Based on the film score composed by Kevin Lau & Ronald Royer, with orchestrations by Chris Meyer.
Audio Excerpts (MP3)
Every kid needs a special friend to guide him through tough times. For Willy, that friend happens to be Gooby, his chidlhood teddy bear, come to life and animated by the voice of Robbie Coltrane (the Harry Potter films.) Gooby is the creation of Wilson Coneybeare, who wrote, produced, and directed this Canadian children’s feature, which also stars Eugene Levy as Willy’s not-so-helpful substitute teacher. With its universal themes of love and friendship, the film gave co-composer Ronald Royer and myself the opportunity to craft a score that was both richly emotional and filled with youthful energy and purpose.
The challenge in adapting an hour-long film score for the concert hall was to create a piece of music that would reflect the musical material of the score while retaining its own identity as a concert work. In creating the Gooby Suite, I strove to piece together the various themes from the film score in as organic a manner as possible. The Gooby Suite is intended to be the modern equivalent of a Romantic symphonic poem: in an age where cinema, with its vast integration of disciplines, has become the dominant force in both art and pop culture, it seems inevitable that film music should eventually find its place in the concert hall.
The Gooby Suite opens with an extended version of the film’s main titles. Subtitled “Willy’s Adventures”, this section prominently features Willy’s Theme—a soaring melody suggesting the wide-eyed innocence of childhood. The theme undergoes some darker transformations as Willy’s imagination begins to run amok. The section draws to a mellow close, followed by the “Construction Waltz,” which serves as a prelude to Gooby’s Theme. The waltz begins clumsily, but soon explodes into a wild, carnival-esque fanfare. A mysterious, magical transition leads into the first full statement of “Gooby’s Theme”, in all its warmth and compassion. This is followed by the elegiac but radiant “Farewell” cue, signifying the eventual end of the bond between Willy and Gooby. “Journey” is a bright scherzo which culminates in the sweeping Friendship theme. Finally, “Finale” combines several cues—including the pivotal rescue of Willy by his father, whose theme is revealed at the climax of the suite—into an epic finish.
- September 27, 2008 - Sneak Peek Orchestra, conducted by Victor Cheng. Calvin Presbyterian Church, Toronto
- April 19, 2013 - Sneak Peek Orchestra, conducted by Victor Cheng. St. Gabriel's Passionist Parish, North York.
- see: Gooby (film music)