We LOVE WandaVision’s Theme Songs
I Love WandaVision’s music, and it loves me.
Episode 5 of WandaVision was mind blowing. When Pietro/Peter arrived at the door at the end of the episode, I joined the millions of fans worldwide who jumped out of their chair so fast it fell over. Yes, it’s true, and here is a YouTube compilation for visuals. If you need a video that sparks joy, then watching others react to that WandaVision scene over and over again is pretty delightful – trust me.
And what’s really obvious when watching the scene over and over again is the music, and the emotional impact of WandaVision‘s theme songs and original soundtrack.
Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez Join WandaVision
WandaVision‘s original theme songs were penned by the award-winning team behind Frozen‘s “Let It Go” and Coco‘s “Remember Me,” Robert Lopez, a double EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) recipient, and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, a two-time Oscar winner and two-time Grammy winner. According to Marvel.com, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the decision to join the show was a no brain-er for the songwriting duo, who already had connections to director Matt Shakman and head writer Jac Schaeffer.
Lopez went to college with Shakman, while Schaeffer wrote Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, which Anderson-Lopez’s sister did the music for. So the two songwriters were immediately excited for the MCU project with their talent friends. Lopez explained, “The first pitch was, ‘It’s Wanda and Vision in a bunch of TV shows! We need theme songs!’ And we were like, ‘yes.'”
The WandaVision Original Soundtrack
WandaVision is the latest Marvel Studios series to arrive on the Disney+ streaming service, and so far, the series is a love letter to the classic sitcoms that came before it: I Love Lucy, Bewitched, Dick Van Dyke, The Brady Bunch, Family Ties, Growing Pains, and more.
And if you guessed that you can’t have a decades-spanning sitcom-inspired series without a few catchy jingles here and there, then you were right.
The songwriting duo, Lopez and Anderson-Lopez, channeled different classic TV styles to get the right sound for each episode. Although the original pitch for the series was rather vague, soon after the writing process began, they had developed a theme to run through every single song – literally, the word WandaVision.
As Anderson-Lopez explained to Marvel.com:
The [singing] WandaVision is in every song hidden in some way. It’s this full major like, da, da, as an octave, and then, duh, na, is a tritone, which is a really unsettle – it’s called the devil’s interval. And that’s our way, our musical way, of saying what this series is. It’s this big swing, this big bright-colored swing while also being really unsettling and full of mystery.
[S]ince we had read the whole series before we started any of these songs, we knew the general conceit. And the first conversation we had was this is Wanda and she’s got these amazing powers. So yeah, each one of these theme songs is a different tone.
Now the first five episodes of WandaVision have premiered, a handful of original theme songs are already out in episodes streaming on Disney+, and Lopez and Anderson-Lopez have confirmed that we can expect more themes in the future weeks.
WandaVision Original Theme Songs Era by Era
As of this writing, there are five episodes, and four theme songs. It seems that the meaning of each episode’s theme song might matter to the story, and Adam Bankhurst at IGN is keeping a running tab on what that might mean for our titular heroes, Elizabeth Olsen‘s Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany‘s Vision, as well as a list of some sitcom references.
Over at Marvel.com, Lopez and Anderson-Lopez broke down each of the WandaVision theme songs, era by era:
Episode 1: “A Newlywed Couple”
You can read MarvelBlog’s recap of WandaVision Episode 1 here.
In the first episode, the opening chords of “A Newlywed Couple” are the first things that the audience hears, painting a quick picture of what Wanda and Vision have been up to since 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. But I guess painting that picture quickly through sound and lyrical choice is what writing the perfect TV theme song is all about.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about writing the first episode’s theme music, Anderson-Lopez said:
[Theme songs] have to evoke a decade. With the language, too. [Sings part of the first episode’s theme] “She’s a magical gal in a small-town locale!” We’re using “gal” and the duh-duh-duh. That triplet is pulling lyric and musical choice together, so it really sounds like it would’ve been written in 1958…Ultimately, our job is basically to do the job of [a title card]. Other Marvel movies would have the type come across and go, like, “Sokovia, 2009.” What we’re doing with these theme songs is setting tone and place and time.
Anderson-Lopez: Each song sets up a conflict of these two people and their love – the combination of Wanda and Vision is always against something. There’s always a conflict. And some of them are bright and smiling. Some of them are like, [singing] how will this duo fit in and pull through, oh?
Episode 2: “WandaVision!”
You can read MarvelBlog’s recap of WandaVision Episode 2 here.
In the second episode of the series, the theme song only consists of one word – WandaVision! – that’s still stuck in my head several weeks later, and the animated opening credit sequence is also PACKED with Easter eggs and sitcom references.
Additionally, the largely instrumental homage to the Bewitched theme seems to be the Internet’s favorite original song.
Lopez: This was a slam dunk.
Anderson-Lopez: All you have to say is “WandaVision.”
Episode 3: “We Got Something Cooking”
You can read MarvelBlog’s recap of WandaVision Episode 3 here.
The official word on the Episode 3 theme song is…
Lopez: I thought that you had picked all of those words in number three because of pregnancy. I mean, it was like expectation, like “expectant” and “complication” are pregnancy words and “sudden surprises,” that’s a pregnancy word. I thought it was all about the baby’s coming.
Anderson-Lopez: “Some surprises come in all shapes and sizes” It was setting up a complication of like, what’s happening here and then making it up as we go along. Also like it’s us versus the world.
Episode 5: “Making It Up As We Go Along”
You can read MarvelBlog’s discussion of the big spoiler moment in WandaVision Episode 5 here.
Notably, the fourth episode focusing on S.W.O.R.D. doesn’t have a theme song, and maybe that’s because the government base is located outside the Hex. However, Episode 5 more than makes up for it with a ’80s power ballad, with Anderson-Lopez and Lopez using inspiration from their own lives to write it. Although the official video hasn’t been released yet, here is a clip of the theme song from YouTube user DrStrider:
The official word on the Episode 5 theme song is…
Anderson-Lopez: Episode 5 was us channeling every 1980s rock singer and pop singer we could. So there’s a little bit of Jennifer Warnes in there, a little bit of Michael McDonald, and Kris Kristofferson, and Huey Lewis, and even Taylor Dayne. A little like— [singing] there will be days we won’t know which way to go.
Lopez: Part of what was so great [about 80s shows like] Punky Brewster and Growing Pains, those songs were so touchy-feely and ballad-like, and they were so long that we were able to afford ourselves a little more time and to really try and land the emotion of it because it agreed with the style that we were going for. And it felt a lot like the time of life that we’re in now. We have [children that are the same age as Wanda and Vision’s family], and we feel that way, that we’re crossing our fingers and just trying to make things work even as the world kind of crumbles around us. We’re keeping a force field around our family with love, and I think it was really easy to tap into that. And it was a song and style that we, kind of, wanted to write anyway.
Anderson-Lopez: So that’s the perspective we were resonating with, but those lyrics, the idea of like, [singing] when the going gets tough, when push comes to shove, we’re breaking it all. I hope it resonates with every family member out there dealing; every single day is tough. And you just gotta be like, OK, you can’t go to school, and I can’t go to work. Let’s make up how this goes.
Which episode of WandaVision has your favorite theme song? Original score? Let MarvelBlog know in the comments section below!