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The Pagemaster
Album Cover Art
1994 Fox
2015 La-La Land
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Don Davis
Thomas Pasatieri

Performed by:
The London Symphony Orchestra

Universal Voices of London
Labels Icon
Fox Records
(November 8th, 1994)

La-La Land Records
(November 27th, 2015)
Availability Icon
The 1994 Fox album was a regular U.S. release. The 2015 La-La Land album was limited to 2,000 copies and sold initially at soundtrack specialty outlets for a retail price of $20.
The song "Whatever You Imagine" was nominated for a Grammy Award.
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Decorative Nonsense
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on the improved 2015 album if there is no limit to your patience with James Horner in his tendency to regurgitate material in his children's scores of the late 1980's and early 1990's.

Avoid it... if you have already tested the waters in Horner's ventures into the animated genre and you found nothing of interest in superior highlights like An American Tail and The Land Before Time.
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WRITTEN 9/24/96, REVISED 3/23/16
The Pagemaster: (James Horner) Despite its noble intentions, The Pagemaster proves that the only way to use a movie to help convince children to read more books is by being based on a popular series of books to begin with. The plot of the film takes a dreary and fearful Macaulay Culkin and forces him into a mysterious library run by the always magical Christopher Lloyd. Through the imaginative power of the books in this library, the boy becomes an adventurer in each of the stories he encounters. It's at this point that the production turns from live action to animation, and through his journeys in and out of each book, most of which common standards that kids will be familiar with, he learns to overcome his timid nature and discover how wondrous reading and life can be. Two years of development went into the merging of live action, flat cel animation and primitive CGI effects for the project, but the film still bombed, mostly due to the corny animated cel portions and the force-fed moral of the story. For the project, composer James Horner rejoined collaborators that went back to An American Tail for a rip-roaring adventure score recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, a group that performed many of the composer's greatest adventure scores in the prior decade and with whom Horner was working far less frequently in the 1990's as recordings in Los Angeles became a necessity. With the London performers already familiar with Horner's trademark mannerisms, they would hear very little fresh material from the composer while recording The Pagemaster. Horner, through those years in particular, suffered more than any other composer in his habit of regurgitating his previous ideas, and in no genre is this pesky habit as prevalent as in his children's genre scores. From An American Tail and The Land Before Time in the 1980's to Casper and Balto in 1995, Horner rotated between easily recognizable motifs in a fashion destined to drive away fans otherwise interested in his music for a more adult subject matter. Never mind the fact that this particular score is actually very well crafted on a technical and performance level.

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Average: 3.34 Stars
***** 180 5 Stars
**** 178 4 Stars
*** 196 3 Stars
** 112 2 Stars
* 83 1 Stars
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Orchestrations & More Info
N.R.Q. - May 27, 2006, at 2:09 a.m.
1 comment  (2329 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1994 Fox Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 72:11
• 1. Dream Away - performed by Babyface and Lisa Stansfield (4:38)
• 2. Whatever You Imagine - performed by Wendy Moten (3:27)
• 3. Main Title (2:27)
• 4. A Stormy Ride to the Library (2:52)
• 5. The Library/Pagemaster (4:41)
• 6. Meeting Adventure and Fantasy (5:12)
• 7. Horror (3:20)
• 8. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (5:05)
• 9. A Narrow Escape (2:04)
• 10. Towards the Open Sea (7:01)
• 11. "Pirates!" (4:07)
• 12. Lineliness (3:41)
• 13. The Flying Dragon (3:10)
• 14. Swallowed Alive!/The Wonder of Books (7:56)
• 15. New Courage/The Magic of Imagination (4:03)
2015 La-La Land Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 70:13

Notes Icon
The insert of the 1994 album includes a rambling note from the film's producer, as well as extensive credits. That of the 2015 product contains more detailed information about the score and film.
Copyright © 1996-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Pagemaster are Copyright © 1994, 2015, Fox Records, La-La Land Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 9/24/96 and last updated 3/23/16.
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