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Jerry

Best Disney Classics and Disney Pixar Scores?

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Jerry here!

I have taken a strong interest in the scores of Disney Pixar movies recently, namely Giacchino's Ratatouille, Newman's Finding Dory, and Beck's Frozen. I would like to further explore this branch of scores from Disney Pixar collaborations, Disney classics, and other movies of these sorts. I am going to try WALL-E this weekend, another work of Newman.

Suggestions are much welcome. 

 

Please note that I am open to anything, and while I have enjoyed the scores of Disney movies, other movies outside of that umbrella are welcome. 

 

Thanks!

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I'm surprised you listened to Finding Dory before its superior original, Nemo (the score, that is. I actually like Dory, the movie, a little more than the original).

 

Anyway, the obvious suggestion is the much beloved Menken/Ashman stuff. Of that branch, my favorite was always Little Mermaid, but the majority seem to be partial to Beauty and the Beast, so what the hey.

Of the Walt Disney classics (as in, the ones Walt himself was involved in and all that), I'd point to Dumbo, Bambi and Pinocchio. 

My favorite Pixar score is probably Randy Newman's Monsters Inc. Up is such a good score, I'm still baffled it's a Giacchino (who I otherwise enjoy fine, but Up remains the only score of his I outright LOVE). 

There's a gorgeous wealth of good scoring in Disney films of all era, though. This is just the tip of the iceberg. 

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The Incredibles

Up

Moana (don't skip the songs - the one song includes a triumphant reprise of the score's hero theme which is sort of a culmination)

Anything with Alan Menken's name on it (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Hunchback, Hercules, etc etc)

 

It may be sacrilege, but pre-1990s I've never really enjoyed a Disney score outside of a surrounding for the songs.

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For me, the main Disney thing is Alan Menken. No one better. But there are some great things in the past too. I did a webcast special on Disney music awhile back:

 

http://celluloidtunes.no/celluloid-tunes-50-disney-spesial/

 

You won't understand a word, as it's in Norwegian, but you can see the playlist to see what we select.

 

I've never been that enamoured with Pixar efforts, but there are some great things there too (especially Randy Newman's stuff).

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20 hours ago, mstrox said:

may be sacrilege, but pre-1990s I've never really enjoyed a Disney score outside of a surrounding for the songs.

 

Not even The Great Mouse Detective? It's got a singing Vincent Price, and this:

 

 

2:53 on? Crank it, baby.

 

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THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE is fantastic, both score and film. I interviewed Musker and Clements about that film and their other work last year. Alas, translated to Norwegian, but you can always Google Translate: http://montages.no/2017/02/en-helt-ny-jord-en-samtale-med-de-legendariske-disney-regissorene-john-musker-og-ron-clements/

 

Anyways, plenty of great pre-90s Disney scores, of course. I wouldn't know where to start or stop.

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for me:

 

Best disney classic score: Snowwhite

Best disney renaissance score: The Hunchback of Notre Dame-Beauty and the Beast-The Lion King (almost tie between the 3)

Best pixar: I'd say The Incredibles but I'm not sure

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I think Pixar films have fantastic scores, they play very well in context and elevate the film. The films also typically provide lost of opportunities for the scores to shine. Gia is a great beneficiary. Inccredibles, Ratatouille, Up and even Inside Out all have tremendous impact in the film. The score of Up is effective beyond all imagination. You could say it is very manipulative but boy does it wreck people.

 

I think Randy Newman's work on the Toy Storys is also good. Not super distinctive but nice specially since the Toy Storys are the talkiest and the most script driven Pixar films so they more need underscore and stuff.

 

And lastly Newman has done nice work for them on the Finding films. The work is nice, gentle, elegant and sophisticated but a bit restrained. No large bursts of melody. Wall-E on the other hand is a more strident score. Again has terrific impact in the film specially since the film has very little dialog and the leads don't speak so large stretches function on the score. 

 

But all round super terrific work. Pixar is definitely committed to having great scores and hire quality composers.

 

12 hours ago, Koray Savas said:

Still no mention of The Lion King?

 

... The Lion King. 

 

You dare besmirch this thread by taking the German's name?

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1 hour ago, TheUlyssesian said:

I think Pixar films have fantastic scores, they play very well in context and elevate the film.

I don't know, they may have a couple of good themes, but on the whole most sound anonymous to me personally.

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Toy Story Trilogy, The Black Cauldron, The Incredibles, Up, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, WALL-E, Aladdin, Meet the Robinsons are a few that come to mind.

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Hmmm. THE BLACK CAULDRON doesn't get enough love, imo, and probably for good reasons. That being said, it still has a lot to offer (John Hurt, and a terrific score, by Elmer Bernstein, to name but two things).

@Arpy, did you ever see it in 70mm?

 

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6 minutes ago, Richard said:

Hmmm. THE BLACK CAULDRON doesn't get enough love, imo, and probably for good reasons. That being said, it still has a lot to offer (John Hurt, and a terrific score, by Elmer Bernstein, to name but two things).

@Arpy, did you ever see it in 70mm?

 

I saw it on VHS back when I was a kid in the late 90's.

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For Disney, it is all about Menken.  Beauty and the Beast, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame are his finest.

Must put in a good word for The Lion King and Mulan (but not the songs on either one).

Frozen's pretty good too.

For Pixar, nothing tops Finding Nemo.

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Well I'm pretty well set with Pixar.

I have listened to a wide range in the past few months- 

Finding Dory

Frozen 

Finding Nemo

WALLE 

Up

Ratatouille

As for Disney, Menken seems to be the best bet. I forgot about the great musical style of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which includes some truly superb songs. 

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Crikey! The youth of JWFAN strikes again. I mean, Menken is a great hero of mine, and late 80s and 90s Disney is probably my favourite too, but I'm surprised so few of you acknowledge the previous 60 years of brilliant Disney scores.

 

Of those, I have a particular fondness for "The Five" (SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO, DUMBO, BAMBI and FANTASIA [OK, classical music, but still]), as well as LADY AND THE TRAMP, SLEEPING BEAUTY (gobsmackingly beautiful!), THE FOX AND THE HOUND, THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE (arguably Mancini's best orchestral score) and THE RESCUERS DOWN UNDER (one of Broughton's alltime best, coinciding time-wise with the Menken revival).

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