125. Rhapsody in Rivets – Friz Freleng

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SUMMARY: A group of animal workmen construct a building to the tune of Franz Liszt’s ‘Hungarian Rhapsody Number 2’.

WHY IT’S HERE: Friz Freleng was a master at directing cartoons set to music and one of his most brilliant creations in this category was the Oscar nominated ‘Rhapsody in Rivets’, in which he beautifully synchronises the construction of a skyscraper with Liszt’s composition ‘Hungarian Rhapsody Number 2’. This particular piece of music was to become a ubiquitous cartoon soundtrack. While this was its first use on a Warner Bros. short, it had previously been used in Disney, Columbia and Fleischer cartoons and would go on to appear in many further animated films, most notably the famous Tom and Jerry Oscar winner ‘The Cat Concerto’. The importance of this piece of music to animation was acknowledged when its ubiquity was paid tribute in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, when Donald and Daffy Duck teamed up to perform a chaotic piano duet. It was ‘Rhapsody in Rivets’, however, that first established just how effectively the Hungarian Rhapsody could dictate animated action.

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