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Section Header
Toy Story
(1995)
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Conducted, Co-Produced, and Lyrics by:
Randy Newman

Co-Orchestrated and Co-Produced by:
Don Davis

Co-Produced by:
Frank Wolf
Jim Flamberg

Label:
Walt Disney Records

Release Date:
June 21st, 1995

Also See:
Toy Story 2
Toy Story 3
Monsters, Inc.

Audio Clips:
1. You've Got a Friend in Me (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (251K)
Real Audio (156K)

9. Woody and Buzz (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (235K)
Real Audio (146K)

10. Mutants (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (250K)
Real Audio (155K)

15. Infinity and Beyond (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

Availability:
Regular U.S. release. A remastered album with identical contents was released on March 27th, 2001.

Awards:
  The song "You've Got a Friend" and the score were both nominated for Academy Awards. That song was also nominated for a Golden Globe.









Toy Story
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Buy it... if you desire the songs from the film and can overlook the inconsistencies of style and structure that exist in the slapstick underscore.

Avoid it... if Randy Newman's fluffy, optimistic songs and scores seem childish and repetitive to you no matter the context.



Newman
Toy Story: (Randy Newman) When pouring endless amounts of money into the development of the groundbreaking visuals of the Toy Story project, Disney and Pixar were unsure if the leap in computer animation technology was going to be greeted warmly by audiences. Several years later, with little Woody and Buzz toys all over the world and a sequel feature film all to themselves, the Toy Story franchise had become a monumental success. A delightful blend of talking toys from yesteryear band together to help save one another and validate their existences, following the eccentric personalities of the aforementioned symbols of yesterday and tomorrow. The film would be the launching pad for Pixar's distinctive animation technology, leading to several similarly constructed ventures to follow. For Disney, the established core composer of their animated musicals at the time was Alan Menken, who was concurrently writing in formula for Pocahontas. Instead of choosing this tested route, the studios handed the Toy Story scoring assignment over to Randy Newman, who was already established as a composer who could also bring a flair for happy, laid back songs to a project. While Menken could have matched Newman's underscore (if not exceeded it in even its slapstick quality), Menken didn't have the some level of jazzy, jolly heart in his songs as Newman. As a result, Newman was asked to project his own personality onto the score by composing a handful of songs he would perform himself and, thus, add the elements of heart and soul to the film. His voice represented the happy-go-lucky attitudes of the characters so well that he would become the official Pixar composer for many projects to come. Most of these songs were destined to be nominated for awards, and he would finally take home an Academy Award for his title song for Monsters, Inc. six years later. As a film, Toy Story was an outstanding success in 1995, but as a stand-alone soundtrack on album, Newman did not receive the same critical praise as Pocahontas. His fortunes would change in subsequent years, though. Part of this slower acceptence of Newman's scores, as opposed to his immediately popular songs, is the unstable, slapstick nature of the underscore material.

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Regarding the score for Toy Story, the film's highly gleeful and attention-deficient pacing causes the orchestral material to be difficult to grasp. It's a frantic combination of Carl Stalling music for Warner Brothers cartoons, vintage jazz, and even a touch of ragtime style. Nobody argues against the effectiveness and enjoyability of the songs, but the wandering score suffers from the constant movement of scene and action in the film. Thus, you end up with a highly irregular collection of mini-cues strung together, often with nothing in common other than their vigorous performances by the ensemble. Similar difficulties would arise in Newman's later related scores, namely A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc., but the Toy Story scores seem to have an acute case of hyper-activity. It washes out when you attempt to determine if there is any cohesive whole to the score in a traditional sense of constructs and development. Aside from the problematic nature of scoring for fast-paced, animated action, Newman compounds the problems by failing to adequately adapt his title theme into the score itself. Other than a short swing section of the song's jazzy movement in "Woody and Buzz," there is little to hear of the title song's theme throughout the score. Also aiding the otherwise incoherent score are a few standout cues of distinct personality. The Pixar logo music is included at the start. A touch of Elmer Bernstein is heard in the Western rhythm and theme for Woody in "Andy's Birthday." A short statement of theme inspired by Apollo 13 (and maybe even Basil Poledouris' Wind) can be heard for Buzz at the end of the track of his name. The madness heard in the scenes with the mutant toys at Sid's house is scored with particularly well-developed brass rhythms. The militaristic motif provided for the toy soldiers in "On the Move" is also well executed. But when you place these snippets of creativity in between the mass of jumpy, slapstick, and generic music, it's difficult to recall any highlights from the score. The three songs at the beginning of the album (joined by the duet with Lyle Lovett at the end) offer Newman's talents at their best, all of them surpassing the quality of the score by leaps and bounds. Fans of the movies will want the crisply recorded songs, and rightfully so. The score becomes incidental and, for much of its length, unnecessary. ***   Amazon.com Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Randy Newman reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.06 (in 18 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.04 (in 21,191 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.





 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  


Regular Average: 3.06 Stars
Smart Average: 3.04 Stars*
***** 61 
**** 73 
*** 84 
** 66 
* 53 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Orchestrations
  Nicolas Rodriguez Quil... -- 9/2/04 (5:39 p.m.)
   I never liked this one
  Pogel Adler -- 5/10/04 (9:27 a.m.)
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 Track Listings: Total Time: 53:48


• 1. You've Got a Friend in Me - performed by Randy Newman (2:04)
• 2. Strange Things - performed by Randy Newman (3:17)
• 3. I Will Go Sailing No More - performed by Randy Newman (2:57)
• 4. Andy's Birthday (5:58)
• 5. Soldier's Mission (1:28)
• 6. Presents (1:09)
• 7. Buzz (1:40)
• 8. Sid (1:20)
• 9. Woody and Buzz (4:29)
• 10. Mutants (6:05)
• 11. Woody's Gone (2:11)
• 12. The Big One (2:51)
• 13. Hang Together (6:02)
• 14. On the Move (6:18)
• 15. Infinity and Beyond (3:09)
• 16. You've Got a Friend in Me - performed by Randy Newman and Lyle Lovett (2:40)




 Notes and Quotes:  


The insert includes lyrics, but has no extra information about the score or film.





   
  All artwork and sound clips from Toy Story are Copyright © 1995, Walt Disney Records. 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 Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 9/23/03 and last updated 4/5/09. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2003-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.