- Composed by Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe
- Lakeshore Records LKS 341992 / 2010 / 48:10
Dreamworks Animation have decided to take a completely new tack with Megamind, an animation with a cynical mind and which is full of pop culture references which will render the thing unwatchable before long. Oh, wait, that’s just like almost all their other films. Also like all their other films, Hans Zimmer is on-board for the score, sharing the credit with Lorne Balfe. The last new score from Zimmer was probably the year’s best so far (Inception); one suspects he had rather less direct involvement this time. Indeed, it seems entirely possible that his most strenuous activity relating to this film was cashing the cheque. The bulk of the work was surely by Balfe. His career to date includes some spectacularly unlikely credits (including The Jeremy Kyle Show, a programme which will be unfamiliar to many readers of this page – it’s a kind of UK equivalent of Jerry Springer, featuring and watched exclusively by people whose IQ is less than their shoe size).
Oh yes, the score. The music from these Dreamworks animations has almost always been very enjoyable. Like the films, the scores tend to aim quite low – while the films aim low and sometimes miss anyway, with the exception of the truly execrable Madagascar and its sequel, the scores have managed to do well. Like the others, there isn’t much personality here – it’s rather generic orchestral action/adventure music – but there’s a genuine sense of fun and this is the sort of music which will leave a smile on many film music fans’ faces, which sometimes is just what the doctor ordered. Some vaguely Elfman-ish sci-fi parts are the score’s distinguishing feature, but they are by no means prominent; rather, it’s mostly very tuneful, pleasant, well-written and well-performed but entirely forgettable music. Taking the four songs out of the equation, there’s barely half an hour’s score here and it passes the time very nicely – but if anyone can remember a note of it once it’s over, I’d be surprised. There’s no denying it, though – this score has a big heart and while it’s far from being as distinguished as the scores for recent Disney and Pixar animations (or indeed those scored by John Powell), it is still highly enjoyable. Fans of Bee Movie, Over the Hedge etc will love it. ***