Tag Archives: Tobey Maguire

Danny Elfman talks Spider-Man (2002)


Danny Elfman talks “Spider-Man” (2002)

When I first saw Spider-Man (sometime in 2003 0r 2004), I would never have guessed that the character would be rebooted twice less than twenty years later. No offense to Andrew Garfield or Tom Holland, but for me Spider-Man will always be Tobey Maguire.

The first Spider-Man film served as an origin story for everyone’s favorite web-slinger. Peter Parker (Maguire) starts out as a nerdy high school senior who lives with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben (he also has a hopeless crush on Mary Jane Watson) and is friends with Harry Osborn (the son of Norman Osborn, the CEO of Oscorp). After being bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter discovers that he has developed superhuman abilities: he can shoot webbing, climb walls and sense things ordinary humans cannot. After Uncle Ben is killed (by a thief he allowed to get away), Peter becomes “Spider-Man” and begins to fight injustice in the city, while working as a photographer for the city newspaper.


Meanwhile, Norman Osborn is facing problems of his own. Looking to secure a military contract, he uses an experimental (and highly unstable) performance-enhancing chemical upon himself, but the procedure goes wrong and Norman develops an insane alter-ego dubbed “The Green Goblin” by the newspaper. It’s only a matter of time before the Green Goblin and Spider-Man clash, and the ramifications will be huge for all concerned.


The score for this film was created by Danny Elfman, a composer well-known for his work in the Batman films (having scored Batman and Batman Returns, as well as the theme for Batman: The Animated Series). In this interview, Danny Elfman talks about his composing process: how he likes to “block out” the important musical moments in a film before going back and filling in the gaps with the rest of the score. Such moments might include Spider-Man’s theme, the Goblin’s theme, a love theme, etc. One of my favorite moments is when Peter discovers he can climb walls, I love how the music briefly matches Peter’s movements as he begins to climb up.

Please enjoy this look at Spider-Man with Danny Elfman. Of the three actors who have played the character, who do you think has done it the best? Let me know in the comments below, catch ya’ll later 🙂

See also:

Danny Elfman talks Batman (1989)

Danny Elfman talks Batman Returns (1992)

Danny Elfman “Planet of the Apes” scoring session (2001)

Danny Elfman talks Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Danny Elfman talks Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Danny Elfman talks Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Danny Elfman talks Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

*poster image is the property of Columbia Pictures

Film Music 101: Mickey Mousing

In the world of film and animation music, “Mickey Mousing” is the affectionate (and occasionally derogatory) nickname given to a technique whereby the music and the action on the screen are completely in sync with each other. The reason this technique is called “Mickey Mousing” is because it first appeared in the 1928 cartoon Steamboat Willie starring Mickey Mouse!

Incidentally, Mickey was originally voiced by Walt Disney himself!
The reason “Mickey Mousing” occurred at all is because, after film studios learned the trick of making sound film, they all wanted to show off the fact that their films had sound. To that end, the soundtracks of many, MANY films, were overly synchronized with the actin on the screen, and this happened a lot in the early Disney cartoons as well.
For instance, the 1929 cartoon Skeleton Dance is a 5 1/2 minute example of “Mickey Mousing.” Take a few minutes to watch it and I believe you’ll see what I mean.

My favorite moment in “Skeleton Dance” comes when the one skeleton is sneaking around, taking first three long strides and then quick stepping (and how the music matches his movement, it’s a trick seen more than once in cartoons).
While “Mickey Mousing” has decreased greatly over the years, it is still being used. A more recent example can be found in the first Spider-Man movie in 2002. In the scene where Peter (Tobey Maguire) discovers he has the ability to climb walls, listen to what the music does when his hand first touches the brick wall and then begins to climb up, it’s mimicking his actions! Pretty cool right? Have a look here below:

Hope you enjoyed another look at the world of film music, have a great day!

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

For more Film Music 101: see here

See also:

Film Music 101: “Stinger” Chords

Film Music 101: Dubbing

Film Music 101: Diegetic vs. Non-Diegetic Music

Film Music 101: Underscore

Film Music 101: Music Editor

Film Music 101: Sidelining

Film Music 101: “Test” Lyrics

Film Music 101: The First Film Score

Film Music 101: Borrowing

Film Music 101: Arranger

Film Music 101: Anempathetic sound

Film Music 101: Empathetic Sound

Film Music 101: Foley

Film Music 101: Montage

Film Music 101: Compilation Score

Film Music 101: Leitmotif

Film Music 101: Orchestration and cues

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂