The Man Behind the Music Behind the Video Games

by MouseStation Crew, staff writer

MouseStation 402 - The Man Behind the Music Behind the Video Games

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Show run time 1:09:49

On today's show, Mike interviews legendary video game audio designer Tommy Tallarico. Also, a Magical Moment, this week's Twitter/Facebook poll and some listener feedback.

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Send in your suggestions, comments or tips via our email feedback form or via voicemail on our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278).

We've put together a new listener survey to help us learn more about you and what you like most about this podcast. This one is much more targeted than the old Podtrac survey. Please take a few minutes to fill it out and let us know what you think.

If you want to contribute a story for our Tuesday Magical Moment segment (and possible inclusion in the Cast Place column here on MousePlanet), you can either use our email Magical Moment story form or the toll-free feedback line. (We love it when you use the voice mail system, because then we can play your call on the show!)

Magical Moment

This week's Magical Moment came via email from Mary Tesch, who wrote in to tell us about the Disney magic that got her 10- and 14-year-old kids to cooperate in finding a way to pass the time during the drives to the parks by making up alternate words to Christmas carols.

The story reminded Mark of The Kid's birthday trip to the nearby Six Flags park with two friends, where they made up food-themed versions to every song on a KidzBop CD. Mike will sometimes come up with parody lyrics as part of running youth group activities. Mark wrote a number of parody songs back when he graduated from college.

March of Dimes

MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners have helped Mark to raise over $15,000 for the March of Dimes over the last four years to help save the lives of babies born prematurely. This year, his goal is to raise another $5,000. But that's not all! This year, you can walk with Mark, either in person or virtually, by joining Team MousePlanet! Mike has already signed on to walk as well. You can go to Mark's fundraising page to sponsor him, Mike's fundraising page to sponsor him, or the Team MousePlanet page to join in and walk yourself! Help us to provide a better chance to prevent prematurity and to help those babies that are born prematurely, because new parents should take their babies home from the hospital, not to the cemetery.

Feature: The Man Behind the Music Behind the Video Games

Mike had the opportunity to interview legendary video game audio designer Tommy Tallarico. Tommy talked about moving to Orange County, California, to be near Disneyland, and how he went from homeless to having a job at a a music store to working at a new video game company in the span of three days. Walt Disney is one of Tommy's heroes; he has ready every authorized & unauthorized biography, and admires the way Walt brought entertainment to everyone, Tommy views Video Games Live as similar, bringing people of all ages and backgrounds together to enjoy the experience.With all of the changes in society, Tommy thinks that VGL wouldn't have worked in 1980s, or early '90s.

Last year, Video Games Live did 55 shows worldwide; this year they're doing over 60 shows including a PBS special filmed in New Orleans that will be broadcast nationwide on July 31. They're also releasing a DVD, a Blu-Ray disc, and their second album (the first album debuted at #10 on Billboard charts).

Tommy is in the Guinness Book of World Records as person who has worked on the most video games in their career (275 and counting). Tommy usually lists the Disney video game Color a Dinosaur as the worst game he ever worked on. The first Disney game that he worked on was the game based on the movie Aladdin. For that game, they had the film animators actually create cel animation for the game. Tommy had a big challenge on that game in turning the Ashman/Menken/Rice songs into six-channel audio, which was all that was available to game designers at the time.

Tommy talked about his respect for the Sherman Brothers and his opportunity to meet them, as well as the work that he did on the game based on The Jungle Book game involved Sherman Brothers, Tommy was at their window ceremony, saw "The Boys", couldn't believe they had a feud, in 1992, the brothers came to studio at Virgin to ask about how he did orchestral themes electronically, was so awesome to have both of them there, signed his Jungle Book album.

Here are links to some of the video games mentioned in the interview:

MousePlanet Meet at the Magic Kingdom, May 15!

Will you be at Walt Disney World the third weekend in May, maybe for the D23 Flowers & Fireworks event? Come to the MousePlanet meet at the Magic Kingdom on Saturday, May 15 at 2:00 p.m. at the gazebo just past Aloha Isle in Adventureland! Meet Mark Goldhaber and visit with other MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners. We'll have some MousePlanet buttons to hand out, and maybe some hats and classic mini-MouseAdventure packets. If you're attending Flowers & Fireworks, you've got until 5:00 p.m. to check in at the lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, so there's plenty of time to attend the meet and still check in on time.

Here's where the meet will take place. Stop on by! Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Twitter/Facebook poll question

Last week's question, which Mark posted the question on Twitter and Facebook last week, was:

What is your favorite snack food in the Magic Kingdom?

via Facebook:

  • 1.Pinapple Float/Pineapple cone From Aloha Isle 2. Mickey Premium Ice cream
  • Bacon wrapped asparagus from Bengal BBQ
  • cream cheese pretzels :)
  • Mickey Premium!
  • Dole whip float!!!!
  • Anything from the Main St Bakery!
  • 1 of everything.
  • Our kids like the Turkey Legs, but for me personally I'll always take a Mickey Ice Cream Bar. I know that's not specific to the Magic Kingdom, but it's still my favorite!
  • I agree with Doug, cream cheese pretzels from The Lunching Pad have become our favorite recently, though Mickey bars are a very close second, followed by an ice cream sandwich from the Bakery (of course to call it a snack is a misnomer as it's big enough to be a meal)
  • The funnel cakes at Sleepy Hollow!
  • Mickey Premium Bar
  • Dole Whip Float. I wished they passed these out at the turnstiles.
  • Gotta be the chocolate croissant from Main Street Bakery! Yummy. 2nd is the Mickey Premium Bar.
  • Chocolate dipped marshmallows on a mickey mouse curly straw from the sweet shop! Yum!!
  • Mickey Rice Krispie treat on a stick!
  • I love their popcorn! Also, the chocolate covered banana is yummy.
  • I'll take a strawberry bar....but they are becoming a rarity
  • Hot candied pecans!
  • It's been so long for me that I don't even remember. My default answer would be Funnel Cake. Doesn't matter if it's WDW or Six Flags.
  • Dole Whip. I also enjoy the not nearly as often mentioned Strawberry Swirl from the Enchanted Grove in Fantasyland.
  • Snack food. Well, that's easy. Those Mickey shaped Ice Cream bars. The good ones, not the lame ones they had in the mid-90s.

via Twitter:

  • my favorite MK snack is the Dole Whip hands down.
  • cinnamon rolls
  • Coke Floats. :D
  • POPCORN!!!!
  • POPCORN! ;)
  • Dole Whip!
  • Mickey Premium Bar
  • At the MK I like popcorn and a Diet Coke. They taste better there than anywhere else!
  • Dole whip
  • Dole Whips! Though the popcorn is a close second.
  • My favorite Magic Kingdom snack is the original Dole Whip in AdventureLand!
  • Dole Whip
  • Dole Whip
  • Dole Whip float!
  • Pineapple floats and cinnamon almonds.


  • Fresh Fruit is my favorite

Mike's favorite is Dole Whip (even though you have to bring your own sprinkles).

Since we don't have the Bengal Barbecue at the Magic Kingdom like they do at Disneyland, Mark's favorite eat-in-park snack is the Mickey Premium Bar, though his favorite snack to take out of the park is the fudge from the Main Street Confectionery

Next week's question:

  • Do you have a favorite Disney video game?

What do you think?

Listener Feedback

Joann wrote to ask Mike whether working at Disney in any way 'ruined' Disney for him as a guest.

Janice Albers wrote to say that our recent question of the week about everyone's favorite Disney quote reminded her of a Disney movie quote quiz she once wrote for a trivia event. Mark used Janice's quiz to question Mike, and Mike sort of did OK.

Janice enjoyed our Extreme Attraction Makeover segment and asked that we do one on the Carousel of Progress. Mark isn't sure that he could do that.

Finally, Janice asked about the jazzy music that is playing at the end of every episode and whether sheet music is available for it. Per Steven, "The end theme is a royalty-free music loop called 'Fifth Avenue Stroll' that came with Apple Logic Studio 8. Those tunes are usually composed specifically for audio production programs like Logic, which we use in our post-production process to assemble the various audio segments into a show."

Finally, Janice asked about whether The Kid ever landed the role of Chip or any other role in his school's Beauty and the Beast.

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Wrapping up

We've put together a new listener survey to help us learn more about you and what you like most about this podcast. This one is much more targeted than the old Podtrac survey. Please take a few minutes to fill it out and let us know what you think.

Don't forget to go to the iTunes podcast directory and give us a good rating for the combined feed!

You can get your MousePlanet (or MouseStation) swag from the MousePlanet CafePress store and the MouseStation CafePress store. If you'll be walking in the March for Babies or CHOC Walk; running the Walt Disney World Marathon, the Disneyland Half Marathon or any other endurance event; or even just trying to keep fit, you can also get your Team MousePlanet running wear from our Team MousePlanet Zazzle store!

Also remember to go out to our main podcast page and stick a pin into our Frappr map.

Thanks to our audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.

Thank you for listening!

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