When I’m figuring out what sounds to use in a movie, the emotional resonance always comes first, before I consider the material mechanism at work. I’ve created the sounds of magical abilities for both Pixar and Marvel, but they have very different tones. The magic of Ian Lightfoot in Onward is cool and fun, but not too silly or dark, while the magic of Wanda Maximoff in Captain America: Civil War is violent, powerful, and beautiful. For the emotion of Ian’s magic, I’ll reach for materials like chimes and sparklers and fire poofs. Wanda’s magic is built from ripping textures, explosions, and scraped metal. In writing, I create similar emotional palettes with my word choices: one magic might pop, sparkle, whoosh, and fizzle, while another may scream, thunder, rip, sizzle.