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In this inaugural episode of D-Composed, Isaiah takes us to the 1954 Academy Awards, where Disney sets a record for nominations and wins. From there, we explore the notion that Disney Music is worth studying on its own merit, acknowledging some problematic issues along the way, and setting up the [...]
When Mickey Mouse whistled on screen in Steamboat Willie, it changed EVERYTHING. But what created the world of music and entertainment from which that moment was born? Isaiah takes you through the uncomfortable American heritage of slavery, blackface entertainment, and the emergence of a distinctly American culture as we examine [...]
“It all started with a mouse,” Disney liked to say. But in reality, it all started with music. Isaiah gives a survey of music history, highlighting especially American music and the influence of Rag-time, as we try to understand why Disney picked Steamboat Bill as Mickey’s first melody.
After a disastrous recording session in 1928, Disney might have wondered why he bothered with the process at all. In this episode, Isaiah follows the trail of recording technology from prehistoric cavemen to the Cotton Club in Harlem. Through the process, we see how the process of communication has shaped [...]
How did all the elements of Steamboat Willie’s music come together to rocket Disney to superstardom? In this episode, Isaiah examines the nature of time itself and how it relates to music as we see the true work involved in synchronizing sound with animation. And we congratulate Alan Menken on [...]
As we look at Walt’s biggest rival in the ’30s, Isaiah brings to light the art and music of Fleischer Studios and the Jewish immigrants who gave America some of the most beloved cartoon characters and the greatest animation soundtracks.
In this episode, we look at the meteoric rise and fall of Fleischer studios and the long-term influence their composers have had. 
When you think of cartoon music, you probably think of the work done by one man: Carl Stalling. In this episode, we take a sweeping look at his life and legacy…and endure a little of his madcap looniness in the process. 
In this episode, we dive deep into Carl Stalling’s methodology of composition and compare it to musical quotation and variation, the bizarre art form of musique concrete, and the innovative creativity of hip hop.
In this episode we examine the music of Nightmare Before Christmas and The Skeleton Dance and their shared roots that stretch back over six hundred years.
In the first episode of our second season, Isaiah takes a step back and examines whether analyzing the history of cartoon music is a worthwhile endeavor today. (Spoiler Alert: It is.)
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