Carl W Stalling
Histories of music in the cinema often speak of important composers like Prokofiev and Gershwin, who wrote a handful of landmark scores and songs. The great song composers like Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Jerome Kern are studied and appreciated, and slowly the names of original score composers like Franz Waxman, Miklos Rosza, Alfred Newman and Bernard Herrmann, who worked primarily in Hollywood, are becoming better known as well. Among the ranks of the latter, Carl W Stalling occupies a paradoxical place. With animated cartoon shorts finally having won acceptance both as art and as important artifacts of mass culture, names such as Stalling's are familiar to many. But again, the attention given has been partial, for it is the animation director who has been feted foremost. And yet, Stalling merits pride of place as the most important composer and music arranger in the history of animated cinema.