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SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS – Frank Churchill, Leigh Harline, and Paul J. Smith

November 2, 2015 Leave a comment

snowwhiteandthesevendwarfs100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

We honor Walt Disney as a visionary, and this film was a seminal event in the history of Hollywood film making. Indeed, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is rightfully considered to be Disney’s most significant and enduring achievement – the first animated feature film made in the United States. Notable was the fact that it was the most successful film release of 1938, and that it broke ground by being the world’s first soundtrack album. Frank Churchill, Leigh Harline and Paul J. Smith shared composer duties in writing the film’s score, while Churchill and Larry Morey shared songwriting duties, with Churchill providing the music and Morey the lyrics. A total of twenty-five songs were written for the film, but in the end only five were ultimately used in the final picture. It should be noted that Leigh Harline took over the song writing from Churchill and composed in their style, but only Churchill and Morey are credited in copyright and biographical sources as songwriters. Read more…

PINOCCHIO – Leigh Harline and Paul J. Smith

June 22, 2015 Leave a comment

pinocchioMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

After reading the novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio” by Carlo Collodi, Walt Disney felt it could be made into a fine Disney animated feature. When he picked up his honorary Oscar for “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1937, he advised the Academy of his intent to bring Pinocchio to the big screen. The film became a passion project and its budget ballooned from $500,000 to $2.5 million, with several major rewrites. The voice cast included Dickie Jones as Pinocchio and (Alexander the Donkey, Cliff Edwards as Jiminy Cricket, Evelyn Venable as the Blue Fairy), Christian Rub as Geppetto, Walter Catlett as John Worthington Foulfellow the Red Fox, Charles Judels as Stromboli, Frankie Darro as Lampwick and Thurl Ravenscroft as Monstro the Whale. This film offers the classic tale of Geppetto the woodworker, who makes a wooden marionette, whom he names Pinocchio. He has no son and when he goes to bed he makes a wish that Pinocchio become a real boy. His wish is heard, and the Blue Fairy comes during his sleep, and brings Pinocchio to life, but he is not yet fully human. She advises Pinocchio that if he is brave, truthful and unselfish, he will become a real boy. She assigns Jiminy Cricket to be his conscience. Well, after a long adventure, with many struggles along the way, Pinocchio succeeds, becomes a real boy, and he and Geppetto live happily ever after. The film resonated with the public and was a commercial success. It also received critical acclaim and secured two Academy Awards for best Original Score, and Best Song “When You Wish Upon A Star”. This was the first time a film secured these two wins together. Read more…

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA – Paul J. Smith

October 4, 2011 Leave a comment

MOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

This classic Jules Verne’s novel was adapted to the screen by Earl Felton. It tells the story of the adventure of Professor Aronnax (Paul Lukas), Ned Land (Kirk Douglas) and Conseil (Peter Lorre) whom Captain Nemo (James Mason) captures after he sinks their ship. Aboard his submarine the Nautilus, they explore the underwater wonders of the sea and battle amazing sea creatures. But all is not well as Nemo, despite his scientific genius, is quite mad and uses the power of the Nautilus to pursue a course of vengeance upon humanity. Ultimately Nemo is undone by his own demons and arrogance as he and the Nautilus perish into the ocean depths as our three heroes escape. The film was the first to use the new Cinemascope technology and was both a commercial and critical success, earning Oscars for Best Art Direction and Best Special Effects. Read more…