Lang Lang Plays Disney (2023) Movie Script

(light music playing)
NARRATOR: Lang Lang is a unique artist
and certainly a unique classical artist,
because this guy has superpowers.
The highest echelon
of classical piano playing.
Lang Lang at an early age, like, three,
was already playing the piano.
And he had all the world's
greatest piano literature
to fill his days and his soul.
There's a stereotype
of a classical pianist,
staid and composed and proper,
but Lang Lang, he's more like a rock star.
With Lang Lang,
there's always another chapter,
and another level,
and another form of expression.
He wanted to do these famous songs
from Disney.
A lot of these songs
he knew them in his heart.
They meant something to him.
So when you combine that
with the world's greatest piano player,
it's like fireworks.
(melodic music playing)
It's a big production.
Combining Lang Lang and Disney songs,
and the Royal Albert Hall
is like the Holy Grail.
The architecture of the building,
the history of the building.
This is a special environment.
Let's go.
NARRATOR: The music rising from the stage
and the orchestra,
everybody dressed to the nines
and playing their hearts out.
For a moment, music carries you away
to this other place.
(audience applauding)
LANG LANG: Thank you.
Thank you very much. Beautiful.
How are you?
Thank you.
(applause stops)
("Beauty and the Beast"
instrumental playing)
(music fades)
(audience applauding)
(light music playing)
Four, take one, Alpha, Bravo,
and Charlie, mark.
MAN: Mark hit.
As a kid, I actually had a very tough
practicing process.
RON: Those early years for him
were very, very challenging,
there's a lot of piano competitions,
there's a lot of pressure,
a lot of pressure on a young boy.
In this new generation,
everybody has a lot of, uh,
you know, hobbies.
LANG LANG: But when I was a kid,
I... I maybe more focused in music.
He's always very passionate,
and he's always very authentic.
His story, really kind of reflects also
a lot of Disney values.
GINA: To believe in your dreams,
and also to always stay brave,
to take challenges and risks,
and mostly important,
um, to have a good heart.
I did a lot of practicing,
and, uh, I think I did six hours
when I was six years old,
because I had to go through
all those major, minor keys of scales,
arpeggios, chords, octave,
and then I get into the music pieces
from Bach, Mozart, to Chinese folk music.
So every day, I actually only have,
like, 30 minutes to watch, uh, television,
and then I use that 30 minutes
to watch cartoons.
LANG LANG: Mickey Mouse,
Donald Duck, Goofy, you know,
all those great characters.
This great animation,
you know, inspired me,
helping me to understand life,
helping me to learn different cultures,
it's also an escape
from my hard practicing,
my magic carpet, you know,
for 30 minutes every day.
Classical music's part of the success
of Disney films.
The music style of Disney
has to be passionate,
touching people's hearts,
it has to be emotional.
After Lang Lang became a father,
his heart became stronger,
and softer at the same time.
LANG LANG: Something really changes me
is when I'm having my first kid.
Once I started playing Tarzan,
I found that, through him,
a new Disney journey just start,
and I felt more connected
to the character.
(audience cheering)
(applause stops)
("You'll Be In My Heart" playing)
Come stop your crying
It will be all right
Just take my hand, hold it tight
I will protect you from all around you
I will be here, don't you cry
This bond between us can't be broken
I will be here, don't you cry
You'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on, now and forever more
From this day on, now and forever more
Why can't they understand
the way we feel
They just don't trust
what they can't explain
I know we're different
but deep inside us
We're not that different at all
You'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more
Destiny calls you, you must be strong
May not be with you
but you've got to go on
They'll see in time
I know
We'll show them together
You'll be here in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more
You'll be in my heart
You'll be in my heart
Forever and always
I'll be with you always
I'll be with you always
(piano music continues)
(music fades)
(audience applauding)
- Hey, great. That's great.
- Bless you.
ALFIE: Thank you.
("Feed The Birds" instrumental playing)
(music ends)
(audience applauding)
Thank you.
(serene music playing)
In our world, classical music world,
there always a danger,
like, how far you can go.
Sometimes in classical musical world,
we're so comfortable.
You know why?
Because every repertoire we play
is already existing for 200 years.
If you look into the Hollywood,
if you look into, uh, popular culture,
if they don't create something new,
they're out.
They're absolutely out,
nobody will remember them in five years.
Yeah, so... so that's a huge difference.
We have to communicate
and we have to make some sound.
He loves creating visions
and new journeys.
One day he plays
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto,
the next day he plays Bach's
Goldberg Variations.
GINA: And then next week,
he plays a beautiful Disney program.
So I think it's very fascinating
that he can connect these worlds.
He can make very complex
and intellectual music,
like, approachable to everyone.
And he can connect people's hearts
through music.
Disney music had this magic power
to take the audience into a fantasy world.
When you have all those melodies,
this is really not just from one culture.
You have Mulan from China,
you have Aladdin from the Middle East.
You have Encanto from Colombia,
or Coco from Mexico.
You have a lot of European fairy tales,
American-based stories.
You just kind of get your eyes open.
This is the way we should, you know,
kind of try to understand music.
I'm trying to get out
from the comfort zone,
to create something together
with spectacular Disney music,
but in a classical music style,
to approach new audience,
and to give them new story to tell.
(audience applauding)
("We Don't Talk About Bruno"
instrumental playing)
(music ends)
(audience applauding)
("Remember Me" instrumental playing)
(music ends)
(audience applauding)
Can we just practice one more place
I... I mean, the hard place.
For me, it's a bit too slow.
- (man humming a tune)
- Otherwise, I couldn't follow the... Yeah.
So like the first two hours
HENRY: Lang Lang is just a person who...
He's on a different wavelength.
He's floating on a cloud,
he's picking things out of the universe,
and flying on the magic carpet,
and allowing himself
to, like, go into this world.
Like... He doesn't restrain himself.
I think that's a little unusual
for classical music
where the notes and the ink rule the day.
- That was beautiful.
- MAN: That was beautiful.
- LANG LANG: Okay, Reflection.
- MAN: Reflection.
One of the challenge of this project
is actually quite hard one.
How to make already existing
great melodies from Disney films itself
into a pianistic work with orchestra?
Do you want that a little...
Is that a little held in tempo?
- LANG LANG: Uh, D, yeah? One second.
- Yeah. After the
- Maybe from those octaves, yeah?
- Yeah, sure. Three bars before.
We knew that we wanted to do
these famous songs from Disney.
And the question,
with an artist like Lang Lang, is,
his level of approaching the piano
is it's so highly evolved,
the highest echelon
of classical piano playing.
What do you give
to the world's greatest piano player
to convey these songs and these melodies?
LANG LANG: We were very lucky to work
with, uh, many of the greatest
piano arranger in the world.
You have to re-write a lot of things.
We actually have the rhythm,
we have the harmony,
we have the arpeggios,
we have the octaves.
You can feel this is a real chamber music.
This is a... a piano concerto.
And that gave me the great joy to do it.
So, what you do is, probably,
you cut, like, here, remember?
(soft melody playing)
Wow, that was...
That is a powerful rehearsal.
I see how much heart and spirit
and soul he puts into this project,
and, um, to find great musicians
to collaborate with, to find composers,
to find the best and unique
and virtuoso, um, arrangements,
to make people happy,
and to let everyone enjoy the beauty
of Disney music.
His thing really is to convey emotion
through the piano.
Now when you match that up
with this incredible technical facility
where every option is open to him,
it's like the ten fingers add up
to a hundred.
The bar is set so high,
so thought through,
and it all comes down to storytelling.
Piano has to be absolutely there,
fairy tale style playing.
All those delicacy technique, light, fast.
Technique has to serve music
hundred percent.
And if that's too much, we have to cut.
It's not... This is not just making
some kind of a look,
you know, kind of a gimmick that,
"Hey, look,
my hand is all over the place."
One may need the hands
to be all over the place,
we have to be there, right?
But if we don't need it,
if it's too much, we have to cut.
We have to serve music.
("A Whole New World" instrumental playing)
(music fades)
(audience applauding)
("Reflection" instrumental playing)
(music fades)
(audience applauding)
Beautiful. Beautiful.
- LANG LANG: Hello, everyone.
- STUDENT 1: Hello.
- LANG LANG: How are you this morning?
- STUDENT 2: Hi.
(Lang Lang chuckles)
- How long have you all learned piano?
- STUDENT 3: Three years.
Three years already?
LANG LANG: This guy's a musician.
Maybe I...
I should hear you play a little bit.
So let's have some fun
with your music first,
and then we go from there, okay?
We know through all the years
what kind of effect music has
on children's lives.
GINA: Some of the children
don't necessarily
have the opportunity to get close
and to get in contact with music
and to learn an instrument.
So what Lang Lang does since 2008 already,
he started his foundation in 2008,
is to go into public schools
where music is actually not
in the curriculum anymore.
Normally, I like to... to visit, uh,
the schools everywhere I go.
We have around 100 schools
around the world, in China, in the U.S.,
and now we're coming to Europe.
And it's quite important
that we support the kid to learn music,
particularly at the more
disadvantaged area in the city.
So I play the bass line
and then you can...
Good, good, good.
I'm getting tired of looking
into the schools,
you know, going there only once
in our lifetime,
and then we're happy about it,
but actually, you didn't really help much.
LANG LANG: After a musician's gone,
they are back to normal.
No music class. We need to take action.
Really get deep into the school system.
Our aim is to improve our education tools.
We always have the smart digital pianos
in one class,
20 to 30, uh, digital pianos.
Each kid not only listening to the class,
but they have the possibility to play.
That's the aim.
Yeah, you have to touch the keys.
(students murmuring)
Every time when I'm visiting a school,
the kids always ask me,
"Hey, can you play some Disney music?"
After The Disney Book,
I'm much more equipped,
I think now it's so much more fun
with the, you know, the repertoire I know,
and to share with the kid.
And also ask them to learn.
GINA: So many children,
they love so much more of going to school
because of those music classes.
And it builds their confidence,
and they can achieve their dreams
through music
because they see that they're strong.
It's all inside of them already.
It just needs this spark,
this chance to come out.
Music is the most fair,
should be the most fair art form.
No matter what background you are,
on stage, we're all equal.
LANG LANG: On stage, if you're great,
the world will choose you.
("Can You Feel The Love Tonight"
instrumental playing)
(music ends)
(audience cheering and applauding)
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you.
(upbeat piano music playing onscreen)
LANG LANG: This actually I haven't seen.
What an imagination.
That's incredible.
I got so impressed because,
honestly, I didn't know this film.
This is really a musician's life.
Look, boxing with the piano.
When the kid hate practicing,
you know, like boxing his piano.
It's exactly like that.
You'll see all different
piano schools technique,
is in that, uh, little film.
I mean, the detail is incredible,
you know, this love and hate to piano.
(crowd applauding onscreen)
This is always in our imaginations.
I felt that Mickey Mouse already knows
about this hundred years ago.
I mean, this is really impressive.
It's incredible that, uh, you see this
in the very beginning.
Classical music already,
so much more multi-dimensional.
(serene music playing)
This is really proof that 100 years ago,
Disney already focused classical music
into their great creation.
And, uh, to see this direct inspiration
from classical music
combined with Disney,
uh, it... it's tremendous.
Fascinating to see that connection
in the such early stage in Disney's films.
(bird chirping)
(serene music ends)
("When You Wish Upon A Star" playing)
When a star is born
They possess a gift or two
One of them is this
They have the power
To make a wish come true
When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you
If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do
Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment
Of their secret longing
Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in
And sees you through
When you wish
Upon a star
Your dreams
She's great.
(applause stops)
(dramatic orchestral music playing)
(music crescendo)
(music ends)
("Let It Go" instrumental playing)
(music ends)
(audience cheering and applauding)
LANG LANG: Thank you.
It is beautiful.
Thank you.
(cheering and applauding continues)
LANG LANG: This concert really showed
every aspect of our goal.
The aim is to get everyone
to have their own young heart moment,
no matter how old or how young you are.
Disney music had this magic power,
you know, your mind can fly.
And all those incredible musicians,
that was kind of like my childhood dream.
So I hope, you know, this, uh...
this energy will inspire others
around the world
to achieve their dreams.
(tranquil music playing)