May 28, 2024

The internet is getting worse in many ways but on the positive side it helped me identify a song from a toy keyboard I used to have, a mystery that had eluded me since childhood. It’s “Spanish Coffee” by Frank Mills:

It turns out I’m not alone, a lot of people had been wondering about this song. I guess it always stood out in our minds because it had a dramatic opening and a moody, wistful melody that felt incongrous with Jingle Bells and whatever else was on that keyboard. It’s still unclear to me why this particular song was used – I’m assuming it’s public domain but couldn’t find verification – but it’s very satisfying to close the file on this mystery.

May 7, 2024

Back in 2000 Disney had to rush to make The Emperor’s New Groove‘s release date because they couldn’t break a contract with McDonald’s:

Allers: When they went with Mark’s version, the one thing they didn’t do was change the release date. So the Kingdom of the Sun release date became The Emperor’s New Groove release date.

Fullmer: We had a year, literally, to put that whole thing together. There’s a deadline because we got a McDonald’s Happy Meal that has to come on a certain date, and there are big fines to pay if you don’t do that.

Advertisement for Captain America: Brave New World toys at McDonald's

Nowadays they just release Happy Meal toys for movies that won’t come out for another year.