music of coco

Coco isn’t a musical, but its music is as central to it as the elements of family, memory, life, and death. Music is what carries Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) along on his quest to find his idol Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) in the Land of the Dead, music is what unites Miguel and his ragamuffin skeleton companion Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal), and what ultimately tears apart and unites his family.

Music — and the fantastic original songs from the Pixar animated film — is the warm, beating heart of Coco. Because music plays such an essential role, the music team behind Coco made sure to embed the songs and score as deeply into Mexican culture as they could. This amounted to years of research and 5o (!) Mexican musicians participating in the vibrant, effervescent soundtrack.

I spoke to composer Michael Giacchino, who has had a busy year composing scores for a whopping three blockbusters (Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes); orchestrator Germaine Franco, who participated in the movie’s pivotal song “Remember Me”; and cultural consultant Camilo Lara, who brought to the film a connection to the plethora of Mexican music genres as well as a signature Dr. Seuss-style hat.

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Lee Unkrich Interview

Pixar’s latest film Coco hits theaters this week and I sat down with director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3), producer Darla K. Anderson and writer/co-director Adrian Molina to talk about how the story came about. Along the way, we touch on the abandoned film project that Lee was working on with screenwriter Michael Arndt, how The Book Of Life affected this production, the evolution of the idea from the initial spark to the finished film, how Adrian Molina got involved in the project, how Lee Unkrich went from editor to director and how he edits his own films, how Darla got a credit as “Digital Angel” on the original Toy Story, hiding easter eggs in an international setting, and working with Michael Giacchino.

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Ratatouille and Batman Returns Vinyl Soundtrack

Justice League hits theaters this weekend, and Pixar’s Coco arrives just before Thanksgiving next week. So the folks at Mondo are celebrating by honoring the movies that came before them with a couple new vinyl soundtrack releases.

Danny Elfman‘s theme for Batman makes a small resurgence on the Justice League soundtrack from the composer, and now his outstanding score for Batman Returns is getting a vinyl release at Mondo. On top of that, Pixar’s delicious Ratatouille soundtrack is also getting a limited edition vinyl soundtrack. Check out both of the outstanding Mondo releases below. Read More »

Dunkirk score

Christopher Nolan‘s highly-anticipated Dunkirk apparently isn’t a war movie, but it shares at least one thing in common with Matt Reeves‘ War For the Planet of the Apes: they both have songs from their soundtracks available to listen to right now.
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Spider-Man Homecoming Score

This year we’re getting three new scores from composer Michael Giacchino. You can hear one of them in theaters this weekend with the arrival of Colin Trevorrow’s The Book of Henry, which isn’t getting very good reviews. But the next one will arrive in theaters early next month.

Spider-Man: Homecoming features a score from Michael Giacchino, complete with all of his punny track titles on the soundtrack. For those interested, the full tracklist has been released, and it doesn’t include any major spoilers for those worried about that kind of thing. Furthermore, the full Spider-Man: Homecoming suite is available for your listening pleasure, giving us a preview of some of the orchestral themes we’ll hear throughout the film.

Get a taste of the Spider-Man Homecoming score below! Read More »

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spider-man homecoming theme

Though there have been five Spider-Man movies that have hit the big screen over the past two decades, the webslinger’s classic theme has never really been given its due diligence when it comes to the film’s soundtrack. There have been some goofy versions from Sam Raimi’s trilogy of movies, and the tune was Peter Parker’s ringtone in The Amazing Spider-Man franchise, but it’s never been given a proper orchestral arrangement. But it sounds like that will change this summer.

Composer Michael Giacchino (The Incredibles, Star Trek) is behind the score for Spider-Man: Homecoming, and he’s currently busy at work in the studio finalizing the score for the film’s release in July. We still have about a month and a half to wait until we get to see the movie, but Giacchino has provided us with a taste of the score from the film in the form of his absolutely wonderful variation on the classic Spider-Man theme song.

Listen to what might be the Spider-Man Homecoming theme after the jump. Read More »

Michael Giacchino

Good news, Pixar fans: the studio’s favorite composer, Michael Giacchino, is coming back to provide the score for Brad Bird’s highly-anticipated sequel The Incredibles 2. Meanwhile, the intriguing possibility has also arisen that Giacchino (Star Trek, Up, Ratatouille) might reteam with his War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves and score The Batman.
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Rogue One score homages

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a grand experiment for Disney and Lucasfilm. The movie was meant to be a standalone adventure that has ties to the main Star Wars narrative without being part of the Skywalker saga. That’s why it has plenty in common aesthetically, as far as the production design and art direction is concerned, but still feels different from the rest of the Star Wars movies.

One of the ways Rogue One stands on its own is with the score composed by Michael Giacchino. He doesn’t use the main Star Wars theme prominently, mostly because the movie doesn’t have the traditional opening title and crawl. He also doesn’t go out of his way to frequently use the recognizable themes that John Williams composed for the original trilogy, which Rogue One most closely emulates. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t subtly use pieces of John Williams’ classc score when the story called for it.

A video essay explains the various Rogue One score homages below. Read More »

Jurassic World 2 score

The busiest man in show business is obviously Dwayne Johnson, who seems to bounce from once project to another as if a tiny explosive implanted in his brain will explode if he’s not on a film set. But the second busiest man in show business is composer Michael Giacchino, who has become the go-to guy for seemingly every major film franchise on the planet. In the past two years alone, he has crafted the music for nine movies, not including a handful of shorts.

“Sleep? What is sleep to Michael Giacchino?!” he whispers to himself as he agrees to return for Jurassic World 2.

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rogue one soundtrack

It’s Friday morning, which means that a lot of you went and saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story last night. I was one of you and I liked it quite a bit. We’ll have more to talk about in the days ahead after everyone has had the chance to check it out. And if Star Wars does matter to you, I recommend checking it out as soon as possible – there are surprises and turns and moments in this movie that you don’t want spoiled.

But if you have seen the film, or if you don’t consider movie soundtracks to be a spoiler, composer Michael Giacchino‘s complete soundtrack is now streaming online.

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