Oliver WallaceOccupation / Title:
06/08/1887Date of death:
Born in England, Wallace studied music widely, in London as well as in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. First relocating to Canada in 1904, Oliver eventually settled in the United States, becoming a citizen 10 years later in 1914.
After completing his musical education, he started working as a conductor like many other composers who eventually came into the animation business, in the theatrical orchestra as accompaniment for silent films. He is cited as being the first conductor to use the pipe organ as film accompaniment, and his experience in playing for vaudeville and short animations gave him a set of unique skills when working for Disney later in his career.
In the era of the ‘talkies’, Wallace began to increasingly in Hollywood films, and his pipe organ skills can be heard in the classic horror film from 1935 The Bride of Frankenstein. A year later, he joined Walt Disney.
In the 30′s, Wallace became a extremely important asset at Disney and worked on many short-animated films and eventually was acclaimed for his musical work on feature length animations. He was the composer for over 100 short animations, including the widely recognized “Der Fuehrer’s Face” from a 1942 Donald Duck propaganda short, as well as for “Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom”, which went on to win an Oscar.
In the 40′s, Wallace was increasingly composing music for some of Disney’s most well-known feature animations, such as 1941′s Dumbo, winning Wallace alongside Frank Churchill nods from the Academy for music. He was also nominated for his work in Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and White Wilderness (1958) and was active in Los Angeles up until his death in 1963 at the age of 76.