- Composed by Philip Miller
- MovieScore Media / 2011 / 39:03
A film which is bound to invite comparisons with Born Free, White Lion is a film about the perils faced by a lion cub as he has to try to survive having been rejected by his pack. The score is by South African composer Philip Miller and presents, I believe, the first opportunity for many around the world to gain exposure to his music. The music is so delightful, I’m sure it will leave many hoping for further opportunities to hear from this composer in future. Orchestral and melodic, the music actually doesn’t venture towards the delightful classicism of George Fenton’s nature documentary music, having more in common with the romantic scores of those late, great masters John Barry and Maurice Jarre. Particularly in “Gisani’s Theme”, there is a majestic romanticism so reminiscent of Barry.
The score has a number of different strings to its bow – in addition to the wonderful romantic view of the breathtaking landscapes, there is plenty of time for some dramatic action music, which frequently has a really stately air to it, a small brass section accompanied by stinging strings. Miller also incorporates some delightful scherzos (scherzi?) and the kind of African vocal music at key moments which is so beloved by so many. MovieScore Media has unearthed another gem in White Lion – a truly rewarding score which makes for one of 2011’s most satisfying releases so far. If you’re in the mood for taking a chance on something unfamiliar, you could do far worse than make this score that chance. ****