“Pixar’s Memories”: A lecture by Professor Daniel Goldmark

Pixar's memories

The ever-increasing popularity of Hollywood animation, driven in part by the dominance of Pixar, has come about not just through technological advances or the breaking down of decades-old biases about cartoons being just for kids, but also through the emotionally nuanced storytelling deployed recently by studios.


Practically all of Pixar’s features are overrun with issues of nostalgia; their most recent films—Inside Out, Finding DoryCars 3—have gone further than simply reveling in the remembrance of times past (real or imagined), and have explored the creation of memory and the reasons why memories fade or endure. Sound and music have played key roles in the recollections and impressions of all these films, with 2017’s Coco breaking one of Pixar’s cardinal rules (no musicals!). In this presentation, Prof Daniel Goldmark looks at some trends in scoring and sound design to show how the melodies of childhood—and adulthood—are being used to drive the stories of recent Hollywood animated features.


Daniel Goldmark is Professor of Music and Director of the Center for Popular Music Studies at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the author of books on animation, music, and cinema, including Tunes for 'Toons: Music and the Hollywood Cartoon (California, 2005).


This event is open to all GW students and the public; free. No RSVP necessary.

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