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Big Fish
Album Cover Art
2003 Sony/Epic
2011 Warner
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed and Produced by:

Conducted by:
Nick Ingman

Orchestrated by:
Steve Bartek
Edgardo Simone
Jeff Atmajian
David Slonaker
Labels Icon
Sony Classical/Epic
(December 23rd, 2003)

Warner Brothers Records
(April 12th, 2011)
Availability Icon
The Sony Classical/Epic album of 2003 was a regular U.S. release. The 2011 Warner set is a limited edition of 2,000 copies, sold for $500 primarily through the official site of the album. Consult with the separate review of that set for more details about its availability.
The score was nominated for a Golden Globe, a Grammy Award, and an Academy Award. The song "Man of the Hour" was also nominated for a Golden Globe.
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Decorative Nonsense
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you are an enthusiastic Danny Elfman collector who can enjoy hearing his talents in several different genres intermingle in one spirited and diverse but introspective and melancholy score.

Avoid it... if you are distressed by Elfman's ability to establish and convey a somber tone and are hoping for a dose of grand choral or symphonic beauty of a massive scale to compensate for this mood.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 12/19/03, REVISED 6/6/11
Big Fish: (Danny Elfman) Adapted from Daniel Wallace's novel "Big Fish: A Story of Mythic Proportions," the premise of this film accomplishes exactly what director Tim Burton loves the most: to tell a tear-jerking dramatic tale in the context of a wildly imaginative distortion of reality. With lavish production values, Big Fish is the story of a dying father in Alabama who has spent a lifetime telling his son tall tales about his own youth, with most of the stories far too bizarre to be true. Through the retelling of the stories, the initially skeptical and alienated son lets the audience eventually decide what is true and what is not, thus allowing viewers to determine the level of forgiveness that should be afforded the father. Thus, you get a father-and-son reconciliation story in the context of totally grandiose fables involving a 10-foot gentle giant, crazy circus performers, a glass-eyed fortune-telling witch, conjoined Korean twin night club singers, and one absolutely gargantuan catfish. The project was one of immense personal significance for Burton, whose parents had both recently passed away at the time he was offered this film, and it also gave him the opportunity to forget the screenwriting ills of Planet of the Apes in favor of a script for Big Fish that was finished and air-tight from the start (in fact, it was originally to be a Steven Spielberg movie). Critical reaction to the film often depended on the capacity of the individual critic's imagination and relationship to his or her father, typically generating a "love it or hate it" response. What you gain from the outstanding adventures and the heart-warming love story is perhaps lost in the contrasting examination of the stark realities of life and death, and, for some, that gap may be too great. In terms of its production, when you see projects like Big Fish, you have to stop for a moment and be appreciative of the fact that the partnership between Burton and composer Danny Elfman was once again alive and well in the 2000's. Also a sucker for stories of just this kind, Elfman had a more difficult task than you might expect upon accepting this assignment. Instead of pouring on a straight forward dose of fairy-tale sentiment, Elfman was forced to combine the circus-like environment with American Deep South locations, the sensitive real-life reconciliation of a family, and a variety of reality-altering motifs associated with the tales.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.59 Stars
***** 832 5 Stars
**** 548 4 Stars
*** 558 3 Stars
** 335 2 Stars
* 206 1 Stars
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Derek Tersmette - August 28, 2006, at 7:30 a.m.
1 comment  (3214 views)
song on the radio
melissa - January 21, 2006, at 8:21 p.m.
1 comment  (3455 views)
Twice the Love music   Expand >>
flem - January 6, 2005, at 2:21 p.m.
2 comments  (5173 views)
Newest: July 25, 2005, at 5:28 p.m. by
theme song   Expand >>
Billy - December 27, 2004, at 5:10 p.m.
2 comments  (5787 views)
Newest: July 13, 2005, at 5:06 p.m. by
Flawed album presentation. Poor engineering.
Julio Gomez - August 31, 2004, at 7:19 p.m.
1 comment  (2746 views)
Piano Song Lady plays???
Robin - June 19, 2004, at 8:56 p.m.
1 comment  (2818 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
2003 Sony/Epic Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 61:24
• 1. Man of the Hour - performed by Pearl Jam (3:45)
• 2. Dinah - performed by Bing Crosby (2:17)
• 3. Everyday - performed by Buddy Holly (2:09)
• 4. All Shook Up - performed by Elvis Presley (1:58)
• 5. Five O'Clock World - performed by The Vogues (2:10)
• 6. Ramblin' Man - performed by The Allman Brothers (4:57)
• 7. Let's Work Together - performed by Canned Heat (3:13)
• 8. Pictures (0:45)
• 9. Big Fish (Titles) (4:32)
• 10. Shoe Stealing (0:54)
• 11. Underwater (1:53)
• 12. Sandra's Theme (2:22)
• 13. The Growing Montage (2:40)
• 14. Leaving Spectre (1:59)
• 15. Return to Spectre (2:12)
• 16. Rebuilding (1:18)
• 17. The Journey Home (2:10)
• 18. In the Tub (1:18)
• 19. Sandra's Farewell (1:16)
• 20. Finale (11:10)
• 21. End Titles (2:41)
• 22. Jenny's Theme (1:45)
• 23. Twice the Love (Siamese Twins' Song) - performed by Bobbi Page/Candice Rumph (1:49)
2011 Warner Set Tracks   ▼Total Time: 78:49

Notes Icon
The insert of the 2003 Sony/Epic album includes lyrics for "Man of the Hour," but no extra information about the score or film. The 2011 Warner set features some notes from Elfman about his choices of music for inclusion on the product.
Copyright © 2003-2021, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the 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 Big Fish are Copyright © 2003, 2011, Sony Classical/Epic, Warner Brothers Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/19/03 and last updated 6/6/11.
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