Born: 1906
In: Dundee, Scotland
Died: 02/01/1991   In: Glendale, CA

James MacDonald made an enormous contribution to Walt Disney studios by creating the largest, most complete library of sound effects in cinema. Such effects included blowing and growling through the glass chimney of a kerosene lamp to create grizzly bear noises to using dried peas in a barrel to emulate a heavy downpour. Though not the first to use coconuts to mimic the sound of moving horses, he was one of the few to insure that Disney horses always had four beats per gallop instead of the three typically heard in other less meticulously made films. MacDonald was discovered by Walt Disney while working as a drummer aboard a cruise ship. In addition to providing sound effects, MacDonald was also a talented voice artist and in 1946 became the voice of Mickey Mouse. In the early '80s, MacDonald selected Wayne Allwine to be his successor. Though he passed away in 1991, MacDonald can still be seen performing his fascinating craft via video displays at Disney-MGM Studios in Florida. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

James MacDonald


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