The Disney Animated Canon has a lot of little secrets hidden in plain sight.
Sometimes these are fun easter eggs, meant to entertain the most dedicated of fans. Other times, they probably really hope you never notice.
It's somewhat well known that in the Disney films like The Aristocats and Robin Hood, a lot of animation was reused from previous films to save money. But that wasn't the only thing reused from previous films.
Over on Twitter, user @Animated_Antic pointed out something few have really talked about.
I just noticed how all of Walt Disney Animation Studios movies released in the 1960s have the same sad theme played… https://t.co/Ggv8Ml5Qvf— Animated Antic (@Animated Antic)1556811288.0
There is a recurring song in several Disney films. The sound of descending strings in sad scenes repeats across movies, starting with One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
It pops up again in The Sword in the Stone, during a scene where Arthur is very sad and Merlin is apologizing. The third instance is in The Jungle Book, at a time Mowgli believes Baloo to be dead.
It's the work of Disney composer, George Bruns.
@Thirty20Eight Yes.— Animated Antic (@Animated Antic)1556816727.0
@Animated_Antic Yep, it's always made me smile how animation wasn't the only thing recycled, but George Bruns' bit… https://t.co/OZ1Dijwj5S— ✏🖍🎨Animation Fanatical ✏🖍🎨 (@✏🖍🎨Animation Fanatical ✏🖍🎨)1556812763.0
@smilingldsgirl @Animated_Antic Well not LEGALLY, no. But in the sense that a piece of art made by other artists ca… https://t.co/SZO1jrQ0Fv— M.C. Myers (@M.C. Myers)1556812200.0
This is a period of time toward the end of the Disney Silver Age, shortly before Walt Disney's death.
After his death, came the Disney Bronze Age, also known as the Disney Dark Age, a time where their animated films weren't as profitable and the company was trying to find their heading without their leader.
In all this, they leaned on some tricks to save money, which yes, included reusing animation cels and music.
@Animated_Antic Yep, another instance of this Bruns sad music. https://t.co/uDYN6e2mUp— ✏🖍🎨Animation Fanatical ✏🖍🎨 (@✏🖍🎨Animation Fanatical ✏🖍🎨)1556813785.0
Luckily, Disney had their renaissance with the release of The Little Mermaid. But there are many who share a fondness for this older period of Disney animation.
While polls regularly have the best Disney film listed as something like The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast, or maybe they even go old school with Cinderella or Snow White, Robin Hood or Sword in the Stone do often appear higher than you might expect.
I'm not saying the music is what does it, but you can't deny how well it works.
@Animated_Antic Say what you like about the recycling of this tune, but I think it really captures how it feels to be in despair.— Ryan Robotham (@Ryan Robotham)1556812953.0
"If it works, use it again." https://t.co/lSnzhLtqk9— Michael Ruocco (@Michael Ruocco)1556815668.0
@follow_leeds @Animated_Antic You know more than me! All I know is that it sounds lovely.— suebydoo 💙💛 (@suebydoo 💙💛)1556823623.0
Of course if we're talking about sad Disney songs and scenes, there is one that kinda stands out.
@Yokomation @Animated_Antic Who gave you permission to upload this— Sam “Sammers” Corrigan (@Sam “Sammers” Corrigan)1556837105.0
As you go back and watch old Disney movies, keep your eyes and ears open. You never know what you will find.