Movie Wave Home
Reviews by Title | Reviews by Composer

Composed by

* * * *

Album running time

Performed by
conducted by


Engineered by
Music Editor
Produced by

Released by
Serial number

Artwork copyright (c) 2004 Disney/Pixar; review copyright (c) 2004 James Southall



Giacchino... Michael Giacchino


Given that director Brad Bird's previous film was the exceptional The Iron Giant and that Pixar's previous five full-length movies were as close to perfect as family films can be, one could be forgiven for expecting The Incredibles to be another truly wonderful film.  The fact that it isn't, quite, that it doesn't have that certain magic spark that made those others so good, is far more down to their qualities than any deficiency in itself - it's still a superior piece of family entertainment and one of the year's most imaginative and entertaining films.  Bird had the good sense to hire Michael Kamen for The Iron Giant and the late composer wrote one of the most exquisite scores of the last few years; this time round he took the brave decision to give videogame composer Michael Giacchino his big break in films, and the decision has certainly paid off.

Bird had a very specific sound in mind for the film - the sound of the swinging sixties, when secret agents and superheroes were all the rage both in the cinema and on television.  (How times change.)  Back then the sexy sound associated with them was a far cry from the calculated, often electronic-based music which accompanies today's heroeson the big and small screens, and credit to Bird for wanting to revisit that sound.  Originally he even went so far as to hire the legendary John Barry, but predictably enough things didn't work out and Barry was off, for Giacchino to walk on.

Giacchino certainly indulges in some directly parodies of Barry's biggest, brassiest Bond music.  One of the main themes directly channels On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and elsewhere some of the action music is clearly doing the same; "Kronos Unveiled" has the kind of sexy swagger to be heard in Barry's You Only Live Twice, specifically Ken Adam's gigantic volcano sets (which, as anyone who has seen both movies knows, is entirely appropriate here too!)  While the Barry sound unquestionably dominates, Giacchino also finds time to pay tribute to the likes of Lalo Schifrin with some decidedly funky jazz, particularly in the slightly more restrained middle portion of the album in tracks like "Off to Work".

The music is at its best when Giacchino is laying on the action for the film's several larger-than-life sequences.  There is some first-rate action music here - "The Glory Days", "Bob vs the Omnidroid", "100 Mile Dash" and "Saving Metroville" are the pick of the bunch.  While rarely straying far from the aforementioned forerunners of this score, Giacchino injects so much energy and life into things that they these tracks have to rank alongside the year's most enjoyable film music.  Parodying John Barry / James Bond music has been done countless times, but to do it this well (and for virtually a whole score) is as rare as it is impressive.  While Giacchino hasn't written any themes remotely as memorable as Barry's were (and, indeed, after I had seen the film, I heard someone walking out of the cinema actually whistling OHMSS), it would be somewhat churlish to criticise him for that, since Barry wrote so many indelible Bond themes.

The Incredibles is a highly-entertaining album, ranking alongside the year's best for sheer enjoyment.  Giacchino is clearly a composer going places, though I am forced to say that so far he has been at his best when writing parody or pastiche of either John Williams or John Barry - I'm not sure I've yet heard Giacchino being Giacchino, and it's hard to get over-excited until that happens.  However, I'm sure that this will prove something of a springboard for the composer and we'll be hearing an awful lot from him in the years to come.

Buy this CD from by clicking here!


  1. The Glory Days (3:33)
  2. Mr Huph Will See You Now (1:35)
  3. Adventure Calling (2:23)
  4. Bob vs the Omnidroid (2:53)
  5. Lava in the Afternoon (1:31)
  6. Life's Incredible Again (1:24)
  7. Off to Work (1:59)
  8. New and Improved (2:15)
  9. Kronos Unveiled (3:16)
  10. Marital Rescue (2:19)
  11. Missile Lock (2:07)
  12. Lithe or Death (3:24)
  13. 100 Mile Dash (3:08)
  14. A Whole Family of Supers (3:28)
  15. Escaping Nomanisan (1:46)
  16. Road Trip! (2:27)
  17. Saving Metroville (5:03)
  18. The New Babysitter (3:26)
  19. The Incredits (7:21)