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Matheson has lent his vocal talents to over 20 animated films by Disney, DreamWorks, Touchstone Pictures & Tim Burton, as well as on a soundtrack for Playstation 2, and on the International Film Festival award-winning fringe-film Sugartown, 2006:
(Click a pic to enlarge)
Six of the above films, despite belonging to the Disney Classic Series, have all but disappeared into obscurity: released around the 2nd World War, all of them were relative box-office failures at the time, but their genius is currently being rediscovered as Disney will distribute them on DVD over the next couple of years. Check out this superb article on Disney films of the 1940's by Michael Carlton Flint for more information on these forgotten gems.
Singing and acting in Greek, Portuguese and Spanish, Matheson can be heard performing lead rôles from…
…on the official foreign-language editions for Disney DVD.
— This film marked the beginning of Disney's 'new wave' where popular singer-songwriters were brought on board the creative team. Boasting the tagline: "The first Disney movie with attitude", the songs were written by Billy Joel who also sang the part of the Artful Dodger. The Disney pop composer trend has also given us the likes of Elton John, Sting & Phil Collins.
The plot of Oliver and Company is based, of course, on Charles Dickens' classic novel Oliver Twist, although in inimitable Disney style, Oliver is now a cat, Fagin's gang of pickpockets are all dogs, and the story is set against a backdrop of contemporary Manhattan.
Matheson sings the part of the highly-strung cheeky chihuahua, Tito — one of Fagin's boys — who falls in love with the poodle Georgette (played by Bette Midler in 1988).
— Matheson assumes psittacine form, interpreting the loveable character of José Carioca (the parrot from Río) in Disney's WWII classic.
Matheson sings the comic Latin number Have you been to Bahía?, which sees José enthusiastically urging Donald Duck to visit his home town; the title song as a trio with Donald Duck and Panchito; and Bahía — a Latin ballad which was a popular hit in the 1940s — extolling the sights, sounds and gorgeous garotas of the eponymous "land of romance".
— Watch out for Matheson rolling his glottal 'r's in shrieking falsetto, spoiling the romantic mood of Sebastian the lobster's harmonious 'Sha-la-las', in the song Kiss The Girl. Matheson also sings counter-tenor as a frog, a fish, and a heron in the backing vocals.
— Listen out for Matheson as the character of Lock (one of the three naughty kids: Lock, Shock & Barrel!) in the song Kidnap The Sandy Claws.
Matheson also sings various one-liners in four other songs as the characters: "Clown with the Tear-Away Face", "Monster Under the Bed", "Vampire no.1", "Skeleton no.2" & "Mr Hyde No.1", as well as singing tenor in the chorus throughout the film as a bat, a ghost, and a pumpkin, not to mention the voice of "the wind blowing through the trees"!
— The sequel to the 2002 Disney hit Lilo & Stitch. Stitch (pictured to the left), is a virtually indestructible, cute yet mischievous extraterrestrial robot (dubbed 'Experiment No.626') who can think faster than a supercomputer, see in the dark, and lift objects 3000 times his own weight! Leroy is another monstrous alien 'invention' — Stitch's alter ego!
Multiple copies of Leroy are created in order to defeat the Galactic Alliance, but Stitch comes to the rescue... In quite possibly the most bizarre plot ever seen in a film, Stitch, donning an Elvis Presley costume, deactivates each 'clone' of the Leroy experiment with his shrill 'singing', thus foiling the Machiavellian ploy of the malevolent mad scientist, Dr Hämsterviel (yes, you guessed it — he's a hamster).
Matheson adopts the voices of both Stitch and the co-hero, Reuben ('Experiment 625'), on the song Aloha 'Oe (in the Hawaiian language!).
— This Disney WWII propaganda film was commissioned by the United States Department of State for broadcasting in Central and South America in order to improve relations with Latin America. Featuring Goofy, Donald Duck, an obstinate llama, and the charismatic parrot José Carioca (interpreted by Matheson), the film was reissued as part of a double-bill with Dumbo. In the finale of Saludos Amigos ("Greetings, Friends!" in Spanish), the parrot paints an Aquarela do Brasil ("Watercolour of Brazil") for Donald, introducing him to the Samba!
One fun scene in the film sees José browbeating poor Donald Duck with an extremely long monologue about how wonderful his home country is. Matheson rattles it off at tongue-twisting speed, and entirely in Portuguese, leaving Donald bemused not having understood a single word!
— Disney's 1946 Make Mine Music is probably best remembered for one of its ten eclectic segments, Peter and the Wolf. An adaptation of Sergei Prokofiev's composition, each of the characters are represented by a musical motif played by a pertinently evocative instrument: a bassoon for the grandfather, an oboe for the duck, a flute for the bird, etc. It tells the story of a little boy (Peter's theme on violins) who goes to hunt a big bad wolf (French horns).
Matheson sings one of the two tenors in the chorus throughout the film, as well as the rôle of the narrator in another segment: the Ballad of The Martins & The Coys.
For the 2007 DVD release of Make Mine Music from Disney's Classic Series (1946), Matheson sang tenor, transcribed the jazz vocals and musically directed the recording sessions.
All the Cats Join In is one of two segments from the film which boasts the dazzling talent of legendary jazz clarinettist and composer, the "King of Swing", Benny Goodman.
Matheson also sings in the chorus of the following films:
Titles link to info about the films
Sang the song Need You To Need Me on the soundtrack of Kimon Tsakiris' Sugartown: The Bridegrooms which won the prize for "best documentary or animated picture" at the Salonika International Film Festival 2006
Reading dialogues, acting and singing in audio books/CD-ROMs of plays, conversation practice, and heuristic songs for 'Teaching English as a Foreign Language' (TEFL) courses by Express Publishing:
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