Who loves The Imagination Movers? I’d have to say – “We do!”. My son and I love The Imagination Movers and have watched them on TV and anywhere else possible since he was old enough to watch TV. And I can safely say, that most people across the world also enjoys watching The Imagination Movers on their Disney show as well as their concerts and their DVDs and whatever venue they happen to appear at. It’s too bad The Movers live all the way in Louisiana and not California otherwise we’d be visiting them all the time. But not as stalkers – that would be too creepy – but more as devoted and loving fans.
The Imagination Movers, aka Dave, Rich, Scott, and Smitty have basically become a household name for us. Every day my son would ask to watch The Imagination Movers on TV or on the laptop. Luckily I saved some of his favorite episodes on our DVR and we can always watch episodes through their own website: http://www.imaginationmovers.com/ and through Disney’s: http://disney.go.com/disneyjunior/imagination-movers. We particularly enjoy the Warehouse Mouse short films – they are hilarious little episodes of Warehouse Mouse’s trials and tribulations as he tries to achieve something at the end. There are also fun games, party ideas, and coloring pages on Disney’s Imagination Movers page as well interesting tibits about The Movers- basically, you can spend a lot of free time on that site and have a lot of fun and learn something at the same time.
The Imagination Movers are like down-home folks, so to speak. They are truly the epitome of all things kids. In fact, their inspiration to start The Imagination Movers was through their own kids. As a fledgling band of good friends, they sang and played instruments together in New Orleans but soon their popularity grew and Disney decided to pick up their show with the same name, “The Imagination Movers”. After that, their fame grew worldwide and soon they added concert tours throughout the nation and in Canada. Their faces became popular in every child’s mind and you can see little “Movers” around the world even. And if you’ve never seen their concerts in person, you’re missing out on some great fun!
This year, The Imagination Movers “Rock-O-Matic” concert tour begins in March and will tour through May. It’s not too late to get their concert tickets if they’re in your area: http://imaginationmovers.com/events/page/1 and you can even buy their “Mini Movers” package which includes tickets as well as backstage Meet and Greet with the Movers. The kids will get a chance to chat it up with the Movers and snack and take photos. Hopefully we plan on going backstage to meet and greet the Movers and take some great photos with them!
With their concert coming up, new episodes on the Disney Jr. channel, and a brand new CD called, “Rock-O-Matic” out for sale, The Imagination Movers have really stepped up their game to bring your kids more fun, more excitement, and more learning opportunities. Below, I had the unique opportunity to acquire some Q&A from The Imagination Movers about their new album, their work, and their personal lives.
Q – How is ‘Rock-O-Matic’ different from your previous albums?
SCOTT DURBIN – There’s definitely more freedom in Rock-O-Matic. Recently, if the song we wrote was not tied directly to a narrative from the TV show, there was no way it would be heard. A tune like “Dance Kung Fu” which is a truly silly dance song or “Buckle Me In” about car seat safety would never have made it on the TV show but it can and does in our recent CD/DVD release. Honestly, we’ve been together writing songs for nearly ten years now but it’s been awhile since we could just do a song without having to wait for it to be approved or not. Our parameters have been removed.
RICH COLLINS – We’re still a bunch of dorky dads but we’ve gotten really good at writing pop and rock songs over the last decade, so you can hear a little bit of that swagger in these new tracks. It’s probably our most “rock” record to date but it’s quite diverse stylistically.
SCOTT “SMITTY” SMITH – ROM is definitely indicative of our musical growth and freedom. It touches on a wide range of genres and is the culmination of a lot of hard work.
DAVE POCHE – Rock-O-Matic is an interesting combination of our music sensibilities from the earlier days coupled with the production and songwriting skills we have gathered over the years. I think there is a real looseness and energy to it. “Everybody Sing” is a great example of the CD/DVD’s upbeat vibe. We set out to make a video that looks like a bunch of people having fun. Once we started shooting it was clear that this goal would be accomplished. You can really feel the energy that was on the set that day. It was a very positive, validating shoot.
Q – How does your family inspire you and your music? How many children do you have and what are their ages? Do your children ever get in on the fun?
SCOTT – Our kids have always been a source of inspiration for our music, stylistically and content-wise. Had it not been for them, this idea would not have been born. They act as our focus group, letting us know what works or doesn’t. And we try to have them participate in all that we do, whether being in our music videos or even guest singing on our songs. We’ve always been about family and our work philosophy reflects that.
RICH – Five kids ages 12 to 3. They give me ideas and tell me their opinion. They also set the tone of the whole project. We sing and write and perform essentially to make them smile
SMITTY – Our families are definitely our inspiration… and our test audience. None of this could happen without their support and input.
DAVE – My kids are 9 and 12 now, which is hard to believe. Our kids were the inspiration for this entire project. We had kids around the same time and were exposed to the world of children’s entertainment. We started writings songs for, and about, our kids. Each milestone represented an opportunity for a new song. And it was great to have an audience at home. We had a little test market that had no aversion to telling us exactly what they thought. In the earlier songs, you can hear their voices all over the place. We put them in front of the mic whenever we needed a little voice, or added a part so that everyone got a chance. When we filmed the show, our kids would look at the script drafts, visit the set regularly and even made a few cameos. We could not have made it without the contributions, inspiration and support of our families. They give us the energy that fuels the machine.
Q – What sets the Imagination Movers apart from other children’s groups?
SCOTT – What makes us different? From day one to now, there is so much in children’s programming/music that chooses to pacify our children. We’ve always wanted to change that. We truly want to challenge our kids, treating them as creators instead of consumers. We want to empower them to reach high, think big, work hard and have fun.
With performing music for kids and families, you know immediately what works and what doesn’t so insincerity simply doesn’t have a place here. You have to be genuine, sincere in your efforts and execution of ideals. We feel we are or at the very least aspire to those lofty goals. Whether its reflected in the composition or lyrics we pen in our songs to playing the music live – you’ve got to demonstrate your true colors. We choose to play our instruments rather than rely on lip-synching or tracks because music is organic and is evidence of the beauty of the creative process.
RICH – We’re real dads writing songs about real ideas and real feelings and playing real live concerts on real instruments AND most important: we can’t dance.
SMITTY – We are simply four regular guys who had a good idea and with the help and hard work of a lot of people, got to see this project blossom. Also, We are having fun doing what we love. This Project comes from the heart. It wasn’t created in a lab in Hollywood. It is “US.” And…. one of us is a full time firefighter in New Orleans. Not many kids groups can claim that.
DAVE – Well, for one, we are just regular guys, dads and husbands. 4 goofy dudes who are well aware that they are 4 goofy dudes. Filming the TV show or being on tour has it’s moments, but the vast majority of time we are lugging the kids around town, mowing the lawn, washing dishes, etc. We also have been, are, and probably always will be a children’s band. We were not an adult band who decided to exploit a niche or got tired of doing something else. And we never try to pander to our audience or talk down to the kids. Our tone is sincere. We write music that we would enjoy listening to with age appropriate lyrics. The goal is to make songs that are able to be enjoyed by young children, older siblings, parents and grandparents. We try to cast a wide net, and if our Ticketmaster reviews are any indication, we have done a pretty good job of entertaining everyone.
So there you have it. The Imagination Movers are just a bunch of regular folks who happens to enjoy playing music, sing, dance, and have a lot of fun with what they do. Be sure to catch them at their concert and on the Disney Jr. show (check your local listings), and pick up one or two of their newest album, Rock-O-Matic!