BBC Radio 2 Animated Movie Song Countdown

Peter and Thomas Newman’s song Down to Earth, from the film WALL-E, featured in BBC Radio 2’s Ultimate Animated Movie Song Countdown celebrating 50 years of classic, feel-good, animated movie songs.

The Top 50 countdown show, hosted by OJ Borg yesterday afternoon, was put together from a listener vote. You can listen to the programme and see which song was voted as the listener’s favourite here. If you can’t access BBC iPlayer the full list of songs is here.

Peter can be heard talking to OJ Borg as part of the programme, recounting some memories of the film WALL-E and the making of the song.

I’d seen some of it, a test run, and I knew the director Andrew Stanton and he asked if I’d be interested to try something. I’m a huge Pixar fan and he also said ‘Thomas Newman’s doing to the soundtrack, would you be up for working with him?’ I’m a big fan of his, I think Six Feet Under is one of the best TV theme-tunes ever, so I thought that would be fun too.

Andrew showed me some of the roughs, some of it when it is half-rendered and then you get drawings for the places where they haven’t yet finished. It was at that stage when we started working on it.

I thought it was strong idea for a film and it took a little while before we felt confident that we had something that worked. There was an initial thing on the verse that Tom came up with and then I got the chorus going and we tried to get the words. Then eventually we brought in the Soweto Gospel Choir, who are a fantastic group in South Africa, and I worked with them a couple of times before and they put the icing on the cake.

I had a great time with Thomas Newman whose work I had admired so I think as an all-round experience it was right up there.

The last time I saw it [was] about six months ago and I hadn’t seen it for quite a while, probably since the time of doing it. It reminded me what a great film it is.

Down to Earth won a GRAMMY in 2009 for Best Song written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. Define Dancing from the soundtrack, also written by PG and Thomas Newman, won Best Instrumental Arrangement. Down to Earth was also nominated for a Critics Choice Award, a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award that same year.