Let’s face it: many critics and film reviewers have done their job tearing The Good Dinosaur apart. After following the very successful Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur‘s story – while of great quality compared to many other animated films – was not able to garner as much praise.
That being said, however, there’s a lot about the movie that can be commended. Anyone who has seen it can tell you that Pixar did a great job working on the animation of the film – it’s perhaps one of the movie’s best selling points. And perhaps less noticed but still as imaginative is the soundtrack for the film, which pairs with the beautiful visuals quite nicely.
“Pixar sets the bar for animation – they set the bar for imagination,” notes composer Mychael Danna. He notes the musical team’s focus on diversity while creating the music for the film, saying, “we wanted to do something different, blending traditional instrumentation and melody-centered approach with alternative world music instruments. We draw from everywhere – historically and geographically – to help tell the story.”‘
And indeed, he mentions how the film uses many unusual instruments such as a Greek “bouzouki” and a Nordic “harpolek.” While the overall tune of the soundtrack can be described as western, there’s no doubt that diversity is prevalent in the film – just take a look at the track entitled “fireflies”.
If anything the music is a reflection of the way the film brings different human experiences down to their most primitive level of adventure and relationships.
Perhaps The Good Dinosaur‘s story diverts from traditionally storytelling too much to currently be appreciated, but if anything Mychael notes how he parallels the otherworldliness of the story in the music: “our approach to many things in the film was to take the expected or standard thing and, just like the movie did, turn it a little sideways.”
Don’t take the critics’ word for it – watch The Good Dinosaur to see for yourself how the music matches the animation. If you’d like to appreciate the music even more, the soundtrack is available now just in time for the holiday season.
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