Japanese diva MISIA (33) has recorded a cover of the Charlie Chaplin classic, "Smile", that will serve as theme song for the 3D CG animation film Friends: Mononoke-shima no Naki, which comes out in theaters December 17.
"Smile", originially composed by Chaplin in 1936 for the film Modern Times, was first sung by Nat King Cole in 1954. MISIA's cover will feature three children's choirs from Miyagi prefecture, one of the areas most affected by last March's earthquake and tsunami.
"Some of the kids saw their houses be swept away and others had to be rescued by the military forces. Everyone seemed nervous at first but, as we sang together, they gradually began to smile. It really is a song that will bring a smile to your face so I'm glad our cover did just that," explained MISIA, looking back on their recording session.
The idea of having the disaster-affected children sing with her came from MISIA herself, who has been involved in the relief efforts through her fundraising campaign Hope for Japan. "I wanted to bring back a smile to their faces through music," she added.
Friends, Japan's first feature-length 3D CG-animated film, is a collaboration between directors and 20-year-old friends Takashi Yamazaki (47) (Always Sanchoume no Yuuhi, Space Battleship Yamato) and Ryuichi Yagi. It is described as a tearjerker based on the Japanese fairy tale Naita Akaoni. Yamazaki commented, "in trying times, what we need the most is to be able to smile again and that's why I felt MISIA's gentle yet powerful voice was necessary to this film."
MISIA's cover of "Smile" will be included in her first cover album (as-of-yet untitled) which comes out December 14. Among the other songs to be included in the album are Michael Jackson's "Heal the World" and Stevie Wonder's "Ribbon in the Sky".
source: Sponichi & Oricon