Danny Elfman's score to Oz the Great and Powerful joins the ranks of his classic scores, and stands up there with any of them, even with the best of his collaborations with Tim Burton...like those films, Oz provided him with material perfectly suited to his distinctive style. And in turn, he employed that style to compose music perfectly suited to Oz, helping to bring out its essential qualities of innocence and wonder, but also the strangeness and darkness that pervade it.
This is evident from the opening notes of the music box theme that is so integral to the story and is woven throughout the score, sometimes in its basic form and sometimes in lush string arrangements. We first hear the music box theme during the Disney logo, which then leads into a wonderful "Main Titles" that plays almost like a concert overture, giving us a taste of things to come. This is followed by the beautifully intimate "A Serious Talk", the hyper kinetic "Oz Revealed", and the wondrous "A Strange World". "Fireside Dance" is utterly enchanting. Other highlights include the heartbreakingly gorgeous "China Town", the sweetness and then whirlwind inventiveness of "Bedtime/The Preparation Montage", and the triumphant recap of "Time for Gifts" and "End Credits from Oz".
And everything in between makes for a great listening experience too, full of sweeping melodies and wonderful touches of color from xylophones and choral arrangements, over an hour of pure Elfman magic! This is one soundtrack every fan of Elfman, or just of great film music in general, should definitely add to his or her library.