It may be over 25 years old, but Matilda is still as much of a family favorite today as it ever was. The film only features two songs, but the score, which was composed by David Newborn (a frequent collaborator of the film’s star and director, Danny DeVito) is extraordinary enough to make the soundtrack essential listening for film buffs and music lovers alike. Take a trip down memory lane as we revisit all of the key moments from the Matilda soundtrack.
34. Newborn – David Newborn
This delicate, quirky swirl of strings provides the perfect introduction to newborn Matilda.
33. Home from the Hospital – David Newborn
A bluesy combo of midi drums, hi-hats, and synths welcome baby Matilda home from the hospital.
32. Million Dollar Sticky Show – David Newborn
David Newborn’s score is nothing if not eclectic. Here, he uses a riot of brass, strings, and drums to create an almost carnival-style sound.
31. Matilda Writes Her Name – David Newborn
While Newborn’s score is crammed with chilling, dramatic moments, he’s just as capable of pulling a jaunty, upbeat number out of the bag, as he does here to spectacular effect.
30. To the Library and Beyond – David Newborn
A soft, tender piece next, laced with nostalgia but with enough of a swing to keep things moving.
29. Teardrop – David Newborn
This short but lovely piece somehow manages to sound breathtakingly beautiful but deeply sad at the same time.
28. Hair Tonic – David Newborn
Matilda might not have full control of her powers yet, but she’s still cable of pulling a dynamite prank.
27. The FBI – David Newborn
If any piece of music was designed to create intrigue, it’s this.
26. Wormwood Motors – David Newborn
A trip to Wormwood Motors rarely has a happy ending, but providing you had this drama-laced piece to accompany you, it’d still be worth the trip.
25. Let’s Get Sticky – David Newborn
If you’re not screaming Let’s Get Sticky with Mickeyyyy by the end of listening to this, it might be time to watch Matilda again.
24. After the Explosion – David Newborn
David Newborn has worked with Danny DeVito (who both starred in and directed Matilda) on a number of his projects – listening to this sublime piece of music, it’s not hard to see what’s made DeVito such a fan.
23. Crunchem Hall – David Newborn
Another dramatic, utterly thrilling piece next – if you didn’t have goosebumps at the start, you definitely will by the end.
22. Hammer Throw – David Newborn
Ms. Trunchbull steps up her cruelty and poor Amanda Thripp feels the brunt of it in this dramatic moment.
21. Ms. Honey – David Newborn
As the film’s sweetest character, it’s only fair that Ms. Honey gets some of the sweetest music to accompany her scenes.
20. Multiplication – David Newborn
When Ms. Honey realized Matilda is a genius… and the audience starts to suspect the same of David Newborn.
19. Trunchbull’s Office – David Newborn
A visit to Trunchball’s office should never be taken lightly, as this foreboding piece makes abundantly clear.
18. Let Him Eat Cake – David Newborn
Someone really should have told Brucie that sugar is bad for you….although if he had the sense to listen to this piece before he started to tuck in, he’d probably know that a little of what you fancy can sometimes be a very bad thing indeed.
17. Brucie Eats It All – David Newborn
Eating cake should be a pleasure for a kid, but as this ominous piece suggests, things are far from rosy in the world of the Trunchball.
16. Trunchbull Teaches Class – David Newborn
The only thing scarier than Ms. Trunchball turning up to teach a class? This spine-tingling piece.
15. Drinking the Newt – David Newborn
Ms. Trunchball finally gets a taste of her own medicine in the scene that accompanies this intriguing piece.
14. The Newt Dance – David Newborn
The Newt Dance is one of the most memorable scenes in Matilda, with Newman delivering the perfect music to accompany it.
13. Ms. Honey’s Story – David Newborn
If Ms. Honey’s story wasn’t enough to make you cry, this stirring section of the score certainly will.
12. Trunchbull’s House – David Newborn
Things take a dramatic turn as Ms. Honey and Matilda enter the Trunchball’s lair.
11. A Narrow Escape – – David Newborn
Newborn ramps up the drama as Ms. Honey and Matilda make their desperate escape from Trunchbull’s house.
10. Discovering Her Powers – David Newborn
A young girl discovers her powers, and an entire generation wakes up to David Newborn’s musical genius.
9. FBI in the Garage – David Newborn
David Newborn is a master of suspense, and here, he turns up the intrigue to the max.
8. Another Crime in the Making – David Newborn
Another Crime in the Making could only mean one thing – another moment of tense drama from David Newborn.
7. Carrot – David Newborn
Newborn’s score has its dramatic points, but it’s also got ethereal, shimmery moments like this, each one perfectly pitched to match the mood of the accompanying scene.
6. The Haunting – David Newborn
A cold, creepy piece to accompany a cold, creepy scene. When the clock starts chiming toward the end, the goosebumps kick in.
5. The Pitcher – David Newborn
Ms. Honey gets nervous, Matilda formulates a plan, and suddenly, the future is looking a lot rosier.
4. End of the Trunchbull – David Newborn
This stirringly dramatic piece plays as Ms. Trunchball finally gets her comeuppance.
3. Adoption – David Newborn
Poignant, hopeful, and utterly beautiful, this short, gorgeously sweet piece was the perfect way to end the film.
2. Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root
Only two songs feature in Matilda, one of which is this classic piece of rock from Rusted Root. Rightly described by syracuse.com as “perfect for a children’s movie,” it features in the movie twice, once during the scene when Matilda is home alone making pancakes and again at the end of the movie during the heartwarming montage of Matilda and Ms. Honey playing.
1. Little Bitty Pretty One – Thurston Harris
The second song to feature on Matilda is Thurston Harris’ Little Bitty Pretty One, which plays as Matilda learns how to harness her powers. Described by Bryan Thomas in “All Music Guide to Soul: The Definitive Guide to R&B and Soul” as “one of the best-loved oldies of the late ’50s,” its sweet, soulful vibes were the perfect choice for Matilda.