In 1995,Toy Storywas produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Studios (Wiki). In the film a young boy named Andy and his toys that come to life when humans are not around, move to a new house in a new neighborhood and encounter many challenges following the event. Directed by John Lasseter, the film’s music was composed by Randy Newman.The adventurous score paired perfectly with the film’s fun spirit. 110 animators and $17.5 million dollars later (ToyStory), we were blessed with the release of the firstToy Story.
Randy Newman, the composer for the film, is an American songwriter, singer, arranger, composer, and pianist born in 1943. He is known for his unique voice,satarepop songs, and unique film scores. His film scores includeRagtime,Awakenings,The Natural, andSeabiscuit.He has scored eight Disney-Pixar animated films including:Toy Story 1,2, and 3,A Bug’s Life,Monsters Inc.,Monsters University, as well as Disney’sThe Princess and the FrogandJames and the Giant Peach.Newman has received twenty Academy Award nominations and has won twice for Best Original Song. He has also won three Emmys and six Grammy Awards. Newman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002 for classics such as “Short People”, and as a Disney Legend in 2007. He was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2013 (RandyNewman). His musical style was influenced by the likes of AlbertBernsteinand Ray Charles. He often writes full orchestral scores, but is also known for using a singular voice with piano.
“You Got a Friend In Me”, is arguably the most well known song from the film and is the only song to return in the next two movies as well. The leitmotif is used throughout the film, including the opening and closing credits. The use of voice, percussion, piano, woodwind, and brass instruments provides a bouncy backdrop for the main vocals of the song, sang by Randy Newman himself. Newman’s peculiar voice gives the song a warm vibe that makes the viewers relate to the song. The leitmotif is played as Andy is playing with his toy, one of the main characters in the movie, which ties the scene together very well. The smooth undertones pair very well with the buoyant brass, and soft vocals. The tune is still well known, over twenty years after its release.
“Strange Things” is used in the scene where Woody, Andy’s cowboy doll, is being replaced by Buzz, a spaceman action figure, as the favorite toy. The exciting piano and bouncy bass line accompanies the vocals well. The lyrics depicts perfectly what is happening on the screen. Newman also provides the main vocals for this song as well. His rougher voice contrasts with the flamboyant music, which accurately describes Woody’s relationship with Buzz and Andy at that moment on screen. The song has a funky vibe, as the instrumental tune is lively and exciting, is paired with the eccentriclyrics. All together the score is accurately chosen for the film.
“Buzz” is personally my favorite piece in the film. The strings and flutes are used in the beginning, added onto by the low brass, and percussion in an exhilarating, suspenseful buildup. It is met by a bouncy tone carried out by brass and a lovely tune with the strings. Newman uses sounds similar to that of his inspiration Albert Bernstein later in the song, with rushing cords on strings and a heartracing tone is picked up by the rest of the orchestra. The crescendo is held throughout the rest of the song. The instrumental tune is full of twists and turns that leave listeners sitting at the edge of their seats in anticipation of what may happen.
“Woody’s Gone” presents light hearted woodwinds and strings, added by a curious ostinato of lower strings. A crescendo of the entire orchestra is held out until almost the very end of the song. The combative parts between the woodwinds and low brass with the stings gives a heart-pumping feel of desperation and urgency brought to an abrupt end by a decrescendo and quick chromatic scale by the strings. The scene without this part of the score would not have as much power over the viewers as it does paired together. Randy Newman shows his eccentric side in the piece as the thrilling pattern portrays the actions on screen impeccably.
“Hang Together” Starts differently than the other songs of the film. The whimsical beginning gives a peaceful feel as the brass counters with a dreary tune. The hopeful strings and woodwinds keep their almost lullaby-ish sound throughout the first half of the piece. Halfway through, a crescendo of uncertainty and anticipation takes its place. As more low brass are added, the buildup of anticipation begins. The marching tone of strings and percussion begins and the magical tone returns quickly to be replaced by a galloping tone of heavy percussion and orchestral instruments. Several crescendos and decrescendos lead to the conglomeration of perplexing rhythms that lead to a majestic finish. Newman adds many twists and turns into this piece that captivates audiences. The pulse-pounding music is intriguing and adds a level of engagingness to the film.
Toy Story was the first feature-length film animated entirely by computer. is Woody, a cowboy toy belonging to an uncorrupted child named Andy. Whenever Andy’s out of the room, Woody revels in the fact that he is Andy’s most beloved treasured toy. His authority is challenged by a space-ranger action figure named Buzz Lightyear, who believes that he is real and not just a toy. The conflict between Woody and Buzz heightens during the first half of the film, but when the safety of the toys is jeopardized by the beastly neighbor named Sid. Woody and Buzz join forces to save the day. Director John Lasseter earned a special achievement Academy Award, while Randy Newman landed an Oscar nomination for his emotion evoking musical score. The combination of on screen animations and musical score pair together to create one of the most memorable films of all time (imdb).
“Toy Story.”Disney Wiki, disney.wikia.com/wiki/Toy_Story
“Toy Story Official Website presented by Disney.”Toy Story, toystory.disney.com/
“Plot.”IMDb, IMDb.com, www.imdb.com/title/tt0114709/plotsummary
Toy Story Musical Score Soundtrack Link