Music in Disney's Animated Features

Music in Disney's Animated Features : Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Jungle Book

4.31 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
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In Music in Disney's Animated Features James Bohn investigates how music functions in Disney animated films and identifies several vanguard techniques used in them. In addition he also presents a history of music in Disney animated films, as well as biographical information on several of the Walt Disney Studios' seminal composers.

The popularity and critical acclaim of Disney animated features truly is built as much on music as it is on animation. Beginning with Steamboat Willie and continuing through all of the animated features created under Disney's personal supervision, music was the organizing element of Disney's animation. Songs establish character, aid in narrative, and fashion the backbone of the Studios' movies from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs through The Jungle Book and beyond.

Bohn underscores these points while presenting a detailed history of music in Disney's animated films. The book includes research done at the Walt Disney Archives as well as materials gathered from numerous other facilities. In his research of the Studios' notable composers, Bohn includes perspectives from family members, thus lending a personal dimension to his presentation of the magical Studios' musical history. The volume's numerous musical examples demonstrate techniques used throughout the Studios' animated classics.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 318 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17.78mm | 450g
  • Jackson, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1496818334
  • 9781496818331
  • 1,896,369

Review quote

Walt Disney would famously claim, 'It all started with a mouse.' What James Bohn demonstrates is that 'it started with music'! Bohn had access to Disney archives and employs a wealth of original primary research to create this comprehensive and scholarly study of the music for Walt's animations. Informative, readable, engaging, impressive."" - Kathryn Kalinak, author of Settling the Score: Music and the Classical Hollywood Film, How the West Was Sung: Music in the Westerns of John Ford, and Film Music: A Very Short Introduction

""Music was the narrative engine and emotional heart of the golden age of Disney animation. James Bohn's thorough research and astute musical insights provide a perceptive exploration of the unforgettable songs and memorable scores, and they celebrate the careers of the often-overlooked songsmiths and composers who provided the soundtrack to four decades of Disney screen magic."" - Brian Sibley, writer, broadcaster, and animation historian

""James Bohn's insightful book provides a unique view of Disney music and the influence it had on Walt's storytelling. The Old Maestro was not a trained musician and could not play or read music. Yet, Walt was well aware of the film score. As both an animator and musician, I naturally found Bohn's book a delightful read. I think you will as well."" - Floyd Norman, Disney animator and story development artist

""For anyone who has a serious interest in the history of film music, and especially the creation and evolution of music in Walt Disney's animated films, Jim Bohn's carefully and comprehensively researched book is a fascinating internal look at the creative collaborators and the techniques they invented to provide a unique way of combining music with the animated image. He includes many biographies of and information on well-known and not-so-well-known contributors to many classic Disney films: Carl Stalling, Frank Churchill, Leigh Harline, Oliver Wallace, and many others, along with engaging inside stories about the creation of some of the best-known and best-loved film music of all time. Limited to the motion pictures that were made under the direct supervision of Walt Disney himself, Bohn respectfully and carefully details the collaborative association between Disney's creative vision and that of his musical creators, and he provides an engrossing and privileged look at the way so much venerable music came to be."" - Bruce Broughton, Emmy Award-winning film and TV composer

""A much-welcomed and much-needed exploration of one of the world's most significant musical influences for almost a century. Bohn deftly treads a fine line between conversation and erudition, offering a brisk, entertaining journey as well as a scholarly deep dive into the sharps and flats of Walt-era animation music-exploring how it serves its specific source material, often transcends it, and sustains its effectiveness regardless of changing times and tastes."" - Greg Ehrbar, TV writer, commentator, and coauthor of Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney Records
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About James Bohn

James Bohn, New Bedford, Massachusetts, is a composer and scholar on the faculty at Stonehill College and Bridgewater State University. His music has been performed internationally as well as throughout the United States and has appeared on several recording labels. He is the author of numerous articles and a book on composer Lejaren Hiller.
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Rating details

13 ratings
4.31 out of 5 stars
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