It was 50 years ago at the New York World's Fair that "It's a Small World" — what has since become one of the most iconic of all the attractions at Disney theme parks — debuted as a tribute to the UNICEF's work for children around the world.
As a kickoff to a worldwide celebration April 10, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was among groups and individuals from more than 25 countries featured in a video shown Friday in a segment of "Good Morning America" on ABC-TV.
The video can be viewed on the Disney Parks Blog at disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog.
Featured singing snippets of the classic Sherman brothers song that is the centerpiece of the attraction are, among other performers, bagpipers in Scotland, Bollywood actors in India, a Mexican mariachi band and a firefighter in New York City.
Near the end of the minute-and-a-half video, the Tabernacle Choir appears in its home setting of the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City singing its portion of the song.
"I can't believe that it's been 50 years since my brother Robert and I wrote this little song," co-composer Richard Sherman says at the outset of the video. "It meant a lot to me then, and it means so much more to me now."
"You can participate in this historic celebration by recording and sharing an online video of yourself singing 'It's a Small World' on our new global online hub SmallWorld50.com," wrote Thomas Smith, social media director for Disney Parks, on the blog.
"At the site, you can also create virtual 'It's a Small World' dolls to share with your friends. The Walt Disney Company will donate $150,000 to benefit UNICEF in honor of the 50th anniversary of 'It's a Small World,' plus $1 for every sing-along video recorded on SmallWorld50.com and another $1 for every virtual doll created on the website, up to $100,000."
Smith wrote that on April 10, hundreds of people from the various Disney Parks — Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort — will come together to sing the song.
For the past half century, millions of visitors have enjoyed the attraction in which dolls made to represent various nationalities sing the song in different languages in perfect synchronization.