Coraline Soundtrack6.02.09 # Soundtrack # 48 Comments
It’s from the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas (big tick number one), it’s adapted from a horror novella by Neil Gaiman (big tick number two), and it’s executed with stop motion animation (big tick number three) which for me, being a photorealistic form of animation, is far more visually arresting than digital forms. If you have any sense of gleefully gruesome childish wonder left in you, this is one to see. If you didn’t like The Nightmare Before Christmas or The Corpse Bride and you tend to sneer at this brand of grim fairytale, then you sir are beyond help, and you and your unimaginative friends can go and watch Shark Tale on perpetual loop with your eyelids clamped open, in a kind of Clockwork Orange/Dreamworks purgatory. I’m excited.
The Coraline soundtrack is principally the work of composer Bruno Coulais (yes, that Bruno Coulais… alright I hadn’t heard of him either, but he’s a composer and he sounds like French royalty so he probably knows what he’s doing), the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, and the Children’s Choir of Nice (that’s Nice the French city, as opposed to a nice choir of children), so this is no hack job either. The Hungarian Symphony Orchestra have got game. They know their stuff. Not just any old schlub gets to be in a symphony. You have to have your own instrument for starters, and there’s probably some training involved – these are pros.
Anyway, what I’m saying, in my facetious roundabout way, is that this is a fine piece of work, totally appropriate to the tone of the film (at least the tone that has been evoked by the film’s promotion). Twee but other-worldly, Disney playfulness with a hint of creepy menace, like a passive-aggressive music box. It sounds like it’s come straight out of Tim Burton’s private collection. I love it.
Oddly there’s also a cheery, and v.v.short, piano number from They Might Be Giants, the geek-styled alt-rock combo who have been knocking around since 1982 (the year I was born!) and did the theme tune to Malcolm In The Middle. And it fits beautifully (I’ve also just found out they did the theme song for The Daily Show, which has rocketed them up in my estimation).
I’ll wait until I’ve seen the film for a definitive conclusion, but pre-emptively the Coraline soundtrack seems right on the money. My only criticism is that, like many films with original scores, I can’t see much value in owning the soundtrack CD independent to the film, unless it’s to please your kids on long car journeys, but for skill, vision, appropriateness and execution, as a soundtrack and not as an album to sit on your shelf between Coldplay and The Coral, this is pretty much 10 out of 10.
You can buy it here
Coraline Soundtrack (Songs & Music) – Track Listing
1. End Credits – Bruno Coulais (01:54)
2. Dreaming – Bruno Coulais (02:20)
3. Installation – Bruno Coulais (02:28)
4. Wybie – Bruno Coulais (02:07)
5. Exploration – Bruno Coulais (02:01)
6. Other Father Song – They Might Be Giants (00:28)
7. The Supper – Bruno Coulais (01:31)
8. Bobinsky – Bruno Coulais (02:23)
9. Fantastic Garden – Bruno Coulais (01:34)
10. Coraline Fly – Bruno Coulais (00:24)
11. Trap For The Mices – Bruno Coulais (01:34)
12. Mice Circus – Bruno Coulais (01:27)
13. Dreams Are Dangerous – Bruno Coulais (01:27)
14. Sirens Of The Sea – Bruno Coulais (01:38)
15. In The Bed – Bruno Coulais (01:54)
16. Spink And Forcible – Bruno Coulais (00:33)
17. It Was Fantastic – Bruno Coulais (02:10)
18. Ghost Children – Bruno Coulais (01:28)
19. Let’s Go – Bruno Coulais (01:09)
20. Playing Piano – Bruno Coulais (02:48)
21. Wybie That Talks – Bruno Coulais (02:09)
22. Cocobeetles – Bruno Coulais (01:39)
23. Alone – Bruno Coulais (00:52)
24. Dangerous – Bruno Coulais (02:23)
25. Reunion – Bruno Coulais (01:10)
26. Coraline Dispair – Bruno Coulais (01:27)
27. The Theater – Bruno Coulais (01:33)
28. The Famous Mister B – Bruno Coulais (02:33)
29. You Know I Love You – Bruno Coulais (04:27)
30. Mechanical Lulluby – Bruno Coulais (02:24)
31. The Hand – Bruno Coulais (03:14)
32. The Party – Bruno Coulais (02:32)
Leave your thoughts on the Coraline soundtrack in the comments.