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Elf (Original Motion Picture Score)

John Debney

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Album Review

John Debney's score for John Favreau's Christmas comedy Elf is, like the movie, a hyperstylized and witty celebration of all things Christmas. The largely orchestral score sounds like a parody of the incessant holiday Muzak heard in shopping malls around that time of the year, particularly on tracks like "Main Title" and "Papa Elf." Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite is another major influence, particularly on the tiptoeing Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies-like "A Stroll With Buddy" and "Weird Wonderland." Tracks like "Buddy's Theme" and "Santa's in Trouble" occasionally dip into schmaltz, but for the most part the score manages to be festive and funny without becoming too sugary, particularly on "A Snowman's Advice." Humorous cues such as "A Walk in the Park" and "Attack of the Little People" owe quite a bit to classic cartoon music, particularly the work of Carl Stalling. While it's not quite as distinctive as Elf itself, Debney's score is still funny and apt for the film, and may appeal to some of its fans outside that context.

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