Making Monster Music: Newman Scores!
"Monsters University" rocks campus this summer featuring music from award-winning composer Randy Newman
and Axwell & Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia. Filmmakers also tapped the Atlanta-based hard rock
band Mastodon to serenade one of the film's new monsters.
"We wanted to capture the college feel in 'Monsters University,'" says Scanlon, "and music is a big part of that.
The score and the inclusion of other great musicians like Axwell & Sebastian Ingrosso [of Swedish House Mafia]
and Mastodon help us convey a fun, freewheeling college atmosphere."
Oscar-, Grammy- and Emmy-winning composer/songwriter Newman is back, marking his seventh
Disney Pixar film. The 20-time Oscar nominee's wins include "If I Didn't Have You" for "Monsters, Inc." and "We
Belong Together" for "Toy Story 3." The recently inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member created a full Alma
Mater titled "Monsters University," establishing a recurring collegiate theme. "We recruited the team at Pixar
Canada to record the Alma Mater," says Scanlon. "We needed a giant crowd of crazy monster students to be
singing it and the Canada team was great for this -- the end result is sort of perfectly 'off.' Actually, the first time
we recorded it, it was really good. I had to say, 'Guys, these are college students at a sporting event, let's mess
it up a little bit.'"
Newman added a unique flair to his score, calling on renowned international drum corps The Blue Devils to
contribute a definitively collegiate sound. The composer also incorporated concert band music to exemplify
the feeling of being in school. In fact, says Newman, "There's a little bit of Brahms' 'Academic Festival Overture'
when Mike is riding the pig. I like to think Brahms would be extremely flattered by his inclusion in the score."
The score -- recorded with a 112-piece orchestra -- features a few character themes, including an accordion tune
to help illustrate the less-than-cool status of the Oozma Kappa fraternity; a laidback shuffle to introduce Sulley;
and the aspiring Scare student Mike Wazowski is often accompanied by a clarinet that, Newman notes, changes
as Mike's character arc evolves.
Producer Kori Rae says the score triggered emotions when she least expected it. "There's a scene in the movie in
which Mike takes Sulley and the Oozma Kappa brothers to see a scare floor at Monsters, Inc. When Randy played
the cue for that scene at our first recording session, it made me cry because
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