Today (Jan. 23) the animated musical Strange Magic opens in theaters. Written and produced by George Lucas, the film draws from popular music from the past few decades, ranging from the Elvis Presley hit “Can’t Help Falling In Love” through Michael Franti and Spearhead’s “Say Hey (I Love You,)” and including other decades-spanning hits like “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again,” “Three Little Birds,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You.)”
The film’s title, of course, shares a name with the classic Electric Light Orchestra song and, yes that song appears in the film as well. (The original versions of each of the songs are all in the movie, but they’re sung by actors; “Strange Magic” is crooned by Alan Cumming and Evan Rachel Wood.)
It’s far from the first time ELO’s music has memorably licensed over the years (and surely won’t be the last), so we thought this to be the perfect occasion to reminisce over some of its best uses.
“Showdown” from Kingpin (1996)
Bill Murray and Woody Harrelson’s characters go head-to-head in a bowling match in this early Farrelly Brothers classic. Woody’s character, Roy Munson, has an interesting handicap: he bowls with a rubber hand (it’s complicated, but that’s also Murray’s character’s fault). Murray’s “Big Ern” McCracken has both hands, but oy, that hair.