In its continued effort to cater to its aging audience and their children, Disney has released the latest in a line of industry-wide records focusing on the genre of “Baby Metal.” Performed by the D-Squad Stars, a group of metal musicians from some of the hottest metal bands of all time playing Disney ballads and dance music from the company’s vast catalog of princesses and talking animals.
Metal Disney, as the album is called, features classic Disney songs such as “A Whole New World,” “It’s a Small World,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Under the Sea.” The songs are played with the intensity you’d come to expect from powerhouse metal bands: piercing vocals, slashing guitars and powerful drums.
Members of the album include vocalist Mike Vescera and guitarist John Bruno from Obsession. The lineup is rounded out by former members of Ozzy Osbourne’s band and Dokken, bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer BJ Zampa respectively.
Metal Disney was recorded in Nashville, Los Angeles and Connecticut and finally released in Japan in 2016. Disney didn’t initially want to release it, but Disney cover albums proved to be highly successful with the country’s eclectic tastes. Albums of animation classics in the vein of jazz and French pop have proven to be highly successful for Disney Music Group Japan, so much so that the metal-loving audience warranted the release of this album.
The album charted at number three on the rock/metal charts number two on the kid’s charts. This success finally led the company to release the record in the United States. Disney is counting on leveraging the fan base of metal in the US as well as cater to children who are fans of the movies but are also exposed to their parents’ musical tastes.
This is not the first time Disney has worked with metal bands and dark culture to cater to its fans. In 2008, Disney released an album entitled Nightmare Revisited, a tribute to A Nightmare Before Christmas. In addition, an annual goth celebration is held each year at Disneyland known as Bats Day. The roughly 7,000 strong attendees wear black Mickey Mouse shirts and band paraphernalia.