Musical & Performing Arts Movies Online
The role that music plays in the films of this genre varies, but it's certain that music is always present. A "musical" film may have a plot that's driven by music, or it may feature characters that periodically break into song. It may be a non-fiction record of a performance or a concert, or it may be a big-budget film adaptation of a popular stage musical.
The adaptation of stage musicals for the movie theater has a long history. Musicals that were popular on Broadway have traditionally been able to translate their popularity in film with fairly reliable success. The shows of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Sondheim and other big-name composers have been given film treatments that are widely regarded as movie classics, and some shows have been adapted to film more than once.
A popular subgenre of musical film is the animated musical. Walt Disney Studios pioneered the form in the 1930s and continued to develop it throughout the twentieth century. In these films, which were originally aimed at children, animated characters perform songs, and the scores of many of these films have become as popular as that of nearly any Broadway musical. In fact, several of Disney's later animated musicals were adapted to the stage after their release as films and have gone on to long and successful runs as live-action stage musicals.
Sometimes the music in a film doesn't play an overt role-the characters don't usually begin to sing spontaneously and unrealistically-but the soundtrack is such an integral part of the movie's appeal that it can properly be considered a musical film. Footloose and Dirty Dancing, for example, would be much different films if it were not for their music. In these films, music helps to develop characters, explain relationships and move the plot forward.