Aggie's Music

I usually blab about film scores on this blog, but I don't mind the occasional tangent towards other interests. :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Classic cartoon music!!

Finally, I’m going to talk about music in classic cartoons! This’ll be sooo much fun! I’ll start off with Scott Bradley, since he’s quite iconic in this field. He did a lot of Tom and Jerry shorts. Check out the one below!

This clip is lively and fun. Why? Because the music is CONSTANTLY taking effect: the little orphan mice toddling along, Tom patting his head after one of the mice pulls his hair, the little Indian badminton birdies popping out from the fence, and loads more. Some people think that if you put too much music as effects, the entire cartoon will not sound as a whole... it will be scattered. That’s untrue, because Bradley constantly weaves reoccurring themes (e.g. the ‘uno, dos, treis amigos’ theme) throughout the cartoon, keeping it together in a smooth fashion. You’ll notice that the clip is slightly off with the music because it is that precise. You could do the same in a silent black and white film from the 1910s and 20s. It can’t be done with film anymore because people will just laugh at it. I believe that this kind of accuracy is timeless in cartoons. It just depends on the quality of your cartoon, I suppose. I’ll get into more of that later. Right now, onto more cartoons!

Scott Bradley is the first name you’ll hear from the classic times of cartoon music. However, there are a lot of others who I think are even greater. Winston Sharples! He did over seven hundred cartoon shorts from the 1930s to the 60s, primarily for Felix the Cat. I added a link to one of the shorts below. I loooove Felix! Mucho jazzy fun!

Carl Stalling, whose known for scoring a lot of Looney Tunes shorts, does a great job on the Road Runner and Coyote cartoons. He can really exaggerate some scenes effectively. Link below!

Has anybody ever heard of Bill Lava? He did a few Looney Tunes shorts as well, but I really can’t get into his stuff. Watch the clip below. When the Road Runner does hopscotch... doesn’t the music seem unnatural for that kind of movement? Stalling would’ve done a much better job. The animation is not as great as the previous clip either (Zoom and Bored was done in 1957, this one in 1965). I almost see a parallel decline in skill. I really couldn’t find anything good in it music-wise, sorry!

If you watch any kind of cartoon today, you’ll notice that none of them can have music scored in this kind of manner anymore. You can’t even envision it. Music always played a vital role in cartoon shorts, but now you can easily make a synthesized melody and paste it anywhere. I would principally watch classic cartoons for their music, because it brought every single second of animation to life. Not all music in cartoons are terrible these days, but they certainly aren’t as fun and enjoyable as ones from Felix the Cat or Tom and Jerry. If somebody were ever to bring these kinds of shorts back to life, I would absolutely love to write music for them, because it’d be a million times more fun!

That was fun to write. Maybe I’ll blab more!