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Music, Memory, Pixar

Music, Memory, Pixar DANIEL GOLDMARK The ever-increasing popularity of Hollywood animation has come about not just through technological advances or the breaking down of decades-old biases about cartoons being just for kids but also through the emotionally nuanced storytelling deployed more recently by studios, in particular Pixar. Issues of nostalgia permeate practically all of Pixar ’s features; their more recent films have gone further than simply reveling in the remembrance of times past (real or imagined) and have begun to explore the creation of memory and the reasons why memories fade or endure. Sound and music have played decisive roles in the recollec - tions and impressions of all these films. Here I’ll consider some trends in scoring and sound design to show how the melodies of childhood—and adulthood—drive Pixar ’s stories, which appeal to all ages. It’s telling that, more than eighty years after the premSn ier ow e of White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), the first American animated feature, composers still feel stuck in a rut with cartoon music. In an article about Cars 3 (2017), the film’s composer, Randy Newman, stated: “It’s a privi - lege to be able to write for an orchestra like this. . . . Sometimes I http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

Music, Memory, Pixar

American Music , Volume 39 (2) – Aug 31, 2021

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349

Abstract

DANIEL GOLDMARK The ever-increasing popularity of Hollywood animation has come about not just through technological advances or the breaking down of decades-old biases about cartoons being just for kids but also through the emotionally nuanced storytelling deployed more recently by studios, in particular Pixar. Issues of nostalgia permeate practically all of Pixar ’s features; their more recent films have gone further than simply reveling in the remembrance of times past (real or imagined) and have begun to explore the creation of memory and the reasons why memories fade or endure. Sound and music have played decisive roles in the recollec - tions and impressions of all these films. Here I’ll consider some trends in scoring and sound design to show how the melodies of childhood—and adulthood—drive Pixar ’s stories, which appeal to all ages. It’s telling that, more than eighty years after the premSn ier ow e of White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), the first American animated feature, composers still feel stuck in a rut with cartoon music. In an article about Cars 3 (2017), the film’s composer, Randy Newman, stated: “It’s a privi - lege to be able to write for an orchestra like this. . . . Sometimes I

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Aug 31, 2021

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