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Jazz Influence on Animated Scores

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Maddie Prentice

on 19 March 2015

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Transcript of Jazz Influence on Animated Scores

Jazz's Influence on
Animated Film Scores

All About Imagination
• Jazz origins in film: 1930s
• role of film scores
• What kind of jazz influences the composers?
• Is it really jazz?
• Does this work well with the film?

Randy Newman
Monsters Inc.


Dixieland and
early swing
(1930s-1940s)
Michael Giacchino
The Incredibles

Late big band and cool jazz
(1950s-1960s)
Danny Elfman
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Early swing
(1940s)
Unusual Instrumentation
•Dixieland stylistic and structural influence

• Newman uses "unusual instrumentation like the bass harmonica and bass accordion" and combined this sound "a little bit of jazz"
• recreate "1940s feel" (Jeremie Noyer: Interview)

• light color of dixieland work into emotions
Late Dixieland Influence
•Melody (commenting) • Opening Credits
(Louis Armstrong and Lionel (Randy Newman
Hampton "Goldwyn Stomp") "Monsters Inc.")
Contrasting Melodies
• Protagonist themes: manly sounding, robust
• Orchestral movements: innocence
Sully and Mike's theme:
"The Scare Floor"
Why use Dixieland?

• Versatile style of dixieland portray the imagination of the film

• Uses jazz well, sometimes not properly executed
• ragtime "I Wouldn't Have Nothing If I Didn't Have You"

Randy Newman's American Dreams:
"goodnatured, but in the most innocuous way" (Kevin Courrier 307).
The Superhero Sound
• Intensity (volume) of swing, slow tempos of cool jazz

• Director Brad Bird takes influence from Hoyt Curtain, with an "ocean of brass"
• Giacchino: "support from the orchestra"
• Mix of "traditional film scores with jazz elements of certain 1960s scores" (Brooke Wentz 123)
Use of Percussion
• Cool Jazz structure: Latin influence and mallet percussion
• Heightened suspense!
•"Lava in the Afternoon" (vibraphone: Emil Richards)
•"100 Mile Dash"
(marimba plus brass action)
Why Use Cool Jazz and Big Band?
•Contrasting moods (relaxed vs. strict structure)
•Elevate imaginary feeling (suspense and thrills)

•Henry Mancini's "Pink Panther Theme"
Giacchino's
"Off to Work"
Dark, Low Brass Color
• Danny Elfman: influenced by "pre 1938 jazz" especially "Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington" (Braheny Interview)
•Oogie Boogie: intense accent on syncopation!
•Duke Ellington
"The Mooche"
• Danny Elfman
"Oogie Boogie's Song
Historical Influence of Early Swing
•Early Jazz associated with immoral actions and deeds
• drugs, sex, violence

•Oogie Boogie ("Boogie Woogie") main antagonist!
•embodiment of evil (music escalates fear)
• dark color: sinful
Lyrical and Vocal Influence
• Call and response technique

• Lyrical color: simply melodic, but tells a story
•Cab Calloway's Orchestra "Minnie the Moocher"
Betty Boop
cartoon 1932
"Minnie the Moocher"
"Oogie Boogie's Song
(Vocals: KenPage)
Jazz Reflects Expression

Jazz on the Screen:
"The versatility and flexibility of jazz musicians, the abstract and free form qualities of their ideas and their adeptness at improvisation to make them eminently qualified to work creatively with animated directors." (David Meeker 7)
Full transcript