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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Album Cover Art
2005 Warner
2011 Warner
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Performed, Co-Produced, and Lyrics Co-Written by:

Conducted by:
Rick Wentworth

Co-Orchestrated and Co-Produced by:
Steve Bartek

Co-Orchestrated by:
Edgardo Simone
David Slonaker
Bruce Fowler

Lyrics Co-Written by:
Roald Dahl
John August
Labels Icon
Warner Sunset
(July 12th, 2005)

Warner Brothers Records
(April 12th, 2011)
Availability Icon
The Warner Sunset album of 2005 is 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 song "Wonka's Welcome Song" was nominated for a Grammy Award.
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you desire small doses of Danny Elfman's majestic side that trade in the electric bass for a large bass string section and return to the magic of his early works, even if this material exists in the minority of the score's wild ride.

Avoid it... if a certain continuation of schizophrenia in Elfman's style, especially in the inclusion of songs featuring the composer as a human kazoo, leaves you seeking other scores in which to hear his more consistently raw emotional tendencies.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 11/12/05, REVISED 6/7/11
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: (Danny Elfman) Despite Tim Burton's best intentions to once again enter the imaginative world of a child, the release of his remake of the famous Roald Dahl book happened to coincide with the spotlight of Michael Jackson's 2005 child molestation court case. And, of course, it doesn't help that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is about a reclusive adult who creates a "neverland" in the form of a chocolate factory, invites select kids into his playground, and, oh yeah, seems to have the same wardrobe designer and make-up artist as Michael Jackson himself. Despite those awkward connections, nearly everything about Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a success, including a faithful adaptation of the book and the spectacular visuals, and the film steamrolled to tasty financial delights for the studio that topped Burton's career best. But then there was lead actor Johnny Depp in the title role, so suspiciously similar to Michael Jackson in appearance, mannerism, and setting. No matter how many times he and Burton assured audiences that his performance as Willy Wonka was only coincidentally similar to Jackson, there remained the cloud of Jackson's perversity over this film for adults. Children likely wouldn't care, for the film tackles Dahl's material in the same general, enticing musical form as the 1971 Gene Wilder film adaption of the book. The collaboration between Tim Burton and Danny Elfman had spanned three decades and nearly a dozen films as of 2005, and by this time there was no doubt in any critic's mind that these two men are operating on the same creative wavelength. Both enjoy portrayals of reclusive, alienated, or otherwise troubled characters in abnormally colorful and outlandish surroundings (especially if shrunken head or whole shrunken people are involved), and Wonka's world is well served by both. For Elfman, 2005 represented a return to the realm of the musical, finally touching upon the magic that had brought him so much residual success with The Nightmare Before Christmas, working concurrently on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Corpse Bride (but never really recapturing the truly unique spirit of the Pumpkin King).

Elfman roots the musical center of his score and songs for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the Oompa Loompas, the freaky army of workers loyal to Wonka's operations, and when not producing chocolate, these little guys seem to have been studying Bollywood and the history of music from around the world in their free time. It is their songs that open the album, and their jungle-like music that occupies the flair in the soundtrack's latter half. The opening song on the album, "Wonka's Welcome Song," written originally for a trailer to the film, is a "happy worker," Pee-wee-inspired piece that, if not for the elf-like manipulation of multiple Elfman vocal performances, would remind of the insufferably bright and positive "be happy" music from THX 1138 (now there's a creepy thought). The following four songs represent the children who are to be punished by Wonka throughout their tour, and as they are performed in silly rock band numbers by the Oompa Loompas, these songs also feature Elfman as the sole performer, requiring the talented singer to record endless overlays and have a fair number of them manipulated in pitch. The structure and genre of the songs vary appropriately for each character's flaws, from the Bollywood big band number for the gluttonous kid, the Bohemian rhapsody for the video gamer, and 1970's-era funky street-cool dance piece for the competitive gum-chewer, to the overly simplistic chord progressions of the 1960's ballad for the spoiled brat. All of them contain underlying references to the Bollywood connection, reportedly an original intent by Elfman and Burton that carries through in the Indian influences that reveal themselves to various degrees in each song. Since the Oompa Loompas are played by the same actor and therefore should have multiple performances of the same voice in various counterpoints, Elfman's performances all exist in the same sort of whiny pitch that is best described as a "human kazoo." While necessary, the most unfortunate aspect of these performances is the fact that we never hear Elfman's fantastic natural singing voice (in fact, only rarely can you even identify one of the voices as his), and the human kazoo effect is extremely annoying at times. Thus, however clever the songs are in structure, the outrageously layered vocal performances cause them to become unbearable in pitch.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.5 Stars
***** 521 5 Stars
**** 399 4 Stars
*** 361 3 Stars
** 259 2 Stars
* 161 1 Stars
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Avoid the songs,listen to the instrumental music
Sheridan 2 - November 17, 2006, at 7:40 a.m.
1 comment  (2579 views)
danny elfman sing?
nyze aziz - November 22, 2005, at 3:31 p.m.
1 comment  (2963 views)
Alternate review of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Movie Music UK   Expand >>
Jonathan Broxton - November 18, 2005, at 11:53 a.m.
5 comments  (5789 views)
Newest: July 29, 2011, at 8:22 p.m. by

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
2005 Warner Sunset Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 54:07
• 1. Wonka's Welcome Song (1:03)
      lyrics by Danny Elfman and John August, performed by Danny Elfman
• 2. Augustus Gloop (3:12)
      lyrics by Danny Elfman and Roald Dahl, performed by Danny Elfman and the Alleyns School Brass Ensemble
• 3. Violet Beauregarde (2:10)
      lyrics by Danny Elfman and Roald Dahl, performed by Danny Elfman
• 4. Veruca Salt (2:15)
      lyrics by Danny Elfman and Roald Dahl, performed by Danny Elfman
• 5. Mike Teavee (1:34)
      lyrics by Danny Elfman and Roald Dahl, performed by Danny Elfman
• 6. Main Titles (5:00)
• 7. Wonka's First Shop (1:42)
• 8. The Indian Palace (3:16)
• 9. Wheels in Motion (3:17)
• 10. Charlie's Birthday Bar (1:53)
• 11. The Golden Ticket/Factory (3:03)
• 12. Chocolate Explorers (2:14)
• 13. Loompa Land (1:42)
• 14. The Boat Arrives (1:15)
• 15. The River Cruise (1:54)
• 16. First Candy (1:21)
• 17. Up and Out (3:11)
• 18. The River Cruise - Part 2 (1:56)
• 19. Charlie Declines (1:32)
• 20. Finale (3:46)
• 21. End Credit Suite (7:01)
2011 Warner Set Tracks   ▼Total Time: 103:56

Notes Icon
The insert of the 2005 Warner Sunset album includes lyrics and extensive credits, 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.
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