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Keywords

Walt Disney, music and animation, synchronization, classic

Abstract

The music of Walt Disney’s classic films was written by a number of hand-picked composers who, working with Disney, ingeniously crafted the music to fit animation and bring musical inspiration to the homes of viewers leaving America and the world with a beloved legacy. Though Walt Disney was a cartoonist and not a musician, music was given a distinct, almost central, role in the creation of his cartoons. Special techniques such as Mickey-mousing or the click track were developed by composers and used to synchronize this music and animation. These processes really began with Disney and have formed the basis for all music synchronized to cartoon animation. From the very beginning with Mickey Mouse, to The Silly Symphonies, to the beloved classic Disney movies music has been an ever-present and developing center. Walt Disney, though not a composer himself, hired a number of key composers from which we have many cherished melodies. Unlike most other cartoons Disney’s were focused on using music of the classical style rather than the popular style. The music from a number of classical composers was used or drawn upon as a model. Disney had a special purpose for the music in his animated films. Most of his films contained a story other than the music, but his movie Fantasia really seeks to find the purpose music itself has with visual interpretation. College students have done research on these ideas of simply listening to music or listening while seeing an image. All of Disney’s animated films would not be the classics they are without the music that holds them together. Disney music has become recognized as its own individual art form. It has inspired America to dream and to think more deeply than realized. Walt Disney’s indirect effect on music history may be considered a stretch, but there is no doubt that the music developed through Disney Bros. has left an inspiration on the hearts of Americans.

DOI

10.15385/jmo.2012.3.2.1

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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