The scene featuring the poignant lullaby Baby Mine was perhaps the most memorable moment in Disney’s classic film Dumbo, which opened on October 23rd 1941. Serenading a touching moment between mother and son, the song featured music by composer Frank Churchill and lyrics by Ned Washington. Baby Mine went on to be nominated for an Oscar® for best original song.
Arcade Fire’s Win Butler has a very personal connection with the animated film: “There is a scene with a locomotive in the original Dumbo that uses an instrument called the Sonovox that my grandpa Alvino Rey made famous in the 1930s,” says Butler, “Every time I saw the film I thought it was him. When we were asked to do the end credit version of Baby Mine, I immediately got all of my grandfather’s old guitars and wanted to play them in the song. My mom plays the harp on the track, my brother the theremin, my wife [Régine Chassagne] sings and plays drums, and our son even plays the triangle, as well as the rest of our ‘family’ in Arcade Fire. I will forever relate to the song thinking about the people I hold so dear that are so precious to me. Listen for the cameo of my grandpa Alvino’s famous Sonovox at the end.”
Arcade Fire’s Régine Chassagne says the song and the movie are just as relevant today as they were nearly eight decades ago. “It’s a story we need to tell again,” she says. “A lot has changed since 1941, and we are still on that quest to allow for all people to accept and celebrate who they are on this planet.”
According to Mitchell Leib, president, music & soundtracks for Walt Disney Studios, he and the filmmakers wanted to create a version of Baby Mine for the end of Burton’s live-action reimagining that was as artistic and interesting as the film itself. “Not an easy ambition to accomplish,” says Leib. “Arcade Fire are a band I’d pursued over the years—but this time I had Tim Burton! I pitched the idea to Tim and his producer Derek Frey, and it turned out Arcade Fire are one of Tim’s all time favourite bands. The rest is history… a brilliant, new, interesting, artistic and very original version of Baby Mine now resides at the end of the new live action Dumbo”.
Directed by Tim Burton with score composed by Danny Elfman, Dumbo opens in UK cinemas on March 29th. The digital version of the Dumbo Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will be available from Walt Disney Records/UMC on March 29th, with a CD due for release on April 5th. Sharon Rooney - who portrays Miss Atlantis in the new movie - performs Baby Mine in the film.