Deleted scenes were usually deleted for a reason.
And for that reason, I usually don’t watch them.
But recently, on a road trip, I purchased the soundtrack to Moana (because I have two children under the age of 5, and it’s one of the best Disney movies I’ve ever seen…but that’s for another day). The soundtrack included a few demo tracks with Lin-Manuel Miranda singing “Shiny,” “You’re Welcome,” and “Where You Are,” which I thought was pretty cool.
But then, I listened to another demo track for a song called “More” and the reprise, neither song appears in the final cut of the film.
There’s no animation to go with the song, but it sounds like the song is an alternate to “How Far I’ll Go.” Which is an AMAZING song, and is obviously the right choice for the film.
But it’s a really good song, too, and the reprise for “More” is beautiful.
In fact, I’m kind of obsessed with it. I love the expression in Marcy Harriel’s voice as she gives voice to her grief at the loss of her grandmother,
She showed me day after day, how to find my way.
She taught me how to rely on the wind and sky.
She named me after the sea.
She believed in me.
I know we used to be bold
from the tales she told.
I know she left me prepared
From the things she shared
There was more she wanted to see…
I think part of what keeps me listening to this song in particular is that it gives voice to the feelings I have about the loss of my grandfather, and how I imagine I’ll feel when I lose other people in my life who have guided me on my path and helped me find my way through challenges in my life.
These songs wouldn’t be part of the same story that the one’s that made it into the movie (“How Far I’ll Go” and it’s Reprise) are a part of. You can imagine (if you’ve watched Moana ten or twenty times like I have) how the story would have been different if the story trust had chosen the “More” songs instead.
This changes how I feel about deleted scenes a little.
I also recently watched the alternate beginning to the Pixar movie, The Incredibles.
The way the movie actually begins is brilliant. I love the interviews with the Super Heroes and the way the story flowed from that. But, this beginning would have been great, too. I love how Helen, the Super Hero, stands up for “stay at home Moms” and Bob has to pretend to be injured by when he cuts his hand with a meat cleaver. As the director says, the way the began the movie was the right way to do it, but the movie lost something when they pulled out these moments.
Recently, I posted about wishing your alternate self well. And, in that spirit, I’ve been thinking about these songs and scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor.
The things that don’t happen in our life – the opportunities we miss, the chances we don’t take, the things we leave behind – might be good. Really good. Wonderful even. But they may not fit in the life we’re living, the story of our lives.
I’m wrestling with this idea. I believe that things happen for a reason. But that doesn’t mean that what didn’t happen wasn’t also good. And that might be okay.
I hope this gives you something to ponder this week, and if there are any great deleted scenes I should check out, let me know in the comments! I’m definitely feeling like giving them a second look!