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?
Toy Story 2:
“When She Loved Me” – Sarah McLachlan
“With My Own Two Hands” – Ben Harper & Jack Johnson
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.
“Mahna Mahna” – The Muppet Band
Can’t you still picture the little puppets flopping forward and back?