Oswald Iten, George Bruns Oswald Iten, George Bruns

Disney’s songs have been covered, parodied, deconstructed, and classified to death. In analysis of the studio’s music, the instrumental scores tend to play second fiddle.

Enter Oswald Iten, animator and video essayist extraordinaire. In his latest upload, Iten places the music of George Bruns, in-house composer at Disney from 1953 to 1976, under the microscope (or its auditory equivalent). By studying the six features Bruns scored at the studio, from Sleeping Beauty to Robin Hood, Iten explains how the composer used music to create mood, develop characters, and amplify story beats.

Watch the video below:

Iten’s analysis is scholarly but always accessible. He discusses the instrumentation, phrasing, timbre, and harmony of Bruns’s music, always cueing samples from the scores to back up his arguments. In one enlightening passage, he overlays musical phrases from other scores onto Baloo’s revival at the end of The Jungle Book to show what Bruns might have done here, and what his ultimate choices reveal about music’s role in these films.

This isn’t the first time we’ve featured Iten’s work: last year, we spotlighted his breakdown of the titular bear’s acting in Paddington. His other subjects include the use of color in Studio Ghibli’s Grave of the Fireflies and the pastiche of stop motion in The Lego Movie. His Vimeo channel is worth exploring.

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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