This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the Disney Sing Along Series – Flik’s Musical Adventure in Disney’s Animal Kingdom! This week we celebrated Earth Day and along with it the 23rd anniversary of Animal Kingdom. What a perfect time to fire up the DVD player and pop in another edition of the fan favorite Disney Sing Along Songs. Readers of this fine blog series know how much we love this amazing series, as we first watched the incredible Disneyland Fun, followed up with the spookiness of Happy Haunting, traveled to Fort Wilderness for Campout at Walt Disney World, and put on our ol’ swimmin’ trunks and sunscreen for Beach Party at Walt Disney World. Today’s adventure will take place in one of our all time favorite theme parks, Animal Kingdom. Keep in mind that – for the most part – this is an Animal Kingdom much different than the one we know today, as it was filmed before Expedition Everest was built, and even before the controversial Chester & Hester’s Dinorama was added to Dinoland USA.
# 6 – Circle of Life
In a surprising move, Flik’s Musical Adventure starts off with possibly the worst rendition of Lion King’s iconic Circle of Life song (well, maybe it’s the second worst.) I say surprising because Disney owns the original version of Circle of Life that everyone loves. This particular cover of Circle of Life may have been created just for this program. Great idea in theory, horrible in execution. As Bobby “the Brain” Heenan would say, “Million dollar body, ten cent brain.”
Anyway, as Circle of Life plays in the background, we get an interesting mix of the animals on the Tree of Life mixed with footage of real animals at Animal Kingdom.
They also at times put in clips of the actual Lion King animated film, which makes the decision not to use the original Circle of Life song even more bonkers.
There are several solid transitions between real life animal footage and moments from one of Disney’s most beloved classics.
Then, OUT OF NOWHERE, we get a moment of footage of young Simba and Nala during the I Just Can’t Wait To Be King sequence.
At the end of the song, Mickey and Minnie welcome us to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This was taken directly in front of the park entrance. DID YOU KNOW: This very same location was the setting for a story which seems too incredible to believe, but I promise is 100% true. Several years ago an individual took a photo of this area from a TouringPlans blog post and photoshopped themselves into the photo to “prove” they took a family vacation to WDW. You can read all about this story – and more – in the 2016 Theme Park Turkeys of the Year Awards.
# 5 – Meet Flik
Now that we are inside the Animal Kingdom park, it’s time to meet our host, Flik the ant from Pixar’s A Bug’s Life. In a clever moment, we are shown the Tree of Life and told to “look down.” Eventually we discover a large ant hill on the ground and we follow our way down to it and meet Flik inside.
Flik is not voiced by his normal voice actor Dave Foley. Usually this would be par for the course, because – especially in this era – stars from movies rarely came back to do voice over work for smaller things like television cartoons or straight-to-DVD sequels. However, the Disney Sing Along Series has usually gone above and beyond in getting top notch voice talent, including bringing back Jodi Benson as Princess Ariel for Beach Party. It is definitely noticeable that this is not the Flik voice we are used to. May not be “Hermoine Granger’s voice in Universal’s Hogwarts Express” level bad, but certainly a step down.
Flik lets us know we are about to embark on a “musical journey” throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We go to the Wildlife Express train pulling up to Harambe station.
Mickey and Minnie are here to welcome us.
We are also introduced to our tour guide, Ceota.
In an interesting departure from the rest of the Sing Along Series, we are then introduced to each individual child. We find out their name and one defining characteristic. This is a little pointless because it means nothing as it doesn’t relate to the rest of the show. Below is Amy, who is “always thinking ahead.” She suggests to the group that they all try to take a picture of “the most dangerous animal.”
We’re told Brittany “is enthusiastic about everything!” This means she’ll grow up to be a Walt Disney World invited media guest.
Kalina “loves taking pictures.” I sure hope she has throughly read up on our essential guide to THEME PARK PHOTOGRAPHY.
Thea “always wants to be the center of attention,” AKA a future instagram star.
Joshua “must have tried on 20 hats before picking this one.” I think Josh just may have grown up to be one of the eBay pirates that we run into every month over at Ye Olde Disney Outlet Store Outlet Report.
# 4 – March of the ARTimals
The kids first go to Harambe, and enjoy some street music and dancing set to the song “Welcome to Harambe.”
During this segment we get a lot of brief looks at some of the great signage in the area.
At one point Flik is then superimposed on the screen, dancing along with the music.
What we are about to see next may appear odd to any reader of a younger age: a daytime parade in a Florida Disney theme park.
The March of the ARTimals parade made its debut with the opening of Animal Kingdom in April, 1998 and lasted until June of the following year.
It is, well, something. I’ve never personally had an LSD-induced psychedelic nightmare, but at least now I can say I’ve seen one.
For those who want to watch this full parade, check out the video below by Disney Dave.
# 3 – Kilimanjaro Safaris
We go back to Flik’s place and now he is dressed up in his explorer gear from A Bug’s Life. Flik tells us that we are going out to explore, and unveils a pretty cool map of Animal Kingdom.
I would definitely buy a re-creation of this park map.
A close up of the map reveals the different areas of Animal Kingdom. For whatever reason, Camp Minnie-Mickey is never shown on screen or talked about during the entire presentation. You would think of all the lands presented to an audience of mostly kids, Camp Minnie-Mickey would get the MOST amount of screen time. Instead it gets none.
Flik lets us know we’ll be heading from Harambe to Kilimanjaro Safaris in the Africa section of the park.
Before we headed out on safari, we got to see a pretty neat blueprint schematic of a Kilimanjaro Safari vehicle.
What happened next almost blew my mind. The screen began to do a close up of the vehicle, and it started to rotate towards us.
Then we got an incredible segue as a real Kilimanjaro Safaris vehicle started to replace the schematic. In 2021 this is basic computer stuff, but for the Disney Sing Along series this is groundbreaking animation at a level we don’t see in any of the other shows.
I must have rewound this moment five times to rewatch it.
The kids and our tour guide were in this Kilimanjaro Safaris vehicle.
The song “On Safari” played as we got a look at many of the animals you will see on the actual ride. Considering this is one of my all time favorite attractions at any theme park, it’s safe to say I loved this segment.
Cheetahs were shown running, which is something I have never seen on any of my who-knows-how-many safaris.
Okay, it’s about to get weird again. All of a sudden Flik is flipping through some sort of book. We are never told why or even what this book is. The manic scribblings inside suggest it could be from one of the notebooks found in John Doe’s creepy apartment in the movie Se7en.
Flik begins to read animal facts from the book, including one about rhinos being faster than you would think. Notice the drawing of the rhino on the left hand side, along with the drawing of a hut on the right hand side.
We zoomed in closer, and the rhino started to become an animation. It was eating grass while a bird sitting on top of the rhino eventually flew away.
Flik tells us that rhinos can run up to 30 miles per hour. The rhino began running across the page.
The rhino goes into the next page and DESTROYS THE HUT! I must state again, for the Disney Sing Along Series, this is like the time Disney dropped the mic in Beauty & the Beast with Belle and Beast dancing in the CGI ballroom.
This book is just CRAZY.
Another fact we are told is that no two zebras have the same stripe pattern. The zebra on the page began to rotate through different looks.
Then we saw an ostrich walking around before squatting down and laying an egg.
Like I could make that up.
We’re told that an ostrich egg is the equivalent of two dozen chicken eggs.
The book segment ends with a nod to DaVinci, and reminds us that we humans are animals too.
# 2 – Pangani Forest and The Weirdest Thing You’ll Ever See on a Disney Sing Along Series
Our next stop is the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. Our guide tells us to be extra quiet as we observe animals in the “wild.” Specifically, gorillas.
We are told that orangutans also like to have fun. Amy grabs a pair of binoculars and….
…a sequence that can be best described as a Fever Dream begins..
What appear to be three giant orangutan dancers start grooving out to “I Want To Be Like You” from The Jungle Book. There are bananas on top of their heads, designed to look like both their hair and possibly a crown. They are also wearing bras made out of watermelons. That is a sentence I never expected to ever write.
Sometimes the eye can’t unsee what it has seen.
The kids begin to dance as well.
When you think of the amount of people who had to create this sequence… approve of this sequence…film this sequence…and at no point did someone say, “Are you serious?!”
Interspersed throughout the song were clips from The Jungle Book animated film along with clips of real life chimpanzees/apes/etc goofing around.
Oh it gets better. During the song, a moment comes up where the screen begins to put together combinations of human and animal faces. Now I *think* the point of this was to show how similar we humans are to the ape family. That theory holds up until all of sudden parts of other types of animals also appear. THIS WAS INSANE.
Mickey Mouse?! WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!!
I feel like the top part of this photo is the head of Albert Einstein, but that makes no sense in the context of this video. There are so many animal-related famous people that could have been used instead. Jane Goodall, Steve Irwin, or Jack Hannah for example.
WHAT IS GOING ON?!!!!
Ultimately we end up with the three pieces of the screen combining to form a fully realized Flik.
# 1 – DINOLAND U.S.A.
Next up we are headed to Dinoland U.S.A.
The main song used for this segment is Walk The Dinosaur from the band Was (Not Was).
Dinoland U.S.A. was significantly different than the area we know today, but there were still some things that have stayed the same, such as the giant brachiosaurus skeleton.
The kids swarmed into The Boneyard area to play.
Our main crew were dressed up like Cavemen and Cavewomen, doing an synchronized dance routine.
We also saw some clips of dinosaurs from animated films. I’m assuming from the movie Fantasia.
The kids were even shown dancing in front of this large T-Rex skeleton. This area, a dinosaur exhibit that was inside a large greenhouse-like structure, has been replaced by Chester and Hester’s Dinorama.
The kids then went on the ride Countdown to Extinction (which was later changed to the ride we know today, Dinosaur). I can’t help but think some of these kids were way too young for an intense attraction like this.
Just what every six year old needs to see, a scary dinosaur devouring another dinosaur whole.
The Carnosaur makes an appearance.
We then go back to Flik who lets us know that another animal lived during the time of dinosaurs. Insects.
This led to a full-on song parody of the “it’s a small world” song titled “it’s a bug’s world.” All the clips used during this segment were directly from A Bug’s Life.
I’ve taken the time to transcribe this song for your enjoyment:
When the moon comes up in the starry skies
We can see the world with a thousand eyes
In the warmth of the spring, when the crickets sing
it’s a bug’s world
When the morning dew falls down on our fuzz
and we hop hop hop, and we buzz buzz buzz
and we fly through the air without ever a care
it’s a bug’s world
Underneath a leaf or behind a stone
There’s a wondrous world, a universe unknown
From the spider to the flea, to the giant bumble bee
it’s a bug’s world
Some of us can fly high up in the air
Some of us can squeeze into anywhere
We can make lines so straight, carry 10 times our weight
it’s a bug’s world
Honorable Mention – Disney Sing Alongs Gets DARK
Each segment of this program ended with one of the kids taking a picture of a “dangerous animal.” For whatever reason these pictures were shown in black & white. At the very end, the child Dominique took a photo of the group.
It was revealed that Dominique won the contest, because humans are the most dangerous animal. Flik talked about some of the animals we had seen earlier during the day, including the black rhino and an elephant, revealing both had been hunted by poachers. Flik explained that other animals face the consequences of human actions, stressing the power of conservation.
So there you have it: Six Reasons We Love Disney Sing Along Songs – FLIK’S ADVENTURE AT DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles covering the latest from the Disney Outlet Stores. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).
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Special Thanks to The Elite Brandon Glover, the bio-est of all reconstructs @bioreconstruct, Captain Cruiseline Scott Sanders of the world famous Disney Cruise Line Blog, my personal protege Hunter “Elvey” Underwood, the SAT SIX Fun Squad of Parkscope Joe and “the Dadalorian” Nick, hot shot Michael Carelli, charter member of the Universal Four @Nitro230, and Hermione Granger’s tutor Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. The SAT SIX is inspired each week by goofballs Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde and you Potterheads will enjoy Meg’s other blog work over at the Central Florida Slug Club.