In 1981, Frederick King Keller directed the first movie adaptation of Natalie Babbitt’s children’s novel Tuck Everlasting. Grey Larsen and Malcolm Dalglish composed and performed the musical score. The film has been a popular cable TV offering as well as a touchstone to thought-provoking classroom discussions of the deep questions raised in Babbitt’s classic novel. Keller’s film has been widely available for rental, and for loan from many libraries.
Disney’s 2002 Tuck Everlasting movie sparked massive renewed interest in this compelling novel.
Mae Tuck’s music box, and its haunting music, play a pivotal role in Babbitt’s novel and in both film adaptations (1981 and 2002). Grey Larsen composed two different music box themes for the 1981 film. Director Keller loved them both. He chose Theme #1 for the music box itself (which Larsen performed on a celesta), and the music of Theme #2 to underscore the scenes of Jessie and Winnie’s growing affection for each other.
Please download Grey Larsen’s letter to students, entitled “An Invitation: Make Up Your Own Tuck Everlasting Music Box Tune,” in which he encourages students, young and old, in school or self-taught, to become composers. He offers practical advice and many insights from a lifetime of creating music. Feel free to share this with anyone.