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Comments about the soundtrack for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (James Horner)
Scorpion Rant

Cadejito
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(66-87-81-75.pools.spcsdns.net)
Scorpion Rant   Tuesday, May 2, 2017 (8:07 a.m.) 
• Now Playing: Honey / Shrunk / Kids - A New World  

This was one of the first soundtracks I remember catching my ear; the first one being the soundtrack to the movie Dumbo. The part that stuck with me ever since I was a wide-eyed little kid marveling at the now dated special effects was the scene when the scorpion retreats back into the turf after being struck in the eye.

That cue (Scorpion Attack: 2:13-2:25) is brief, for sure, just one insignificant thread in the patchwork of this movie's soundtrack, and yet it conveys so much. Defeat, of course, but it also shrouds the scorpion in an aura of nobility, mystery, as well as menace. It makes you want the scorpion to come back just so this theme can continue.

I guess that is where normal classical writing will always trump movie soundtracks. A composer can go crazy when he writes his own pieces, but soundtracks have to be tailored to suit the source material. I could easily have appreciate an entire piece written around that tiny segment.

Contrary to the reviewer, my favorite pieces are in the beginning of this soundtrack. The opening title theme, of course, is memorable to anyone who watched this as a kid.

"Shrunk" is definitely another highlight, which features some beautiful strings accompanied by piano? chimes? (0:42-1:18), followed by several variations of the main theme; a few segments that will remind you of Aliens without necessarily being rip-offs; what I like to call the "helpless theme", which underscores scenes where the kids realize the disadvantages of being so tiny. At 4:41, once Rick Moranis pulls out the broom and dustpan, we get treated to some really nice action music that could easily accompany a chariot race (albeit one featuring members of the Addams family, because of the organ thrown in there), concluding with the aural equivalent of a kid throwing a temper tantrum, running up to his room, and slamming the door. Good show!

The first minute or so of "A New World" is beautiful and mysterious. Many will recognize one of James Horner's recurring motifs, most recently heard in the movie Avatar after Hometree gets firebombed. I feel the theme is put to better use here, as it really DOES call to mind a strange new world, and the shakuhachi flutes provide just the right touch of jungle menace. Approaching the two minute mark, the shakuhachis go from being menacing to just being plain obnoxious and, except for some interesting howling wolf effects, the track loses most of its appeal, at least for me.

Lol, that's as far as I've gotten so far. I'll edit this review once I listen to more of the score.


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