- Composed by John Powell
- Varèse Sarabande / 2012 / 58:30
The fourth film in the Ice Age franchise (a franchise of improbable longevity), Continental Drift sees the world’s continents start to, well, drift, and this causes chaos for the lovable trio at the heart of the series. John Powell returns for his third film in this franchise and his eight hundred thousandth score for an animation overall. Powell seems to have never-ending energy for these projects, but I must admit my enthusiasm began to wane some years ago. The scores are just fine for the films themselves, always full of the right mix of action and adventure, but while it was easy to get invigorated by the sheer enthusiasm of it all back in 1998, having heard pretty much the same bag of tricks so many times over now means it’s pretty hard to get the motivation to listen to any of them.
In fact, this is the composer’s most entertaining score for an animation in quite a while, but that statement doesn’t quite carry the weight it once did. If you haven’t reached the same stage as me and are still as impressed by these scores as ever, then you ought to love this one. The usual frenetic orchestral passages are here, the familiar themes return, there are some decent new ones (including some entertaining material for pirates written for a whole bank of accordions) and everything is very slick. Mercifully, the album doesn’t have loads of very short cues, the music instead coming in longer forms. On the downside, the shifting of styles is as frantic as ever, the recording seems to lack a little dynamism and, well, it just sounds like I’ve heard it all before. This is absolutely fine – Powell completists will probably love it – but if you’ve got a large library of the composer’s previous scores for animations, you probably don’t really need this one as well. ***