Randy Newman: My Life in 15 Songs

Here's how a comic genius built one of American music's greatest catalogs

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"You've Got a Friend in Me"

Toy Story was my first big, animated movie. It's different from doing a regular feature. When Tom Hanks falls down in a movie, you don't necessarily go [mimics the rhythm of someone tumbling down a flight of stairs]. But when [the toy cowboy] Woody falls down, it doesn't look right if you don't have that sound. The song [Newman's first Oscar winner] is about the friendship of Woody and the boy, Andy. I asked for adjectives; they gave me "friendly," "comforting." I took them seriously. Cartoon figures have adult emotions, just like a character in Dunkirk. I have definitely found a place in animation. But I got typecast. I don't get offered things like Out of Africa. I'd do them. They're easier. You never stop in animated pictures. In a drama, they're not skipping around all the time.

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