“You Really Do Beat the Shit out of That Cat”

Daniel Goldmark

in Tunes for 'Toons

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780520236172
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941205 | DOI:
“You Really Do Beat the Shit out of That Cat”

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Before interest in Carl Stalling's music surged in the late 1980s, most of the critical writing on music and cartoons focused on Scott Bradley. During his almost twenty-five years of composing cartoons for MGM (1934–1957), Bradley not only made a name for himself as a composer but also developed a unique composing style that became highly influential in his own time and afterward. Though the stories of the MGM cartoons are often quite generic, they have a unique signature: violent action sequences combined with Bradley's illustrative approach to musical scoring. The penchant for extreme cartoon violence appears to have originated at the MGM studio during a time that America was involved in an unprecedented global conflict. Bradley took great pride in composing music for animated films, expressing high hopes for the future of cartoon music and of animation in general, and, as the sole composer for one of the major Hollywood animation studios, believed he could bring about change in his small corner of the industry.

Keywords: Scott Bradley; Carl Stalling; cartoons; cartoon music; Hollywood; MGM; violence; musical scoring; animation; animated films

Chapter.  13145 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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