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Flubber (1997)
Music Composed by Danny Elfman
Conducted by Artie Kane
Orchestrations by Steve Bartek, Mark McKenzie, Conrad Pope and Edgardo Simone
Recorded and Mixed by Shawn Murphy
"Mambo del Flubber" vocals by Elin Carlson, Conducted by Mark McKenzie, Recorded by Robert Fernandez
Album Produced by Steve Bartek, Ellen Segal and Danny Elfman

Label (Catalogue): Walt Disney Records, (60952)
Availability: In print
Purchasing options: Available at Amazon.com


(Review Originally written Dec. 13, 1997) I usually try to reserve my opinion on music until long after I've started listening to it so that's one reason why I haven't commented on Flubber here on my website until a few weeks after it's release (Nov. 26 and as I write this now it's Dec. 13). I've had the CD for over three weeks and have been listening to it non-stop (only break was when I bought Starship Troopers by Basil Poledouris and then Tomorrow Never Dies by David Arnold).

I work in a movie theater and I was upset that I had'nt had a chance to see all of Flubber. I'd only seen the scattered parts one manages to glimpse while doing theater checks (picture, sound and temp okay!). I did purposely sneak in to see the main titles (where I saw the double Elfman credit one for "Mambo del Flubber" and the other for the score). I finally did see Flubber and was impressed by the way Elfman's music works within the film, the special effects and Dean Cundey's expert cinematography. The film itself is mainly for kids with it's Home Alone style violence. Strangely enough their are few laughs here - it's almost painful.

The beginning seconds of "Main Title" are actually for the Great Oaks logo, then in comes the theme and as soon as Flubber appears on screen the music erupts into a group of midi samples. While Flubber contains all the quirky signatures we have come to love from Elfman it also contains some oddly classical sounding cues as well - most notably "It's Alive" and "The Test". These two tracks are laced with a bit of Black Beauty and I can't get past how different they sound! I love them but it's almost....Trippy.

"Mambo In The Sky" sneaks in that squealing horn riff that first was heard in Big Top Pee-Wee, then heard in The Frighteners (when Ray Linsky see's his own corpse in the casket - which isn't on the score CD) and then became a dominate part of Mars Attacks! ("Destructo X"). "Weebo Yearns" has this strange beat that kicks in - strange being that it starts out irregularly, disappears and then reappears (love that single xylophone note). "Mambo del Flubber" is beyond description! Even though Eric Serra did it first with his score to The Fifth Element (in my opinion a horrible score), Danny Elfman edits and manipulates Elin Carlson's voice into a dizzying little song. I'd really like to know who's adorable little voice screams "Mahm-boh!" and then giggles. Great job Elin (know you're reading this) sounds like you had fun (know you did) and from what I've heard this is the only scene in Flubber that gets the crowd cheering! Remarkable adds a different flavor to the Flubber mix - this time some freestyle jazz type stuff.

"Weebo's Death" most specifically the first 2/3 of the track is to me the most emotionally beautiful and delicate music from Danny Elfman since "Ice Dance" from Edward Scissorhands. The small woodwind and choir literally gave me chills! On a different note, isn't this a bit of a spoiler? The CD plainly tells us that Weebo dies... "Revenge and Airborne" are full of the kinetic energy familiar from Mars Attacks! and "The War Room/Airfield". That sort of cacophony of sound that somewhere deep within it is a strict guidance making sure that the disorder is in fact orderly (if you don't understand what that means...Well neither do I...But only a genius mind can write such music).

The real gem here is the "End Credits" at over 7 minutes long. When I first heard it I thought "beer commercial" then realized that's been done before with Hot To Trot. Then I realized it sounded like that Sprite commerical where they parody a drink called "Jooky". Sort of a Caribbean feel to it. The track re-iterates all the best cues wonderfully and concludes with some '80's style beats and electronic notes and more jazz.

Personally I think Flubber is a throwback reminiscent of Back To School (the main theme also uses the same saxophone) mixed with the new bag of sample tricks Danny Elfman now employs. At times coherent and beautifully melodic, at others disjointed, accented and chaotic, Flubber is another solid effort from Danny. It's a nice change in pace to a lighthearted comedic feel which is welcome by me anytime. - Ryan Keaveney



Not a controversey, but Flubber would seem to be Danny Elfman's first film score in his three-picture pact with Walt Disney Pictures. Danny signed to write and direct three features for the studio as well as score an unspecified number of the studio's films. Those who have seen the film have to wonder had this deal not been struck, would Danny Elfman ever come to score Flubber? Probably not.

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Click for enlarged CD artwork
Click cover to enlarge
01. Main Title (1:43)
02. Beautiful Day (1:05)
03. Breakfast (2:01)
04. The Idea (2:37)
05. It's Alive (3:50)
06. Gamma Ray (3:03)
07. Take Off (0:30)
08. Mambo In The Sky (0:53)
09. Flying High (2:22)
10. Weebo Yearns (2:23)
11. The Test (1:03)
12. Mambo del Flubber (2:25)
13. Remarkable (4:07)
14. Weebo's Death (4:38)
15. Revenge (2:41)
16. Airborne (0:48)
17. End Credits (7:33)
18. Goo a Little Dance (3:28)
Performed By KC / Sunshine Band

Total time: 47:11

Danny Elfman's music at:
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All original text, original artwork Ryan Keaveney & Klaatu Media and cannot be copied without written consent. All other materials are by original authors / artists / labels and are presented here for critique, educational and promotional purposes only. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the Discussion Board. Additional questions or comments can be emailed to Ryan Keaveney.