California surf sounds of the 1960s, Motown R&B, rockabilly and pop make up the soundtrack of “Teen Beach Movie” — a song, sand and surf fest set inside a retro beach party movie. The songs and orchestral score capture the togetherness of summer and continue Disney Channel’s high standard of musical storytelling for kids, tweens and families.
The “Teen Beach Movie” soundtrack releases today, Tuesday, July 16, from Walt Disney Records. The television premiere of “Teen Beach Movie,” a Disney Channel Original Movie, is FRIDAY, JULY 19 (8:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel U.S. followed by telecasts on Disney Channels around the world. A weekend of programming events, including a Sing-Along telecast hosted by the cast, will be presented on Disney Channel. Radio Disney will sample a song from the soundtrack in its Top 30 Countdown, July 19-21.
“Teen Beach Movie” introduces confident surfer McKenzie (“Mack”) and her carefree boyfriend Brady, a fan of the retro surf musical movie, “Wet Side Story.” On the morning of McKenzie’s scheduled departure for boarding school, she and Brady catch one last epic wave which mysteriously carries them right into “Wet Side Story,” circa 1962, where they meet Seacat, Giggles, Rascal and Cheechee, among others. Amidst the spontaneous song and dance, there’s trouble in paradise — it’s bikers versus surfers for control of the local hangout, but Mack and Brady unwittingly interfere with the movie’s star-crossed plot, one that would pair a surfer (the teen matinee idol Tanner) and a biker (Lela, the sister of Butchy, the biker gang’s leader). Typical of the teen beach movie genre, a kooky subplot has mad scientists Les Camembert and Dr. Fusion scheming to alter weather patterns, take over the local hangout and then, the world.
To develop the movie’s sound, the creative team of Vince Marcello, Robert Horn and director Jeffrey Hornaday collaborated closely with Steven Vincent, Vice President, Music and Soundtracks, Disney Channels Worldwide. They called upon an accomplished group of songwriters and producers to deliver songs that are a jubilant portrayal of summer fun.
“Our young audience will experience the unmistakable sound of the 60s — surf music, Motown-inspired R&B and danceable rock ‘n’ roll. The variety of musical styles from that period allowed for a fresh take on choreography as well as some great musical comedy moments for kids and families to experience together,” said Steven Vincent.
The movie was directed by Jeffrey Hornaday (Disney Channel’s “Geek Charming,” choreographer of the films “A Chorus Line,” “Flashdance”) and choreographed by Hornaday and Christopher Scott (“Lemonade Mouth,” “Step Up 4”).
The orchestral musical score, composed by David Lawrence (“High School Musical” 1-3), includes contemporary and 1960s sounds, strings, horns and homage to “A Summer Place” starring Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue. The score incorporates three distinctly different orchestral tones to punctuate scenes ranging from comedic, romantic and suspenseful.
The songs are:
Performed by Maia Mitchell, this energetic reggae/pop opening number sets the stage for a summer dream that’s coming true for two young and in love surfers having a blast catching every wave they can together. The song was written and produced by Antonina Armato and Tim James (Selena Gomez’s “Love You Like a Love Song”) and originally released by recording artist Hoku on Walt Disney Records.
Songwriters and producers David Lawrence and Faye Greenberg deliver the fun, fun, fun of the teen beach party in this feel good anthem that introduces the nicest kids in town, the Surfers of “Wet Side Story,” the movie within the movie. Performed by the cast, the song is complete with heavenly ooohs and aaahs and a big dance break that gives nod to the roll call scenes of many teen beach movies of the 1950s and 60s.
“Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’”
The Bikers (aka The Rodents) are introduced in this bold and stylish dance song performed by Ross Lynch (Brady), Grace Phipps (Lela) and songwriter Jason Evigan and written by Mitch Allan, Jason Evigan, Jason Charles Miller and Nikki Leonti. Drawing on classic references of the 1950s including Jerry Lee Lewis and Chubby Checker, the song and choreography paint a smooth, steady and stark contrast between the Bikers and the decidedly more 1962 Surfers. The scene also pays homage to “West Side Story” and features a jukebox moment that recalls Fonzie in “Happy Days,” among others. the song was produced by Mitch Allan and Jason Evigan.
“Falling for Ya”
Performed by Lela (Grace Phipps) and written and produced by Aris Archontis, Chen Neeman and Jeannie Lurie, this groovy song about finding true love evokes Motown girl group sounds of the 1960s including the Supremes and The Marvelettes. Its hook about falling in love is played out as Lela literally falls off the stage and into Brady’s arms.
“Meant to Be”
The story’s through-line is carried via this romantic comedy song that draws inspiration from a wide palette emblematic of the 1960s including The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, The Beach Boys Pet Sounds album and The Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album. Sung by Brady (Ross Lynch), McKenzie (Maia Mitchell), Lela (Grace Phipps), Tanner (Garrett Clayton) and Spencer Lee, it features swing or shuffle piano and elaborate layers of vocal harmonies in two duets — sung cockeyed with the wrong person and eventually, with the one who represents “destiny.” It was written and produced by David Lawrence and Faye Greenberg. The husband and wife team created the happy production value by utilizing timpani, wood blocks, symphonic instruments, gongs and chimes, counter vocals. The song is reprised twice in the movie.
Filled with harmonies and fun energy, this song is a debate between the 60s kids and the modern kids over gender roles, each from their own era’s perspective. During the number, Mack is transformed into a Biker Girl and Brady becomes a Surfer Guy at separate parties where the boys sing about girls and the girls sing about boys, each trying to define the other group. Written by Antonina Armato, Tim James, Thomas Sturges, Jon Vella and In-Q, it was produced by Antonina Armato and Tim James.
“Can’t Stop Singing”
Written and produced by Aris Archontis, Chen Neeman and Jeannie Lurie, and performed by Brady (Ross Lynch) and McKenzie (Maia Mitchell), this funny and sweet song comes as the movie within the movie begins to overtake the romantic leads. Mack suddenly breaks into a cute love song and Brady joins her in a duet – but once they start, they find they can’t stop singing. Classic ukulele sounds blend with a wide variety of influences including pop, rock, reggae and R&B.
Performed by Brady (Ross Lynch), McKenzie (Maia Mitchell) and the cast, this song was written by Ali Dee Theodore, Alana De Fonseca, Jordan Yaeger and Garrett Kotecki and produced by Ali Dee Theodore. It sums up the movie’s sentiment and marks the return to modern day where teens still rule the beach. Played as a salute to “Surf Crazy” earlier in the movie, it includes a 1960s beach movie vibe but with a more contemporary track.
“The Coolest Cats in Town”
This song, featured over the movie’s comedic ending, is the ultimate dance battle of surfers versus bikers. Performed by Spencer Lee, Grace Phipps and Jason Evigan, the song and dance number’s rehearsal is featured on the “Teen Beach Movie” DVD. The song was written by Mitch Allan (Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack”), Jason Evigan and Nikki Leonti, and produced by Mitch Allan and Jason Evigan.