From Library Journal
"Just try watching a classic Tom and Jerry or Bugs Bunny cartoon with the sound off, and see how flat the jokes fall," offers pop music critic Neil Strauss in this compilation of essays, interviews, and opinions. That thesis epitomizes the book's overriding purpose. Instead of addressing cartoons' obvious high art-low art baggage, the contributors (who also include critic Leonard Maltin) examine their existential problem: can the obnoxious soundtrack exist as art on its own? Goldmark, a professor and Rhino Records producer/editor, and Taylor, a Chicago-based author and journalist, offer a resounding yes. They explore the tune-toon symbiosis of Disney and Warner Brothers golden age composers (Leopold Stokowski, Carl Stalling), as well as of contemporary toonsmiths (e.g., Mark Mothersbaugh of Rugrats and Alf Clausen of The Simpsons). Insightful and surprisingly engaging, this book at the very least gives readers an excuse to watch the Yosemite Sam reruns Saturday morning. Recommended for all libraries.Eric Hahn, Fargo, ND
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ever since Walt Disney synchronized Mickey Mouse to "Turkey in the Straw" in 1928, music has been as integral to animated cartoons as talking animals and falling anvils. The vital contributions of cartoon composers over the years have remained largely unsung, but this compilation of some 30 essays and interviews goes a long way toward rectifying that slight. Historically, the collection begins in the golden age of the Hollywood cartoon, with a rare interview with Warner Brothers composer Carl Stalling and two essays by his MGM counterpart, Scott Bradley. The often cheesy but fondly remembered music for '60s and '70s TV toons is well considered in such pieces as a look at such two-dimensional rock bands as Alvin and the Chipmunks and the Archies. The contemporary cartoon resurgence is represented by interviews with former Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh, now reaching a younger audience with Rugrats,
and Alf Clausen, who parodies genres from rock to show tunes on The Simpsons
. An invaluable resource that provides fascinating insights into a heretofore-neglected aspect of cinema history. Gordon FlaggCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved