The Walt Disney Family Museum hosted a virtual panel of Happily Ever After Hours with composer and conductor Fabrizio Mancinelli.  He has been working on the upcoming film Mushka, which he collaborated with Richard Sherman for the music and is directed by Andreas Deja.  Mancinelli spoke about his great love of Disney and the inspiration that both Walt Disney and animators have provided as he grew up.  Mancinelli came from a small town in Italy and fell in love with Disney after visiting Disneyland Paris.  He collected postcards that showcased attractions from the classic park.  From that he desired to work for Disney at that early childhood age.

Once Mancinelli moved to the US he was able to attend USC and venture to various Disney related places like the Walt Disney Family Museum.  It was at these events that he met several influential people, such as Alice Davis and Andreas Deja.  Davis became a mentor and aspiring figure for Mancinelli.  He describes her as someone that has always known what she wanted and been determined to accomplish it.  Through various connections like these, he was able to meet Diane Disney Miller and gain an appreciation for what she and her father have done for all the arts.  Eventually, he started attending Andreas Deja’s Christmas parties.  He collaborated with descendants of the Nine Old Men to produce music for a documentary called Growing Up With Nine Old Men.

Citing inspirations, the largest has been Fantasia.  He feels that film is the greatest at integrating animation and music.  It was something that helped him understand how music can tell a story without dialogue.  Alan Menken is an inspiration from more modern animated films, but the Sherman Brothers are another.  He pointed out that their scores did a great job of telling a story with animation where his two-year-old daughter is able to understand the story of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh just through music.

A question and answer time dug deep into more of these inspirations, what it was like working on Mushka, and his favorite parts of the Walt Disney Family Museum.  The presentation ended with a video he shared from one of Andreas Deja’s Christmas parties.  In it, he created music about the Nine Old Men after having completed the documentary on them.  It was a comical look at the history of the infamous Disney animators with some fun facts like Milt Kahl using some colorful language back in the day.

A scene from the video of the Nine Old Men shared in the panel

Mancinelli is inspiring just in how he describes music and animation.  You can tell he loves what he does and cares deeply about his work.  He had some great messages of success being beyond just work.  His hope for after this season of staying apart is seeing the need for coming together again.  In all, he had such a deep appreciation for Disney that shapes his passion for music composition and film composing.  He was knowledgeable in every aspect of art and music and gave terrific advice for aspiring composers.  I am hoping he is able to compose for more Disney projects, and especially an attraction as he wants to do something similar to “it’s a small world” where it can last and be a positive message understood in many cultures.

The Walt Disney Family Museum did a wonderful job of having a virtual panel presentation.  Where it has been sudden to figure out what to do with these events, they are doing a great job at reaching out to the public and enabling ways to still enjoy the museum and its history from home.  There are other events scheduled, and I highly recommend becoming a member for priority access to many of them!