They’ve written some of the most memorable songs in Disney theme park – and motion picture – history, and on March 11, 2010, the Academy Award-winning composers of the music from “It’s a Small World” and The Enchanted Tiki Room, as well as “Mary Poppins,” will receive the highest honor that the Disneyland Resort bestows. The Sherman brothers, Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, will receive a tribute window on Main Street, U.S.A.
Among the Shermans’ more than 150 Disney songs are such familiar Disney theme park compositions as “The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room” (theme of The Enchanted Tiki Room), “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” (theme of Carousel of Progress) and “It’s a Small World,” one of the most translated and performed songs on Earth. All three are still performed in their attractions at Disney theme parks around the world, making the music as contemporary today as when it was composed.
“Richard and Robert Sherman’s contribution to Disney spans 50 years and has touched virtually every aspect of our company,” said Robert A. Iger, president and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “By dedicating a window on Main Street, U.S.A. inside Disneyland we are pleased to recognize them with one of the highest honors our company bestows.”
“The music of the Sherman brothers has left an indelible mark on the Walt Disney Company and still resonates in Disney parks around the world,” said Tom Staggs, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman. “Their songs – particularly ‘It’s a Small World’ and the score of ‘Mary Poppins’ – are not just touchstones of Disney, but of American culture as a whole. The whole world sang these songs when they were new and they still sing them today almost five decades later. Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman are honored members of the Disney family.”
The tradition of honoring individuals with a personalized decorative window was started on Main Street, U.S.A. by Walt Disney and has continued at Disney parks worldwide. A Disneyland window is considered the ultimate honor anyone can receive from “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
The careers of Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman span almost 50 years and include two Academy Awards for “Mary Poppins” – Best Score, and Best Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” The Sherman brothers gained recognition in popular music with several Top Ten hits, among them “Let’s Get Together,” sung in “The Parent Trap” by Hayley Mills; “Tall Paul,” Annette Funicello’s first Top Ten single; and “You’re Sixteen,” which made the Top Ten twice: sung by Johnny Burnette in 1960 and by Ringo Starr in 1974. In 1960, they began a phenomenal 10-year association with Walt Disney, during which time they composed more than 150 songs for Disneyland Park, other Disney parks, and Disney films and television shows. Their Disney credits include “The Jungle Book,” “Bedknobs and Broomsticks,” “The Sword in the Stone,” “The Aristocats,” “The Happiest Millionaire,” the “Winnie the Pooh” series and, of course, “Mary Poppins.” The theatrical version of “Mary Poppins” is consistently among Broadway’s top-grossing shows and is in its fourth highly successful year at the New Amsterdam Theatre. The North America tour continues to be a hit, and the show’s popularity is growing around the globe with international productions opening in Australia and Holland later this year.
The Sherman brothers went on to compose other song scores for “Snoopy Come Home,” “Charlotte’s Web,” the Broadway musical “Over Here,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (later brought to the stage in London and New York), “Tom Sawyer,” “Huckleberry Finn,” “The Slipper and the Rose,” “The Magic of Lassie” (which earned their ninth Academy Award nomination for Best Song), “The Tigger Movie,” the stage musical “Busker Alley” and “Beverly Hills Cop 3.”
Among the Sherman brothers’ honors are three Grammy Awards, 24 gold and platinum albums and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They have also been named Disney Legends, a designation which acknowledges the many individuals whose imagination, talents and dreams have created the Disney magic.