The Music of Disney

Which 1940 Disney film features the song "When You Wish Upon a Star?"

And the answer: Pinocchio.

Photo courtesy: Disney.fandom.com

In the movie, Jiminy Cricket sings "When You Wish Upon a Star" during the opening credits and in the final scene. In 1941, it won the Oscar for Best Song, and has since gone on to become a hallmark of the Walt Disney Company.

Disney himself was a proud advocate for beautiful film scores. The creator firmly believed in using memorable music to communicate the emotion behind heart-wrenching stories such as that of Pinocchio. Disney once said:

"There's a terrific power to music. You can run any of these pictures and they'd be dragging and boring, but the minute you put music behind them, they have life and vitality they don't get any other way."

As a result, he was an advocate for only the best selections in his films. In order to make his visions a reality he gathered composers, writers, artists and musicians from around the globe that would help construct the perfect song to fit the film. What's more: Disney was intent on his music relating to the film at hand. Regardless of if it was a song the characters were singing or just background music, Disney knew that it needed to be created for that specific moment in that film, and nothing less.

"We should set a new pattern, a new way to use music. Weave it into the story so somebody doesn't just burst into song."

Disney's legacy of weaving song with animation and story lives on in many forms today. As of 2017, Disney has created over 350 original songs, many of which proudly boasting Oscar wins.

Listen to Pinocchio's classic "When You Wish Upon a Star" here.


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