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 Posted:   Jun 9, 2011 - 12:22 PM   
 By:   babbelballetje   (Member)

Got the box today and it's amazing! Certainly the most elaborate soundtrack release ever! It was quite expensive, especially since it also came with a 86 euro ($ 100) import duty bill, but I completely forgot about that when I opened the box. A big thanks to Richard Kraft for doing this project!smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2011 - 1:02 PM   
 By:   Luc Van der Eeken   (Member)

Same here! Package arrived today and all I can say is...WOW!!!

 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2011 - 1:04 PM   
 By:   drivingmissdaisy   (Member)

I know for me, just opening the box was exciting and to see it LIVE in person was pretty cool. Some had a few issues here and there that they were able to fix, so that's good. It's hard not to open it and smile a little.

 
 Posted:   Jul 3, 2011 - 8:23 PM   
 By:   indy4   (Member)

Here is my final review of the set.

Overall, the music is great and the selections, while not perfect, satisfy me completely. I'm not interested in any of the still unreleased music, and I don't care about whatever nuanced issues there are with certain takes that are presented.

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is one of the few scores presented in this set that I didn't own before. I loved it. It is described often as being old fashion, but I don't think that quite covers it. There are parts of it that sound very modern, and definitely nothing that would be heard in any Golden Age score. I think that this score is the most unique one Elfman has written. Yes, there are other influences heard, just like there are in any piece of music. But overall, it is a very different feel from anything I've heard from any other score. I love the bike race music, the "Breakfast Machine," and the harmonica solos. Also, in general I'm not a fan of including dialogue or SFX in a soundtrack, but I really like how Elfman included Pee-Wee's humming in one track. That's a really fun cue, but only when one understands its origins.

Even this set was not able to salvage Beetlejuice for me. It's just not a very good score IMO, despite a few fantastic highlights. Overall, it is just too unorganized boring for me. I love the "Main Titles" and both "Travel Musics" as well as some other highlights, but I just don't connect with a vast majority of the score. I have no complaints regarding the way the music was presented, but rather the music itself.

Batman is another that I find to be vastly overrated, and this set, while it helped, couldn't convince me otherwise. It has some good moments - more than Beetlejuice does - but overall it just sounds loud and unnecessary. I like most of Joker's material, and I like the main theme. Many consider this to be Elfman's masterpiece, but I consider it to be one of his worst scores.

Then comes Edward Scissorhands, one of Elfman's best efforts. The "Ice Dance" theme is, IMO, one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, period. It is absolutely gorgeous, and every time it gets played in a track I get excited. The other stuff is great too - the beautiful motif from "Storytime," the fantastical and often immitated "Introduction," and the less serious comedic stuff. I love the entrance of the choir in "Etiquette Lesson." And I like the trombones in "Cookie Factory." "Grand Finale" is just a gorgeous way to wrap up the CD. I find it very interesting that the Ice Dance theme is never really resolved in any of its variations - it always seems to end on a question. There is a decent amount of less interesting material as well, and that is what stops this score from being my favorite Elfman work.

Batman Returns is definitely better than the first score, but it still seems overrated to me. There is, again, a lot of "dead" music and a lot of uninteresting action stuff. The surreal stuff is the best, but it's also Elfman working in his comfort zone, so it's good but nothing exceptional.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is my favorite Elfman score, and I think this presentation of it is really great. From start to finish it is a compelling listen. There is not a single boring spot in it, and that is rare for a score. Add to that the many highlights - "This is Halloween," "What's This?," "The Big Sendoff," "Sally's Song," etc. - and you have a wonderful score. I love the use of Dies Iraes in "Making Christmas." "Jack's Lament" is one of my favorites as well. Off all the previously unreleased music presented in the set, this is probably the best (and maybe the Music Box suites as well).

Mars Attacks! is the other score that I didn't own prior to this boxset, and I love it as well. I love the driving, rhythmic main theme, as well as the use of cheesy old fashioned synthesizers. This score is a ton of fun, and I'm really glad I got to know it through this box set.

Sleepy Hollow is another great one. This is a little embarassing, but on this last run through I finally realized how often Dies Iraes is used in this score. It seems a little hidden during the bombastic variation in the wonderful "Main Titles," but later in the score it gets a more straightforward presentation when it is used as an ostinato in some of the flashback sequences and I think the "End Credits." I like the development of Ichabod's theme, how it can be used as creepy, menacing, romantic, etc. There is a bit of uninteresting music, particularly the action stuff near the end, but it's still a great listen. The anecdote in the book and DVD about the religious choir concerned that they were singing a cue titled "Family Massacre" is hilarious.

Planet of the Apes has some really cool moments, like the "Main Titles" and "The Hunt," but at the same time there is a lot of uninteresting material. Still, I appreciate Elfman experimenting a lot in this one and trying lots of new stuff, mostly in percussion and synthesizers. I hear a lot of his work of the 2000s originating from this score.

Big Fish is probably my 3rd favorite Elfman score. It is gorgeous throughout. Each of the themes are great. The last few minutes of "Finale" are fantastic, some of Elfman's greatest work. And the unreleased stuff is really nice to have, particularly "Spotting Sandra." I also love the source song for the Siamese Twins...I didn't really even know it was included until I was listening to it, but I love it.

Next is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, another great score. The "Main Titles" are some of Elfman's best (and that's saying something). I like how he experiments with a lot of new synthesizers and instruments. And of course the songs are fantastic, especially "Augusus Gloop." The demos of alternates that present tunes from one song with lyrics from another are interesting.

Corpse Bride is also great. All of the songs are great, especially "Remains of the Day." The score is very different from Nightmare, which was the original intention. And it's great to hear "Erased" finally, and interesting to know that the main melody was originally the tune of a song. I also love the jazzy lounge music at the end. I love Elfman's decision to use jazz for the dead and his more typical surrealistic melancholic stuff for the living, it complements the film wonderfully and makes for a great listen. That said, there is quite a bit of less interesting material, despite the wonderful highs of this score.

Alice in Wonderland was a great score to get an expansion. The more I hear this one, the more I like it. It has its fare share of less interesting material, but there's so much great stuff. The main theme is fantastic. I love how we got a version without lyrics. I probably prefer the the one with lyrics, but it's nice to have both to choose from. And I also like how the demos were provided so we could see the progression of the main theme. Having the titles (and the alternate titles) are also great. Futterwacken cues are interesting to hear once, but they really sound like bad music that was trying to fit a horrible scene, so I doubt I'll be listening to these any time soon. (For the record, I don't blame Elfman for this decision, as the material he was given to work with in this particular scene was horrible).

The rest of the material is really cool to have. I've never really been that interested in demos, but a lot of the ones on this set are actually really different than the final versions. The "Alice's Theme" demos, the Oompa Loompa song demos, the Corpse Bride demos, the Nightmare demos, etc. all have a lot of significant differences from the actual versions and that's nice to hear. It's also nice to hear the songs from Nightmare in different languages. This is interesting enough in itself, but on top of that I'm glad that the Italian version of "This is Halloween" doesn't include the cackling at the very end. The orchestra only tracks were also really cool to hear. I defienitely prefer the versions with lyrics, but again it's nice to have both to choose from. And I really liked Elfman's work for MoMA...cool stuff. The rest of the "Oddities and Ends" were cool too. I wish we could have heard full orchestral versions of Elfman's ideas for the Edward Scissorhands ballet, but I'm glad we at least got demos. Finally, the music box suites were amazing. Each of them was great to listen to, some of hte strongest parts of the set musically speaking. I only wish Elfman only used music box sounds, and not the other stuff that is used a few times. Still, that's a minor complaint.

The packaging for the set was great. None of my set is falling apart or anything, and it looks fantastic. I love how the box has a music chip so that it can actually be a music box. The zoetrophe is a great addition. The entire set looks magnificent.

The book is one of the best parts of the set. Tons of really interesting information, and it's cool to hear the opinions of other composers, producers, directors, etc. I never knew Philip Glass was a fan of Elfman. My only complaint is that as the book progresses, the details seem to thin. The intricacies that were covered for the first few collaborations seem to disappear as the book advances chronologically. Probably a result of a rushed deadlines, which is a shame, because as I understand it the book was printed well before the final release date after the packaging caused delays, so there was probably ample time to finish the book if only the delays could have been anticipated. Still, it's a minor complaint and the book is still one of the best parts of the set. The DVD is nice too, although most of the information it discusses is discussed in the book already.

One more random tidbit: I think it's interesting that Elfman apologizes to the fans for presenting music in chronological order for Pee Wee and Nightmare, assuming they would prefer the album version. He seems a little out of touch with what the fans want. In the end it doesn't matter, as we can always reorder the tracks, I just think it's funny.

Overall, the set is great. I have hours and hours of music that I can familiarize myself with, and a great set to look at and admire. And maybe a few years later I'll even reread the book. It's not exactly a perfect set, but I would give it 4 out of 5 stars (if price is a factor, probably 3.5 stars).

 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2011 - 5:46 AM   
 By:   mstrox   (Member)

I received this over the weekend, and I've been consuming pretty much everything except for the music at this point. The book is great, the DVD is pretty good (although a lot of the information was verbatim from the book, and I would have preferred them to use bits of music from the box to illustrate the scores they were talking about and keep the disc from becoming too dry). I ripped all the discs to my computer, I played with the zoetrope. I've listened to a bit on the flash drive through my computer speakers, but only OST tracks to a couple of albums. Ready for the big push at work to listen to all 16+ discs of content in lossless during the week.

My box arrived slightly damaged (one of the ridges on the lid had fallen off) and it looks like it will glue-gun back on super-easily. I'm not ready to blame that on shoddy construction since the rest of the box seems really nice - most likely it was Amazon's poor shipping packaging.

I'm of the opinion that, yes, this is a bit too pricy. For the content of the set, $400 would have sat with me a lot better. I was originally pretty cynical about the flash drive, but I could see myself carrying it around sometimes and listening to it at work (since my 8Gig iPod won't hold all of the lossless files anyway). Haven't lost my cynicism for the zoetrope, but for people who are fond of high-end collectibles and conversation pieces I'm sure it's very nice.

I like that Danny seemed so involved in the selection of pieces for the box, and the expansions. The notes are a nice touch (although the album art on those booklets is printed pretty muddily, and a couple of them seem to be cut wrong so that they are somewhat slanted and there is a bit of off-white cardstock showing).

Usually I'm pretty big on C&C, but Danny largely stands by the album edits and I do think that's just great, for the most part since it's clear that it's his preference in most of the cases. It allows for these discs to be good listening experiences while still making the past (and hopefully future) C&C releases worthwhile. I'm glad that they mainly went C&C on Nightmare Before Christmas, only because I'd imagine further expansion would be difficult.

That's all I have to say at the moment, but that may change when I listen to the music in full.

 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2011 - 5:14 AM   
 By:   Bishop   (Member)

I've tried to create a complete link-list for all the "chronological order" stuff, however I'm unable to find according postings for the following soundtracks:

05 - Batman Returns
09 - Planet of the Apes
11 - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
12 - Corpse Bride

Have they been forgotten or do they not need such a list?

The rest can be found here:

01 - Pee Wee
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=24&threadID=77910

02 - Beetlejuice
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=25&threadID=77910

03 - Batman
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=27&threadID=77910

04 - Edward Scissorhands
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=26&threadID=77910

06 - The Nightmare Before Christmas
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=34&threadID=77910&archive=0

07 - Mars Attacks!
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=27&threadID=77910

08 - Sleepy Hollow
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=26&threadID=77910

10 - Big Fish
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=24&threadID=77910

13 - Alice in Wonderland
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=28&threadID=77910

EDIT: Unfortunately it is not possible to post a direct link to a posting, so I can only link to the specific thread page!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2011 - 5:16 AM   
 By:   fommes   (Member)

Everything's compiled here:
http://www.jwfan.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=5544&st=960&p=716082&#entry716082

 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2011 - 5:19 AM   
 By:   Bishop   (Member)

Awesome job!

Thanks for creating this comprehensive list. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2011 - 10:03 AM   
 By:   JohnnyRoastbeef   (Member)

So, I just got one of these for a good price, and it has arrived. But I'm left wondering, how does the box play the music box themes? There is a sticker that says "press here" on the underside of the lid near the zoetrope, but it doesn't do anything. Could someone give me some help? The official website doesn't really say either.

 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2011 - 10:52 AM   
 By:   Jeyl   (Member)

- So, I just got one of these for a good price, and it has arrived. But I'm left wondering, how does the box play the music box themes? There is a sticker that says "press here" on the underside of the lid near the zoetrope, but it doesn't do anything. Could someone give me some help? The official website doesn't really say either.

The entire board that surrounds the actual Zoetrope seems to act as a button for me. Try pressing around everywhere until you feel the board making a "click" motion. If not, unscrew the four screws and check the workings inside of it. The batteries could be bad or the switches got shot out of place.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2011 - 1:32 PM   
 By:   babbelballetje   (Member)

Mine didn't work either, but that's because the batteries were empty. You can easily screw the lid open.

 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2011 - 1:35 PM   
 By:   drivingmissdaisy   (Member)

I finally was able to get my favorite score out of the whole box set signed. Thanks to one of my BEST friends in helping me, see you soon buddy!

 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2011 - 7:19 PM   
 By:   Superman1701   (Member)

sigh....rub it in why dont you...

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2011 - 10:00 AM   
 By:   JohnnyRoastbeef   (Member)

- So, I just got one of these for a good price, and it has arrived. But I'm left wondering, how does the box play the music box themes? There is a sticker that says "press here" on the underside of the lid near the zoetrope, but it doesn't do anything. Could someone give me some help? The official website doesn't really say either.

The entire board that surrounds the actual Zoetrope seems to act as a button for me. Try pressing around everywhere until you feel the board making a "click" motion. If not, unscrew the four screws and check the workings inside of it. The batteries could be bad or the switches got shot out of place.


Thanks, I was wondering if it was supposed to start playing as soon as you open the box, but then I saw the "press here" sticker and assume you gotta press somewhere! I will try your ideas!

 
 Posted:   Feb 28, 2012 - 9:19 AM   
 By:   w-dervish   (Member)

Just went to my Amazon cart and received the following notice...

Please note that the price of Danny Elfman & Tim Burton 25th Anniversary Music Box has increased from $393.83 to $628.98 since you placed it in your Shopping Cart. Items in your cart will always reflect the most recent price displayed on their product detail pages.

That's a pretty big price jump. The box had been going down the last week or so. Anyone buy at the lower price?

 
 Posted:   Dec 28, 2013 - 10:46 AM   
 By:   General Kael   (Member)

Got this set for Christmas since it's now widely available on Amazon.com for about half of the original cost. And I was AMAZED at the mastering done on this set! Batman and Batman Returns sound much better than the LLL versions. At least to my ears, which made me decide to try that whole "looking at the sound 'wave'" thing, where I decided it looked the same, except the music box made it louder up to the point where it was about to clip the peaks, but didn't. They of course don't have as many tracks as LLL, but wow.

Edward Scissorhands sounds better as well. I didn't realize I was in for such a treat when I got this box. Anyway, thought I'd share in case any Batman fans missed out on LLL's releases. Also, it's worth noting that the box is selling new on Amazon for $275.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 28, 2013 - 5:26 PM   
 By:   Smaug   (Member)

I balked on the original purchase even though I'm a sucker for limited edition. Then I took my sadistic joy when the set delivery was delayed. Then I burned with jealousy when they offered the bonus signed extra disc.

So when I finally got enough scratch together to get a used one on eBay for $250, when it came it was a piece of crap all in pieces with the felt peeling off.

So I sold that one for a small loss. Then on a random fundraising online auction I paid something like $565 for one (had more money or something at that point but I also vaguely remember being alone and drunk and ballsy). So the box itself was signed by Elfman and maybe a week later I got the extra bonus disc on eBay. To boot, the signed box was one of the numbered ones.

I was totally content. Then I was at a work aquaintance who is in the music industry. I work in music too. And the person had the box there. I mentioned I was a fan and they gave theirs. So now I have two. It's nice.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 28, 2013 - 6:53 PM   
 By:   HalloweenBorg   (Member)

I balked on the original purchase even though I'm a sucker for limited edition. Then I took my sadistic joy when the set delivery was delayed. Then I burned with jealousy when they offered the bonus signed extra disc.

So when I finally got enough scratch together to get a used one on eBay for $250, when it came it was a piece of crap all in pieces with the felt peeling off.

So I sold that one for a small loss. Then on a random fundraising online auction I paid something like $565 for one (had more money or something at that point but I also vaguely remember being alone and drunk and ballsy). So the box itself was signed by Elfman and maybe a week later I got the extra bonus disc on eBay. To boot, the signed box was one of the numbered ones.

I was totally content. Then I was at a work aquaintance who is in the music industry. I work in music too. And the person had the box there. I mentioned I was a fan and they gave theirs. So now I have two. It's nice.



Any chance of giving that second box up to a willing fan who would take it off your hands??? smile

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 28, 2013 - 7:37 PM   
 By:   jacky   (Member)

I balked on the original purchase even though I'm a sucker for limited edition. Then I took my sadistic joy when the set delivery was delayed. Then I burned with jealousy when they offered the bonus signed extra disc.

So when I finally got enough scratch together to get a used one on eBay for $250, when it came it was a piece of crap all in pieces with the felt peeling off.

So I sold that one for a small loss. Then on a random fundraising online auction I paid something like $565 for one (had more money or something at that point but I also vaguely remember being alone and drunk and ballsy). So the box itself was signed by Elfman and maybe a week later I got the extra bonus disc on eBay. To boot, the signed box was one of the numbered ones.

I was totally content. Then I was at a work aquaintance who is in the music industry. I work in music too. And the person had the box there. I mentioned I was a fan and they gave theirs. So now I have two. It's nice.



Any chance of giving that second box up to a willing fan who would take it off your hands??? smile


I was just about going to ask him the same question wink

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 29, 2013 - 10:20 PM   
 By:   Smaug   (Member)

Ha! I'd love to but I can't if you knew who gave me the second one and why, you'd understand.

 
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