About this item
About this item
Summer movies are all about potato salad and soda pop. They're not haute cuisine, and not meant to be. The soundtracks that accompany these efforts are as picnic packed as the films. Dreamworks' Madagascar is an escape film meant to entertain children and be palatable to their adult escorts. Hans Zimmer's music, and the support of The Ventures, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Louis Armstrong, make the combined effort work. Just the right combination of nostalgia and innocence makes this project work.
Hans Zimmer's theme track, "Best Friends," opens the CD. An instrumental, it combines just the right amount of Andy Griffith Show whistling, backbeat guitar and a John B. Sebastian Spoonful of lilt, to set the scene for a light and light hearted collection of easy tunes. The use of Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire" and the Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive" is a bit cliched. They're there as cultural conventions, like playing four bars of "Yankee Doodle" to identify the American in Paris. Quoting the theme from "Hawaii Five-0" serves the same master, but you just love to hear it. From the opening drums to the relentless Ventures surf guitar thing, it works. As a CD, not a movie score, this is what makes this collection work for all those moms and dads who need a CD for the car on that big vacation trip. "Five-0" transports us to another place and another time. Surf's up!
On the movie score tack, James Dooley's "Whacked Out Conspiracy" gives off a distinct Mission Impossible scent. Zimmer, Dooley, and Heitor Pereira have written some stylish and clever cuts in support of the movie. "Conspiracy," with it's cool conga groove and spy movie quotes, is fun to listen to, and makes the movie go. Back on the soundtrack tack, EWF's "Boogie Wonderland" is awesome. When you're sitting on the beach and some clever DJ is thumbing through the "oldies" list for a party tune, this is what you hope he'll find. The horns, the vocals, the harmony, and the relentless high-hat, all make this track one of the best of its time and best of its kind. It will take you right to "Boogie Wonderland."
The CD closes with Louis Armstrong singing "What A Wonderful World." You've heard it before, but you still see "skies of blue" every time. There's a thin line between corny and touching. That line moves over a few degrees when the summer sun shines. Madagascar is a kids' movie that parents are meant to enjoy. The soundtrack has all the right references to make it work for parents and kids, too. The beauty of growing up is all those sounds, scents and images that live on in memory.
By Dave Morgan