Musical Score Composed By: Thomas Newman
Music By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Walt Disney Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
WALL●E is a futuristic computer animated science fiction comedy from Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios. In the 2100s, mankind had so polluted Earth that they were forced to abandon the planet. They sent a multitude of WALL●E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) droids to Earth in hopes that they could clean up the planet enough for humankind to return. By the year 2815, this effort is considered a failure. There is only one WALL●E droid left on the planet, still carrying out its programmed mission. Only this WALL●E unit is different – he’s developed a personality, learning things from the various items discarded on Earth. He’s even discovered a great deal about emotions from a video tape version of the musical Hello, Dolly!
When EVE, an Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator, is sent to Earth to discover if there are any signs of plant life on the planet, it’s love at first site for WALL●E. Unfortunately, EVE, being an all-business droid, doesn’t share WALL●E’s sentimentality. She is more interested in the plant life form that WALL●E has accidentally uncovered. Her desire to bring this plant life back to her humans leads WALL●E into an adventure of amazing and hysterical proportions.
WALL●E does not contain a terrific amount of dialogue. Much is communicated through visual storytelling. For such a movie with little dialogue, one would expect that the music would be rather important to the film. It would have to be expressive and designed to enhance the story – an aide to the visual storytelling qualities of the film. Tapped to create such a soundtrack for the film is American composer Thomas Newman, a man for whom music is a family business – father Alfred is a composer, uncle Lionel is a conductor, brother David is a composer and cousin Randy is a composer/singer/songwriter/recording artist. Thomas Newman began his musical scoring career in 1984. Within ten years, Newman was nominated for Academy Awards for his composition of the Little Woman Soundtrack and the musical score for The Shawshank Redemption. Since then, he has received numerous nominations for his musical score for films including American Beauty, Finding Nemo, and The Good German. He has also created theme music for television series such as Boston Public and Six Feet Under.
Having never composed music for a science fiction film, one might think that Thomas Newman was out of his element with this soundtrack. Well, in this writer’s opinion, Thomas Newman was a perfect pick to compose the WALL●E Soundtrack. Newman creates a cute, light-hearted theme for the character of WALL●E, reminiscent of character themes in Disney movies past. Newman uses strings to express the beauty and sophistication of the EVE droid. Horns and percussion, complete with drum rolls and cymbal crashing, denote action sequences in the film. Fast-paced strings are used to create a sense of urgency in certain tracks. The musical score created for WALL●E by Thomas Newman offers the listener a musical vision of the film.
Since WALL●E is a fan of the movie Hello, Dolly!, this soundtrack would be incomplete without a couple of tracks from the movie. Thus, the WALL●E Soundtrack includes Put on Your Sunday Clothes and It Only Takes A Moment, both performed by Michael Crawford. Jazz lovers will be happy to discover a most enjoyable track by Louis Armstrong – La Vie En Rose. Down to Earth, a song created especially for this film by Peter Gabriel, offers a message about how we as a civilization are collectively destroying our own planet.
In keeping with the message this movie is sending, the WALL●E Soundtrack comes in an outer packaging shell created from 100% recycled material. Included with the CD is a booklet featuring scenes from the movie, information about the soundtrack itself and lyrics for the song Down to Earth. Even the booklet is made from recycled material. So, when you purchase the WALL●E Soundtrack, not only do you receive an incredibly enjoyable 38-track album, but you are also doing your part for the environment. What a great deal! Check out the WALL●E Soundtrack today! After listening to the soundtrack, I can’t wait to see the actual film!