- Composed by John Ottman
- Varese Sarabande 302 066 989 2 / 2009 / 63:01
In general it seems that the studios can churn out any old crap – as long as it’s a CGI animation, people will go and see it. That theory has been tested a little for the first time really in 2009 – and Astro Boy‘s gross of under $20m might cause a few furrowed brows. Scoring the film – his first animation, I believe – was John Ottman, and while his past scores in the superhero genre might not have been particularly impressive to me, they obviously impressed the right people since he has scored a lot of them. Astro Boy has turned out to be one of the best of his scores in this genre – an old-fashioned, entertaining, energetic score.
The highlight is the terrific main theme. I don’t know exactly when the focus groups told the studios that their films must no longer contain main themes, but within the last few years memorable themes have been almost completely absent from cinema (Hollywood cinema, at any rate) and the fact that this score has a theme which is full of adventure and excitement is cause for much rejoicing. It’s true that much of the rest of the score is somewhat generic (well, you can’t have everything!) but whenever the fabulous main theme crops up, it’s easy to forgive that. Some of the action music is pretty impressive and the Miklos Rozsa pastiche in “Reluctant Warrior” certainly brought a smile to my face. For sure, it’s undemanding and doesn’t present anything which hasn’t been heard before – but Ottman is so enthusiastic it’s very easy to just go with the flow and enjoy the ride. ***