A trick question:
NAME THREECOMPOSERS WHODEFINED CARTOONMUSIC?(
You can’t. There are only two.
Ask any reasonably well-informed movie buff who the major film composers are andyou’re likely to get a pretty long list of names. You’ll hear Mancini, Williams, Barry,Goldsmith, Bernstein, Steiner, Hermann...But cartoons? Even the most obsessed cartoon-o-phile comes up short when thesubject turns to music. Which is pretty strange when you think of how important musicis to the manic power of cartoons. (Try watching a few of your favorites with the soundoff and you’ll begin to see what I mean.) Still, the fact remains: In 50 years of cartoonhistory, only two truly identifiable musical voices have emerged. There’s Carl Stalling at Warner Bros., who wove together brilliant orchestral pastiches--often rivaling the mad montages of Charles Ives-- to accompany the antics of Bugs, Daffy and the rest.And then there’s Hoyt Curtin at Hanna-Barbera. Like Stalling, Curtin called upon thedominant musical form of his day--in Hoyt’s case, the big band sounds of the forties andfifties--and translated it into a series of themes and scores that are maddeningly catchy,effortlessly funny, and utterly unmistakable. You can tell a Hanna-Barbera cartoon fromacross the street, just by hearing a few strains of music.Hoyt Curtin’s music jumps out at you and wraps itself around that part of your brain where the giddy, childlike pleasures live. It nudges and jolts and eggs the actionon. It’s as bright and instantly recognizable as the Hanna-Barbera color palliate. That’s