101 Dalmatians

One Hundred and One Dalmatians [Main Titles]/Good Morning, Pongo/Walk by Michael Kamen on Grooveshark
I honestly wasn't expecting this much fun from a score. A score from Michael Kamen much less! Michael Kamen is a brilliant composer but lets face it, his style of composing tends to be a little on the serious side. Yes, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves was a fun album, but for the most part, his music is pretty sober stuff.
This is one of the exceptions.
The 1996 film, 101 Dalmatians was supposed to be a remake of the 1961 Disney animated classic. The film starred Glen Close and Jeff Daniels but wasn't stellar enough to make enough in the box office or capture any major fans. The score itself, composed by Michael Kamen, faded into obscurity.
I recently found this gem of a score and enjoyed all 57 minutes of it. This score is pure joy!
Each track contained pleasant surprises for me. Granted, Kamen falls into the trap of "mickey mousing" that many other composers have fallen into, but it's limited, and enjoyable nonetheless.
Kamen avoided recycling material from the 1961 score by George Bruns.
The opening theme, Main Title (In the music player above), is a clever brassy, fast-paced orchestral track with a "bluesy" feeling. In fact, lots of the cues have an upbeat "bluesy" feeling reminiscent of classic film scores from the 60s. It's in that way, that I believe, Kamen pays tribute to Brunn's score.
The "bad guy's" theme is introduced in the second cue. The cue is reminiscent of Golden Age composer, Henry Mancini, with its brassy/jazzy-esq style.
In the cue, Daisy, Daisy, Kamen actually transitions to a public domain kids song in the end known as A Bicycle Built For Two. It's a fun, albeit short, orchestral romp!
A noble sounding trumpet melody is used for the theme of Kipper and is heard most notably in the cue, Kipper, the Die Hard Dog.
The cue, Woof on the Roof, is a cute and heroic march/action cue. Once, again, a lot of fun!
Pup, Pup, Puppies is a frenetically paced orchestral cue that includes fast paced piano notes that are obviously synth for two reasons. One, the music sounds somewhat fake at that point. Second, there is no way a pianist could play that fast!
The music in the cue, Reunion in the Barn, intensifies an obvious showdown. (Although, I haven't seen the film myself, it's kind of obvious what's happening!)
The final cue is a tender revision of the main theme and ends on a very satisfying note.
One of my favorite albums, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what happiness is made of!


1 Comment:

  1. Alicia Willis said...
    I like!

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