May 27, 2006

Kid movies with good soundtracks

Not much hard-hitting musical coolness today – instead, let’s talk about music the whole family can love. Last night my creative friends had the idea (very late in the evening) to rig a projection of The Incredibles onto the wall on the side of their house in the backyard using the borrowed equipment from the high school where one teaches – and you always WONDERED what your teachers did afterhours! Ha! There were s’mores and my hair still smells campfirey good.

But I was reminded of this post-in-progress that I started last week as I listened. Have you noticed that animated/computer-generated films are focusing more on their soundtracks in recent years? It’s a far cry from “Under The Sea” in the Little Mermaid from the days of my elementary school youth (now I am SO gonna have that song stuck in my head all day).

Is it perhaps because all the cool teenagers of the ’80s and ’90s are growing up, having kids (see the fabulous grups article), and want to sit through obligatory movies-with-their-offspring without wanting to poke the bendy straws through their eardrums?

I heartily enjoy the trend towards decent music (and even a few adult jokes in the subtext) in these animated films. Superb songwriter Randy Newman‘s continuing involvement with recent animated films has brought newly focused attention to the audio portion of these flicks. Subsequent Pixar (and Dreamworks) movies have capitalized on that trend, from Shrek to Shark Tale to the recent Cars. Even The Incredibles tapped composer Michael Giacchino (Alias theme song – mp3) to do the stealth techno instrumental soundtrack.

So, in borrowing a page from (sm)all ages today, here is some music from recent kid films that doesn’t suck. On my next “decide what you want to do with your life/shadow a professional day” (wait, I’m not in high school anymore, dang) I want to learn more about making movie soundtracks. How cool of a job would that be?

Shrek:
Hallelujah” – Rufus Wainwright
I’m On My Way” – The Proclaimers

Shrek 2:
I Need Some Sleep” – Eels
Ever Fallen in Love” – Pete Yorn

Toy Story 2:
When She Loved Me” – Sarah McLachlan

Herbie: Fully Loaded:
Metal Guru” (T. Rex cover) – Rooney
Roll On Down The Highway” (BTO cover) – The Donnas
“First” – Lindsay Lohan
oh, just kidding

Curious George:
With My Own Two Hands” – Ben Harper & Jack Johnson

Lilo & Stitch:
Stuck on You” – Elvis Presley

Shark Tale:
Three Little Birds” – with Sean Paul & Ziggy Marley

And Nathaniel has three from Over The Hedge/Ben Folds:
Rockin’ The Suburbs” (Over The Hedge version) – Ben Folds with good ‘ole Bill Shatner
Lost In The Supermarket
(Clash cover) – Ben Folds
Still (Reprise)” – Ben Folds

Visit I Guess I’m Floating for a few more of those. Also, the Cars soundtrack (out June 6) is loading up on the big names in alt, rock & country. I can’t find any preview tracks to share with you, but it’ll have Sheryl Crow, James Taylor, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, Chuck Berry, and Hank Williams, as well as the obligatory Randy Newman score. None of this will alter your world, but it’s pleasant enough to pass the time. Which is, I guess, what kids’ movies are looking for.


Although I definitely would argue that all this cool music started back with the Muppets:

Mahna Mahna” – The Muppet Band

Can’t you still picture the little puppets flopping forward and back?

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6 Comments »

  • Magnificent post Heather and thank you so much for The Muppets show track …priceless!

    Take care… Salu2

    Mario — May 27, 2006 @ 1:14 pm

  • great post but please no Proclaimers :)

    Mike — May 27, 2006 @ 4:01 pm

  • Thanks Heather, for the plug and also, thanks for the songs… I didn’t have a couple of those! -Clea

    superclea — May 28, 2006 @ 9:15 am

  • Ditto on Mahnna Mahnna…I leaped out of my seat seeing that file.

    thanks for sharing!

    Faith Junkie — May 28, 2006 @ 9:51 am

  • :) fun!

    Dodge — May 28, 2006 @ 5:12 pm

  • funny i downloaded a muppet disco album the other day if anyone is interested. I have an original 1969 vinyl of sesame street cast record. i put it on cd for my kids. they love it. classic.

    I also have the original muppet show album on record too. it has manna manna on it, and lots of crazy other crap. btw, in the credits.. it mentions the hanso foundation???

    btw, “When She Loved Me” – Sarah McLachlan
    this song makes me cry every time!! what a voice.

    ok, the hanso foundation is a LOST reference for any of you readers who might “get it”.

    jethronh — May 30, 2006 @ 10:31 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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