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Section Header
Mirror Mirror
(2012)
Digital Cover

CD Cover

Composed by:
Alan Menken

Conducted by:
Michael Kosarin

Produced by:
Kevin Kliesch

Label:
Relativity Music Group

Release Date:
April 10th, 2012

Also See:
The Shaggy Dog
Snow White & the Huntsman

Audio Clips:
1. Opening (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

6. The Queen Wants Snow Killed (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

12. Mannequin Attack (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

15. Happy End (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Availability:
Regular U.S. release.

Awards:
  None.









Mirror Mirror
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Sales Rank: 141522


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Buy it... if the predictably affable and light-hearted tone of Alan Menken's usual fairy-tale mode is what you seek, for the composer adheres to his trademark formulas for this breezy listening experience.

Avoid it... if you demand resounding fantasy depth to match Menken's more impressive The Shaggy Dog from 2006 or expect the Bollywood song at the end of Mirror Mirror to align well stylistically with the score.



Menken
Mirror Mirror: (Alan Menken) The first of two movies based upon "Snow White" by the Brothers Grimm to be released in 2012, Mirror Mirror is a fluffy comedy event targeted at teenage girls. It's a silly variation on the core concept that sees Show White banished by her evil Queen stepmother to the forest surrounding her father's kingdom's castle. There, she aligns herself with the seven dwarves and the impoverished townspeople to steal money from the Queen. When a wealthy Prince enters the equation, the Queen first attempts to woo him, but his encounters with Snow White and her mischievous ways are destined to help restore the Kingdom. The movie is carried by Julia Roberts in the role of the mean and sarcastic Queen, her persona defined more by insecurity than pure evil in this interpretation. A fair amount of scary magical elements, stupid comedy (including the introduction of a combatant dwarf with the line, "Say hello to my little friend"), and ridiculous fight scenes placed Mirror Mirror alongside The Princess Bride rather than previous adaptations of the tale aimed at younger audiences. The target teenage demographic was seemingly unimpressed by Mirror Mirror, however, vastly preferring The Hunger Games in April, 2012. Mixed critical response and weak box office returns exposed an indifference to Mirror Mirror that caused the film to miss expectations, its charm seemingly overlooked by audiences distracted by darker fantasy subject matter. From the very start, the film's soundtrack was dominated by a song called "I Believe in Love" that director Tarsem Singh sought to include at the end of his picture. He had lead actress Lily Collins (who, despite being the daughter of the famed Phil Collins, had no professional singing experience) perform this awkwardly Bollywood song for the final celebratory scene, but it took him over a year to acquire the licensing rights to the song because nobody knew who originally wrote it. In a search that spanned the world and included queries to the government of Iran and the tireless work of a private investigator in America, the director finally learned that the song he wished to use was written by a young American woman in 1971 and Relativity Media secured the rights for a cover version. Singh then battled the studio after it attempted to axe the song due to poor test audience reactions from adults. Due to its appeal to the target demographic, however, the song made the final cut and is the most lively inclusion on the otherwise non-musical soundtrack provided on short notice by fairy-tale veteran Alan Menken.

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The popular Disney and Broadway songwriter had no intention of writing a straight film score in 2012, but Menken's agent convinced him to give Mirror Mirror a second look. Non-musical original scores are rare for Menken, though his work for The Shaggy Dog in 2006 remains a hidden highlight of his career, especially in its fantasy genre muscularity. After working at breakneck speed to complete the writing and recording of Mirror Mirror in eight weeks, Menken conceded that he had tremendous fun with the assignment, in part because the style of music desired by the movie was precisely tailored to his preferred style of fluffy, dainty, and tonal melodies rich in treble region representations of fairy-tale stereotypes. Indeed, there is really nothing in this score that will surprise those familiar with Menken's trademarks. His music here sounds like a blend of fellow songwriter Marc Shaiman's shamelessly happy thematic and instrumental mannerisms, Danny Elfman's humor in occasional spurts of personality, and Menken's own pacing and narrative structures. That last point includes the broadly awe-inspiring "Opening" and the grandiose choral fanfare at the conclusion of "Happy End." The orchestrations are mundane and predictable with the exception of the Elfman-like humor in "Beauty Treatment" and a slight Zorro influence (with electronic loops) in "Dueling." Light piano-led romance in "Seduction" and "Love Potion" is a throwback to yesteryear. Menken fans will recognize some old favorites at times, too, a piece of Aladdin at 2:13 into "Love Potion" and hints of Beauty and the Beast at the beginning of "The Ball." Thematically, Menken utilizes the melody from the song and a variety of his own ideas with consistency. The theme based upon "I Believe in Love" dissolves intelligently at the outset of the score, heard with optimism in "Snow White and the Kingdom" but with disappointed sadness at the outset of "The Queen Wants Snow Killed." His original themes include a sprightly identity of rising three-note phrases for Snow White (heard mostly at the beginning and end of the score), a descending and sinister representation of malice for the Queen in "The Queen Wants Snow Killed," and a heroic fighting melody that develops in "The Training" and is unleashed with impressive brass force near the conclusion of "Mannequin Attack." On the whole, there's nothing offensive about Menken's score but nothing groundbreaking about it, either. The alternative mix of the song featured at the end of the album subtracts some obnoxious vocal layers and is thus more palatable. It's great to hear Menken cranking out the music he does best, but be sure to temper your expectations unless you're specifically in the mood for his usual style of playful fun. ***   Amazon.com Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Alan Menken reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.45 (in 11 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.52 (in 56,600 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.





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Regular Average: 3.08 Stars
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 Track Listings: Total Time: 56:14


• 1. Opening (3:42)
• 2. Snow White and the Kingdom (3:08)
• 3. Love at First Sight (2:15)
• 4. Beauty Treatment (1:10)
• 5. The Ball (2:26)
• 6. The Queen Wants Snow Killed (2:50)
• 7. The Dwarves (2:40)
• 8. Seduction (1:51)
• 9. The Training (2:14)
• 10. Dueling (4:45)
• 11. Love Potion (3:24)
• 12. Mannequin Attack (3:22)
• 13. Breaking the Spell (4:10)
• 14. Beast (6:43)
• 15. Happy End (5:50)
• 16. I Believe in Love (Mirror Mirror Mix) - performed by Lily Collins (2:43)
• 17. I Believe in Love (Evil Queen Mix) - performed by Lily Collins (2:57)




 Notes and Quotes:  


The CD version comes in a slipcase with an outside sleeve. Its insert contains a note from Menken about the score.





   
  All artwork and sound clips from Mirror Mirror are Copyright © 2012, Relativity Music Group. The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 4/15/12 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2012-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.