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Elf
(2003)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Brad Dechter
Frank Bennett
Don Nemitz
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Varèse Sarabande
(November 11th, 2003)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you could find merit in 1950's era whistling and singing over light orchestral rhythms and John Debney's usual, consistently thematic output.

Avoid it... if you believe (somewhat accurately), on the other hand, that if you've heard one light, fluffy Debney comedy score, you've heard them all.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #355
WRITTEN 11/22/03, REVISED 3/9/09
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Debney
Debney
Elf: (John Debney) The silly Will Ferrell comedy Elf is a personality-driven urban fantasy film with plenty of fluff to go around. The story of the human toddler who accidentally ended up in Santa's bag of toys and was adopted by elves at the North Pole doesn't sound like a sure winner, but Elf debuted strongly at the start of the 2003 holiday movie season. As the manchild raised by elves (better to be a manchild raised elves than be a manchild raised by Michael Jackson, is it not?) is re-integrated into urban society, the film follows the comedy of his acclimation until its heartwarming, feel-good conclusion. It was the kind of physical humor entry that relied partly on Ferrell's loyal fanbase, and outside of that group of viewers, Elf didn't offer many attractions. It is a project perfectly constructed for composer John Debney, who seemed to find himself involved in countless dumb projects such as this throughout the early 2000's, thus allowing him to fine tune his comedy skills to a level of predictable quality that overachieves in many contexts. The composer's music for Snow Dogs the previous year was the most recent adventurous activity for Debney in snowy climates, and his music for the setting is always complete with appropriate holiday percussion. Like Bruce Almighty earlier in 2003, Debney's music for Elf runs the risk of anonymity due to his own knack for maintaining pleasant but faceless consistency. There are probably a few cues in Elf that Debney collectors will be unable to re-trace to origins in a previous Debney effort. In the end, the only truly distinguishing aspect of Elf is the conscious effort by the composer to spruce it up with a saturating holiday spirit. At times, this Christmas jubilance seems overplayed, but given that Elf is a ridiculous comedy, the flamboyant style of Debney's work is arguably appropriate. This music was clearly not meant to compete with John Williams' Home Alone, the modern standard for holiday film music, and yet Elf has a free-flowing spirit that may make it better for lighter moods. To comprehend Debney's approach to Elf, all you have to do is imagine any of the plethora of strong, but rather non-descript Debney scores for romantic comedies over his entire career.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
618 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.15 Stars
***** 106 5 Stars
**** 146 4 Stars
*** 179 3 Stars
** 110 2 Stars
* 77 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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COMMENTS
19 TOTAL COMMENTS
Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
Brass Section (Hollywood Studio Symphony)
N.R.Q. - May 20, 2007, at 11:37 a.m.
1 comment  (1857 views)
Tracking down a familer theme   Expand >>
Jordan - March 17, 2005, at 10:41 p.m.
5 comments  (7219 views)
Newest: November 1, 2005, at 7:44 p.m. by
Jordan Lockhart
Russian Dance
KokoBananaMan - January 13, 2005, at 3:14 p.m.
1 comment  (1955 views)
Elf Movie-Question   Expand >>
Joe Pignataro - November 21, 2004, at 5:54 p.m.
2 comments  (3375 views)
Newest: November 29, 2004, at 5:55 p.m. by
Tina
I want to HAVE SEX with the ELF!   Expand >>
Marcia - December 11, 2003, at 9:24 p.m.
2 comments  (3630 views)
Newest: December 13, 2003, at 9:15 p.m. by
Brian
It does not seam to be that "bad"
Pogel Adler - November 26, 2003, at 9:19 a.m.
1 comment  (2074 views)
More...


Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 30:08
• 1. Papa Elf (1:35)
• 2. Main Title (1:59)
• 3. Buddy's Journey (2:38)
• 4. A Stroll with Buddy (1:32)
• 5. Christmas Medley (2:23)
• 6. Weird Wonderland (1:34)
• 7. The Frozen Battlefield (1:29)
• 8. Buddy's Theme (0:58)
• 9. Santa's in Trouble (2:06)
• 10. A Walk in the Park (1:01)
• 11. Attack of the Little People (1:15)
• 12. Central Park Rangers (2:54)
• 13. Working with Dad (0:36)
• 14. A Snowman's Advice (1:47)
• 15. Showdown in the Park (3:31)
• 16. Buddy and Santa's Flight (1:15)
• 17. Spaghetti and Syrup (1:36)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The full color insert includes a list of performers, but no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 2003-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Elf are Copyright © 2003, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 11/22/03 and last updated 3/9/09.
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