“Rise Of The Guardians”
Music By Alexandre Desplat
Still Dream Performed By Renee Fleming
Varese Sarabande VSD-7175
27 Tracks – Disc Time: 78:31 Grade: C
Rise of the Guardians was the animated film released last November that made it’s Blu-Ray and DVD debut this past week with very good success despite its’ positive reviews with critics but was an overall, box office disappointment domestically due to its’ holiday competition. The film features the voices of Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Chris Pine (Star Trek), Isla Fisher (Confessions Of A Shopaholic) and Jude Law (Repo Men) and directed by Peter Ramsey revolves around an evil spirit named Pitch (Law) lays down the gauntlet to take over the world and destroy all the hopes, beliefs and imaginations of all the children around the world. The immortal Guardians must join forces that include Jack Frost (Pine), North (Baldwin), Bunny (Jackman) and Tooth (Fisher) for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs, and imaginations of children all over the world before they are corrupted and destroyed altogether.
With the animation and the voices in the capable hands of the great talents listed above, the final thing that brings everything together and that is the music. Without the music these Guardians wouldn’t be able to do the feats with dramatic and exciting flair. Academy Award nominee Alexandre Desplat had a banner year last year earning a well deserved nomination for Best Picture winner Argo, along with other notable films such as Moonrise Kingdom, Rust And Bone and Zero Dark Thirty. Desplat has been on a major roll with serious projects and has found time for more family friendly fare like The Incredible Mr. Fox and now this film. The music for the film is well developed and engaging score that works very well and full of solid melodic material both on the action side of the score as well as the film’s playful, dramatic moments.
“Calling The Guardians” is the score’s central theme which is a heroic fanfare for these legendary guardians coming together where Desplat establishes his grand energetic intentions for the score as a whole. Desplat also establishes a bit of awe and wonder throughout the score that sounds more like his solid mature sound on suspense, action scores such as Hostage and Firewall (“The Moon”, “Dreamsand”, “Jack Betrays”), while also unleashing some really solid action moments that very inspired and engaging such as “Nightmares Attack”, which is a lengthy and electric track that shifts from dramatic to action oriented material in a heartbeat. The score also features some fun, whimsical moments that are atypical for an animated film done with Desplat’s flair for melody which include “Guardians Regroup”, “Easter”, “Busy Workshop”, “Tooth Collection” and “Fanfare Of The Elves”. There are some nice dramatic and touching moments to the score that do remind some why as to why Desplat is such a hot composer right now that include “Kids Stop Believing”, “Jack’s Memories”, and “Jack’s Center”. “Oath Of The Guardians” is a rousing end to the score that reprises the soaring main theme once more to finish the score in a proper light.
The album features a classic performance by Rene Fleming performing the beautiful and operatic, “Still Dream”. Her beautiful lifting voice backed marvellously by the London Symphony Orchestra, which is a treat for fans of her. Varese Sarabande’s very lengthy album at nearly eighty minutes in length, is nicely put together production and there’s plenty of music of Desplat’s to savor here. I did however had a problem in that the score did eventually wore me down after a while and I usually enjoy Desplat’s work, but this album was a bit too much. It’s great to have all the material or almost all of it when it is available to be released, but this is just too much. I enjoyed the main themes of the score and there was alot to like and for that reason I will recomend it as well as for Rene Fleming’s song. Rise of the Guardians overall is very solid score that works only if you take a bit of a break in the middle of it to really enjoy it as it was meant to be. A marginal recommendation.