The Filler Song

A Filler Song is exactly what it sounds like: A song which has no purpose whatsoever than to fill a little bit time. Now, usually I feel that every song (and scene) in a movie should have a purpose. But for animated movies, sometimes it is nice just to lean back and enjoy some beautiful imagery with the fitting sound. Fantasia is all about that. But you can find those moments in the regular movies, too. There is even a name for the particular weird ones: Disney Acid Sequences. Though weirdness is not always necessary. There is, for example the “Sing, Sing Nightingale” scene from Cinderella.  It starts out as a realistic scene and ends in a sequence in which Cinderella is reflected in soap bubbles, singing with multiple voices. It is very settled, but still surreal in a beautiful way.

The mother of all acid sequences is naturally the “Elephant on Parade” segment. Which, imho, only exists to push Dumbo to a proper running time for a movie. It’s nevertheless in an awesome way weird and very memorable – in a lot of ways the high point of the movie.

Look out! Look out!
Pink elephants on parade
Here they come!
Hippety hoppety
They’re here and there
Pink elephants ev’rywhere
Look out! Look out!
They’re walking around the bed
On their head
Clippety cloppety
Arrayed in braid
Pink elephants on parade
What’ll I do? What’ll I do?
What an unusual view!
I could stand the sight of worms
And look at microscopic germs
But technicolor pachyderms
Is really much for me
I am not the type to faint
When things are odd or things
are quaint
But seeing things you know that ain’t
Can certainly give you an awful fright!
What a sight!
Chase ’em away!
Chase ’em away!
I’m afraid need your aid
Pink elephants on parade!
Pink elephants!
Pink elephants!

The lyrics of this song basically boil down to “This is creepy!”. Now, I was never creeped out by the sequence, I was too fascinated by the animation, but I can see why other people are. And to me this is the best use of a filler song, to add to a visually compelling scene.

And that concludes (finally) the basic systematic of songs. Which means I can now start with analysing movies! You are free to make requests (I don’t promise anything, but I’ll seriously consider all of them).


3 responses to “The Filler Song

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