Musicals have been around since films started using sound. The very first one to ever be released was back in 1927 with Al Jolson’s “A Plantation Act”. Since then musicals can have continued to rise in popularity with each passing decade. It has now been nearly one hundred years since the first musical arrived in cinemas and they still remain popular. Many would ask as to how this genre of film has been able to remain popular over the course of 89 years. The answer to that would be the fact that the musicals have grown with the times, focusing on subjects that matter to the mass demographic today.
During 1926, 2197 & 1928 there was only a total of four musicals released to the public. Then between 1929 & 1930 more than sixty different musicals were released to cinemas around the world. It was clear that in a short period of time this became the most popular form of a film on the market. Ever since that burst in popularity, it has never fallen with each passing decade seeing more musicals released to the public.
The Reason Why?
Musicals give a sense of pride, community, strength and power to the audience. Being able to have the confidence to sing at the top of your lungs without worrying about the judgment of others is an idea that plays well in the mind, most don’t have that level of confidence. Furthermore, almost everyone in the globe enjoys the luxury of singing. Doing it on a mass scale with your fellow peers comes across as an enjoyable idea and finally, the sound of so many voices coming together as one can’t help but be convincing to the ears, it gives a rush of excitement to viewers.
There is one other reason as to why these films have been able to remain popular. They continue to focus on events in modern day history that people are sensitive about, they use it as a means to get people into the theater’s seats and they use it as a means to keep the genre updated.
The Future of Musicals
It seems that no matter what, Musicals refuse to die as a genre of film or play. Both forms of the genre have continued to grow in popularity. During 2015/2016 a new play called “Hamilton” took Broadway by storm, so much so that millions have ventured to New York City in order to specifically watch the play. Hamilton is the first place in decades to have such a dignified presence on Broadway.
Musicals will continue to remain for the foreseeable future, with each passing decade they will continue to update certain aspects of the genre in order to keep its popularity afloat. 2016 has films like LaLa Land, Moana, Sing Street and A Cinderella Story all available for the consumer to watch. The most famous of which will be LaLa Land which stars Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling as two lovers conflicted with their careers.