Thomas Newman's Wall-E
What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody
forgot to turn the last robot off?
Walt Disney Records has released the original soundtrack for Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation
Studios WALL•E. The recording features the score written by 8 time Academy Award®-nominated
composer Thomas Newman (Finding Nemo, American Beauty) and the original song “Down to Earth”
written and performed by Peter Gabriel (with music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman).
The soundtrack also includes two songs from Hello Dolly performed by Michael Crawford (“It Only
Takes A Moment” and “Put On Your Sunday Clothes”) and Louis Armstrong’s “La Vie En Rose.”
Academy Award®-winning writer-director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, A Bug’s Life) didn’t wait
long to ask Finding Nemo collaborator Thomas Newman to compose the music for WALL•E.
Stanton described, “The night of the Oscars in 2004 for Nemo, we went out for a celebratory toast at
the bar in the middle of the ceremony, and right there I remember saying, ‘Okay, I’ve got this idea,
and it involves Hello Dolly and science fiction.’ Wondering if he would still talk to me after that…”
The Hello Dolly reference didn’t scare off Newman – his uncle Lionel was the conductor for the 1969 film.
Thomas Newman is member of the film-scoring Newman dynasty (his father and uncle are the
legendary composer and conductor Alfred and Lionel Newman respectively, his brother is composer
David Newman and cousin is composer/singer/songwriter/recording artist Randy Newman).
After studying at Yale University, Thomas Newman joined the family business and began scoring for film
in 1984. It was ten years later that he would became a double Academy Award®-nominee with
Little Women and The Shawshank Redemption. He has since received 8 nominations for the films
American Beauty, Road To Perdition, Finding Nemo, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,
and The Good German. He also composed the theme music for the television shows Boston Public and
Six Feet Under and the miniseries Angels in America.
Though he has written music for a wide range of films
Thomas Newman has never composed for a science fiction film.
He brought his own unique style to WALL•E.
Stanton describes, “He’s got a very unique style that often involves a
lot of overdubs and mixing after he’s recorded the orchestra.
And it just allows this fresh palette of sounds to come in.”
“He’s really nailed an identity for not only the movie but for the
characters and for the moments,” Stanton continues, “and
I can’t imagine it any other way.”
Legendary artist Peter Gabriel had first contacted Andrew Stanton
through a mutual friend, Gabriel’s bass player Tony Levin.
Gabriel emailed Stanton seeking advice on a different animated
feature. The email exchanged ended with Gabriel adding a post
script offering “If you ever need a song in one of your movies, just let
Stanton called in the marker, and Gabriel to collaborate with Newman
on the song “Down To You,” which Peter performs. In addition,
Gabriel co-composed two additional score cues with Newman.
After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL•E (short for Waste Allocation
Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he
meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL•E has inadvertently
stumbled upon the key to the planet’s future, and races back to space to report her findings to the
humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home).
Meanwhile, WALL•E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets into motion one of the most exciting
and imaginative comedy adventures ever brought to the big screen.