Thank you to Tessa for inspiring me to actually contribute to this site once more.
Ah, Danny Elfman. What can you say about this dude? "Tim Burton" comes readily to mind. Elfman is most famous for his collaborations with Burton, and for a good reason. A lot of this list is going to pull from the Burton/Elfman movies, mostly because he did some of his best work there.
10. Corpse Bride
Alright, this one's pretty low on the list for the sole reason of being a little TOO close to Nightmare before Christmas, music-wise. There's less singing, of course, but the fact that Danny gave his voice to a singing skeleton is a DEAD give-away. Even the most beautiful part of the score, the Moon Dance, hearkens back to the Ice Dance from Edward Scissorhands (more on that later). Still, it's beautiful and lush in tone, and that's one thing you can count on from Elfman: consistantly good work, even if you feel you've heard it all before.
Alright, I'm not stupid. I know he didn't score the whole movie. But Elfman WAS commissioned to write two songs for the soundtrack, and Jesus CHRIST did he knock it out of the park. I wish this was higher on the list, but seeing as it's only two songs out of like, 20, it fits the #9 spot beautifully. This whole movie was fun to watch, and I've always wondered what it would look like had the characters dances to these two songs.
8. Charlotte's Web
This movie made me cry. A lot. Me, a grown-ass man, started bawling by the end of this movie. Granted, I cried at the end of the original animated movie, AND at the book, so I went in expecting to cry, but that score just sealed the deal. It was very sweet, almost sugary so at times, but so touching at the right times. Say what you want about Mr. Elfman, but he knows how to tug the heartstrings.
7. The Spiderman Movies
I have to admit, I only REALLY liked the second movie. The first one was kinda silly, and the third one.....don't get me started. I outright HATED that one. But that was the fault of the director and the actors and such, not Danny. That soundtrack was solid as rock, and who here can honestly say they don't like the opening song? anyone? DIDN'T THINK SO. It is the second most epic theme song for a superhero movie ever (what's number one? that's coming up.)
6. Big Fish
This is, bar none, Tim Burton's most underappreciated film. It got a lot of good reviews, but really, it didn't make the money that any of his other movies, save Planet of the Apes (which sucked the big one), did. And yet, it's one of his best. It's a pretty straightforward score from Elfman, though how it correlates to what's happening onscreen is mind-numbingly perfect. Nothing feels out of place in this film.
5. Pee-Wee's big adventure
How do you go wrong with Pee Wee Herman? YOU CAN'T! The television show is one of the most insanely brain-meltingly trippy things to ever exist, Paul Reuben is a certifiable nutcase, and this movie captures it brilliantly. This gets a special spot on the list because it was the first orchestral score that Danny Elfman ever did, and he was reportedly apprehensive about it, as he was fresh off from Oingo Boingo and being a rock star. And for his first attempt, it's pretty damn effective. The movie's a comedy, and it seems as though Elfman wrote the music to be just as much a comedy, adding cute little tweaks and sound effects along the way.
4. Charle and the Chocolate Factory
Look, say what you will about this movie, but the soundtrack was just ridiculously awesome. Danny Elfman is no stranger to lending his wonderful singing voice to characters, but to each and every motherf***ing Oompa Loompa in the movie? He also wins points for using Road Dhal's actual lyrics for the Oompa Loompa songs, and still making them extra funny with his renditions. My favorite is Veruca Salt's song:
I'm pretty sure that if I didn't include this here, I'd be shot. But really, remember how I said there was only one other superhero theme more epic than Spiderman's? This is it. It's awesome. I don't know how Danny captured Batman in a song, but he did. The rest of the film is superbly scored, but that opening song, man....I get chills.
2. Nightmare before christmas.
Ok, ok, I'm biased here. I know I am. This being my second favorite Burton film, and one of my favorite films of all time, makes me biased. but GODDAMN THAT SCORE. 67 minutes of non-stop music. Seriously. watch it. the only time the background music stops is for approx. 40 seconds when Jack goes to visit Dr. Finklestein. That's it. The rest of the time, MUSIC. Also, the songs are probably my favorite of any performed by the man himself. Lending his singing voice to Jack Skellington, he somehow gives Jack that extra level of soul that makes him my favorite of all the Burton characters.
Did I mention that I know this movie by heart?
"This is Halloween":
and the number one Danny Elfman score is......
1. EDWARD SCISSORHANDS
The best Tim Burton film ever made deserves nothing less than the best score ever. I can't watch this movie without getting awestruck by how good the music is. Yeah, if you can't tell, I love this movie. It's the best thing Burton/Elfman ever collaborated on, EVER. Also, it has one of the most beautiful songs ever penned in this century:
THE ICE DANCE:
Well there's my list. Agree? Disagree? lemme know!