Soundtrack Review: The Good Dinosaur

Soundtrack Review: The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score The Good Dinosaur by Mychael Danna & Jeff Danna.

At a glance:

Geek Score: 84.7
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 24.3
Album Excellence: 38%

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

The Good Dinosaur is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated film directed by Peter Sohn and starring Raymond Ochoa, Anna Paquin and Frances McDormand. It is produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Luckily for young Arlo, his parents (Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand) and his two siblings, the mighty dinosaurs were not wiped out 65 million years ago. When a rainstorm washes poor Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) downriver, he ends up bruised, battered and miles away from home. Good fortune shines on the frightened dino when he meets Spot (Jack Bright), a Neanderthal boy who offers his help and friendship. Together, the unlikely duo embark on an epic adventure to reunite Arlo with his beloved family. The score is composed by Mychael Danna & Jeff Danna.

A new Pixar film? Already!? I Think this is the first time two Pixar animated films has been released in the same year. Times they are a changin’. More fun for everyone though! I love Pixar and this film looks gorgeous but I worry if it’s style over substance. The Danna’s are scoring this and I have a few questions there as well. Hopefully it all comes together in the best way possible. The score opens with ‘Homestead’ a very folksy tune, inspired a bit by country music. It has a lot of emotions though and I love that. Getting really excited for the rest. From a bit of touching Americana to a more playful piece in ‘Hello Arlo’. I feel it’s holding back though. It’s cute, but I feel the restraints. I want more fun, more playfulness. Again, it’s inspired by country music. I am surprised by that, but I haven’t seen the film so it probably makes a lot more sense then. I assume that the music will change character as the score (and movie) progresses.

I am enjoying this score so far, it’s very sweet and innocent sounding for most of the first half. It’s a charmer, that’s for sure and there are no doubt a number of tear jerker scenes in there based on the music. I was right about the music changing direction as the score progresses. There’s less country and more drama and a little bit of silliness as well. The emotional thread that’s been happing so far seems to have been cast out sans a few exceptions. The action material like ‘Fight Them Rustlers’ and ‘Sky Sharks’ isn’t that great though. The music feels a bit stale compared to a few other Pixar scores, but the Danna’s does a decent enough job. What I enjoyed the most was the first half because I connected to it emotionally. The music was sweet and innocent and that was clearly the strength here and probably in the movie as well. At the end there’s ‘Goodbye Spot’ which will no doubt be the saddest moment of the film and the music, particularly from around 2 minutes is tapping in to that emotion. It’s been good, but could have been better is my feeling about the score. What do you think?

1. Homestead
4. Make Your Mark
5. Fireflies
8. Family Struggle
10. Mountain Top
16. Orphans
22. Run With The Herd
28. Goodbye Spot
29. Homecoming
30. Arlo Makes His Mark

GD Star Rating
Soundtrack Review: The Good Dinosaur, 7.8 out of 10 based on 9 ratings


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