‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’ Soundtrack: Why the Disney+ Show Uses Classic Rock Music

The Mysterious Benedict Society is a new show for kids on Disney+. Though the show stars a group of children, all ages can enjoy it. Given that the show’s soundtrack consists of songs released long before its younger viewers were born, the music may be an aspect of the show that grown-ups appreciate. 

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the music on The Mysterious Benedict Society.]

Tony Hale as Mr. Curtain speaks to the class
Tony Hale | Harvey Shane/Disney

Screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by Zoom on June 8. They specified The Mysterious Benedict Society’s music in their scripts, so here’s why they chose classic rock. New episodes of The Mysterious Benedict Society premiere Fridays on Disney+.

Why the ‘Mysterious Benedict Society’ show has classic rock music

The Mysterious Benedict Society takes place in present day. Hay said the music they chose helped convey the tone they were going for. 

“It was kind of amazing,” Hay said. “We had this idea together that this is a type of music that we love that has a real specific place. That sort of ‘70s AM power pop, we sort of realized in a strange collision of all the stuff in this, visually and storywise, that this world, that’s what people listen to in our mind. That’s the kind of music people love.”

The makers of ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’ agreed on needle drops 

Hay and Manfredi are also executive producers of The Mysterious Benedict Society. They didn’t make all the music choices themselves. For example, a montage set to ELO’s “Livin’ Thing” was a group effort. 

Disney+ series The Mysterious Benedict Society cast gathers at Mr. Benedict's Institute
L-R: Ryan Hurst, Emmy Deoliveira, Mystic Inscho, Seth Carr and Marta Timofeeva | Diyah Pera/Disney

RELATED: ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’: What Did the Disney+ Series Change From the Book?

“We had the greatest music supervisor in the game, Randy Poster, who’s our friend and collaborator working with us,” Hay said. “Todd [Slavkin] and Darren [Swimmer], our showrunning partners, had a couple amazing ideas of very specific tunes, but ELO for example was just we were watching that first cut together of that montage and just thought, ‘Oh, I know. It’s finally time to use ‘Livin’ Thing.’”

Their playlist will play throughout the season

Manfredi added that he and Hay usually make playlists for their screenplays. They’ve written horror movies like The Invitation, adult dramas like Destroyer and comedies like Ride Along

Mysterious Benedict Society: Mystic Inscho walks through doors
Mystic Inscho | Diyah Pera/Disney

RELATED: ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’: Who Was the Jamie They Dedicated the Show To?

“When we were writing the pilot, we started compiling a playlist between the two of us of stuff we thought might be on theme for this,” Manfredi said. “We tried to work in a few of those if they were appropriate.”

Hay revealed another song from their playlist you’re going to hear on The Mysterious Benedict Society. 

“Spoiler for later in the season, I’ve tried to get ‘Let Your Love Flow’ by The Bellamy Brothers, it’s been my dream to sometime have that in something,” Hay said. “Finally, it’s there. So ‘70s AM pop is where it’s at for us.”