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Wall-E Soundtrack 2008
Artists: vocals Michael Crawford and Peter Gabriel (composer of “Down to Earth”)
Composer: Thomas Newman
Walt Disney Records 50087 11950
Running Length: 60 minutes
The animated film Wall-E is set in the future when humans live a carefree life on a space ship (The Axiom) and robots do all the work. Wall-E lives on a waste disposal planet and spends his time compressing junk. His friends are a plant and a cockroach. Enter Eve, a new-style robot who has come there to check for life forms. Wall-E falls for Eve with a thud and follows her back to her ship and then on to the humans. Humor is derived from Wall-E’s “voice” which is a series of bleeps similar to R2D2 from “Star Wars.”
Composer Thomas Newman had quite a job writing all the themes needed for Wall-E. There are 38 tracks, including vocals by Michael Crawford ("Put On Your Sunday Clothes” and “It Only Takes A Moment”) from a video Wall-E finds and continuously plays. Peter Gabriel wrote the title song, “Down to Earth,” and the rest of the tracks are instrumental.
Highlights of this soundtrack include Wall-E’s theme (track three), Eve’s theme (track five), their “First Date” (track eleven), “Define Dancing” and “No Splashing No Diving” (tracks twenty-two and twenty-three), plus Peter Gabriel’s “Down to Earth” (track thirty-seven.) Wall-E’s theme uses strings with a pizzicato effect for energy, while Eve’s theme has harp and is definitely romantic and feminine. “First Date” begins like a 1970’s musical, using flute and is easy listening. “Define Dancing” and “No Splashing No Diving” (referring to the Axiom space ship) are also lush pieces, somewhat romantic, and using guitar and strings for a soothing effect.
This CD is 60 minutes and could have been pulled into 45-50 minutes with the deletion of music snippets. A chase melody of one minute runs into another similar melody, with a break in between (example, tracks twenty-five and twenty-six). This wasn't necessary, as the rest of the music, pulled together is an orchestral suite and could have been performed as such.
All in all, Wall-E's soundtrack is definitely above average, giving the audience the effects of “outer space” (harp) and allowing the two robots, Wall-E and Eve, to define their characters through music. Eve is definitely feminine.
*Note, Wall-E film review and interview with writer/director Andrew Stanton is on archives of www.PhantomTollbooth.org
Copyright 2009 Marie Asner