Matthew Morrison Opens Up About How Fatherhood Inspired Him to Create a Disney Classics Album
Life is coming full circle for Matthew Morrison.
Now a father, the Glee alum is introducing the same classic Disney movies he once watched as a kid to his 2-year-old son Revel James Makai (with wife Renee Puente). That’s why when Disney approached him about recording a record of classic songs from their animated films, he thought it’d be a perfect fit.
“I sing a lot of lullabies to put my son, Revel, to sleep, and we have dance parties every morning when we wake up,” Morrison, 41, tells PEOPLE. “When Disney approached me about doing a children’s record, I was so excited to choose songs that reminded me of my childhood and newer Disney songs that I can reimagine. It has been such a joyous experience.”
The album, titled Disney Dreamin with Matthew Morrison, drops Friday and features 10 tracks including renditions of “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinderella, “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, “You’ll Be in My Heart” from Tarzan and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story.
“Toy Story is a big one in our home,” Morrison says. “We all love Toy Story 1 through 4. And my son calls Buzz Lightyear ‘Butt Air.’ It’s just the cutest thing. He knows all the characters. He loves getting up and dancing and singing the songs.”
Also on the album is a mashup of “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” from Song of the South and “The Bare Necessities” from Jungle Book, Morrison’s two favorite movies from his childhood.
“I just remember being a kid and putting it on my record player,” he says. “This is before the renaissance of Disney with all the like Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, all those movies, so this is showing my age a little bit.”
Despite an impressive career on Broadway and on TV, Morrison says just being “dad” has been his “greatest role” yet.
“It is honestly the greatest love I’ve ever known. And really, I just was so inspired … I feel like I don’t know life before fatherhood. I mean, I do know it, sometimes I want it back,” he jokes. “But there is nothing like this. I feel like my eyes have been completely opened up to this whole new world, not to quote a Disney song.”
Parenthood has also shown Morrison a new side of his wife, Renee.
“I feel like I have a whole new wife,” he says. “Seeing her come into her power as a woman has been, I think, transformational for our whole family. She is such a leader and really just creating these movements and stuff with her speaking and really trying to empower other women and talking about things that a lot of women go through but are scared to talk about it, like miscarriage.”
“We’ve had a few miscarriages along the way trying to have a second baby, and it’s not fun stuff,” he continues. “But it has really opened us up to having the conversation and talking about things that are taboo or a little difficult to express. So I think it has really bonded us together a lot more.”
In October, Renee, 35, first opened up about her pregnancy loss in a video posted to Instagram. Today, Morrison says the couple is continuing to do research.
Meanwhile, they’re enjoying every second of watching every milestone Revel accomplishes.
“He’s a really passionate kid,” Morrison says. “He’s teaching us so much about patience, almost about learning a different language because we’re trying to figure out what he’s trying to say, and then he’s trying to figure out what we’re trying to say. I’ve never been so in tune and connected to someone. It’s like every day you get a new piece of the puzzle, and it’s just putting it all together, and it’s a beautiful thing.”
Disney Dreamin with Matthew Morrison is available Friday.