Lee Holdridge is a master tunesmith, but here his melodies follow the lead
of trite & hollow lyrics, succeeding only in demonstrating that the composer
inspires easily. A good trait, it is true, but the difference in quality
from music to lyrics is huge. Surprisingly, the underscore fares little better.
The orchestrations are good, but nonetheless typical. There is nothing to
place it alongside Jerry Goldsmith's score for the original.
As for Richard Sparks, he may be a good writer, but his lyrics are utterly
useless. When your most inspired text goes, "Butterflies and pretty flowers/Sunny
skies and super powers/Silver streams and fluffy kitties/Laser beams and
rubbled cities," there are most definitely problems.
The songs boast performances by Al Jarreau, Bobbi Page, Dom DeLuise, Andrew
Ducote, Arthur Malet, William H. Macy, Alex Strange, Ralph Macchio, Meshach
Taylor, Hyndan Walsh, and Eric Idle. I applaud any effort that uses the actors'
own voices for the songs instead of hiring generic 'professional' singers,
but the voice direction by Maria Estrada is flimsy. Only Eric Idle cuts through
the morass; the other actors and actresses turn in painfully average
performances. The Philharmonia Chorus is unfortunately buried in the sound
The album design suitably gears toward children (and the child in all of
us!), the two-tone picture disc is cute, and the liner notes are easy reading.
Included are the lyric texts, so they can simultaneously offend the eyes
as well as the ears. The sound is average. The highlight is hearing how much
fun the Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus of London musicians seem to be
having at times.
The valiant attempts of those involved should not go unnoticed. It is a pity
that, despite those tasks, the parts never meet to create a whole. The result
is a mass of mediocrity.