×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Disney Cartoons Reanimated for Live Orchestra at Ace Hotel

With all the attention to bigscreen spectacles accompanied by 80-piece orchestras, it’s easy to forget the smaller films that need music just as much, if not more: cartoons.

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra has not forgotten, and will devote an entire evening to a live-to-film performance of music for classic Disney cartoons on June 13 at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, a restored L.A. movie palace from the 1920s.

Included will be two late-1920s “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” shorts with new scores by Emmy winner Mark Watters; five Mickey Mouse shorts including “Plane Crazy,” the first synchronized-sound cartoon; the 1935 classic “Band Concert” and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from “Fantasia”; a jazz-meets-classical 1935 “Silly Symphony” titled “Music Land”; and the Oscar-nominated 2013 “Get a Horse!”

Watters, who is conducting the 32-piece chamber orchestra that night, is an animation-scoring vet. When Disney took 60 classic Mickey, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto cartoons and condensed them from eight minutes down to 2½ for shorter moppet attention spans, he re-arranged and re-recorded the original scores to fit.

The music for these classics is difficult, Watters says. “The tempos are very fast. The musicians are asked to make sudden changes in style every 10 or 15 seconds, and there’s no letup. The physical comedy of animation has to be sync’d with precise timings.”

Dave Bossert, Disney Animation Studio’s creative director for special projects, has restored many of these and overseen their re-scoring with Watters as his musical partner. He recently made a half-hour doc, “The Tunes Behind the Toons,” that has been making the rounds on the festival circuit. He is expected to attend and speak at the LACO event.

“These animated shorts and segments are forgotten treasures,” he says. “There has been a wonderful awakening at Disney, pulling them off the shelf, dusting them off and giving them a new life.”

More Music

  • Olmo Teodoro Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron and

    Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless 'Roma' Prompted an 'Inspired' Companion Album

    Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity [...]

  • Panic at the Disco Concert Review

    Concert Review: Panic! at the Disco Brings Theatrical Flair to Forum

    At one particularly crowd-pleasing point during Panic! at the Disco’s show Friday at the Forum, Brendon Urie played the group’s cover of one of the “Greatest Showman” songs, from the recent tribute album devoted to that film, and it’s not hard to see why he would gravitate to the musical. Urie’s so much of a [...]

  • Ludwig Goransson Black Panther Composer

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Scores

    Unlike the song category, it’s impossible to predict the winner from this year’s quintet of original-score nominees. It’s almost anyone’s game. Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson spent a month in Africa recording unusual drums, flutes and vocals, then adding them to a massive London orchestra and choir to create a unique soundscape for the fictional land [...]

  • Oscars Best Song Nominees

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Songs

    This year’s crop of Oscar-nominated songs may be the most diverse in years: a ballad and a pop-rap from two of the year’s biggest films, plus a delicate lullaby from a Disney musical, a political themed anthem, and a novelty tune for singing cowboys. “Shallow,” the top-10 hit from “A Star Is Born,” is widely [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content