When You Wish upon a Star
"When You Wish Upon a Star" is a song written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington for Walt Disney's 1940 adaptation of Pinocchio. The original version was sung by Cliff Edwards in the character of Jiminy Cricket, and is heard over the opening credits and in the final scene of the film. The song has since become the representative song of The Walt Disney Company. The recording by Cliff Edwards and Chorus was released by Victor Records as catalogue number 26477A (in USA) and by EMI on the His Master's Voice Label as catalogue number BD 821.
Edwards recorded another version in 1940 for an American Decca Records "cover version" of the score of Pinocchio, conducted by Victor Young and featuring soprano Julietta Novis and The King's Men. It was first released on a 4-record 78-RPM album set, and years later as one side of an LP, backed by selections from The Wizard of Oz. A recording with Christian Rub (with Mister Geppetto's voice), Cliff Edwards and Chorus was released by Victor Records as catalogue number 26479B (in USA) and by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalogue number BD 823. "When You Wish Upon a Star" won the 1940 Academy Award for Best Original 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 animated film song, and also one of only four Disney animated film songs to appear on the list, the others being "Some Day My Prince Will Come" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ranked at nineteenth, "Beauty and the Beast" from Beauty and the Beast ranked at #62, and "Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King, ranked at #99.
The song reached the top one 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 translates as "When you see a shooting star". In Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway the song is played on television every Christmas Eve in the traditional Disney one-hour Christmas cabaret, and the gathering of the entire family to watch this is considered a Scandinavian tradition.
The song was also covered by Dion and the Belmonts.
"When You Wish Upon A Star" is presented twice in Disney's "Rocketman" (1997). The first time it appears in the film, it is sung by Fred Z. Randall (played by Harland Williams) while looking at a star outside of a spaceship. Then at the end of the film, an abridged version of the original by Cliff Edwards plays as Randall and Julie Ford (Jessica Lundy) dance together on a spaceship.
Brian Wilson admits that the melody of the Beach Boys hit song, "Surfer Girl", which has the same AABA form, is loosely based on the Dion and the Belmonts version of "When You Wish Upon a Star". Wilson also covered it on his album In the Key of Disney, which was released on October 25, 2011.
Disney icon 
"When You Wish Upon a Star" along with Mickey Mouse has become an icon of The Walt Disney Company. In the 1950s and 1960s, Walt Disney used the song in the opening sequences of all the editions of the Walt Disney anthology television series. It has also been used to accompany the Walt Disney Pictures opening logos – including the present-day logo – since the 1980s. The ships of the Disney Cruise Line use the 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.
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.
See also 
- "I'm going to Disneyland!" – The song is played in the annual commercial featuring the winner of the Super Bowl.
- "Roll Tide" - The main theme of the 1995 film Crimson Tide composed by Hans Zimmer, which has had the same role for Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Bruckheimer has produced many films for Disney (including The Ref, Crimson Tide, Dangerous Minds and The Rock, which was produced along his late partner Don Simpson). It was used on a teaser trailer for Armageddon, also produced by Bruckheimer and in the previous layout of Bruckheimer's official website.
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Steven Spielberg's screenplay for the 1977 film was deeply influenced by the song, and composer John Williams's music for the film interpolates the song's melody. The 1980 "Special Edition" features an arrangement of the song over the end credits.
- The song is the corps song of the Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps, in addition to being the first chart from their first competitive season in 1985.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 134. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Disney Music
- Philip Lambert, Inside the Music of Brian Wilson: The Songs, Sounds, and Influences of the Beach Boys' Founding Genius (Continuum, 2007):28.
- Brian Wilson, in @BrianWilsonLive, February 16, 2011: "We're doin' "When You Wish Upon A Star" for the new album. It kinda inspired "Surfer Girl." – Brian".
- Philip Lambert, Inside the Music of Brian Wilson: The Songs, Sounds, and Influences of the Beach Boys' Founding Genius (Continuum, 2007):27.
- Jim Fusilli, Pet Sounds, Volume 19 of 33 1/3 (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005):23.
- Domenic Priore, Smile: The Story of Brian Wilson's Lost Masterpiece (Sanctuary, 2005):32.
- "When You Wish Upon a Star". Jazz Standards.com. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- Owner of Wish Upon a Star Son Loses Lawsuit Yahoo News, March 16, 2009
- "When You Wish upon a Star" at jazzstandards.com
- "When You Wish Upon A Star" – Lead sheet at wikifonia.org