Frank Alfred Marsales
Born(1886-08-31)31 August 1886
Died14 August 1975(1975-08-14) (aged 88)

Frank Alfred Marsales (31 August 1886 – 14 August 1975) was a Canadian composer best known for his work scoring many classic animated films by Warner Bros. Cartoons in the 1930s. He also worked with Walter Lantz Studios in the mid to late 1930s.

Cartoon career

Marsales was a symphony musician who became the music director for Warner Bros. Cartoons under the direction of former Disney animators Hugh Harman (1903–1982) and Rudolf Ising (1903–1992), scoring many classic cartoons in the 1930s, including every Harman & Ising Looney Tune and Merrie Melodie. His first credit was for Sinkin' in the Bathtub, released in May 1930 and animated by Friz Freleng. He composed the music to the 1931 Merrie Melody Lady, Play Your Mandolin!.[1] His last credit for Warner Brothers was in 1933 with Bosko's Picture Show.[2][3] He left Warner Brothers when Harman and Ising left the studio (but not with them), missing out on scoring their work at Paramount for the 1933 animated Alice in Wonderland. Marsales may also have had a hand injury at that time that precluded his composing any music at all.[4]

In the mid-1930s, Marsales began work at Walter Lantz Studios as musical director for the Andy Panda cartoons, among others. Marsales's last credited musical score at Walter Lantz Studios was for Knock Knock, released 25 November 1940 (although he may also have scored some parts of Syncopated Sioux, released 30 December 1940, which the musical director was uncredited).[5] Music from Marsales's work for Lantz also found its way into the 1957 animated television series The Woody Woodpecker Show, which contained not only new cartoons, but also Woody's (and other) theatrical Lantz cartoons from the previous twenty years.[6]

Personal life

Marsales was born in Yonker, Saskatchewan, Canada, on 31 August 1886,[7] the son of Robert Lambert Marsales and Lena Burns. He lived most of his life in California. Marsales married Catherine Elizabeth Murset (30 April 1889 – 13 January 1971). They had no children. He died on 14 August 1975 in Long Beach, California.


  1. ^ "Frank Marsales filmography snapshot". Allmovie. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  2. ^ Frank Marsales Archived 13 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine webpage of the Toonzone Archived 1 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine website
  3. ^ Warner Bros. Cartoon Filmography webpage (with screenshots of actual credits) of the Warner Bros. Cartoons Filmography And Title Card Gallery Archived 4 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine website
  4. ^ Goldmark, Daniel (2005) "Tunes for 'Toons: Music and the Hollywood Cartoon" University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-23617-3, page 179
  5. ^ The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia: 1940 Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine webpage of the Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia Archived 19 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine website
  6. ^ The Woody Woodpecker Show webpage of the Internet Movie Database Archived 21 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine website
  7. ^ "Frank Marsales - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved 12 December 2020.