Music in Disney's Animated FeaturesSnow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Jungle Book

Music in Disney's Animated FeaturesSnow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Jungle Book

James Bohn

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9781496812148

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Abstract

Music in Disney’s Animated Features: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Jungle Book investigates how music functions in Disney Animated films. The book identifies several techniques used in a number of Disney animated movies. In addition it also presents a history of music in Disney animated films, as well as biographical information on several of the Studios’ seminal composers. The popularity and critical acclaim of Disney animated features is built as much on music as it is on animation. From Steamboat Willie through Bambi, music is the organizing element of Disney’s animation. Songs that establish character and aid in narrative form the backbone of the Studios’ animated features from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs through The Jungle Book and beyond. In the course of their early animated features the Studios’ composers developed a number of techniques and models that have been used throughout their oeuvre. Instrumental instances of a given film’s songs are used to comment on various character’s thoughts, as well as on the plot and action. Songs featured in Disney films are often transitioned into or out of using rhymed, metered dialog, functioning in much the same way as recitative in opera. The book also explores the use of theme and variation technique, leitmotif, theatrical conventions, and song archetypes.