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Your Favorite of JNH’s Disney “Trilogy”?


James Newton Howard’s Disney “Trilogy”  

28 members have voted

  1. 1. Which one is your favorite?

    • Dinosaur
      16
    • Atlantis: The Lost Empire
      7
    • Treasure Planet
      5


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As one Disney exec said in the DVD extras "we should have given James a story credit on Dinosaur".   My vote goes for that one.

Yes, definitely DINOSAUR. The others are fine too ("The Crystal Chamber" from ATLANTIS is one of JNH's highlights tracks ever), but not on that level. Here's some footage I shot of a live performance

All three haver fine moments, but with a gun on my head i'd answer that the reflective romantic parts of Treasure Planet are my favourite. 

@Albus Percival WulfricI’d never read that interview excerpt before. Thanks for sharing that! Great find.

 

Does anyone know if Jerry Goldsmith lent James some of his African chant samples? “The Courtship” (vocal at 1:32) was definitely straight outta Ghost and the Darkness...I know Howard is a big fan of his. Perhaps it was just a tip of the hat.

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2 minutes ago, WampaRat said:

I’d never read that interview excerpt before. Thanks for sharing that! Great find.

 

Does anyone know if Jerry Goldsmith lent James some of his African chant samples? “The Courtship” (at 1:32) was definitely straight outta Ghost and the Darkness...

All I know is that Disney suggested LeboM to organize an African chorus after their succesful collaboration on The Lion King. Maybe that's where the entirety of the African element comes from.

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Gee, that's a tough question. I love all three of them.

 

Dinosaur has the opening montage, terrific themes and some great emotional music. Atlantis has some excellent action and epic music. Treasure Planet (which I just re-listened the other day) has some brilliant moments and the "Silver Comforts Jim" cue which is very touching.

 

In general, I believe Dinosaur is the superior score, but as I said, all three of them are great.

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4 hours ago, WampaRat said:

@Albus Percival WulfricI’d never read that interview excerpt before. Thanks for sharing that! Great find.

 

Does anyone know if Jerry Goldsmith lent James some of his African chant samples? “The Courtship” (vocal at 1:32) was definitely straight outta Ghost and the Darkness...I know Howard is a big fan of his. Perhaps it was just a tip of the hat.

 

Dinosaur was originally supposed to be scored by Goldsmith, if I'm not mistaken. It was tracked to hell with Ghost and the Darkness, among other Goldsmith scores. 

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7 hours ago, Thor said:

 

Yes, definitely DINOSAUR. The others are fine too ("The Crystal Chamber" from ATLANTIS is one of JNH's highlights tracks ever), but not on that level. Here's some footage I shot of a live performance of "The Egg Travels" from DINOSAUR in Ghent a few years ago, with JNH present:

 

 

 

Such a good night. :rock2:

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Thanks for the thread on one of my most favorite Special Topics in Film Music!  I voted for Treasure Planet just because it's such a criminally underrated film, and the score is one more well-oiled cog in the machine.  The production design in that movie is freaking visionary―honestly, I defy you to find a major-studio animated film from the past 30 years that's as bold and original in its designs as that one.  They had a concept and committed to it 1,000 percent.  And the score is just a fantastic seafaring adventure score.  Minus the theremins for Martin Short's B.E.N. and the guitars for Jim, you could put this score on a straight-up Treasure Island movie and it would work like gangbusters.

 

And holy cow, there are a lot of leitmotifs!  Jim, Silver, the voyage, B.E.N., Flint and the pirates, Morph―even Captain Amelia gets a one-off melody.  I could go on and on about this score, and I've already bought the expansion in the various parallel universes where it exists, but they couldn't make it back through the wormhole with me.

 

What holds me back from picking Dinosaur is how un-melodic the predator music is, and how dominant it becomes later in the score.  Likewise, the Atlantean sections of Atlantis have some lovely moments (@Thor, I agree: that solo soprano moment in "The Crystal Chamber" is one of the most gorgeous simple melodies anyone ever wrote, and the buildup to it is priceless).  But there's a little too much atmospheric percussion and wailing vocals for my tastes in the midsection.  The main theme of Dinosaur is the best of the lot, and Atlantis has some very high highs, but Treasure Planet will always have my heart.  As a kid raised on the Disney Renaissance, I was contractually bound to purchase these soundtracks on release, and because of that, JNH deserves a lot of credit for getting me into film music.  These might be the first all-instrumental non-Star Wars soundtracks I owned.

 

@WampaRat or anyone else, can you post the bit from Ghost and the Darkness that sounds most like "The Courtship"?  I read that comparison on Filmtracks decades ago and never found the smoking gun―or else I did find it and wasn't convinced by the smoke.  But hearing it again here, I'm wondering.

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@igger6There’s a motif/unique call/chant that Goldsmith uses all throughout the Ghost and Darkness. (On the OST you can hear it in “Lion’s Reign” or “Remington’s Death” and throughout a couple other tracks) Listen to at least those two tracks. And then listen to “The Courtship” from Dinosaur. At around the 1:32 you can hear that same unique chant pop up. Nothing egregious. Just a little “tip of the hat” I would say.

 

The only other connection you  could loosely make between Dinosaur and Ghost and the Darkness might be the theme in  “Stand Together” cue (Dinosaur) kinda resembles the theme in “ Prepare for Battle” (Ghost/Darkness OST) But Id say Howard does a terrific job at skirting around any serious “temp-track-itis” Dinosaur is a terrific score all around.

 

(Again, it’s just a tiny sample he uses once. But my ears perked up the first time I heard it in Dinosaur)

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17 hours ago, Albus Percival Wulfric said:

All I know is that Disney suggested LeboM to organize an African chorus after their succesful collaboration on The Lion King. Maybe that's where the entirety of the African element comes from.

 

Sort of, yes. No doubt Lebo M's success with THE LION KING spurred his hiring on CONGO (which you've all forgotten, for some reason), which again led to THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS - not including Lebo M in that case, but the general colours of Goldsmith's preceding African score. I wouldn't be surprised if any of this 'general African ambiance' bled over to a few JNHs as well.

 

But the African colours in a western-style idiom did not start with THE LION KING, even if it popularized it over here. Zimmer himself nurtured similar elements in THE POWER OF ONE, for example (also with Lebo M). Or Small in MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON. Or Fenton in CRY FREEDOM. Etc.

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