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Oliver George Wallace was a British-born American composer, who composed the music score for Dumbo (1941), Make Mine Music (1946), Fun and Fancy Free (1947), The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949), Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), Peter Pan (1953), Lady and the Tramp (1955), Old Yeller (1957), Tonka (1958), Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959), Ten Who Dared (1960), Nikki, Wild Dog of the North (1961), and The Incredible Journey (1963). He also provided live action reference movements as both Sneezy and Dopey in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and was the uncredited voice of Mr. Winky in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949).

Biography[]

Oliver Wallace was born on August 6, 1887, in London, England. After completing his musical training, he went to the United States, where he initially worked primarily on the West Coast as a conductor of theater orchestras and as an organist accompanying silent films. At the same time, he also made a name as a songwriter, writing tunes, such as the popular "Hindustan". With the advent of the talking film era, he worked increasingly for Hollywood film studios in the 1930s.

In 1936, he joined the Disney Studios, just in time to pose as a live action model for both Sneezy and Dopey in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). He quickly became one of the most important composers in the studio for short animated films and provided the music for more than 100 of these shorts. One of his best-known pieces is the song "Der Fuehrer's Face" from the 1942 Donald Duck propaganda cartoon, though he was uncredited as the composer. This parody of a Horst Wessel song was, mainly through the version by Spike Jones and His City Slickers, one of the biggest hits during the Second World War. Other shorts Wallace scored included Ben and Me (1953), about Benjamin Franklin and a mouse, and the Oscar-winning Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom (1953), the first cartoon to use the new CinemaScope process.

Walt Disney also had Wallace score full-length films for the studios. The first film he composed the music score was Dumbo (1941), for which he, along with Frank Churchill, won his first and only Oscar in 1942. In addition to composing scores for live action films, he went on to score Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. The last Disney animated film he wrote the film score was Lady and the Tramp. Characteristics of all these productions was the cooperation of several composers in the creation of the music. Wallace understood this and integrated leitmotiv-like elements from the individual songs into the film scores.

When the Disney studios began increasingly producing full-length films, Wallace also wrote scores for these. In Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959), Wallace wrote not only the score, but also set the Lawrence Edward Watkin-penned popular songs "Pretty Irish Girl" and "The Wishing Song". In Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus (1959), he appeared as an actor, playing the conductor of the circus band.

Starting with Seal Island (1948), Wallace also specialized in musical accompaniments for Disney documentaries, including nearly all the films for the "People and Places" series and some of the True-Life Adventures. The music of White Wilderness was even nominated for an Oscar in 1959, a rare event for a documentary film.

Overall, Wallace contributed music to nearly over 150 Walt Disney productions. He remained active in the studio in Los Angeles until shortly before his death at the age of 76 on September 15, 1963.

In 2008, Wallace was posthumously inducted as a Disney Legend.

Filmography[]

Year Film Position
1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Live Action Model: Dopey and Sneezy
1941 Dumbo Music: "Casey Jr"
"Pink Elephants on Parade"
"When I See an Elephant Fly" - Uncredited
1943 Victory Through Air Power Composer
1946 Make Mine Music Composer
1947 Fun and Fancy Free Composer
1949 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Composer
Voice: Mr. Winkie - Uncredited
1950 Cinderella Composer
1951 Alice in Wonderland Composer
1953 Peter Pan Composer
1955 Lady and the Tramp Composer - Final Disney Animated Feature

Roles[]

Gallery[]

External Links[]


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