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Comments about the soundtrack for Ice Age: The Meltdown (John Powell)

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Ice Age
• Posted by: Kiddo
• Date: Friday, May 5, 2006, at 9:19 a.m.
• IP Address:

I know FOX isn’t Disney/Pixar. Whereas the composer of choice for Pixar’s animation is Randy Newman, I wouldn’t have expected Blue Sky Studios to keep one composer for returning projects . . . with the only exception of a franchise.

ICE AGE by David Newman was a great score on its own with an OK release by Varese Sarabande. Four years after the first movie we get Ice Age: The Meltdown (IA2) by John Powell. Before there’s any confusion on my comments, let me say that I’m a big Newman AND Powell fan. My favorite Newman scores are ANASTASIA and THE PHANTOM. My favorite Powell scores are RAT RACE and THE BOURNE SUPREMACY.

With that out of the way, I strongly believe Powell should not have done (IA2). I wanted to hear more Newman and his expansion on his original themes. Powell didn’t revisit any of the themes. Sure, both composers have done great animated scores. Newman’s done THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER, ANASTASIA and ICE AGE. Powell’s done SHREK 1, CHICKEN RUN, ROBOTS and ANTZ.

My gripe is that David Newman is a composer whose talents are not used to his full potential. The guy is mainly assigned comedies! Of all the Newmans out there – Thomas, Randy, Alfred (deceased) – David is overlooked! His scores don’t get wide releases or are released as promos. Again, his talent is not fully used by the director and/or producers. Sounds like the same manner in which John Debney was treated and look what he did! Now everyone wants him!

Powell is widely popular. In fact, try counting the scores he’s doing this year: ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN, UNITED 93, X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, HAPPY FEET. What’s Newman doing? [Crickets chirping]

Powell’s score for IA2 is growing on me but I do find the opening song annoying. The mammoth theme is my favorite but I miss Manny’s, Sid’s and Diego’s themes from the first film! There’s much “SHREK” in IA2. That gets under my skin a bit. (Yes, I own both SHREK works and the other animation works.) Can any of you imagine TOY STORY 2 without Randy Newman?!

Well, what’s done is done. No going back. All I can do is sit back and wait for the Oscar score by Newman. No, I didn’t mean IA2 could’ve been Oscar-worthy. Still, more Newman would have been nice. I just wonder if Varese Sarabande would’ve released much of the score for Newman like they did for Powell’s.

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