Copland, Aaron. "The Aims of Music for Film." New York Times 10 Mar. 1940: 158. ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
ProQuest. Van Pelt Library Philadelphia, PA. 2 Dec. 2008.
Copland introduces film music as an important part of film composition. He does not agree that “background music” losses its function when the viewer becomes aware of it, giving the example that watching a film before the musical score is added is nothing short of unbearable. The problem with music, however, is that audiences have not yet been informed on the subject. Copland believes that advertising a film as having the music of a famous composer could attract a huge audience of musical fans—2,000,000 concertgoers/year—just as directors and stars attract another audience to specific movies. This tactic might truly increase the number of people who attend films, as they would attract a more intellectual population than the traditional moviegoer. However, he explains that most films are worthy of their mundane music, but about 10% of Hollywood films, “the cream of the cinematic crop,” would profit greatly with better music. Copland asserts that the score is designed to strengthen and underline the emotional content of the entire picture supplying a sort of human warmth to the black-and-white, two-dimensional figures on the screen.
“Fantasia,” unfortunately, does not fall into Copland’s “cream of the cinematic crop.” Perhaps the film’s musical criticism originates from the Disney Company’s sense of entitlement regarding selected music. Unlike any other film at the time, producers of “Fantasia” took the liberty of using works from big-name composers of classical music while adding to them their own personal, random interpretations. Animators may be skilled in creating cartoons, but having no musical background or education, it comes as no surprise that some critics say “Fantasia” butchered the music it employed. Furthermore, Disney does not use the music to enhance the picture, but rather uses animation to enhance the music. This assumes that the music needs enhancing thus further insulting the world-renowned composers. “Fantasia,” though perhaps a good source of entertainment, ultimately shows Disney’s arrogance, despite its musical disability, through the artistically improper connections between image and music.