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The Journey of Natty Gann
Album Cover Art
2008 Varèse
2009 Intrada
Album 2 Cover Art
Replacement Score Composed, Conducted, and Co-Produced by:

Replacement Score Orchestrated by:
Greig McRitchie

Replacement Score Co-Produced by:
Simon Rhodes

Rejected Score Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
Elmer Bernstein
Labels Icon
Varèse Sarabande
(June 30th, 2008)

Intrada Records
(June 22nd, 2009)
Availability Icon
Bootlegs of both Horner and Bernstein's scores long existed on the secondary market in the 2000's, but their quality does not match that of the official releases. The 2008 Varèse Set (limited to 2,500 copies as part of the label's CD Club), offers three rejected Bernstein scores on what the label calls the "World Premiere Release of the Unused Scores" and sold for $60. It did not sell out as quickly as usual CD Club releases of major titles. The Horner score was released by Intrada in 2009, limited in pressing to 2,500 copies as well but selling out quickly, sending the price of the album up to $30 immediately.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on the album featuring James Horner's score if you seek the warmer, more lyrical approach to the film, despite the music's significant similarities in structure to the composer's later classic, The Land Before Time.

Avoid it... on the album featuring Elmer Bernstein's rejected score unless you are a devoted collector of the composer's works and desire a far more robust, Western-style representation of the great outdoors for this film.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 8/19/09
The Journey of Natty Gann: (Elmer Bernstein/James Horner) Among Walt Disney Studio's lesser known live action films of recent times is The Journey of Natty Gann, a 1985 tale of perseverance that fared poorly at the box office but has gained respect through the years for its fine production values. The story is as preposterous as any fantasy, depicting a Depression-era man who has to cross America to take a logging job outside of Seattle but, in the haste of his decision, has to leave his young daughter with acquaintances back East until he can send for her. The girl is a creative and troublemaking brat, however, and in the process of being pursued by authorities, she embarks upon a journey to travel across the country herself to find her father. Along the way, she sparks up a romance with another young, homeless traveler (played by John Cusack) and is befriended by the same wolf that would go on to play the title character in White Fang (in fact, several in the crew would be shared between the two films, including the primary writer). The multiple train journeys, escapes from prison, and last second avoidance of major accidents all produced a story that was a bit too far fetched for any credibility, but the well-meaning, innocent tone of the film, as well as its message about families, is all that really mattered. The music for The Journey of Natty Gann caused another set of daunting challenges, eventually involving both one of Hollywood's most beloved veteran composers and an ambitious upstart still a couple of years away from hitting the mainstream with his own successful career. The veteran was Elmer Bernstein, a composer whose career was still riding high in the 1980's and whose ventures into children's films was yielding surprisingly fresh results. Films like The Journey of Natty Gann and The Black Cauldron were treated by Bernstein much like Jerry Goldsmith's similar assignments in the genre at the time. Both composers handled such films as though they were dramatic powerhouses, recording scores that could accompany far more expansive fantasy that what was actually seen on screen.

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Average: 3.32 Stars
***** 35 5 Stars
**** 31 4 Stars
*** 25 3 Stars
** 15 2 Stars
* 22 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
2008 Bernstein Set Tracks   ▼Total Time: 85:14
CD2: (60:22)

• 1. Main Title (The Journey) (2:06)
• 2. First (0:30)
• 3. Second (0:56)
• 4. 2M2 (TK 152) (1:33)
• 5. Job (0:56)
• 6. Locket (1:25)
• 7. 2M5 (TK 151) (1:43)
• 8. Question (1:20)
• 9. Escape (3:17)
• 10. Wild (0:57)
• 11. Jump Off (1:16)
• 12. Wolf (0:54)
• 13. Ride (1:00)
• 14. Forest (1:38)
• 15. 4M3 (TK 12) (0:34)
• 16. Friend (2:48)
• 17. 4M5 (TK 73) (2:46)
• 18. Moving (1:22)
• 19. Bull (2:47)
• 20. Lock-Up (1:21)
• 21. Breakout (3:00)
• 22. 6M4 (TK 157) (1:45)
• 23. Reunion (1:01)
• 24. Dad (1:14)
• 25. Balls (0:35)
• 26. Hobo Camp (0:49)
• 27. Mainer (1:04)
• 28. Makin' It (2:01)
• 29. Snow (2:20)
• 30. Ramp (1:15)
• 31. 10M1 (TK 19) (1:52)
• 32. 10M2 (TK 56) (1:52)
• 33. Parting (2:41)
• 34. Uphill (2:10)
• 35. Last (1:53)
• 36. End Credits (3:36)
CD4 (Alternate Cues): (24:52)

• 17. Locket (Alt.) (1:28)
• 18. Locket (Alt. 2) (1:14)
• 19. Question (1:20)
• 20. Forest (1:53)
• 21. Friend (2:44)
• 22. 4M5A (TK 119) (2:45)
• 23. Moving (Alt.) (1:29)
• 24. 6M4A (TK 158) (1:30)
• 25. Dad (1:26)
• 26. Balls (0:25)
• 27. Makin' It (1:20)
• 28. Ramp (1:13)
• 29. 10M2 rev (TK 132) (0:57)
• 30. Parting (2:06)
• 31. Uphill (1:02)
(total time reflects only music from The Journey of Natty Gann, not the other scores on the set)

2009 Horner Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 43:01

Notes Icon
The inserts of both the Varèse and Intrada products contain information about the respective scores and films, but neither explains any of the circumstances of Bernstein's removal from the project. The Varèse set's notes by Robert Townson dwell far too much on the producer himself and neglect a lengthy analysis of the music.
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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 Journey of Natty Gann are Copyright © 2008, 2009, Varèse Sarabande(Bernstein), Intrada Records(Horner) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/19/09 (and not updated significantly since).
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