ZOOTOPIA - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2016)
Considering the success of Walt Disney Animated Classic’s 55th animated feature, you probably have been bombarded by the movie’s soundtrack single “Try Everything” performed by Columbian superstar Shakira. You must also have realised how sunny and catchy this kid friendly tune is. And if you haven’t noticed, the song is dripping with optimism - just check out the lyrics co written by Sia.
"I won't give up, no I won't give in/ ’Til I reach the end and then I'll start again/ No I won't leave, I wanna try everything/ I wanna try even though I could fail"
The three minute track is probably chosen to open the 62 minute soundtrack album to draw marketing dollars, but the real gem here (for score fans, at least) is definitely Michael Giacchino’s composition.
The 48 year old American composer is the man behind some of the most recognised music for Hollywood’s biggest titles: Mission Impossible III (2006), Star Trek (2009), Super 8 (2011) and Jurassic World (2015). And then there are his works for the Pixar films: 2007’s Ratatouille, 2009’s Up (for which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Score), Cars 2 (2011) and Inside Out (2015). So we were really looking forward to what the multiple award winning composer would do with animated talking animals - and we were not let down.
There is a generous amount of score material on this CD. The ominous and percussion heavy “Stage Fright” is an odd piece to start with. After the brief setup, things get a little scarier with “Grey’s Uh Mad At Me”. You realise things Disney’s got things in place when the cue eventually transits into a emotionally fulfilling melody.
Giacchino shows his talent at diversity in this soundtrack - there’s the fun and parade worthy “Ticket to Write”, the gospel inspired “Jumbo Pop Hustle”, the hypnotically bohemian “The Naturalist” and the Italian mafia inspired “Mr Big”. There are also adventure cues like “Hopps Goes (After) the Weasel”, tension filled tracks like “Some of my Best Friends are Predators” and upbeat moments like “Gotta Get to the ZPD”.
There is much variety on showcase in Giacchino’s music, although you wish they would last a little longer. To get a sample of everything, jump straight to “Suite from Zootopia” for a glimpse of his talent. Give this CD a few listens, and you’ll be in awe of how great it plays on its own, independent of the film visuals.
Recommended Track: (22) Suite from Zootopia
Review by John Li