by John Powell
and Harry Gregson Williams
Chicken Run Composed by John Powell
and Harry Gregson Williams
RCA Victor Records (2000)
Soundclips below from AmazonMP3
“I cannot think of a
score that more fun to listen to than this one! Kazoos, militaristic
marches, heroic fanfares, and subtle choruses add dimension after
dimension of color and character to this score.
Review by Christopher Coleman
Animated feature films, and now, CG animated films, occasionally produce
great scores, but more often than not, the only soundtracks available are
those with the little
sing-along songs that the kiddies love so much. For the most of the general
population, the wonderful score cues are skipped just to
get to the vocal tracks. This is certainly a shame as many miss some truly great music. One need
look no further than THE ROAD TO EL DORADO. A
great score was virtually ignored, albeit a scant 3 tracks, while Mr. Elton
John filled the release with pop song after pop song.
Thankfully, Dreamworks serves up another full length animated feature film
for 2000: CHICKEN RUN. This time, there are few pop songs to get in the
way of the composing brilliance of JOHN POWELL and HARRY GREGSON WILLIAMS.
CHICKEN RUN is one of the most entertaining scores of the year. It
features an eclectic mixture of film music styles and instruments that
even surpasses the duo's earlier animated film, ANTZ. Packed into this
wonderful score are expansive orchestral pieces, jazz, blues, celtic,
folk, and classic rock and roll. It is one thing to create such a bouillabaisse of musical elements
and another to get them to work together to help tell the story. Powell
and Williams are somehow able to do just that and seem to be becoming
masters at it.
Many things have been said about the Media Ventures crew, but one thing
that our hats must be tipped to them for is their creativity. Seldom do
any of these composer get bogged down in the traditional boundaries of
film score composition. Powell and Gregson-Williams seem to be leading the
way in creative scoring and no better example could be selected than
At times CHICKEN RUN is big and bold as the first two tracks establish:
"Opening Escape" and "Main Titles." The music here is certainly good enough
for most serious military/ action films. However, as
soon as one begins to take the score too seriously, soon enter whistles,
harmonicas, and kazoos to tickle us back into animated fantasy. Add to
these elements some emotional cues such as "We Need a Miracle" (6), "Up
on the Roof" (13) or "Rocky, A Fake All Along" (15) and you get one of the
most diverse soundtracks to be released in 2000.
If this still isn't enough variety for your musical palette, the score
features two vocal tracks: one original and one classic rock and roll
number. The classic "The Wanderer" is sung by Dion and the original,
Flop and Fly" (12) by Ellis Hall. In addition to these two high energy
vocal tracks, there is the rock and roll/ blues inspired instrumental
piece: "Cocktails and Flighty Thoughts" (19). The track ordering places each
of these pieces in optimum positions. Their lighthearted, upbeat style
blend very well with the rest of the score.
I cannot think of a score that more fun to listen to than this one!
Kazoos, militaristic marches, heroic fanfares, and subtle choruses add
dimension after dimension of color and character to this score. This score
is simply "a hoot!" RCA Victor's release provides over an hour of musical
pleasure and the recording is top-notch- worthy of the full capabilities
of your home theatre system! CHICKEN RUN is by no means your
run-of-the-mill score. It is filled to the brim with life and creativity
and, while a key ingredient within the movie, takes on a personality all
its own outside of the film. JOHN POWELL and HARRY GREGSON WILLIAMS
continue to push the envelope in film scoring without producing unlistenable concoctions of musical madness. On the contrary, they breathe
life into this genre of music which is, at times, be filled with as many
re-makes, as the pop music world these days.