Planes by Mark Mancina on Grooveshark
Composer, Mark Mancina returns! After an extended hiatus, he returns to score an.......animated planes film?!
To set the record straight, Planes is not a Pixar film. It's from above the world of Pixar's film Cars, but is a Disney flick, not Pixar's. However, Planes boasted of having the same humor, wit, and creativity of a Pixar film, but having seen the film, it falls short of that unfortunately.
Mark Mancina, has been a long time composer and was especially popular in the 90s for his fast paced synthy thriller scores.
For Planes, Mancina composes a classic Americana style score which is reminiscent of his past works but with a little more good old-fashioned fun.

The album opens with three contemporary pop/rock songs. They are skip-able unless you enjoyed them in the film itself. They are followed by the main titles in the cue, Planes as heard on the popular trailer. It's a triumphant brass themed tune heavily influence by the heavy percussion although it's still obvious that Mancina relies on his synth and still maintains his 1990s method of scoring.
There are also various ethnic influences throughout the score. For the character Ishani, Mancina uses Indian tinged music which sound remarkably similar to Mychael Danna's score for The Life of Pi. It's heard most notably in the cue, Dusty & Ishani. For the character, El Chupicabra, Manicina reverts to Latin themed songs. The Spanish guitar is used in several of those cues. Near the end of the album there is a song titled,Love Machine, which starts out as a typical pop song but sunddenly transitions to a Spanish mariachi band styled song. That is because during that time, El Chupicabra is trying to win the heart of a Canadian racer, Rochelle as the actor of El Chupercabra (Carlos Alazraqui), performs it. It's serious fun to listen to!
Also among those are several other characters which have great themes.
Skipper's Story by Mark Mancina on Grooveshark  The antagonist, Ripslinger is given a hybrid theme mingled with orchestra and electric guitars while Skipper, a war hero in the film, is given a full choral treatment (Although his theme is known in the album as Volo Pro Veritas). Skipper is also given a simple orchestra war theme, which is heard in the cue, Skipper's Story. 
The main character, Dusty is given a classic soaring orchestra/acoustic theme which contrasts Ripslinger's theme and has the perfect "bad guy vs good guy" sound to it.
Another German band themed song performed by some of the Planes cast is clever, but repetitive (Titled, Ein Crop Duster Can Race). Also as an extra bonus, there is a short western styled cue titled, Armadillo.
In the end, Mancina has created a very fun album full of thematic material. It ranges from heroic to ethnic, to intense, to suspense, to Americana. The main theme and score is probably my favorite of the year thus far and I highly recommend looking into it!
Ein Mark Mancina can still compose! Wunderbar!

Best Track(s)
  • Planes
  • Skipper's Theme (Volo Pro Veritas)
Rating: *****


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