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{February 4, 2008}   Tom and Jerry-use of music to narrate story

Hey guys take a break from all that studying and watch Tom and Jerry! Haha.. actually i was watching Tom and Jerry on the television yesterday and i realised that in this cartoon both the characters do not use words to tell the story or express any of their feelings. Press play and watch it. This cartoon actually rely alot on the background music and body language to explain the story. They use a louder sound when Tom is walking and a softer and more animated sound effect when Jerry is walking. This is related to their size obviously. When they are happy, sad, scared, angry or shocked, the music will change accordingly to tell us the mood of the character. Movies and cartoons use alot of sound effect to narrate the story without the use of words. The character’s body language then coincides with the sound effect. We put this two together and form an understanding of what is happening. A more dramatic and loud sound effect is used when Tom comes into play and expresses its anger and annoyance towards Jerry’s behaviour. This shows us which character is more violent and dominant in the story. Jerry’s character is friendly and helpful. Therefore, it is usually accompanied with an animated and cute sound effect. The sound effect is usually draggy and increasing in volume when there is something that is going to happen. This prepares us for the next scene and viewers know that they are expecting for something to appear or happen between the two characters. When running, the pace of the music increases and when tip-toeing, the sound effect is short, and jumpy. This tells us that the contact of the foot with the ground is quick and short. When showing a magic trick, the use of stars and other visual effects along with a darggy tune that ends with a “TA-DAH”, tells us that something magical has happened. These symbols are often associated with magic so the viewer can relate to it from past experiences. Music tells us alot and it can replace words if it is further emphasised by good body language and facial expressions.
Enjoy! Wishing all of you a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year..

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firesp4rkle says:

Yup, the background music certainly plays an important role in such animation. Without the music, our entire “watching experience” probably wouldn’t be as interesting and effective. Even the humour in cartoons such as the one above would be lost. =)



Hey! Darn, I love Tom & Jerry too! I bought some DVD’s of all just Tom & Jerry and I still enjoy it (as much as I probably did when I was 10, I suppose)!
Yeah, I do agree – if you watch it mute, it just wouldn’t have the same impact as with the music. I absolutely love the ones when you hear Tom talk! It’s so hilarious, cuz you can’t imagine him talking, since he rarely every does, yeah it’s quite funny 🙂

Interesting entry!



jesmelz says:

I like Tom & Jerry cartoons too! :] Sometimes music and nonverbal communications do a better job in conveying the message across! It builds up the atmosphere too! It definitely makes the cartoon more enjoyable!:]



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