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February 2006 Film Music DVD Review

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings/ February/


DVD Review

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 
2-Disc Edition
  Directed by Tim Burton
Music by Danny Elfman
Starring Johnny Depp, Helen Bonham Carter and James Fox with Freddie Highmore
  Available on Warner Home Video (ZI 59337)
Running Time: N/A
Amazon UK   Amazon US

For some reason it has been quite impossible to obtain a soundtrack recording of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to review for Film Music on the Web so I had to do the next best thing look and listen in to the DVD of the film I had purchased for my grandchildren.

First of all I have to say that Danny Elfman’s score fits the film admirably but it is so self-derivative and provides really nothing new that the composer has not said already in Edward Scissorhands and the other fantasies on which he has collaborated with Tim Burton – all the stylistic flourishes and colours are evident.

A significant part of the music for the film is taken up by the songs delivered by the chorus of the weird, identical-looking little men, the Oompah-loompa.  The lyrics for these songs are crucial since they pertain to the come-uppances of the four dreadful children who are the real villains of Roald Dahl’s classic fable. But alas as is so often the case these days you can only make out about one word-in-ten.

Ian Lace

Full marks for a delightful film: 4
rather less for the score: 3

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