Alright, so this seems relatively simple,
all you have to do is to take a really sad scene and get some really sad music
then play that really sad music over the really sad scene,
然后你就完成了一部完美的皮克斯作品 它会让观众哭得像孩子 是这样吗？
and then you have the perfect Pixar composition to make your audience cry like babies. Right?
Oh, nothing is ever that simple.
If you actually wanna make people cry,
you have to get happy music and play that over your sad scene.
Or the very least, have the music contrast what’s going on the scene.
And Pixar’s mastered doing this.
Ok, so first we have to establish what makes music sound happy and sad.
Alright, now a lot of people out there are just gonna be like,
“Oh, just the sad music in Minor and the happy music in Major.”
And those people are wrong!
See, there are some elements of music that are universal across all humans.
Like, if I play a really low sound,
you’re gonna instinctively assume that it came from something big and intimidating.
And if I play a really high sound, you’re gonna assume it came from something small,
because that’s how physics works.
So all the big nasty predators are gonna make lower sounds,
and all the puppies are gonna squeak.
And it’s kind of joked behind Alpha Up, big scary dog, funny squeaky voice.
But associating Major and Minor skills and key signatures with happiness and sadness
is something that most people have actually developed over time through culture.
Yes! If you lived in Europe or European colonies throughout most of the history
and listened to European music
then yeah, you’re gonna have this association.
But it’s not built into the human condition.
See! Here’s an example, I’m gonna play this piece of music for you
and you’ve gotten to guess this context – what is this piece trying to convey?
This piece is actually a lullaby recorded in 1950
by a grandmother named Lanaiditsa from the Zuni nation.
它与拉姆斯摇篮曲“一闪 一闪 小星星”的歌词差别有点大
It’s kind of far away from “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” of that Brahms lullaby.
And if you remember the Zuni nation in the 19th century,
how might you react to listening to these European pieces.
Do they sound like lullabies to you?
Either way. You can’t just make music sound sad and hope that everybody catches your drift.
That’s just lazy!
What Media Composer do to make their music universal and effective
is that they develop themes
or pieces of music that represent certain character or action
to then influence the development of the story.
Pixar does this really well!
Now remember, if we wanna play with people’s emotions
you wanna have a conflicting message between what they hear and what they see.
So let’s take Monsters, Incorporated for example,
Here in this scene, Sulley’s putting Boo to bed,
and when she falls asleep,
you kind of see Sulley has this little moment for Boo and you hear this,
And they dot this theme over the movie,
but the real questions are how, where and why.
Well, the next time you hear this theme is after Sulley demonstrates a good scare in the stimulator,
but accidentally scares Boo in the crossfire.
Now this is in stark contrast how we first heard the theme.
The first time we heard this theme, everything was really peaceful.
In fact, Sulley had just gone out of his way to remind Boo that she wasn’t gonna get scared.
Now that the theme comes back after Sulley scares Boo.
And he has to repair that relationship.
See. This isn’t Boo’s theme or Sulley’s theme.
This is the theme that represents the relationship between these two.
And the next time you hear this when Sulley has to put Boo back in her door,
right before it’s gonna get shredded.
See. Here Sulley thinks this is the last time he’s gonna see Boo
And that theme evokes memories of Sulley and Boo,
when he first realized that he didn’t have to be afraid of her,
and when she realized that she didn’t have to really be afraid of him.
That simple little theme celebrates and reminds the audience of Sulley and Boo’s relationship,
just as it’s coming to an end.
And finally, you get that theme one last time just at the end of the movie,
when Mike puts the door back together and Sulley gets to see Boo again.
So another great example of Pixar confusing your heartstrings isn’t Up.
I know a lot of you are gonna say,
“Now I’m just going for the easy target cause Up started with that super sad sequence.”
Let’s actually look at that.
So this film is scored by a guy called Michael Giacchino.
And in his interview specifically about this movie,
he talks about how he likes all his movies to kind of have one musical identity.
And for Up specifically, he talks about like this one chord.
我也一直在寻找 对 我能否在一首和弦里总结自己的情感
And I’m trying to search for, ok, if I can sum up my feeling in one chord,
what’s gonna that, gonna be?
And, for the films here was this,
这个旋律 你懂的 我的意思是 大体上它不是F调
That chord right there, you know, I mean, basically it’s not F.
不是C调 它几乎同时是这两个调 这是 你懂的 F调和大七度相结合的结果
It’s not C. It’s almost both. It’s, you know, F and Major seventh.
But it has this tinge if sadness to it.
I don’t know. There’s something about that chord that…
It’s very, oh, it kind of reaches back.
So, let’s get back to that funeral theme.
Listen to what happens to that main theme during the funeral theme.
Now this is the only time we hear the theme of solo piano.
The first time we actually hear is when Ellie gives Fredricksen the Ellie badge.
And then again, when Ellie sitting by herself after she finds out she can’t have kids
and Fredricksen reminds her of her adventure book.
Now, Giacchino calls this the Ellie theme.
And so, by the funeral scene,
Ellie’s theme has already been established in the listeners’ mind.
That kind of encapsulates her sense of adventure and her presence in Fredricksen’s life.
So again, the next time the theme comes up
is when Fredricksen is coming back from court and is getting ready to leave his home,
and he finds Ellie’s book.
And she inspires him for adventure.
Again, Ellie’s theme really represents the sense of adventure that she gave Fredricksen.
And then, the theme kind of fades away for the rest of the movie,
except for two critical points.
The first is when Fredricksen seems to have given up.
He’s put his house on Paradise Falls
but notices that Ellie has being filling up her adventure book
with all the things they did throughout their lives together.
And you hear that theme again when Fredricksen is passing on the Ellie badge to Russell.
Both times evoke that sense of adventure that Ellie gave Fredricksen
and really serves to remind the audience that
maybe Ellie might not have been in the house or the book,
but had never really left Fredicksen aside.
And even if you don’t wanna look at the theming that deeply,
you still have the theme from the sad funeral
being played over Fredricksen looking over how happy Ellie’s life was
and over Russell’s badge ceremony.
Again, something that was supposed to be a happy occasion.
Now, how else has Pixar done this?
Well, I’d be hard-pressed if I didn’t talk about the end of Toy Story 3.
God! I can’t watch the end without crying, every single time!
Just before the music begins in the scene, and dotted throughout,
they make small references to You’ve Got a Friend in Me in the original Toy Story.
And if I didn’t know any better,
I’d say they throw in some of Jessie’s When Somebody Loved Me as Well.
But that just might be me.
I don’t think I really have to explain this one.
I’m not sure I can put into words.
Alright, but enough talk.
Let’s do one ourselves.
Let’s take a scene that try to be super emotional,
but maybe wasn’t that effective from the lack of musical information.
And I got one right here for ya.
This scene from Big Hero 6.
When Baymax is showing Hiro all those recordings of Tadashi in his workshop.
So this scene has some music in it but it’s kind of subtle.
And it’s nothing that was really established anywhere in the movie.
I mean even if it was,
it’s so hidden that it wouldn’t really be able to remind a first-time watcher of
any of the previous scenes from the movie.
So for the most part, it looks like the director decided to go with the dialogue heavy scene,
and just have the music be mostly incidental,
which is weird considering how prevalent the main theme is in Big Hero 6.
Either way! I felt like this scene was a huge missed opportunity.
So we are gonna try to make it a little better.
Alright! So, what we wanna dois we wanna get an established musical theme
that directly contrasts with what’s going on in the scene.
And what’s going on in the scene?
Hiro’s being reminded of his dead brother.
So what if we can scan the musical catalogues
and find a theme from a film that celebrates the family bond, and play that over the top.
And I found one!
Nemo’s Egg from Finding Nemo.
So when you first hear this piece, Nemo’s mom and siblings all just died of an evil fish.
and Marlin was left alone with an egg that got a little messed up.
And then the theme plays.
So this theme is encoded to represent not just the bond between Marlin and Nemo, father and son,
but it also represents this trauma bond that the two have,
that no matter what, this two have to stick together
because they are all they have in the world.
That’s some pretty intense stuff way more relatable than Liam Neeson.
And every time this theme comes back,
Marlin and Nemo in some way are interacting with each other.
First, when Marlin has to save Dory from the jellyfish,
他试着保持清醒 但他清醒时说的最后一句话是 Nemo
he tries to stay awake but his last conscious words are, Nemo,
just as the camera fades to Nemo talking by his dad to kill him.
Then again, when Nigel starts to tell Nemo about all the adventures that
为了找到自己的儿子 Nemo Marlin的种种经历时
Marlin’s gone through just to try and find his son, Nemo.
Then again, when Marlin is telling Dory that
he promised Nemo that he would be safe and nothing would happen to him.
第四次 三只鱼成功解救Nemo 使其避免最终沦为加油站的鱼寿司时
Then again, after the trio saved the school fish from being turned into gas station sushi.
And then finally, at the very end of the movie,
when Nemo goes to his very first day of OSHA-approved school,
and he briefly leaves his class to give his dad one last hug.
If this theme isn’t about family bonding, then I don’t know what is.
好吧 在Baymax努力使Hiro和他哥哥重逢的情景里 我们配上那首主旋律
Alright, so let’s take that theme played over the scene of Baymax trying to reunite Hiro with his brother.
Tadashi is here!
No, he’s not here!
Tadashi is here!
Awww, I think that worked.
The whole idea is we shocked our audience emotionally.
Yes, Hiro and his brother are reunited.
And the theme encapsulated that.
But they aren’t really together, because his brother liked his professor a little too much.
And it’s that mixture confusing feelings that make people cry.
Before we start saying, “Oh well, Finding Nemo just had a better soundtrack.”
It’s all about how the music was used.
They could have established a friend or family theme in Big Hero 6
when the two brothers are horsing around in their room,
or when tadashi and his friends are all congratulating Hiro on his presentation,
or they could have even established a theme during the funeral montage,
and then brought that back when Baymax is playing the recordings,
even over the dialogue.
Just something that would have established a musical relationship between Hiro and his brother.
At least, it would have been something.