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Tunes for 'Toons: Music and the Hollywood Cartoon Paperback

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Tunes for 'Toons: Music and the Hollywood Cartoon + The Cartoon Music Book
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (April 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520253116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520253117
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,720,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From The New Yorker

Examining cartoons from a musicological perspective, Goldmark does frame-by-frame readings of such works as "What's Opera, Doc?" Occasionally, this approach seems overserious, but it helps explain the artful mechanics behind a classic sequence like that of Elmer Fudd chasing after Bugs while wearing a Viking helmet and singing "Kill the wabbit" to Wagner's "Walkure" leitmotif. Goldmark compares such spirited culture-tweaking favorably with the ponderous high-culture aspirations of Disney's "Fantasia." Elsewhere, discussing cartoons' use of jazz and their frequently racist depictions of black musicians, he draws the provocative conclusion that "cartoons are, in many ways, a natural extension of the minstrel show." He also compares cartoons to ballet, and he quotes a manifesto in which Scott Bradley (the composer of much music for "Tom and Jerry") imagines the "Cartoon Music of the Future": "Think of 'Pelleas and Melisande,'" Bradley wrote optimistically, "and mise en scene by Dali."
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

"A major contribution to the emerging literature on American animation. In its exploration of animation music, it is without peer. Engagingly written, this is the only book-length study available on the topic, and it offers an important new view on animated film."—Mark Langer, Carleton University

"A foundational work in animation and film music studies, and is likely to be inspirational for additional work in both fields."—Jeff Smith, author of The Sounds of Commerce

"Never facilely reductive, Goldmark's analyses of Carl Stalling's well-known populist propensity for non-stop musical quotation and Scott Bradley's brilliant but borderline condescending aspirations to 'elevate' the form are complex and multilayered. As a bonus, Daniel Goldmark complements his scholarly referencing of relevant secondary source material with refreshing (and, these days, quite rare!) forays into original research, unearthing surprising, never-before-seen archival elements."—Greg Ford, Executive Producer, "The Carl Stalling Project"

"Daniel Goldmark has written a remarkable account of the history of animation music. His new book Tunes For 'Toons is a 'must read' for both the animation neophyte and the die-hard fan. The section on legendary composer Carl Stalling is worth the price of admission by itself."—Alf Clausen, Composer, "The Simpsons"

"Great book. It answers numerous who, what, and why questions about cartoon music."—Mark Mothersbaugh, film composer

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dave-o on December 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Though the book focuses almost exclusively on the works of Carl Stalling and Scott Bradley, Goldmark paints a thorough picture of the workings of animation in the 1930s and 1940s. Particularly interesting to me was the different approach that each composer took in scoring animated shorts. Stalling's collage of classical, public domain, and Warner-owned themes and Bradley's own original scoring and lofty hopes for the future of music in animation. That Goldmark is a musician interested in animation and not the other way around seems to me more for the better. Texts on animation tend to focus on the same shorts or studios and get a little dry with post-modern speculation. While Goldmark does his share of that in the book, he sticks more to the facts surrounding the high-mindedness that films of the 1930's and Classical music both share.

The book's ending is rather blunt, particularly the final chapter which could have been expanded on with more contemporary examples in animation. On the whole, this was a great read, especially the jazz chapter and the chapter on "What's Opera Doc".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Christensen on July 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am trying to find better ways to help students learn classical music. This is a fun, yet educational way to help kids learn about classical music and remember it always! Lots of resources and ideas can be drawn from this book. Good luck!
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By Jennie Sloan on September 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is exactly the kind of deep reading I was looking for on the topic of music and animation. I wish it were three times as long and covered more topics but the parts of animation history he does choose for the book (Stalling, Browning at MGM, jazz, "Kill the Wabbit") are major, and he covers them thoroughly and patiently. I will pick up his other book on the topic and hope he writes much, much more.
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