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Classical Music cartoons

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Classical music cartoons are works of art composed by two things that were often joined together to create both short and long films

that have been very successful. The most famous example of film composed only of classical music cartoons was Fantasia (1940) by Walt Disney, famous all over the world.

Very many were few minutes long movies, that made people laugh by doing the caricature of music, musicians, the music environment, while others were long stories inspired by the music.

Yet, how many know who the composers of those beautiful music works were? Here are a few examples, maybe you've already seen them. I've done this page to make justice to those old composers who today, thanks to copyright laws, which didn't exist in their times, would become super millionaires, thanks to how often their music is performed. At least, let's remember their names! Also, I hope this page draws more people to classical music, presented in a light way than it's usually done (perhaps this is the reason why a lot of people don't go to classical music concerts?)

Anyway, very often people don't realize how much classical music there is around them. Indeed, classical music is used for ringtones, voice mails, adverts, film, although people don't know it is classical music and even less they know what pieces are those ones they are listening to.

Classical music cartoons:

perfect caricatures

Often classical music characters get teased in cartoons, by exaggerating musicians' real features and poses. Obviously, it is the exaggeration that makes us laugh, although there is some truth in the attitude of the characters and those who know the classical music world will find them even funnier (unless they are too similar to the characters being teased). Here are some funny examples of  classical music cartoons. The first one is a caricature of the music itself, even of the "Rossini crescendo", you'll see.

Rossini's music

Ouverture from The barber of Seville (1816), by Gioacchino Rossini

The pianist

A typical classical music character is the solo pianist, the virtuoso. Here's one of them.

Tom and Jerry

  Hungarian Rhapsody n.2 (1848?) by Franz Liszt

The pianist, Bugs Bunny

Another version of the same concerto, with small variations. Another amusing example of classical music cartoon, it's also the caricature of the pianist's poses and of the music environment and concert halls. Notice his attitude to the audience...

Bugs Bunny plays the Hungarian Rhapsody n.2 by Franz Liszt

Part of the caricature is when Bugs Bunny answers the phone...

Incidentally, Hungarian Rhapsody means that the music takes inspiration from Hungary's folk music themes and styles (Liszt's country). Those we nowadays call 'classical music' composers, have always been connected with their country's folk music, they used popular tunes and took inspiration from them.

The orchestra conductor

Another character, nearly the symbol of classical music is the orchestra conductor, here is an example of how he is seen. Here too, notice his attitude to the audience...

Bugs Bunny

"Morning, noon and night in Vienna" (188?) by Franz von Suppé

The tenor and the conductor

The tenor is another character that lends himself to being teased, having often lofty poses. Here the (Italian) tenor doesn't tolerate being disturbed during his practice and later he'll find someone who'll take revenge in various ways and as a conductor during a concert. (Watch the conductor, Leopold, highly respected by everybody. Can you guess who he is? Keep reading this page and watching the videos, you'll find out).

The music performed is: Figaro's aria Largo al factotum, from The Barber of Seville (1816) by Rossini; Chi mi frena in tal momento, from Lucia di Lammermoor (1835) by Donizetti; ouverture from Tannhauser (1845) by Wagner.

Long Classical Music cartoons

Disney's film Fantasia was a really unique work, colossal and  ahead of its times, which was a model for many other classical music cartoons and still is wonderful. If you've never seen it, here you'll find some excerpts.


This time here are some examples of classical music cartoons that don't tease musicians but are the background or take inspiration form a story. The first one is a sort of horror movie, and terrified many, especially among children. Obviously, it's music what causes big emotions, try watching the films without it!

From Disney's film "Fantasia" (1940):
A night on the Bare Mountain (1867), music by Modest Mussorgsky

The inexperienced apprentice

The music of the next video, still from Fantasia, was composed taking inspiration from an already existing story. We are still in the supernatural world: an apprentice magician decides to use the magic he's been learning from his master, without being able to control it. Therefore he starts a mechanism and then he doesn't know how to stop it and... he gets into troubles!

The sorcerer's apprentice (1897) by Paul Dukas

The nutcracker

Let's change atmosphere, in the following video there is a lovely series of characters, music and dances from various parts of the world, with different styles and moods.

The nutcracker (1892), by Piotr Ilic Ciaikowski

More shudder...

Now a film where classical music and cartoons join not to form a story but simply to form beautiful images with the musicians and the orchestra instruments and then fantastic images.

This too is a very famous work (at least the beginning) which gets used often in movies, scary situations, makes shudder many and sounds very modern. Yet, it was composed about 300 years ago by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Its title is Toccata and fugue, originally it was written for organ, to be played with two hands and two feet (true!). This version used in the movie is the transcription for big orchestra, with all instruments, done by the conductor Leopold Stokowski, who conducts the orchestra and takes part in the whole Fantasia movie (see who "Leopold" was? We met him in previous cartoon, in this page?).

Toccata and Fugue in d minor (1703?-1707?)
by Johann Sebastian Bach

I hope you enjoyed these music works and the cartoons inspired by them, I'll add more, I could go on for long, see you soon.


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