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Disney Read Along Book and Records

A sample of books in the series.

Disney Read Along Book and Tapes

Another sample of books in the series (exception being the Sesame Street title)

Disney Storyteller List

Listing of Disney read-along book and tape sets cira 1988.

Disney Read-Alongs are a series of illustrated books for children with accompanying recordings of the books being read. The first Read-Alongs, book-and-record sets, were released in 1965 by Disneyland Records (now Walt Disney Records); several hundred titles have been produced.

The books were typically adaptations of popular Disney movies, cartoons, and other stories, running 24 pages. Sometimes there would be adaptations of non-Disney stories (such as generic fairy tale adaptations, or even certain non-Disney properties), stories based on Disneyland theme park attractions, and original stories featuring Disney's characters. A narrator (or in some titles, a character from the story in first-person) read the story, and dialogue and songs from the original source were included. The sound of Tinkerbell's chimes was the signal for the reader to turn the page. Until 1991, the books always contained the tag line "SEE the pictures, HEAR the story/record/tape, READ the book." The first editions typically had this introduction:

  • "This is a Walt Disney/Disneyland original Little Long-Playing Record, and I am your story reader. I am going to begin now to read the story of [insert title here]. You can read along with me in your book. You will know it's time to turn the page when Tinker Bell rings her little bells like this: (sound of 'chimes' ringing). Let's begin now."

In most cases, the narrator was Robie Lester on 1965-71 titles, and Lois "Lane" Wilkinson on 1970-74 titles.

Meanwhile, the second editions (released beginning in 1976), and new titles released thereafter (beginning with the Little Golden Book and Record/Cassette sets), typically had this introduction (since the

Disneyreadalongbacks

Various back cover variations of the vinyl read-along editions

second editions were also released on cassette), and still do to this day:

  • "This is the story of [insert title here]. You can read along with me in your book. You will know it is time to turn the page when you hear the chimes ring like this: (sound of chimes ringing). Let's begin now."

(Note: Both editions of Peter and the Wolf did not include a chimes ring and thus that part of the introduction was skipped.)

Occasional titles have different intros, either by real people or characters. Some titles also had different signals for turning the page (particularly the Little Golden Book read-alongs), but most were presented in this manner. Also the way the story was presented differed from the first and second editions. In the former, the story was usually presented in its entirety on side 1 (on some shorter ones, the story was read twice), with one or two songs related to the story on side 2. In the latter, the story was spread out across both sides of the record with the related song(s) usually playing after the story was finished, but on some mid-to-late 1970s titles the song(s) would be incorporated into the story. A handful of early read-along titles also had the story spread onto both sides of the record, but the norm was the entire story being on side 1.

The first editions also had no character voices, music or sound effects accompanying the story; the sole exception was Peter and the Wolf, integrating its' music score into the story and backing Robie Lester's narration. Beginning with the Little Golden Book read-alongs, nearly all new releases would include additional character voices alongside the narrator, as well as sound effects and background music. (Some titles of existing Disney films would use the music directly from the film; others would remake it or use similar-sounding scores.) A curious exception was the 1977 reissue of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs read-along, which did not re-record the story's narration and voices, but simply reused Robie Lester's narration of the 1966 original, with music and sound effects added. Such voice cast members heard on the late 1970s and early 1980s read-alongs included Hal Smith, Patricia Parris, Tony Pope, Corey Burton, Tress MacNeille, Les Perkins, Linda Gary and Bob Holt.

In 1976, Disney started releasing Read-Along titles on cassette in addition to the versions on records. The cassette versions usually had the story in its entirety, plus the songs (if applicable) on both sides making it unnecessary to turn the cassette over to listen to the rest of the story. As such, the sides were not designated. The cassette versions were based on the second editions.

  • "That was the end of the story. If you would like to hear it again, turn the tape over." (1976–88)
  • "That was the end of the story. If you would like to hear it again, just turn the tape over." (1988–97)

The last cassette to use the end message is that of Hercules. Starting in 1979, Disneyland Records also released "Take a Tape Along" sets that included twelve read-alongs on cassette; six tapes would be included, with each side having a different story (rather than the same story being on both sides of the cassette.)

Originally, the Disney read-along records were pressed with plain green labels with black lettering. In 1976, the records began being pressed with the yellow "rainbow" labels seen on all of their LP albums beginning at that point. The cassette tapes were normally red with a white label, though some of the Golden read-along cassettes were yellow. Beginning in the late 1980s, white cassette tapes were utilized, and then they began to be made in a magenta color in the early 1990s.

Beginning in 1976, Disneyland Records also began producing read-along adaptations of Little Golden Book titles, released simultaneously on record and cassette. These were usually touted on the cover as "A Little Golden Book & Record/Cassette," and each story would have a new song or two written (and sometimes performed) by Larry Groce. In 1983, Disney and Golden teamed up again to produce four read-along versions of Mercer Mayer's Little Critter stories. These usually had two songs each after the story, written by Michael and Patty Silversher and/or Larry Groce.

Though not exactly traditional read-alongs, in the early 1980s Disneyland Records also began releasing "Disney Songtape and Book" sets, which consisted of one of their existing LP albums on audio cassette, and an accompanying 24-page read-along book containing the lyrics to the songs. The tagline on the back of these was: "SEE the pictures, HEAR the tape, READ the book, SING!"

In 1987, Disneyland/Vista Records discontinued all vinyl read-alongs, and as a result, many pre-1976 titles that were still available (and had not been redone as "second editions" in the late 70s and early 80s) went out of print. An exception was several of the generic fairy tale adaptations (such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood and The Gingerbread Man) that were reissued as cassette editions under the "Disney Presents Your Favorite Fairy Tales" banner, with new cover artwork, and new songs and narration on the cassettes (by Marvin Kaplan). These read-alongs did not have any character voices, similar to the 1965-1974 read-alongs, but had background music and sound effects accompanying them, and each story began with an original song, "I Wish I Was Magic."

Disney also produced titles based on non-Disney properties, such as, notably, the Star Wars films (years before Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012); these were released under the Buena Vista Read-Along Adventure name (one exception was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which was released with the Disneyland label). The Star Wars titles often used the sound of R2-D2 beeping as the page-turning signal. Disney also produced various Peanuts book-and-audio read-alongs with Charles Schulz and United Features Syndicate; these were often told in script format and utilized the actual audio from the TV specials that were being adapted. These were based on select TV specials that aired, with the exception of Snoopy, Come Home, which was based on the 1972 film, which, ironically enough, doesn't feature any of The Sherman Brothers music, but recycled music from It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown which was done by Vince Guaraldi. These titles had their own variation of the introduction:

  • "Hi. I'm Charlie Brown. You can read along in your book as you listen to the story. You'll know it's time to turn the page when you hear the chimes ring like this: (sound of chimes ringing). And now we present [Peanuts-related title]."

Other non-Disney properties that were adapted by Buena Vista into read-alongs included Garfield, the Get-Along Gang, Rainbow Brite, ALF and Gumby.

Currently, Walt Disney Records releases Read-Along book sets as 32-page books with audio CDs.

Titles

Some of the titles released on vinyl include:

Little Golden Book read-along titles include (cassette numbers are the same as the vinyl editions, but with a DC after the number):

  • 201: The Saggy Baggy Elephant
  • 202: The Tawny Scrawny Lion
  • 203: The Poky Little Puppy
  • 204: Rumpelstiltskin
  • 205: Scuffy the Tugboat
  • 206: Thumbelina
  • 207: Little Boy with a Big Horn
  • 208: Puss in Boots
  • 209: Chicken Little
  • 210: The Large and Growly Bear
  • 211: Tootle
  • 212: The Color Kitten
  • 213: The Happy Man and his Dump Truck
  • 214: The Taxi that Huirried
  • 215: Smokey the Bear
  • 216: The Little Engine that Could
  • 217: The Pussycat Tiger
  • 218: David and Goliath
  • 219: Noah's Ark
  • 220: The Lively Little Rabbit
  • 221: Circus Time
  • 222: Seven Little Postmen
  • 224: The Little Fat Policeman
  • 223: There's No Such Thing as a Dragon
  • 224: The Little Fat Policeman
  • 225: Just for You (Little Critter)
  • 226: Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad (Little Critter)
  • 227: Just Me and My Dad (Little Critter)
  • 228: Just Grandma and Me (Little Critter)

"Charlie Brown Records" read-along titles include:

  • 401: A Charlie Brown Christmas (Charlie Brown Records)
  • 402: Charlie Brown's All-Stars (Charlie Brown Records)
  • 403: He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown Records)
  • 404: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown Records)
  • 405: You're in Love, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown Records)
  • 406: Snoopy, Come Home (Charlie Brown Records)
  • 407: It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown Records)
  • 408: You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown Records)
  • 409: It's a Mystery, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown Records)
  • 410: It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown Records)
  • 411: You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown Records)

Early cassette titles include:

51-80DC are unknown

Cassette versions of "Charlie Brown Records" release numbers:

  • 81DC: A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • 82DC: Charlie Brown's All-Stars
  • 83DC: He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown
  • 84DC: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  • 85DC: You're in Love, Charlie Brown
  • 86DC: Snoopy, Come Home
  • 87DC: It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown
  • 88DC: You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown
  • 89DC: It's a Mystery, Charlie Brown
  • 90DC: It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown
  • 91DC: You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown

92DC-149DC are unknown

Cassette titles in the "Buena Vista Read-Along Adventures" series include:

  • 150DC: A New Hope (Star Wars)
  • 151DC: Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars)
  • 152DC: Raiders of the Lost Ark (Indiana Jones) - Narrated by William Woodson
  • 153DC: Droid World (Star Wars) - Narrated by Chuck Riley
  • 154DC: Planet of the Hoojibs (Star Wars) - Narrated by Chuck Riley
  • 155DC: Return of the Jedi (Star Wars) - Narrated by Chuck Riley
  • 156DC: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial - Narrated by Drew Barrymore as Gertie
  • 157DC: Dark Crystal - Narrated by William Woodson
  • 158DC: The Black Stallion
  • 159DC: The Black Stallion Returns
  • 160DC: Return of the Jedi: Ewoks Join the Fight (Star Wars) - Narrated by Chuck Riley
  • 161DC: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Star Trek) - Narrated by Chuck Riley
  • 162DC: The Wrath of Khan (Star Trek) - Narrated by Chuck Riley
  • 163DC: The Search for Spock (Star Trek) - Narrated by Chuck Riley
  • 164DC: The Last Starfighter - Narrated by Chuck Riley
  • 165DC: The Temple of Doom (Indiana Jones) - Narrated by Chuck Riley
  • 166DC: Gremlins - Narrated by Chuck Riley
  • 167DC: The Ewok Adventure (Star Wars)
  • 168DC: Roboforce: Battle at the Fortress Steele
  • 169DC: Goonies (1985) - Narrated by Jeff Cohen as Chunk
  • 170DC: The Battle for Endor (Star Wars)
  • 171DC: The Voyage Home (Star Trek) - Narrated by Chuck Riley

172-179DC are unknown

  • 180DC: Adventures in Colors & Shapes (Star Wars) - Narrated by William Woodson
  • 181DC: Adventures in ABC (Star Wars) - Narrated by William Woodson & Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
  • 182DC: Labyrinth
  • 183DC: Willow - Narrated by Roy Dotrice
  • 184DC: The Last Crusade (Indiana Jones) - Narrated by John Rhys-Davies

185-200DC are unknown, 201DC-224DC are from Little Golden Books, using the same numbers as the vinyl editions but with "DC" after them.

229DC is unknown. 230DC-237DC are from Disney's "Your Favorite Fairy Tales" read-along series.

  • 230DC: Goldilocks and the Three Bears - Narrated by Marvin Kaplan
  • 231DC: Hansel and Gretel - Narrated by Marvin Kaplan
  • 232DC: Little Red Riding Hood - Narrated by Marvin Kaplan
  • 233DC: The Little Red Hen - Narrated by Marvin Kaplan
  • 234DC: The Gingerbread Man - Narrated by Marvin Kaplan
  • 235DC: The Ugly Duckling - Narrated by Marvin Kaplan
  • 236DC: Emperor's New Clothes - Narrated by Marvin Kaplan
  • 237DC: Rapunzel - Narrated by Marvin Kaplan

238-250DC are unknown

  • 251DC: The Night Before Christmas
  • 252DC: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Little Golden Books)
  • 253DC: Frosty the Snowman (Little Golden Books) - Narrated by Hal Smith
  • 254DC: The 12 Days of Christmas (Little Golden Books)
  • 255DC: Jingle Bells (Little Golden Books)
  • 256DC: The Small One
  • 257DC: Jingle Bells

258-259DC are unknown

  • 260DC: Here Comes Garfield
  • 261DC: Garfield on the Town
  • 262DC: Garfield in the Rough

263-269DC are unknown

  • 270DC: Get Along Gang and the Missing Caboose
  • 271DC: Get Along Gang and the Bad Loser
  • 272DC: Get Along Gang and the Big Bully
  • 273DC: Get Along Gang and the New Neighbor
  • 284DC: The Chipmunk Adventure (Alvin and the Chipmunks) - Narrated by William Woodson (Includes the song: The Girls and Boys of Rock & Roll)
  • 285DC: The Chipmunks Join the Circus (Alvin and the Chipmunks) - Narrated by William Woodson (Includes the song: The Chipmunks Theme)
  • 286DC: Alf Drops In
  • 287DC: Alf Goes Wild
  • 288DC: Alf Plays Detective
  • 289DC: Super Alf
  • 290DC: Castle in the Clouds (Gumby)
  • 291DC: Wild West Adventure (Gumby)

Book and Cassette Tapes-B sets from the late 1980s to early 1990's

506B is unknown

531-700B are unknown

  • 701B: Attack of the Sand Monster (Voltron)
  • 702B: Lotor's Secret Weapon (Voltron)
  • 703B: The Masked Robeast (Voltron)
  • 704B: Trapped on the Jungle Planet (Voltron)
  • 705B: The Adventure Begins (Photon)
  • 706B: The Tunnels of Danger (Photon)

1990-2000 read-along book-and-cassette titles include:

2000–present read-along book-and-CD titles include:

Trivia

  •  The following cassettes have an altered end message:
    • In The Lion King, Rafiki says, "And that, my dear listeners, is the end of my story. If you would like to hear it again, just turn the tape over.  It will be exactly the same on the other side. Bye for now."
    • In Aladdin, Jim Cummings says, "Well, my friends, that is the end of the story. And you can be sure that everyone, except Jafar and Iago, lived very happily ever after. In fact, it is said that Aladdin's genie still roams free to this very day, but no one knows for sure. If you would like to hear the story again, all you need to do is turn the tape over. All is the same on the other side. Until we meet again, farewell." Then Abu says, "Bye-bye."
    • In Aladdin and the Cave of Wonders, Jim says, "That was the end of the tale. If you would like to hear it again, all you need to do is turn the tape over. All is the same on the other side. Until we meet again, farewell."
    • In Aladdin: Iago's Return, Corey Burton says, "That was the end of the story.  I hope you liked it. If you would like to hear it again, just turn the tape over. That's all."
    • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Roger says, "Well kids, that's it, it's over, finished, kaput! So if you want to listen to the tape again, just turn it over. Okay? See you later. Brbrbrbrbrbr!"
    • In Talespin: Drumming Up Business, William Woodson says, "That was the end of the story. If you wish to hear it again, just turn the tape over."
    • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Archdeacon says, "That is the end of our story. If you would like to hear it again, just turn the tape over."
    • In Hercules, Phil says, "That was the end of the story. If you want to hear it again, just turn the tape over."

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