Lucy Li is a research Masters student in the department of musicology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her main research interests are animation music, compositional methods of the animated film, and popular media studies. She has extensive academic research experience, holding the position of summer research scholar at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.


We are often able to recognize a specific animation by its soundtrack alone; yet when we question why that is we are seemingly unable to pinpoint the exact reason for this inexplicable acoustic association. Unraveling the compositional method in an animated film reveals much more than its methodology, but provides illuminating insights into the important effects that animation music has on the viewer’s experience. At the intersection of music and visual perception through traditional animated media, we are able to make significant discoveries on the aesthetic, representational, and mimetic functions of music that aids narrative story-telling in the animated film. The label of ‘Mickey-Mousing’, therefore, can be understood as a pathway to theorizing the interdisciplinary nature of animation, through semiotic and analytical means. This presentation seeks, therefore, to explore various approaches and methodologies towards understanding and analyzing music in animated media. This conference will also discuss the hermeneutic nature of percieving animation and how it affects the level of subjective engagement. The conclusion draws together loose threads in the discussion and theorizes about new ways of composing for, conceiving, and perceiving animation in the contemporary climate.