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From 1936-1958 Carl Stalling composed approximately 600 cartoon scores for Warner Brothers. He was the leader in cartoon soundtrack composition. Drawing from styles ranging from jazz to gospel to opera, Carl used the music of the day to create lush soundtracks replete with musical inside jokes that only the most clever cartoon viewer would catch.

Remember, in Carl’s day, cartoons were more for adults than for kids. Today, composers struggle to live up to his legacy, while facing declining budgets and waning interest in the artistry of cartoon soundtrack composition.


Shirley Walker, composer, orchestrator, and conductor for the animated Batman and Superman series;
Daniel Goldmark, professor of musicology at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.