March 2001 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings /March01/

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle
PROMO MMCD-01 [38:08]

Like Who Framed Roger Rabbit before it, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle is a mix of live action and animation and Mark Mothersbaugh's accompanying score is very much what we have come to expect from such productions, complete with mock heroics, bouncy high-jinxes and a little soft-ball drama.

The 'Logo & Opening Title' has an attractive Jerry Goldsmith quality to it and also introduces the original 'Rocky, the Flying Squirrel' theme by Frank Comstock. This motif actually features very prominently throughout the entire score, popping up amid various stock comedy action cues ('Frenetical Action/Green Light Shines', 'On the Highway/The Test Machine', 'Zombiefied People/Big Action') and makes its most enjoyable appearance on 'Rocky and Bullwinkle Save the Day', in an up-tempo version supported by some solid suspense work. Indeed, the few times the score takes a slightly darker turn such as on 'The Green Light', with its almost spy thriller sensibility (along with a another Goldsmithesque burst to finish), the music becomes relatively engaging. But for the most part we are left with hollow playfulness and knowing references to well know tunes such as 'America the Beautiful' and the 'Secret Agent Man' TV theme and very little else. Finally to round things off in dubious fashion there is 'Through the Eyes of a Child', an inferior pop song performed by Lisa McClowry, presumably to play over the end titles. When will this trite gimmick die out? Soon I hope!

Ironically enough, most of the best moments of the score are those that recall Jerry Goldsmith, someone who has scored his fair share of these kind of movies (and rather well too). But unfortunately they are few and far between. Admittedly this is a professional enough job for a genre (comedic adventure) that can often be pretty thankless for composers. So unless you are particularly entranced by technical writing or hanker after some frothy frolics, you will know exactly what to expect. Another piece of Hollywood fluff and bluster. I just hope the film itself is a good deal better.

Mark Hockley

Promotional Albums offer lesser celebrated film composers the opportunity to bring their work (often of good quality but unsung [if you will forgive the pun]) to the attention of prospective producers who might be interested in contracting them for film scoring assignments. Another market opportunity is for short films, trailers, commercials, and other theatre and TV projects where producers with limited budgets might be interested in buying material "off the shelf." Lastly, film music buffs who have admired the scores but hitherto have never had an opportunity of acquiring the music now have an opportunity of buying scores they have admired. For instance anybody who liked Hummie Mann's music for Mel Brook's farce, Dracula, Dead and Loving It (with Leslie Nielsen) can now buy it from specialist sellers such as

P.O. Box 500
Linden, VA 22642-0500
PH: (540) 635-2575
FAX: (540) 635-8554
Specializes in soundtracks, and carries some of those scores you just won't find anywhere else.


12072 Brookhurst Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92840-2815
Voice: (714) 636-8700
Toll free: (800) 997-2434
Fax: (714) 636-8585

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