Tunes for 'Toons
Noell Wolfgram Evans · From fps #7 · April 14, 2006 | Daniel Goldmark's book Tunes for Toons is a watershed look at the use of music in animation. More precisely, Goldmark uses the book to take a measured and scholarly look at the music (scores and songs) found in animated films from the first half of the twentieth century. The book is neither an over-arching history nor a rote catalogue of songs; rather, it is a well-researched and insightful look at some of the key players, musical genres and overall musicality of the early animated cartoon.

The overall addition of sound certainly pushed animation into a new level of artistry, so it is surprising that up until now there really hasn't been a definitive volume on the subject. Tunes for Toons more than makes up for any lost time.

Tunes for 'Toons
Written by Daniel Goldmark
University of California Press, 2005
263 pages

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Right from the start, the book leans heavily on the work of composer Carl Stalling. I know I've gotten so used to seeing his name that I'd kind of forgotten how influential and prolific he was. The man worked at nearly every major animation studio and with his work on the early Disney shorts, one could argue he practically invented the soundtrack in animation. For many he was the underscore to hours of happiness and laughter, to others he was a gateway into music. It is inarguable that he was a giant and it's fascinating to see how he became that way.

Want to read the rest of this review?

You'll find it and many other articles in the March 2006 issue of fps, available for only 99 cents US.
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