May 17 , 2008

I've started to add PDF files for download for anyone who would like to print the pages. The Mary Poppins (1967) version is the first to have it, and I'll continue to do this for any new books I add, and eventually catch up on the older ones. The files are 200dpi and approximately 7" x 7" like a real book would be.


October 20, 2007

I've added MP3 files for download to most of the available books. Some I don't have the original full tracks for, so someday I'll have to join the individual page files together for those ones.


August 7, 2007

I've added Mac hqx files to many of the newer read-alongs for download. I'm making these on a PC, and I have no way of testing them, so if someone has a Mac and can test to see if they work and let me know (email link on home page), that'd be much appreciated. I believe in order to play the hqx files on a Mac, they must be expanded first, with something free like Stuffit. An hqx is the only Mac compatible file a PC can create from Flash, but it acts more like a zipped file than an executable. UPDATE: A couple of peope have let me know that the hqx files do work for Macs. Excellent! Thanks guys.


July 6, 2007

I came across something advertised in a Zellers (Walmart-esque store in Canada) flyer today. "Follow Along" DVDs. They sounded like DVD read-alongs, which further research says they are, but there's no book involved. They're put out by the National Captioning Institute and I guess you watch the video and read the captioning at the same time, to build reading skills. I have no idea if they're full length movies or shortened. I also sort of wonder why they sell them since most DVDs have captions to turn on anyway, but maybe they're designed to get straight at it without menus, so kids can play them easily. So not exactly a read-along, but interesting just the same so I thought I'd post it.


June 6, 2007

Today I acquired a read-along for Disney's Meet the Robinsons. The Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End one should also be out now, as well as one for the upcoming Pixar movie Ratatouille. I realized today that the company who makes these for Disney Records is located here in Canada. They are called ToyBox Innovations and have a website here, although only the intro page seems to be up to date. They have a neat press release about how they are bringing back read-alongs. So if you like read-alongs and you come across any of the new ones, purchase them up if you can, so we can encourage them (and Disney) to keep making them.

I won't include any of the new ones on this site as downloads, only the old out of print ones.


October 27, 2006

Happy Halloween! Thanks to Dave at his Disney Audio Site, I've now compiled Disney's Haunted Mansion Read-Along. It's interesting to note there are two versions of this. Dave's copy is part of a school set that included a teacher's edition, and explained how to set up a listening corner for children to read along in. This version is read by a man. I'm not sure who, but he does sound a lot like Paul Frees who narrates the actual ride in Disneyland. The non-school version, which you can listen to at Doombuggies is read by a woman, Robie Lester, who was the "Disneyland Story Reader" on many of the older read-alongs, like Snow White. The second side of the album is haunting sound effects.

Now also of note is the 12" LP version of The Haunted Mansion, called "The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion." You can listen to it at Dave's site, and view the pages at Doombuggies. It has different artwork, in the 11 gatefold pages of a 12" LP cover, and is narrated by Thurl Ravenscroft, and uses many sound effects taken directly from the ride. It also has two characters. A girl played by the aforementioned Robie Lester, and a boy played by Ron Howard!


October 21, 2006

This is a first. I just realized the Gremlins read-along record is missing a page of audio. It's like they didn't record it, but the text and picture are there in the book. It's page 12, where Billy takes his mom to the neighbour's house. Instead the audio moves smoothly from page 11 to page 13. I wonder if the cassette version is the same.


October 9, 2006

Awhile ago I had wondered if the 1997 SE Star Wars read-alongs were different than the 1980s ones. Someone kindly sent me an e-mail letting me know they were indeed different. Different photos, dialogue, and read by different actors. I've now acquired those, so I'll post them sometime!

Also, I now have something I'd been searching for for ages. The Rainbow Film Pack from the UK which includes Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, and Young Sherlock Holmes & The Pyramid of Fear. The books are separate, but the audio for all three is on one tape. All packaged inside a large flat clam case. Very cool. The next best Rainbow one to find that we didn't have here would be Short Circuit.


August 2, 2006

Bingo! Guess what turned up this week, again at Save-On Foods checkouts? A Dead Man's Chest read-along!! And a proper style booklet one, not that hardcover that lists. I see now amazon does list the regular Dead Man's Chest one, but it actually shows the image of the Curse of the Black Pearl. Typing in read-along doesn't find them, I just found them by typing "Dead Man's Chest" under books and going through them. Just like Pearl, this one is narrated by Diedrich Bader. He's quite good, actually.


July 22, 2006

I've got to add a really cool update to the notes section here. Down at the very bottom of this page, I said how cool it'd be to have a Pirates of the Caribbean movie one. Well, there is one now, and I have it in my hot little hands! It's for Curse of the Black Pearl, the first movie, but it's copyright 2006, so I guess it was released to coincide with the sequel. Found it at a grocery store checkout (Save-On here in Canada) of all places. It's really great. It goes along the lines of 1999's Phantom Menace, with voices taken right from the movie. It's narrated by Diedrich Bader. The CD is attached to the inside cover with a little plastic hub, and you can see part of it from the front, where the cover is die cut to reveal it.

If this sells well, I hope it encourages Disney to continue to make ones for live action movies. Looking at, it appears that a read-along for Dead Man's Chest is being released January 2007. Seems weird to wait until then. It appears to be a hardcover style book with a CD in the centre of the cover.

The other most recent one I have is for Disney's Cars. Same format as Pirates, with the CD attached to the inside cover. This wasn't as much of a surprise as finding Pirates, since they have been making read-alongs for their Pixar movies. The only one they didn't do was Incredibles. There is an audio book CD, but there's no book to read-along with, just a gatefold insert. And I don't think it has narration.


January 8, 2006

The above lists are compiled using the read-alongs I have, and the lists at the backs of the books. Anyone with more info or additions or discrepancies can e-mail and let me know!

The biggest run of read-alongs by any one company would seem to be Disney from the 1960s until now. There are probably more of the large format LPs that I haven't come across, and the few I have don't have lists. These large ones that have the booklets in the gatefold cover are really similar to the re-releases that came out in the 70s in the smaller common format, but the story was spread across only 11pages with more than one scene on each page, and not really intended as a read-along "word for word story narration" as the large LPs were far longer than the accompanying book. For instance, Robin Hood large LP has a mention of the villagers thinking Robin had drowned.... but in the 1973 small LP, they skip over that. The same applies to the large LP of Bedknobs & Broomsticks with regards to the story, but in this case also the artwork changed. The small one uses images like the animated segments of the movie, and the large LP has more of a pastel drawing style.

The original small LP Mary Poppins from 1977 had artwork and Burt walked the reader through the story. I have the book, but unfortunately not the audio. I do however have the 1997 book with audio, and it's photos and dialogue taken straight from the movie, and is entirely different that the 1977 version.

The 1990s ones mostly seem to be the same as the original 1970s/80s ones, but the books are about an inch taller, and most of the covers are framed with pink. Only a few like Ariel's Secret Grotto and the Lion King Brightest Star seem to be lacking the pink.

Does anyone know if the 1997 SE Star Wars trilogy ones have different photos and words than the originals? I recently saw a small image showing the back with an image of one of the pages, and it looked like it might be different.

The early 1970s ones said Disneyland Records on the back, but at some point started using the Buena Vista. Then in the 1990s, they said Disney Audio Entertainment or Walt Disney Records. In both cases I kept the sections together because it didn't seem to mean a whole new series run.

Then we have the numbering system. The earliest one I can see listed is Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, at #327. The Robin Hood small LP is older (1973) but doesn't have a number. I don't know why they didn't just start at #1! I didn't list them by numerical order because I think it's easier to go down the list by title. If I did it by number, then not all the Winnie the Pooh books would be listed together, etc. So most of the books have these 3 digit numbers. But, there's an overlap. My Star Wars ones and a few others came together in a plastic case, and have numbers with a DC in them. They don't have lists inside the back cover. But I have other individual books that also have this DC and are part of a series called Walt Disney Storyteller Tapes. These are numbered 1DC to 33DC. So what does DC mean? I have no idea. Maybe a separate re-printing, but the copyright years remain the same. However, all of these DC books are also available without the DC numbers and have the regular 3 digit numbers, but otherwise are exactly the same as the DCs, even with regards to the copyright date. There are also a few with a B in the number. They seem to be mostly on ones made in the late 80s, although Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a DC, and it's from 1989. Go figure! But we can drop this numbering subject when talking about the 1990s re-issues, because they don't have any numbers. *phew*

While Buena Vista was distributing the read-alongs here in Canada and in the US, a company called Rainbow was distributing in the UK. Most of the titles are exactly the same as the Buena Vista ones, but they had some we didn't, and vice versa. I'd love to see their Rambo, Howard the Duck, and Short Circuit. Plus I've been told there is a really rare Back to the Future one, but I'm not sure if it's Rainbow. It seems to have been the only company to put out the read-alongs in the UK. Also, I have been sent the audio for two UK ones. James Bond: The Living Daylights and V: The Series. Both are much longer than normal read-alongs, and the Bond one is higher quality than the Kid Stuff Bond ones. In a few cases the UK ones did have different covers. Roger Rabbit for instance.

That takes us to the subject of other companies doing read-alongs. Kid Stuff put out quite a few, but their production value wasn't as high. They are all drawings instead of photographs, plus some are only black and white like a colouring book. They had some good subjects though, and the voiceovers were pretty funny. The list above is mostly taken from the back of one of the Kid Stuff books, but their list isn't very specific. It just says G.I. Joe, and I know there were more than one. Until I find out for sure, I just left the generic entries unless it's one I have or specifically know the title of.

Peter Pan Records was the other main distributor or read-alongs. The only one I have is the A-Team: The Maltese Cow, and I know there are a few other A-Team ones, but they don't even list them inside. All the ones listed are non-Disney versions of classic tales, or entirely new stories.

Finally there are a few hodgepodge ones I should add under a Miscellaneous section. I have a skinny little square-bound one for Chicken Run that was put out by Dreamworks. I'm not sure if Dreamworks has others in a regular square format, but I think I've seen one for Sinbad and the Seven Seas on ebay. I'll have to find out. I also have an excellent 3D Rocketeer comic that has a binaural audio cassette for a really surround experience, especially on headphones.

I think it's too bad they don't make much in the way of read-alongs nowadays. One for Pirates of the Caribbean would have been terrific, and why was there one for Star Wars Episode I but not II or III. I guess when VHS came out and now DVDs and computers, kids have so many other ways to relive movies and learn. But I imagine that in the 70s and early 80s, it was the only way to relive a movie after it was gone from theaters. The only one we had as kids was Temple of Doom, and I know I listened to it quite a bit. Disney does still release read-alongs, but only for animated movie. I'd like to hear the Pixar ones sometimes. Actually, soon I'll add a section for the 2004 sets that I know came out last year. Disney seems to continually re-release the books based on their animated movies, but it's unfortunate they don't or can't re-release some of the live action ones, or make new ones. The ones I enjoy the most are ones based on movies or shows, especially live action ones, with the non-original actors.

Download the books View the list Back to home