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The sound effects in Disney Television Animation's early years

Discussion in 'Disney/Pixar Forum' started by wiley207, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. wiley207

    wiley207 Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2009
    Likes Received:
    With the 30th anniversary of the original DuckTales coming up tomorrow, I thought I'd do this post.
    One thing that interests me about the 1985-1992 period of Walt Disney Television Animation was the sound effects utilized. As many of us know, the old Walt Disney Animation Studios had a pretty distinctive and memorable sound effects library that they used in many of their older movies and shorts, though by the mid-80s they began phasing it out ("The Black Cauldron" didn't use many in favor of a bunch of newer "modern" sound effects, yet "The Great Mouse Detective" used them a lot, and then "Oliver & Company" had virtually no familiar Disney sound FX at all!)
    When Walt Disney Television Animation started up though, their sound effects library was mostly different from the theatrical stuff; initially their post-production supervisor was Rich Harrison, whom worked with other editors like Robert S. Birchard, Charlie King, Marc Orfanos, Rick Hinson and Jerry Winicki. What was notable about their sound library back then was that they made very heavy use of the Hanna-Barbera sound effects (of course, many other TV animation studios in the 80s were using H-B's sound effects as well, so that could be a given). Yesterday I watched a first-season episode of "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," and then later I watched "Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School" and was surprised by how the sound effect use was nearly identical! A few shows would use the H-B sound effects more than others; "The Wuzzles" used them so much it almost could sound like a real H-B or Ruby-Spears cartoon (that is, if they ever had TMS do their overseas animation instead of just Wang Film Productions).
    I've even heard them use a few Jay Ward/"Rocky and Bullwinkle" sound effects in some of their shows too. (It's also funny, given that Bill Scott was working with WTDA before he died, and they also had June Foray doing other voices, and Skip Craig as the track reader.) A noticeable example is when Tigger would bounce in the Rich Harrison -edited episodes of "Winnie the Pooh," he would do so to a Jay Ward "small boing" sound effect.
    I have also hear the Warner Bros. "bodyfall" sound effects used quite a bit, and a few of the classic Disney sounds would show up on occasion as well (usually more obscure ones.) There were also some "modern" sounds they used that I recognized from the Sound Ideas "Series 1000" and "Series 2000" sound effect libraries (they were pretty keen on using the "whistling wind" sound from the latter library during storm or winter sequences.)
    On some episodes of "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" (largely in the later first season episodes, the first half of the second season, and the early fourth season episodes), instead of Rich Harrison's crew doing the sound editing, they had Roy Braverman do the sound effects work, and they would sound quite different. There usually weren't as many familiar sound effects as the Rich Harrison episodes did. The most obvious difference was Tigger's bouncing; instead of the Jay Ward "small boing" he used a shortened H-B "twang" effect. And some more odd sound FX would pop up in these episodes from time to time; "A Pooh Day Afternoon" used the Warner Bros./Looney Tunes "junk crash" sound effect at one point! I know Roy Braverman also worked on the Darkwing Duck episode "ParaDucks" and the "Marsupilami" segments on "Raw Toonage."
    Beginning in 1990, things began to change with some of the sound effects. Rich Harrison's team started using the infamous Hollywood Edge "Premiere Edition" sound effects library in some of the Disney stuff they did (the Pooh episode "The Good, The Bad and the Tigger" used them quite a bit, like the crashes or the rooster crows). Disney also began having Horta Editorial & Sound doing sound work on some of the shows, such as several episodes of "TaleSpin," "Darkwing Duck" and "Goof Troop." I think they also worked on some of the final episodes of Pooh though uncredited (such as "Cloud Cloud Go Away.") It would get to sound a lot like several of Nickelodeon's in-house shows that used Horta Editorial (such as "Rocko's Modern Life," "CatDog," etc.)
    By 1991, Rich Harrison and his crew were using the H-B and Jay Ward sound effects lesser and lesser, but even that could vary: some "Darkwing Duck" episodes they did had a lot of the Hanna-Barbera sound FX, while some had almost none of them. By the time they were doing "Goof Troop," their sound effects changed a LOT. There were still some occasional H-B ones, but by now they were mostly keen on using the Sound Ideas "Series 6000: The General" and "Series 4000: Hollywood" libraries, along with the Hollywood Edge "Premiere Edition" and "Cartoon Trax" libraries. (FYI, the "Cartoon Trax" library does have a lot of classic Disney sound effects on it, and during the 90s many other cartoon studios began using that library as well, especially Nickelodeon.)

    Just an interesting bit of history with Disney Television Animation's sound effects I felt like pointing out. But nowadays they seem to prefer just using Advantage Audio or Boom Box Post...

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