Walt Disney wanted Mickey to have an impact in the animated world and he saw that the future lay with integrating the visual and the musical worlds together. This did not mean, in the eyes of Disney, a soundtrack addition in the background, but it meant synchronizing motion, sound, music and dialogue. It also meant giving each character a different voice and a way of articulating speech, which played a major role in defining the Disney characters. Donald Duck, Goofy and Mickey Mouse are all examples of the way in which sound and voice play an important part in defining the unique personalities of each character. For example, Goofy’s silly, harmless and gullible personality shines through his silly and optimistic tone of voice.
Many of the Disney characters; however, went through several voices. Goofy has gone through seven voice, compares to three for Mickey and only two for Donald Duck. With the worry that the characters voices, articulation and way of speech might undergo simple changes and will thus affect the characters personalities, the Disney studio made sure of keeping all the voices exactly the same throughout the years.
Through the addition of voicing as well as music and other sound effects, Disney’s animated cartoon shorts seemed more natural than the silent cartoons that were produced. Two great examples are Disney’s first sound cartoon Steamboat Willie as well as the Silly Symphony short The Skeleton Dance. The integration of sound was thus seen as a major component that enhanced all aspects of the Disney animated features.