“There’s a terrific power to music. You can run any of these pictures and they’d be dragging and boring, but the minute you put music behind them, they have life and vitality they don’t get any other way.”
In the mid 40’s, with the end of World War II, a number of mainstream musicians emerged and began playing in a completely different way.
These musicians sought to return jazz to its “black” origins, to bring it in an artistic direction and a personal meaning of expression and to remove its identification as a “dance music” only.
Around this time,when his first full length animated movie came out, the Disney movies music history started.
It was the time when all of the traditions of incorporating songs in animation movies started.
“We should set a new pattern, a new way to use music. Weave it into the story so somebody doesn’t just burst into song.”
The Jazz Fool is a Mickey Mouse short animated film first released in 1929 as a part of the Mickey Mouse film series. It was one of the first Disney movies involving a music concert.
The cartoon’s title combines the title of two Al Jonson movies: The Jazz Singer (1927) and The singing Fool (1928).
What has Jazz contributed to the World of Disney?
In Pinocchio (1940) Cliff Edwards provided the voice of Jiminy Cricket, singing “When You Wish Upon a Star.” It was the first song to win Disney an Oscar and was ranked the 7th greatest song in film history by the American Film Institute.
While that song does not fit in the jazz category, Disney movies makers learned to insert emotion into their music and paved the way for jazz to become a main genre in their movies.
The Lady and the Tramp (1955)
The Jungle Book (1967)
The Aristocats (1970)
And even a lot after jazz has began…
The Princess and the Frog (2009)