack in the middle of what is now referred to as the “Disney Renaissance.” It was a time when the studio churned out animated musical classics—under the musical directions of people like Howard Ashman, Alan Menken, and Tim Rice—in a way that the Disney Animation Studio hadn’t since all the way back in Walt’s day. The Disney Renaissance began with The Little Mermaid in 1989 and some say peaked with The Lion King in 1994. Aladdin was also one of the crown jewels of this time period and not just for Robin Williams’ memorable portrayal of the Genie, but also for its amazing musical score from Menken, Ashman, and Rice.
Probably the most remembered song from the Aladdin soundtrack was “A Whole New World”, sung as a duet by Aladdin and Princess Jasmine as they go on a magic carpet ride all over the world. The original version was sung by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga in the film, and they also performed the song at the Academy Awards that year, where it won the Oscar for Best Original Song. (Not to mention the fact that it also won the Grammy for Song of the Year at the time as well.) A “pop” version was also recorded for the radio Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle which was the not-as-cool version you’d hear at weddings and such—but every true Disney fan knows that Kane and Salonga’s version is the real version of the song.
Recently, Brad Kane and Lea Salonga reunited after two decades to sing “A Whole New World” together again on Good Morning America in an effort to help promote the new Blu-ray edition of Aladdin, which hits stores on October 13th. And the pair sounded just as good as they did when they recorded the song in 1992. Hearing them sing it should give you all the nostalgic feels and then some. You can listen their rendition of the song, together with composter Alan Menken at the piano, in the video above.
And remember, don’t you dare close your eyes.
IMAGE: Walt Disney Studios