START ALBUM: When "A Maroon Cartoon" appears onscreen
As I mentioned before, I was only able to get the first 35 minutes of the film synced--the running time of the album. Even within that time span, I did not find an abundance of "synchronized moments" and there were large chunks of time during which there was no synchronization at all. That said, the moments I did find were entertaining. Below are my results, labeled by the song title/lyrics during which they occurred with descriptions of the specific action/images:
I randomly selected an album and the movie. I made sure that the selection pool contained movies and albums that were relatively short in length. I knew it would be highly unlikely that I could find an album that would match the film from start to finish, so I settled for the first half hour or so. I also struggled to decide if an animated feature would work better than live-action, so I picked the best of both worlds, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (which also had a fairly short running time). Finally, I wanted to make sure it was both a film and album I knew well.
The synchronization of movies and music has fascinated me for a long time. Yes, I used to run with hippies. Yes, I have watched The Wizard of Oz whilst playing Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon (despite the facts that a) I was sober at the time, and b) I generally only listened to Floyd when I need a good nap). I said all the things one would expect to my friends: "The bell sound when Ms. Gulch was on the bike! The lunatic is on the grass! Aw man, that was creepy!" I saw it in other instances, too--mostly unintentional ones. For some reason, I remember being at a friend's house in high school and watching Dexter's Laboratory with the volume down and the radio on (Who knows why? We were weird...). The song "Freshmen" by that one-hit wonder band The Verve Pipe (man, I haven't thought about them in years), and we thought it was hilarious that a character ate something right on the line "took a week's worth of Valium." Oh, to be young and have time to waste...
|Song Title||Lyric(s) and/or Instrumentation||Moment in Film|
|"Magical Mystery Tour"||"That's an invitation"||The mother character in the Baby Herman Cartoon points at Roger's nose|
|"Magical Mystery Tour"||"...to take you away" (first time)||Mother exits through front door|
|"Magical Mystery Tour"||"roll up" (and the "rolling" sound of the music during this part)||Roger is standing on rolling pin and rolling around the kitchen|
|"Magical Mystery Tour"||A "falling" in the music||The water flowing out of the sink occurs at the "waterfall" sound in the music|
|"Magical Mystery Tour"||"clattering piano sounds||The dishes fall on Roger's head as the song makes "clattering" piano sounds|
|"The Fool on the Hill"||"the man with the foolish grin"||Roger smiles at the camera|
|"The Fool on the Hill"||"...sun going down"||Baby Herman slips and nearly falls off the top of the fridge|
|"The Fool on the Hill"||"head in the clouds"||Birds encircle Roger's head after the safe falls on top of him|
|"The Fool on the Hill"||"Talking perfectly loud"||Both Baby Herman and the director are yelling|
|"The Fool on the Hill"||"Nobody seems to like him"||The director is angrily walking away from Roger, and Roger is running after him|
|"The Fool on the Hill"||"round and round and round..."||Film reel goes through projector in R.K. Maroon's office|
|"Blue Jay Way"||"...and my friends have lost their way..."||Mail carrier pelican falls off his bike|
|"Blue Jay Way"||"...lost themselves instead..."||Pelican drops his mail, which scatters on the ground|
|"Blue Jay Way"||"please don't be long..." (first time)||Little boy is running to catch up to the bus. Eddie and the other boys are seated on the back bumper, urging him to hurry|
|"Blue Jay Way"||"And I'd really like to go..."||Bus pulls up at the front of the shot|
|"Blue Jay Way"||"Sitting here in Blue Jay Way..."||Eddie steps off the bus and looks around|
|"Your Mother Should Know"||"That was a hit before your mother was born..." (first time)||On "hit," Eddie kicks barstool out from under Angelo|
|"I Am the Walrus"||Piano at beginning of song||Donald and Daffy are playing dueling pianos|
|"I Am the Walrus"||"corporation t-shirt"||Eddie looks down at the ink Marvin Acme has sprayed onto his shirt|
|"I Am the Walrus"||Orchestral music||It looks as though the penguin is conducting this song|
|"I Am the Walrus"||"choking smokers"||We see the cigarettes Betty Boop is selling|
|"I Am the Walrus"||The "chanting" part ("Oompa, oompa, stick it up your jumper... everybody's got one, everybody's got one...")||Band is revealed onstage behind Jessica. It looks a little as though they are making the sounds|
|"Hello Goodbye"||"Oh no..." (first one)||Jessica shoves Eddie's hat in his face|
|"Hello Goodbye"||"Hello hello..." (first one)||Marvin Acme is at Jessica's dressing room door|
|"Hello Goodbye"||"...why why why do you say goodbye?"||Gorilla bouncer tosses Eddie into the street|
|"Hello Goodbye"||"...time to go"||Eddie Walks down the alley|
|"Hello Goodbye"||"hey la hey hello-a..."||Roger is rocking the window shades in Maroon's office back and forth, almost in time with the "hey las..."|
|"Strawberry Fields Forever"||"...eyes closed"||Roger's eyes close slightly as he takes a drink. His right eye then immediately bulges open|
|"Strawberry Fields Forever"||"nothing is real" (second time)||Roger is reacting to the alcohol|
|"Strawberry Fields Forever"||"...but it's all right"||Eddie and Maroon "console" Roger|
|"Strawberry Fields Forever"||"...take you down"||Roger jumps on Eddie|
|"Strawberry Fields Forever"||"...I disagree"||Roger cries, "Pleeease," which lines up with "disagree"|
|"Penny Lane"||"showing photographs"||Zoom in on photograph in Eddie's office|
|"Penny Lane"||"...keeps his fire engine clean"||Car pulls up during this line|
|"Penny Lane"||"...meanwhile back" (third time)||The spring-loaded boxing glove flies back into its "hammer" compartment|
|"Baby, You're a Rich Man"||"far as the eye can see"||Eddie looks up at Judge Doom|
|"Baby, You're a Rich Man"||"what a thing to do"||Judge Doom shakes his head|
|"All You Need is Love"||"nothing you can do that can't be done"||Judge Doom kills the adorable shoe (R.I.P. Shoe)|
|"All You Need is Love"||"it's easy"||Judge Doom holds his hand up, still dripping with dip, after killing the shoe (I still hate this scene)|
|"All You Need is Love"||The first "bum da da da da" with trumpet||The camera pans up the backside of Baby Herman's lady-friend in time with the trumpet|
|"All You Need is Love"||"Nothing you can know that isn't known..."||Eddie looks over newspaper|
|"All You Need is Love"||Paul's "shout" -- "all together now!"||Baby Herman is screaming/crying over his dropped stogie|
|"All You Need is Love"||Big fanfare at the end||Begins when Eddie makes his discovery on the newspaper page while looking through the drinking glass|
***Note: Although The third track, "Flying" is not included on the chart, do NOT skip it, or the other synchronizations will not work. It is an instrumental track, so there was no real way to mark the moments in the film.***
I knew I would probably go with a later Beatles album. Aside from the fact that they are my favorite band, the later albums have the sort of narrative feel that would sync nicely with film. The self-titled (a.k.a. The White Album) had been done to death (and I had already tried it with Snow White, a sync I found online that was somewhat decent). I originally wanted to use Revolver, partially for the joke of a gun title paired with a crime story, but I realized one track in that it was not going to work for the film at all. I ultimately decided to go with Magical Mystery Tour, which seemed to fit the whimsical weirdness of Roger Rabbit.
Anyway, I decided to try an experiment. I have actually heard people argue that syncs like "Dark Side of the Rainbow" are either purposeful and/or bear meaning. Of course, this is really our own mental bias at work, ignoring what doesn't "sync up" (i.e. most of it) in favor of those "perfect moments" that do.
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Well, there is a rabbit on both covers...
As you can see, some of these matched really well, while others seem a bit of a stretch. It also barely scratched the surface of the film itself, but as I mentioned before, that was expected. Overall, it was a fun experiment. Really, you could pull this off with any pairing, but part of the fun is determining which film/music pairs would make for the most interesting viewing. I will discuss this concept more in next week's video, where I will look at a different way in which you can pair music and movies with fun results. Stay tuned!