Since the infancy of the motion-picture art form, moving images have always appeared more fluid and expressive when accompanied by music. Whether accompanied by a lone piano player, a symphony orchestra or a record synced to the images on screen, music helps create pacing, carries emotion and makes the storyline soar.
In particular, animated films or cartoons opened opportunities for composers wanting to enhance the visual images of the animators with music, sound effects and songs.
A new Library exhibition, “Molto Animato! Music and Animation,” opened on Nov. 12, and is on view through March 28, 2010, in the foyer outside the Performing Arts Reading Room on the first floor of the James Madison Building. The exhibition can be viewed online at http://myloc.gov/Exhibitions/musicandanimation/Pages/default.aspx.
“Molto Animato!” explores the unparalleled collections in the Library’s Music, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound, and Prints and Photographs divisions. Juxtaposing music scores, lyrics and drawings with film clips and sound recordings, the exhibition provides a glimpse into the intricate merging of art forms that brings drawings to life.
Featured items include a pen-and-ink brush drawing of conductor Leopold Stokowski by caricaturist Miguel Covarrubias; the score from “Bambi,” with music by Frank Churchill and Edward Plumb and lyrics by Larry Morey; John Alden Carpenter’s manuscript piano score for “Krazy Kat: A Jazz Pantomime”; and the movie poster for “Walt Disney Pictures Presents Aladdin.”
Also on view will be items from the Library’s Art Wood Collection of Cartoon and Caricature, the David Raksin Collection of film scores and the Howard Ashman Collection, including the draft script of Disney’s animated film “The Little Mermaid.”