January 14, 2013

"Steamboat Willie overdubbed with the Koyaanisqatsi theme."

"The Disney classic paired with Phillip Glass' classic theme. Oddly unsettling on a number of levels."

Hmm. I don't know. I clicked through and watched it a bit, and the main thing I thought was what a great cartoon, full of weirdness and sadism that was always there and not something new injected by the mysterious-serious soundtrack. The injection — which might feel good to druggies — is aggressive nudging that only serves the purposes of those too numb to see what is there in life as it already is. 

The second thing I thought was every time those spooky voices incant "Koyaanisqatsi," what I hear is "[unintelligible] Wisconsin."

By the way, Meade happened to glance over at 0:50 and laughed out loud, not because of anything about the added soundtrack, but the original comic idea. I said: "What? This is 'Steamboat Willie,' the oldest cartoon in the world." But his laugh meant — as I immediately realized — that this is something perfectly great, perfectly timeless, and utterly — udderly — unimprovable.

24 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

Didn't work for me. That is, the apparent desire to transform the emotional context of the cartoon.

I wrote music for corporate and art video for years, so I know how profoundly sound impacts the viewers perception of animation.

But, I'm way too acclimated to seeing humor in Mickey D's antics.

This made me think of the Simpson's Itchy and Scratchy cartoon show. Much more descriptive of the casual catastrophe of the cartoon world.

As usual, the popular art pros do it better than the eggheads.

hillbilly said...

Steamboat Willie was far from the first cartoon in the world.
Fantasmagorie from 1908, was the first true animated cartoon.
Gertie the Dinosaur from 1914, was one of the first successful animated cartoons was one of the first examples of true character animation.
Oswald The Rabbit, another Disney creation, predated Mickey.

Bob_R said...

The sow scene deserved a "breasts" tag.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Pairing Steamboat Willie with 4'33" might be worth a try.

Levi Starks said...

That Glass piece is a "top played" on my IPOD, but the animation in my head is entirely different.

edutcher said...

Weird, but Shout's right.

There was an old bit on Perry Como's show (so we're talking 50 years ago) where they redubbed some "ominous" music into an innocuous scene from one of his movies.

(I know...)

PS hillbilly's right. Willie was the first sound cartoon.

PPS Sounds like the Pouledouris soundtrack from "Conan The Barbarian".

Andrew X said...

I just have to chime in with one of the single funniest lines in some going-in 25 years of 'The Simpsons'. Homer for whatever reason is reading a list of prizes in some contest.. "Ooooh, and look at this - An Evening with Philip Glass! What, just one evening??"

I always wondered just how many other people fell off the couch on that one.

Emil Blatz said...

Boxcar Willie would be a better call.

Pogo said...

Doesn't mesh.

Would have worked better, themewise, with the movie Fitzcarraldo (Popol Vuh did the music).

A Werner Herzog narration would cinch it.

Shouting Thomas said...

The pros versus the eggheads thing is always fascinating.

When I was trying to get my first job as a church organist, I decided to visit one of the leading academics in the field in my area. We talked in her office and later I attended one of her "recitals."

She was an astounding technical wizard who played very difficult material. She never made a mistake, but she just didn't sound good. Took me a while to figure out why.

She didn't know how to state and bring to the front the melody. This is something a popular performer learns quickly, because melody is what a popular audience demands.

The academic organist had clearly never faced the demands of a commercial audience and, consequently, never learned the skills necessary to appeal to that audience.

ricpic said...

Koyaanisqatsi is the perfect musical expression of the smug doom and gloom the west is shit lefty.

alan markus said...

Years ago (early to late 70's) when I was collecting underground comix (I have about 200+ sitting out in a box in the garage), I remember reading what the various artists were consuming or smoking when it came to drugs, and anecdotes about the cartoonist of the 30's being dopers.

Here's something that popped up when Googling cartoonists & drugs:

Drugs In Disney Movies

For all I know, there may whole college courses devoted to this topic, but I do find it intriguing that Walt Disney was alleged to use mescaline & cocaine. Again, allegations, but the implications are interesting. Snow White (cocaine?) & Fantasia being very popular at showings for hippies under the influence of drugs.

Icepick said...

Mickey was just lucky it was a cow and not a bull he was dealing with at the 0:50 mark.

Skyler said...

That was the least imaginative mash up I've ever seen. Not even to the Wizard of Oz with Dark Side of the Moon level of boring.

Pianoman said...

This doesn't work at all. It's a banana split covered in ranch dressing -- two great tastes that DON'T go together.

Disclaimer: I'm a fan of Steamboat Willie AND Koyaanisqatsi.

tiger said...

"The Disney classic paired with Phillip Glass' classic theme. Oddly unsettling on a number of levels."

wrote the person easily scared.


The 'Koyo' music is useless when separated from the movie and say that as a I fan.

Astro said...

What ricpic said.

Plus, Disney bought Lucasfilm and they're planning another 3 Star Wars movies. So the end times of civilization may be here. (Or Civilisation, as the Instapundit pointed out earlier.)
Koyaanisqatsi and The Mouse are a paradigm of our onrushing culture.

Moose said...

Betcha that took a whole hell of a lot of drugs to make that one work.

Revenant said...

The two elements failed to mesh, in my opinion.

David said...

Final score:

Disney 49, Phillip Glass 0.

P Hudson said...

All I hear is a RIck Wakeman solo interrupted by someone repeatedly calling out, "Play 'On Wisconsin'".

tim in vermont said...

I think it works best if you are not invested in either work. I liked it and linked it on facebook.

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William said...

Over the years we seem to have lost our ability to laugh at tits and live more impoverished lives because of it.