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Interview: Tiffany Thornton

Posted on October 5, 2009 at 8:00 am

Disney star Tiffany Thornton sings the classic “Some Day My Prince Will Come” on the spectacular new release of Disney’s very first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It is a two=DVD set with both Blu-Ray and regular DVDs and a lot of extras, including a sneak peek at the upcoming “Princess and the Frog.” I got a chance to talk to Tiffany about what it feels like to take on a song that is so well-known.

How did you get involved with this project?

I did the song “Let it Go” for “Hatching Pete,” but I was more rapping, and then I did a song for DisneyMania called “If I Ever Knew You,” and I hope I impressed them enough that they were willing to give me the opportunity to do this, and they flew out a producer from Nashville named Mark Hammond who was incredible to work with. I’m blessed to have been given the opportunity. I love this song because it’s not like a techno twist which is what you do a lot of times when you want to amp up a song that was originally a ballad. It has the ballad but also a mid-tempo, almost an up-tempo feel when it kicks in, so I hope people will enjoy that.

This is one of the classic Disney songs. How do you make it yours?

Mark did such a great job reconstructing the song. I’m really going to give him all the credit. He knew how to bring my voice out, get it to sound ethereal and princess-like but also to sound also like myself. I’m from Texas so I have that country thing in my voice going on. And I do all the background vocals, the harmonies and all of that stuff.

What is the most fun thing about singing for you?

The honest of it, really. I love acting and singing so much and could never pick one. With acting it’s fun to pretend to be someone else and that’s awesome, it’s like playing dress-up. But with singing, it’s you, being vulnerable, putting this voice out there, knowing people may criticize you and ridicule you. Because people are like that with music. Music is very expressive for a lot of people. I went through a break-up a few months ago and I was listening to Taylor Swift saying “Were you in the room when we were talking about that? How do you know all those things?” Music is really close to my heart and I just want to make sure people can feel that when I sing.

And who besides Taylor Swift is on your iPod?

Demi ‘s album that just came out, Here We Go Again, is incredible. I listen to her song “Got Dynamite” every time I go to the gym. And “World of Chances” which she wrote with John Mayer is a great song. At my photo shoot yesterday I listened to a lot of Carrie Underwood. And I love James Morrison and The Script, Matt Nathanson. I love those gritty guy voices. And Sara Bareilles I think is amazing.

If you could do any Disney song next, what would it be?

“Once Upon a Dream” from “Sleeping Beauty.”

When did you know you wanted to be a performer?

From day one! We put on performances in my front yard. I was always wanting to be in the spotlight. I made up songs, I wanted to be a cheerleader.

I was super-into really powerful singers. My mom and I jammed out to BeBe & CeCe Winans, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston. I’m not a singer because I’m on a Disney show; I’m a singer because God gave me a gift and I want to share it with the world.

And so what’s next?

I’m going to be singing a duet with Kermit the Frog in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade!

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Roller Skating on Film

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 8:00 am

Rotten Tomatoes salutes “Whip It” with a list of the best roller skating scenes in movies. My favorite is this one, with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers skating to “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”

And I also love Gene Kelly’s athletic tap dance on roller skates in “It’s Always Fair Weather.”

And also wonderful is Charlie Chaplin’s roller skating in “The Rink,” as graceful as dancing.

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For Your Netflix Queue Great Movie Moments

Two ‘Toy Stories” in Three Dimensions!

Posted on October 2, 2009 at 8:00 am

In anticipation of the release of Toy Story 3 in 3D, Disney is issuing the first two as a 3D double feature. The original Toy Story was the first computer-animated feature film but what make it successful was its heartwarming story about rival toys, Woody the cowboy (voice of Tom Hanks) and astronaut Buzz Lightyear (voice of Tim Allen). The sequel, Toy Story 2 is even better, with a rescue story that is wise as well as funny and some touching insights about love and loss. Whether they are already family favorites or your children are just old enough to enjoy them for the first time, this double feature is worth a trip to the theater.

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The “Christmas Carol” Train Tour

Posted on October 1, 2009 at 12:00 pm

If the “Christmas Carol” train comes to your town, try to get to see it. Robert Zemeckis, who made “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Forrest Gump,” and “Back to the Future,” loves to push the technology envelope, and this time he has gone well into WOW category with an animated 3D experience that is so immersive you will try to catch the snowflakes with your tongue.
The train has a tantalizing array of exhibits including handwritten pages from author Charles Dickens, costumes, drawings, and behind-the scenes footage showing the amazing technology behind the film, scheduled for release in November. You can see actors, including Jim Carrey (who plays seven roles), Gary Oldham, Robin Wright Penn, and Colin Firth, their faces covered with what look like black chicken pox so that motion capture cameras will pick up every detail of their expressions and movements. You can even have your own features morph into the characters and have the picture emailed to you. But the best part is the brief footage of the film itself. The 3D effects are stunning and it is a lot of fun to see 21st century technology employed to re-create Victorian London. I am really looking forward to seeing one of my all-time favorite stories produced with such imagination and detail.

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Behind the Scenes

The (Real) Informant

Posted on October 1, 2009 at 8:00 am

If you saw the new Matt Damon movie, The Informant! and would like to know more about the real-life Mark Whitacre, the highest-level and most productive white collar informant in history, listen to the episode of This American Life that inspired the film. The movie is entertaining but the real story is fascinating.

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Behind the Scenes
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