Musical episodes are episodes of Honest Trailers that include parody songs. Musical episodes typically usually parody musical films, frequently Disney animations. More than twenty musical episodes of Honest Trailers have been produced. The first was Les Miserables, published in March 2013. Several musical episodes were produced in 2017, when singer Michael Bolton was a producer on the Honest Trailers series. Musical episodes are generally among the most critically well-received episodes of Honest Trailers. Some of Screen Junkies' parody songs have been compared favorably to Weird Al Yankovic songs.
Musical episodes take well-known songs from a movie and add humorous lyrics. These lyrics usually aim to reveal the true nature of the song. Musical episodes typically include subtitles/captions to assist audience comprehension of the lyrics. These subtitles typically change color as they are sung, in the style of karaoke lyrics. Musical episodes don't include full-length parodies of songs, rather, they include short snippets of songs, usually in a medley format.
Not all musical films receive musical Honest Trailers, for example the live-action remakes of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast did not feature parody songs, despite being musical films. On the contrary, some musical episodes of Honest Trailers parody non-musical films -- if particularly memorable songs were used in their marketing. For example, the Fifty Shades of Grey Honest Trailer features a parody of Beyonce's song "Crazy in Love," the Boyhood Honest Trailer includes a parody of the Family of the Year song "Hero", and the Despicable Me 1 & 2 Honest Trailer contains a parody of the Pharrell Williams song "Happy."
Music and Performances Edit
The songs in musical episodes have been produced, arranged and performed by several different musicians/performers over the years. The most notable musical performer is Michael Bolton, who appeared on screen in the Willy Wonka Honest Trailer and also performed an original Game of Thrones-inspired song for Honest Retro TV Themes! Musician Sean Motley is credited on multiple Honest Trailers, as is Matt Citron, who has contributed music to several recent musical episodes including including Mary Poppins, The Greatest Showman, Beauty and the Beast (1991), The Nightmare Before Christmas, Moana and Willy Wonka.
Musical episodes are generally among the most critically well-received episodes of Honest Trailers. For example, The Observer called the La La Land Honest Trailer an "Honest Trailers masterpiece," and described the creative choice to "summarize the plot of Moonlight to the tune of La La Land‘s “Another Day of Sun," as "amazing." Similarly, Time commendedthe Boyhood Honest Trailer for its parody song, writing that "the funniest part of this trailer, though, is the new version of the song “Hero” that was featured in the original trailer." Likewise, both Time and the Radio Times both lauded the parody version of "Crazy In Love" written for the Fifty Shades of Grey Honest Trailer. Another parody song that has been singled our for particular praise is Michael Bolton's musical contribution to the Willy Wonka Honest Trailer. In their review, The AV Club praised all the Willy Wonka parody songs, writing, "Bolton’s the real highlight here."
Additionally, many Honest Trailers for Disney animated musicals have been applauded by critics. For example, in their write-up on the Moana Honest Trailer, Geeks of Doom wrote "It’s always great when the gang at Screen Junkies takes on Disney films in their Honest Trailers series. Not only do we get quality comedy, but Weird Al-style parodies of classic Disney songs." In their review of the Aladdin Honest Trailer, CinemaBlend wrote "Honest Trailers' roasting of Aladdin earned its viral spread, if only on the strength of the remade songs, sang and produced with the same obvious care and effort as the originals." In their review of The Jungle Book Honest Trailer, Geek Girl Authority wrote "hats off to HT for the song medley – just wonderful." The Mary Sue agreed, noting "the best part about this Honest Trailer are the song parodies. As a kid, even I knew the part with the snake was super creepy, and hearing this parody with lyrics that reflect as much makes me glad." In their review of the Frozen Honest Trailer, Ad Week described Screen Junkies' efforts to produce parody songs as "impressive." Furthermore, the parody songs in The Lion King Honest Trailer were praised in multiple reviews, including JOE, Geek Tyrant and Gizmodo. Likewise, The Little Mermaid Honest Trailer's parody songs were commended by both Bustle and CinemaBlend.
List of musical episodes Edit
- Les Miserables - Jason Paige, Daniel Hartley and Clea Alsip (VOCALS)
- Frozen - Sean Mötley, Emily Kron, and Daniel Hartley (VOCALS)
- The Lion King - Elizabeth Oldak, Dimitri Moise and Michael Ruocco of AVByte (VOCALS)
- The Little Mermaid - AVByte (VOCALS)
- The LEGO Movie - Peter "Nice Peter" Shukoff and Lloyd "EpicLLOYD" Ahlquist of Epic Rap Battles of History, as well as singer Jessica Jablonski (VOCALS)
- Boyhood - Sean Motley (VOCALS)
- Cinderella - Celeste Hudson, Antonius of AVByte (VOCALS)
- Fifty Shades of Grey - Jessica Jablonski (VOCALS)
- Toy Story - Will Sasso (VOCALS and ON SCREEN APPEARANCE)
- Aladdin - PaperBot (VOCALS)
- The Jungle Book (1967) - Sean Welsh Brown, Michael Ruocco, and Molly Gallagher of AVByte (VOCALS)
- The Nightmare Before Christmas - Matt Citron and Leighton Bryan (VOCALS)
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Unknown (VOCALS)
- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - Michael Bolton (VOCALS and ON SCREEN APPEARANCE)
- Shrek - Unknown (VOCALS)
- Moana - Fredwyn Kisona and Isitolo Alesana (VOCALS)
- Beauty and the Beast (1991) - Matt Citron, Jaime Lyn Beatty and Allie Schulz (VOCALS)
- La La Land - Unknown (VOCALS)
- Fifty Shades Darker - Jessica Jablonski (VOCALS)
- Despicable Me 1 & 2 - Unknown (VOCALS)
- Honest Retro TV Themes! - Michael Bolton, Brian McKnight, Natasha Bedingfield and Paula Cole (VOCALS and ON SCREEN APPEARANCE)
- The Greatest Showman - Matt Citron, Unknown (VOCALS)
- Fifty Shades Freed - Jessica Jablonski (VOCALS)
- Mary Poppins (1964) - Matt Citron, Lynn Andrews and Annie Worden (VOCALS)
- A Star is Born - Matt Citron, Ruby Lewis (VOCALS)