How Brian Hull, a 22-year-old vocal performance major at Dallas Baptist University, was inspired to create a YouTube video that attracted 885,556 views less than 48 hours after he posted it, is a story that would warm Walt Disney’s heart. The video is featured on Newspop.net, a website that shares current events of interest to teenagers and young adults. In an exclusive interview for examiner.com on March 16, 2014, Hull shared his inspiration for making a video that he hoped might simply help him “win a $100 gift card.” It may be that Hull will win far more than that. He said:
I saw there was a contest going on through Disney where I could record myself singing, “Let it Go,” said Hull, and if I won, I would win a $100 gift card to the Disney Store. So, I just got this idea in my head: ‘What if I did the whole thing as Disney and Pixar characters?’
Hull also shared, “I told my mom (Melody Hull) my idea, and she really pushed me to do it, and within a few days, I had it recorded in the recording studio at my school, and then I edited the video together.” Hull’s friend Seth O’Neal recorded the audio and Brian worked with him to produce the video uploaded on YouTube, which currently has 2,850 comments.
See for yourself and hear Hull sing “Let it Go,” as Captain Barbosa from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and as Captain Jack Sparrow; as Roz, then as Mike Wazowski from “Monsters Inc.”; as both Tigger and Winnie the Pooh, as both Dug and Alpha from “Up,” to sing in a French accent as Lumiere from “Beauty and the Beast,” then sing in a British accent as Cogsworthy from “Beauty and the Beast, and then back to where it all started for all things Disney, singing as Mickey (and Minnie) Mouse.
The 22-year-old talent is currently studying at Dallas Baptist University in Dallas, Texas. Brian shared “I’m studying to be a music major, specifically a vocal performance major.”
Hull said, “I’ve been doing impressions all my life, so I thought, ‘why not put it to work?’ and thus the song first made famous by Idina Menzel, who voiced Elsa in the movie,” has become even more famous.
When Walt Disney Animation Studios launched their own YouTube video of the song on Dec. 6, 2013, it was to highlight their digital and Blu-ray release of the “Frozen” feature film.
The song has simple Disney magic written all over it. “Let it Go” is an original song written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Tony Award-winner Robert Lopez. “The husband-and-wife songwriters took home an Oscar on March 2, 2014,” as Todd Martens of the Los Angeles Times reported, and it “beat offerings from U2, Pharrell Williams and Karen O.
A perfect example of pop culture at its finest is when a Disney theme had “logged five non-consecutive weeks atop the U.S. pop charts, the most for any soundtrack since ‘Titanic’ in 1998.” And then this same song, “Let it Go,” inspired Brian Hull to let go his uncertainties about whether or not his entry was good enough.
Said Hull, “The night before I submitted my video, I was having second thoughts about how good it was, so I posted it to my Facebook, just so I could get honest feedback from my friends. The next thing I know, they shared it over 200 times and now, the video has over a half million views in a day and a half.”
When Hull said that it was eight hours ago, but thanks to the power of the Internet, the public’s love of all things Disney, and the manner in which Pixar films have inspired young people to want to make animation and visualization their lifelong careers, it’s not surprising that Hull’s talents and imagination (what if?) are going viral.
Currently, the Disney video has 142,539,161 views. Hull’s video is entitled “Disney and Pixar Sings ‘Let it Go’” and his rendition in full Disney/Pixar splendor, is now approaching his first million views, presently going strong at 903,807 views on YouTube at the time of this writing. Brian’s work has just gathered 18,251 views in just the past 90 minutes alone. No doubt about it, Hull is on his way to the next step in his career.
Surely the team of imagineers at Disney and Pixar has discovered Hull’s video entry by now, so if anyone there is reading this, he’s available for a summer internship or cooperative education position.
Brian Hull would be the perfect candidate to intern for their Imagineering program at Disney’s Lake Buena Vista, Florida, or California, headquarters. He is a young man with a great deal of talent, creativity, and potential. Plus, he clearly loves all things Disney and Pixar.
When asked about his current employment Hull says:
I’m just a full-time student right now, and I just work on campus helping to run our music computer lab, but I aspire to be a voice actor, or musical theater actor, or opera performer, or classical music singer, or cartoon designer, pretty much just anything where I can do what I love!
In the past, Hull has also shared on YouTube another aspect of his music talents and his religious faith, featuring his arrangement of great church hymns as well as his original compositions. In one simple video, Hull’s 2012 orchestra arrangement of “How Great Thou Art” for Fielder Road Church showcases just one of his gifts. Brian’s original composition, “The Dance with Life and Death” as performed by two young pianists, also showcases his versatility and creativity. Hull can contribute to pop culture and faith with equal ability. Who knows, if Disney is fast enough on the draw, they might have another future Oscar-winner on their Disney family team one day, whether he’s in front of the camera acting, or behind it in a sound booth.
After all, one of Disney’s own quotes, attributed to “How to be like Walt,” is:
I believe firmly in the efficacy of religion, in its powerful influence on a person’s whole life. It helps immeasurably to meet the storms and stress of life and keep you attuned to the Divine inspiration. Without inspiration, we would perish.
Hull is a young man who is readily inspired, he knows how to dream, and he has the talents to help make his dreams come true. He understands "Disney magic." As he said in his YouTube video caption:
With so many covers of "Let it Go" coming out, people may forget the original Disney magic that this song has, so what better way to preserve that magic with other Disney and Pixar characters singing the song!
Brian Hull is definitely a young Texan to look for in the future as opportunities continue to unfold for him. He’s a winner. No doubt about it. Now if he can just win that $100 gift card to the Disney store.