On May 25, Richard M. Sherman left us at the age of 95. What do “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, “Winnie The Pooh”, “Colonel Hathi’s March” and “it’s a small world” have in common? These songs, and many others, are a part of our collective memory, all created by the legendary Robert and Richard Sherman. While both brothers were talented songwriters and composers, Robert had a preference for lyrics and Richard for music. And it’s precisely this music that has resonated throughout Disneyland Paris since it opened, now adding more than ever to its magic. 


Our musical journey with the Sherman brothers begins on Main Street, U.S.A. With two songs borrowed from the traditional ragtime repertoire, attentive listeners will recognise “Flitterin”’ from Summer Magic (1963) and “Fortuosity”, the title track from The Happiest Millionaire (1967), two live-action films set in the early 20th century, reminiscent of the era of Main Street, U.S.A. It sets an optimistic, fantastical yet nostalgic tone. You’ll also recognise our musical duo by the apparent simplicity of their songwriting, with a kind of heartwarming obviousness that still allows for all sorts of variations. This is the case with the melody of “Winnie the Pooh”, the main theme song from the short film, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966). It was used as the theme tune for all the films featuring our “silly old bear”, and was arranged for a chamber orchestra at the turn of the century as background music for Walt’s – an American Restaurant!  

The Jungle Book takes pride of place in Adventureland, particularly around Colonel Hathi’s Outpost Restaurant, where you can hear several tracks from the film’s soundtrack, including “Colonel Hathi’s March”, whose trumpeting arrangement would not be out of place with more traditional British brass bands such as the Royal Air Force March Past, and is reminiscent of the British-Indian origins of Rudyard Kipling, the author of the original book that inspired Walt. 

Next, let’s head to Fantasyland, with the unmissable “it’s a Small World” and its iconic theme song, which has become a veritable hymn to friendship between peoples, or “a prayer for peace”, as Richard liked to say. 

On Le Carrousel de Lancelot, you’ll find two well-known songs from Mary Poppins (1964), “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and the great favourite, “Feed the Birds”, played here on the “barrel organ”. 

In the Storybook Land ride, in the scene dedicated to The Sword in the Stone, which was the first Disney animated feature with songs written by the Sherman brothers, you can hear “The Legend of the Sword in the Stone”, which serves as an introduction to the film. The songwriters had a taste for parody, giving this song a medieval feel, as if sung by a troubadour performing old lyric poetry.  


But the Sherman brothers’ music at Disneyland Paris isn’t confined to the rides. It also plays a major role in the destination’s shows. Between 1998 and 2010, Winnie the Pooh and Friends featured songs by the two musical wizards.  

Mary Poppins is also often featured in spring shows such as Welcome to Spring (2015), which included many songs from the film, choreographed for the first time.  

And speaking of Mary Poppins, let’s not forget the show, A Million Splashes of Colour (2024), with a float dedicated to music, aptly named “Robert and Richard”, from which you can also hear extracts from the film with very modern arrangements.  

Another memorable street show, The Jungle Book Jive (2019) featured an astonishing and particularly spellbinding version of Kaa’s hypnotic song, “Trust in Me”, rendered in a Bollywood style performed by the divine Ghôldivah.  

The parades aren’t to be upstaged either. Songs have included “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Step in Time”, from Mary Poppins, in The Wonderful World of Disney Parade (1998). On Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade (2007), on the “Dreams of Friendship” float, this parade also included a more recent song from Hundred Acre Wood, “The Whoop-De-Dooper Bounce”, composed by our duo for the feature film The Tigger Movie (2000). 

We couldn’t end our musical journey without mentioning the Disney Cinema Parade (2002), created for the opening of the Walt Disney Studios Park, and its highly original, magical, yet also intimate, music, perfectly aligned with the spirit of “Feed the Birds”, which could be heard on this occasion. As is often the case with the Sherman brothers, their words take on a dual meaning. It only takes tuppence to feed the birds and similarly, it doesn’t take much to give love, just a simple gesture, a look, and some attention.  

Walt Disney understood this and “Feed The Birds” was his favourite song. Every Friday afternoon, he would come into Richard’s office and ask him to play it for him. Then his gaze would turn towards the window and he would begin to dream… 

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