Faced with the task of giving a voice to a central character that does not speak, Universal Pictures turned to Jack Johnson
to craft songs that could provide a voice for Curious George
. As a new father, it presented an opportunity to make an album for parents and children. Presented with early animations and the story line, Jack crafted new songs that captured the emotions of Curious George
as he leaves the jungle to follow the Man with the Yellow Hat. He also turned to friends Ben Harper, G. Love
and Matt Costa
to contribute songs that might bridge the gap between parent and child.
Joined on the record by his band (Adam Topol, Merlo Podlewski, and Zach Gill) Jack duets with 3 of the other songwriters (Ben Harper, G. Love and Matt Costa), and does a cover of the White Stripes' "We're Going to be Friends". Parents who watched Schoolhouse Rock on Saturday mornings when they were children will recognize Jack's take on the classic "Three is a Magic Number" reinterpreted with "The 3 R's" as a call to protect the environment and Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. "Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies" feels like so much more than your standard "Official Soundtrack" due to its unified creative vision. While the songs have a universal appeal, their themes speak to a child's experience (or in this case, a curious monkey's experience) of the world.