Up (film score)

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Up - Walt Disney Records.jpg
2009 Walt Disney digital cover
Film score by Michael Giacchino
ReleasedMay 26, 2009
LabelWalt Disney / Intrada
ProducerMichael Giacchino
Pixar score chronology
Toy Story 3
Michael Giacchino chronology
Star Trek
Land of the Lost
Alternative cover
2011 Intrada cover
2011 Intrada cover

Up is the original score album, featured on the 2009 film of the same name composed by Michael Giacchino. This is his third feature film for Pixar after The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Giacchino wrote a character theme-based score that the filmmakers felt enhanced the story of the film. Up received positive reviews from music critics and won major awards. Despite being well regarded, Up was not released as a compact disc (CD) until 2011, when it became available via Intrada Records.

The score album was nominated to multiple awards. It earned two Grammy Awards: Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media and Best Instrumental Composition for "Married Life", at the 2010 ceremony. The score also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score at 67th Golden Globe Awards, the Academy Award for Best Original Score at the 82nd Academy Awards, and the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music. Up was the first Disney film since Pocahontas to win the Academy Award for Best Original Score, spanning a gap of 14 years, and the first Pixar film to win the award. It also became one of few scores to win an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, and a Grammy.


The type of compositional technique used on the score is called Thematic transformation, a technique commonly used in large-scaled classical music compositions, in which more than one theme is involved and related together in a single piece of music.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
About.com3.5/5 stars[2]
Empire4/5 stars[3]
Filmtracks4/5 stars[4]
Soundtrack Geek10/10[5]

The score received positive reviews from music critics. "Throughout the soundtrack, Giacchino keeps things fresh with his engaging melodies and variations, and Up succeeds as an old-fashioned score that doesn’t shy away from emotion or catchy tunes.", was the positive review from iTunes.[7] Christopher Coleman, from tracksounds.com, gave the score 8 out of 10 stars, commenting: "The experience of his [Giacchino's] original score went from mediocre to marvelous with a single viewing of the film".[6]

Danny Graydon, Empire writer, declared "Giacchino's primary theme moves from the jaunty jazz flourish of the opening titles" ... "The score's emotional content is further fuelled by two similarly flexible (albeit more subtle) themes".[3] Christian Clemmensen of Filmtracks.com awarded the score a four star rating out of five, but wrote a mixed review: "In general, the vintage jazz and Waltz combination is effective in raising the spirit of adventure specifically from the perspective of an elderly man, but this material could potentially sound geriatric to some listeners seeking only loftier fantasy elements". Regarding Disney's initial decision to not release the score on compact disc, Clemmensen went on to say "Unfortunately, with a score as dynamic in instrumental range as Up, hearing it in compressed MP3 form is simply unacceptable. This format may work for headphones, but the recording sounds dull and flat on any sizable stereo system."[4]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Michael Giacchino,[8] with the exception of the last three, which are sound effects.[1]

1."Up with Titles"0:53
2."We're in the Club Now"0:43
3."Married Life"4:10
4."Carl Goes Up"3:33
5."52 Chachki Pickup"1:14
6."Paradise Found"1:03
7."Walkin' the House"1:03
8."Three Dog Dash"0:51
9."Kevin Beak'n"1:14
10."Canine Conundrum"2:03
11."The Nickel Tour"0:52
12."The Explorer Motel"1:26
13."Escape from Muntz Mountain"2:43
14."Giving Muntz the Bird"1:58
15."Stuff We Did"2:13
16."Memories Can Weigh You Down"1:12
17."The Small Mailman Returns"3:11
18."He's Got the Bird"0:29
19."Seizing the Spirit of Adventure"5:19
20."It's Just a House"1:59
21."The Ellie Badge"1:30
22."Up with End Credits"7:38
23."The Spirit of Adventure"2:23
24."Carl's Maiden Voyage"0:52
25."Muntz's Dark Reverie"0:52
26."Meet Kevin in the Jungle"1:32
Total length:53:12

Album credits[edit]

Credits from Up notes:[9]

  • Michael Giacchinocomposer and additional orchestrations
  • Tim Simonec – orchestration and conductor
  • Dan Wallin – sound recorder and mixer
  • Peter Boyer – additional orchestrations
  • Jack J. Hayes – additional orchestrations
  • Larry Kenton – additional orchestrations
  • Jennifer Hammond – additional orchestrations
  • Hollywood Studio Symphony – performance
  • Stephen Davis – music editor
  • Mark Willsher – music editor
  • Reggie Wilson – orchestra contractor
  • Andrea Datzman – score coordinator
  • Luis M. Rojas – covert art design
  • Adande-special guest


Release history[edit]

Date Format Label Edition
May 26, 2009[11] Digital Download Walt Disney Records Standard
June 28, 2011[12] CD Walt Disney/Intrada Records Limited (10,000 copies)


Result Award Ceremony Recipients and nominees
Won Academy Award for Best Original Score[13] 82nd Academy Awards Michael Giacchino
Nominated Annie Award for Music in an Animated Feature Production[14] 37th Annie Awards Up
Won Austin Film Critics Award for Best Score[15] 5th Austin Film Critics Association Awards
Won Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music[16] 63rd British Academy Film Awards
Won Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Score[17] 14th Critic's Choice Awards
Won Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Original Score[18] 21st Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
Won Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score[19] 67th Golden Globe Awards Michael Giacchino
Won Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media[20][21] 52nd Grammy Awards
Won Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition — "Married Life"[20][21]
Nominated Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement — "Up with End Credits"[20][21] Michael Giacchino, Tim Simonec
Won Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Original Score[22] 13th Online Film Critics Society Awards Up
Won Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Original Score 10th Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards[23]
Nominated Satellite Award for Best Original Score[24] 14th Satellite Awards
Nominated Saturn Award for Best Music[25] 36th Saturn Awards Michael Giacchino


  1. ^ a b O'Brien, Jon. "Up [Original Score]". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
  2. ^ Green, Aaron. "A Review of Up: The Original Soundtrack by Michael Giacchino". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Graydon, Danny. "Review of Up". Empire. Bauer Media Group. Retrieved March 10, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Up (Michael Giacchino)". Filmtracks. January 25, 2010. Retrieved March 10, 2010.
  5. ^ "Up (Soundtrack Review)". Soundtrack Geek. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
  6. ^ a b Coleman, Christopher. "Pixar's Up (Soundtrack)". Tracksounds. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  7. ^ "Up (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)". The iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  8. ^ "UP Soundtrack". Walt Disney Records. The Walt Disney Company. May 26, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2010.
  9. ^ Giacchino, Michael (2009). Up (Liner Notes) (Digital Download). Michael Giacchino. Walt Disney Records.
  10. ^ "Up Chart History". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. June 13, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2010.
  11. ^ "Up". Amazon.com. Amazon Inc. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  12. ^ "Up". Intrada.com. Intrada Records. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  13. ^ "Nominees & Winners for the 82nd Academy Awards". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  14. ^ O'Neil, Tom (February 7, 2010). "'Up' takes top Annie Awards on road to Oscars". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  15. ^ "Austin Film Critics Association: 2009 Awards". Austin Film Critics Award. Austin Film Critics Association. Archived from the original on March 17, 2010. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  16. ^ "BAFTA Winners 2010". British Academy Film Awards. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. January 21, 2010. Archived from the original on April 5, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  17. ^ "Up Awards and Nominations". Internet Movie Database. Amazon Inc. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  18. ^ ""The Hurt Locker" Takes Top Honors". Chicago Film Critics Association. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  19. ^ "Golden Globes 2010 winners: 'Avatar' wins best picture, drama". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. January 17, 2010. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  20. ^ a b c "Nominees". Grammy Awards. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  21. ^ a b c "Nominees". Grammy Awards. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  22. ^ "'Hurt Locker' named Best Picture of 2009 by Online Film Critics Society". Online Film Critics Society. December 31, 2009. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  23. ^ "Phoenix Film Critics Society Names "Inglourious Basterds" Top Film of 2009". Phoenix Film Critics Society. Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  24. ^ "2009 14th Annual Satellite Awards". Satellite Awards. International Press Academy. Archived from the original on October 8, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  25. ^ "2009 14th Annual Satellite Awards". Saturn Awards. |access-date= requires |url= (help)