19-year-old Billie Eilish opens her latest record Happier Than Ever by sharing with her fans that she’s “getting older” and thinks she’s aging well. Throughout the record, that fact is very much apparent. The singer who got her start in pop music when she was 14 with “Ocean Eyes” is growing up in the eyes of the public, and she’ll get to showcase that journey on Disney+ this weekend with the release of her concert special, Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter To Los Angeles.
For fans of the album like myself, I wasn’t entirely sold on the idea that Billie Eilish’s official vehicle to present her album visually would be through a Disney+ film, amidst my excitement for the project. The streaming service is infamously the tamest of platforms, bringing up the question how much does her concert film censor Eilish’s messages in Happier Than Ever? One of the film’s directors, Patrick Osborne, gave CinemaBlend an answer. In his words:
So for the most part, Disney+ is not censoring Billie. Much like the service did for Hamilton, the multiple uses of the word “fuck” she uses in her lyrics has been omitted from the movie. Other than that, apparently Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter To Los Angeles will be fully representing the singer’s voice and that's great news for her artistic vision.
Some of the songs in question are “Billie Bossa Nova” and “Oxytocin” that have the singer getting into some spicier subjects, like her sexual fantasies. Eilish memorably asks an ex to just "fucking leave" her alone in the album's titular track, "Happier Than Ever." And in the last song, “Male Fantasy” Eilish sings about trying to distract herself by pornography before closing the breakup record with a rather reflective song about their relationship. As Osbourne told us, her had some reservations about how Disney might react when he was given Happier Than Ever:
Thankfully, he was surprised by Disney’s reaction and really felt the film was given space to be fully Billie Eilish as well as a Disney+ original film. The movie will feature the entire album in order from start to finish, played at the Hollywood Bowl, as an animated narrative weaves through the movie, taking Eilish to famous locations in her hometown of Los Angeles.
The Happier Than Ever concert film really explores the part of herself that Billie Eilish idealizes, also against an also idealized city, as Patrick Osborne told us. The movie starts streaming on Disney+ on Friday, September 3.
YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.
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