Thursday, September 30, 2021

Looney Tunes Complexity

Warner Brothers introduced us to some varied and complex music with Looney Tunes, from Wagnerian opera to revived obscure minstrel show pieces. The music they had specifically done for their cartoons was often surprisingly complicated for pieces whose presumed audience averaged about ten years old.  This was composed by Mack David and Jerry Livingston, who also wrote Disney intros (Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland) and popular songs (The Twelfth of Never). 

Most of Daffy's harmony is pretty standard here, but a few bits are surprising, and the sudden syncopation as the whole cast parades in is a nice touch.


Aggie said...

The Warner Brother's orchestra and the talents of the many musical directors was amazing - they had a terrific, rich, energetic sound and were able to harness both popular and classical idioms in a way that perfectly complimented the dramatic / comedic essence of the various scenes with either guffaw-like humor or rich irony.

Of course the cartoons pre-70's that were recycled into the Saturday show had originally been crafted for movie theater audiences, back when they had shorts, newsreels and cartoons before the Main Feature - and a lot of the humor that was salted in was specifically adult.

It took the team on Termite Terrace about 9 months to complete a 7-minute cartoon from start to finish, each frame hand-painted.

Texan99 said...

They were somehow neither enslaved to their audience, like a ratings-obsessed producer who does nothing but tinker with a product to goose its ratings with a test group (Love me, please!), nor indifferent to their audience, like a monomaniac propagandist who cares only about ramming a message home (Ve haff vays of making you laff!). They were professional humorists who did what struck themselves and their peers are funny, and took their chances with the rest of us.