Danny Elfman scores Alice in Wonderland

Posted on March 5, 2010 by Dan Goldwasser

This last December and January, composer Danny Elfman was at the Sony Scoring Stage in Culver City, CA, to record the score to his twelfth feature collaboration with director Tim Burton, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. The 3D film stars Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen, Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman and Mia Wasikowska in the title role.

Pete Anthony conducts Alice in Wonderland

Pete Anthony conducted a 95-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony through the score, which features numerous themes and a magical tone befitting the unique characters that inhabit Wonderland. Adding to the musical palette, Elfman used a choir (recorded in London by Peter Cobbin), as well as some unique brass instruments to create a distinctive sound for the White Rabbit’s fanfare.

The Hollywood Studio Symphony performs on Danny Elfman’s score to Alice in Wonderland

The strings

The cello section

Trumpet players Rick Baptist, Malcolm McNab and Jon Lewis play some unique horn instruments for the White Rabbit’s fanfare

In the booth, scoring mixer Dennis Sands worked closely with Elfman, as well as orchestrators Steve Bartek, Edgardo Simone and Marc Mann. With the film in the heat of post-production, director Tim Burton shared his time on the scoring stage as well as the dubbing stages overseeing the final touches on the film. Additional arrangements for the score were done by T.J. Lindgren and Deborah Lurie. Music editor Bill Abbott and assistant music editor Denise Okimoto, as well as Digital Recordist Adam Olmsted, rounded out the scoring team in the booth.

Music editor Bill Abbott, assistant music editor Denise Okimoto and scoring mixer Dennis Sands

Orchestrator Steve Bartek

Scoring mixer Dennis Sands, orchestrator Edgardo Simone, music copyist Ron Vermillion, orchestrator Marc Mann and digital recordist Adam Olmstead

Tim Burton takes us back down the rabbit hole when Alice in Wonderland is released in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX on March 5, 2010. A soundtrack album featuring Elfman’s score will be released by Walt Disney Records on March 2, 2010.

Check out this profile of Danny Elfman from "Good Morning America", featuring footage from the scoring session!

You've only seen 8 images - click here for 18 more scoring session images for this project!