Musicals That Built My Childhood

Guten Morgen, Leute! Hope that you all have had a good weekend! For today, I thought that I’d write a post about musicals that hold nostalgic value with me and that metaphorically built my childhood! For as long as I can remember musicals have been a part of my life. One of the earliest memories I have is of me sitting on the couch watching the cartoon version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Even to this day, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is one of my favorite movies. And, through Disney I got my introduction to musicals.

Funnily enough, I never thought that the phenomenon of people in musicals bursting out in song was odd. In my family, music has always been immensely important. My uncle was our church’s organist while he was alive, most of my aunts and uncles (as well as my father) sang in the choir. My dad always is singing. (It’s pretty amazing how many different tunes he can sing the same words to, actually!) And so, I suppose that, due to my constant exposure to music in day-to-day life, the idea  that people (and whole towns) would break out in song and dance just made sense to me. 

As mentioned earlier, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was my first musical. And boy, I loved it. I could have watched that movie every day. I remember that, when I was about 3-4 years old, I’d always beg my mom to do my hair like Belle’s and every time Belle’s hair changed, my mom would do my hair to match Belle’s. According to my mom, apparently I’d also ask her to dance with me every time a dance scene happened. (Seriously Mom, you’re the best!) I can only imagine how burdensome it must’ve been to watch BEAUTY AND THE BEAST with me every day and follow through with all of my ridiculous requests, but my mom never made me pick something else to watch (even though it would be completely understandable if she did). I guess what I’m trying to get at is that from a really young age, my enthusiasm and love for musicals was highly encouraged and indulged.

When I was about 7 years old, my dad took the whole family out to Half-Price Books and he found the movie version of OLIVER! and so we bought it. I fell in love with it immediately and, as much as BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and Disney introduced me to musicals, OLIVER! was my first exposure to live-action musicals. And to this day, I still love watching OLIVER!.

About a year after I first saw OLIVER!, I saw WICKED in Japan. Although I remember little to nothing of the experience (except for the “Popular” scene) and didn’t understand a word, I do remember that I was left intrigued by the experience and due to that, a few years later I tried the German recording of “Dancing Through Life” [Tanz durch die Welt] and immediately knew that I had to listen to the rest. And now WICKED is one of my favorite musicals of all time although I never would have imagined that to be the case when I first saw it when I was 8. 

Since I was about 5 years old, Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals like CINDERELLA and THE SOUND OF MUSIC have been a big part of my life. My dad watched these musicals with his parents when he was a kid and so I grew up watching them too. Along with Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals came other classical era musicals like ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. 

Another nostalgic musical for me is SCROOGE, the 1970 musical movie. I absolutely adore this musical and really, nowadays it doesn’t ever seem like Christmas until I’ve watched this movie. It’s one of my absolute favorite musicals and I am forever disappointed that it’s technically a Christmas movie and thus I don’t get to watch it nearly as much as I wish I were able to.

Musicals have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and I am glad that they continue to be a big part of my life today. I can’t imagine my life without musicals. The musicals I have mentioned in this post laid the foundation for what I expect from musicals and thus have impacted my taste in musicals. I am grateful that I was raised watching musicals and that my love for them has not died over time but rather has grown stronger. And I might not have ever grown to love musicals as much as I do if it weren’t for the musicals I’ve mentioned today.

What musicals were you raised on? Do you think that the musicals you were raised on have impacted your current taste in musicals? Danke und tschüss!

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12 thoughts on “Musicals That Built My Childhood

  1. Like you already know, I was raised on musicals. Musicals like Annie, Sound of Music, and some of the Disney musicals like Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, and Aladdin were musical movies I also witnessed. Those were all elementary school musicals, but I feel like Wicked could count since I was 12 and still feels like childhood.

    Just like you, my childhood musicals formed the foundation of what I expect from a musicals. And were quite important to my musical journey and little did I know they would eventually lead me to being the musical fan I am today. Before Wicked, musicals I feel like musicals were mainly about spectacle and dance, but with Wicked musicals began to be about spectacle, dance, and about the emotions.

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      1. I think Wicked was the start to understanding emotions and a musical’s complexity was mostly might have to do with how old I was when I saw Wicked. The first musicals I saw, I was only in elementary school so the most I could out of musicals were the spectacle and dance.

        But when Wicked comes along, I was 12 in middle school and seeing it on Broadway. So I was at the right age to begin understanding the more complex and emotional side of musicals

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      2. I agree. Wicked was a key musical in leading me to recognize the emotional side to musicals. A few musicals from my childhood are packed with emotion but I didn’t really notice until when I revisited Wicked when I was 9-10 years old

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      3. The musical has slowly gotten more and more complex. My knowledge of Elphaba has defiantly increased. The emotions have as well, which mainly has grown through Elphaba’s emotions.

        The whole romance side of things really has become more and more complex over the years. To start with out just Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda, and interpreting “I’m Not That Girl” as sad was the starting point. So I was well aware eventually like maybe I knew that love triangles provide an interesting texture. To have a sad song become a heartbreaking song does show in a lot of ways how complex Wicked has become over the years. Since a love pentagon has become noticed, it makes things even more complex

        Even with “No Good Deed”, it started out as emotionless and last year, became a song with anger and frustration.

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      4. I definitely would hace to agree. Wicked has definitely grown into its complexity for me. Like you said about getting to know Elphaba better over the years, I think that the emotional connection I built up with the characters has led me to see more complexity in Wicked over the years

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      5. By high school, I knew that I could relate to Elphaba. As I learned to love her more and more, more emotions meant more and more to me, but some stayed unnoticed for quite a long time. Wicked was the first musical I understood as complex.

        So Wicked was the starting point for what musicals would eventually become. To start to understand the negative emotions through Wicked sure says a lot. Wicked is the main trace of what I remember the negative emotions starting out as. Understanding the negative emotions as common before college would be quite crucial for what was yet to to come.

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      6. Absolutely. In high school, Wicked became much more complex and I realized just how much I loved the musical and the characters. Like you, Wicked kinda laid the foundation for more emotional musicals

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      7. So I think it was a good thing I was aware of the negative emotions earlier on or else everything that would have happened due to Les Mis in the more recent years, things would have been a complete mess

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      8. Definitely. If it weren’t for the awareness I had of negative emotions pre-Les Miz, I’m not sure I would have even given Les Miz the second chance that was so vital to my journey with Les Miz

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