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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"When You Wish upon a Star" is a popular song written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington and introduced in the 1940 Walt Disney movie Pinocchio, where it is sung by Cliff Edwards in the character of Jiminy Cricket, over the opening credits and again in the final scene of the film. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year.

The song has – like Mickey Mouse – become an icon of The Walt Disney Company, used in the opening sequences of Walt Disney anthology television series and in multiple versions of Walt Disney Pictures' opening logos. The ships of the Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Wonder, the Disney Magic, and soon the Disney Dream, use the iconic first seven notes of the song's melody as their horn signals. Additionally, many productions at Disney theme parks – particularly fireworks shows and parades – employ the song. Beginning with 2006's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, the opening that precedes all theatrically-released Disney films uses the melody of the song.



The American Film Institute ranked "When You Wish Upon A Star" seventh in their 100 Greatest Songs in Film History, the highest ranked Disney song.

The song reached the top five in Billboard's Record Buying Guide, a predecessor of the retail sales chart. Popular versions included Glenn Miller, Guy Lombardo, Horace Heidt and of course, Cliff Edwards.

In Japan, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark, the song has become a Christmas song, often referring to the Star of Bethlehem. The Swedish language version is called Ser du stjärnan i det blå, roughly translated: "do you see the star in the blue(sky)", and the Danish title is "Når du ser et stjerneskud", which roughly translates as "When you see a shooting star". In Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway the song is played on television every Christmas Eve's day in the traditional Disney one-hour christmas cabaret, and the gathering of the entire family for the watching of this, is considered major Scandinavian tradition.

In 2005, Julie Andrews selected the original Cliff Edwards recording for the album Julie Andrews Selects Her Favorite Disney Songs. [1]

Cover versions

The song has been covered many times, by many different artists, from the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1940 , becoming the very first band to cover the song, to even Kiss bassist, Gene Simmons, for his 1978 self-titled solo album.

In Japan, the J-Pop duo Chage and Aska recorded a version of the song as a B-side to their 1993 single "Your Are Free".

Mannheim Steamroller covered the song on their 1999 album, Mannheim Steamroller Meets the Mouse.

Disney Channel's Camp Rock star Meaghan Jette Martin covered the song as part of the promotion for the 2009 DVD and Blu-ray release of Pinocchio.

Indonesian singer Gita Gutawa covered the song on her newest album, Harmoni Cinta.

The song featured in the Medley/Finale of the Euro Disney stage show C'est Magique from 1992-1994

Kate Voegele covered the song on the album DisneyMania 6, in 2008.

In 2009 The X Factor (UK series 6) contestant Stacey Solomon performed the song during Week 3 of the live shows.

Jodi Benson (Voice of Ariel) & Paige O'Hara (Voice of Belle) both dueted the song in 1996.

Ashley Gearing covered the song on the album DisneyMania 2, in 2004

Jesse McCartney covered the song on the album DisneyMania 3, in 2005

Brian Sutherland and the cast of Disney On the Record - A New Musical Review, live recording in NYC in 2005

Kylie Minogue performed an excerpt of this song in her Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour, in the beginning of the song "Dreams".

Masaaki Kishibe covered the song in an arrangement he created in the fingerstyle guitar technique on his album My Favorites, in 2008.

Kerry Butler's solo album Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust, in 2008

Josh Groban live in BBC Radio 2's Celebration of Disney Concert in the Lyceum Theatre London, in December 2008

Linda Ronstadt recorded a version for Christmas Hits (The Deluxe Edition), in 2009

Other usage

The song is performed in the 1947 Walt Disney Studios animated cartoon Donald's Dilemma, directed by Jack King. The song is performed by Donald Duck, who becomes a well-known crooner after a flower pot falls on his head.

Because the film Pinocchio plays a small role in the plot of Steven Spielberg's film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, John Williams's score for that film quotes "When You Wish upon a Star".

The song was also parodied in The Ren and Stimpy Show, sung by Jimmy Lummox (a Jiminy Cricket parody).

The song was played several times in "RocketMan".

The song was used in 2005 in a Fuji Television Drama which carried the same name about the life of the Japanese Engineer and Planetarium Creator Takayuki Ohira

It is also used as the tune for both the Disney Wonder and Disney Magic horns for Disney Cruise Line.


The owner of the rights to the song, Bourne Co. Music Publishers, sued Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., Fox Broadcasting Company, Fuzzy Door Productions, Cartoon Network, Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane to try to stop distribution of a 2003 Family Guy episode entitled "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" that parodies the song in a version called I Need A Jew. A federal judge ruled against Bourne Co, stating that parodying the song did not infringe on the company's copyright.[2]

See also


External links

Preceded by
"Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz
Academy Award for Best Original Song
Succeeded by
"The Last Time I Saw Paris" from Lady Be Good


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