Composer consults with his kids

Mothersbaugh created diaster-flick score for 'Meatballs'

When composer Mark Mothersbaugh set out to write a score for kidpic “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” he brought in his toughest critics: his children.

“My kids … don’t know how to be dishonest and they don’t know how to be disingenuous about what they think about music,” Mothersbaugh explains regarding daughters Hui Hui, 8, and Margaret, 5. “I gravitated towards their choices a lot of times.”

Beyond their feedback, Mothersbaugh could rely on his years of experience working on more than 20 kidshows or films including “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” “Clifford the Big Red Dog” and “Rug­rats.”

Using 100 players from the London Symphony, 80 singers from the London Choir and analog synthesizers from the days of Mothersbaugh’s band Devo, he was able to compose a 31-track score as large as the Earth-shattering meatballs themselves.

“I wanted to do a kid-sized disaster-flick soundtrack where it wasn’t too scary but exciting and matched the size (of the film),” Mothersbaugh says. “I’m glad I made the music as big as I did, because if it would have been a smaller orchestra it would have been overwhelmed by the visuals.”

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