In 1962, following a double Oscar win for his music to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Henry Mancini moved on to a rather different project – a score for the safari comedy film HATARI!, starring John Wayne. The film is about a group of Western expatriates catching wild animals in Africa to sell them on to zoos around the world. As one might expect there are numerous dramatic wildlife chase scenes which culminate in a comic elephant stampede down an urban African street.
And so the Baby Elephant Walk was born, with its incredibly goofy and kooky theme. As Ted Mills of the All Music Guide said, “Get this tune in your head and it sticks”. It is an extraordinarily catchy number and its simplicity has made it one of Mancini’s most popular works.
Mancini’s brilliant music really does convey the sense of a large and plodding ‘toddler’ filled with the exuberance of youth. Who could resist arranging it for four bassoons?
For copyright reasons this title is only available in printed sheet music format