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 Posted:   Mar 6, 2012 - 2:42 PM   
 By:   Michael2   (Member)


There's something very special about the animated scores that Horner composed in the 80's and the 90's, resulting in some of his best scores (in my opinion), filled with brilliant melodies and very rich orchestrations. It's a shame that no one offered him any more animated movies to score after 1996... Or maybe he felt he was done with the "genre" (if you can even call it that) and wanted to move to other stuff...

Having that in mind, though, which of Horner's animated scores for feature films do you like or enjoy the most? Here's the list, just in case...

- An American Tail
- The Land Before Time
- An American Tail 2: Fievel Goest West
- Once Upon a Forest
- The Pagemaster
- We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story
- Balto

While each of these scores have something special that make them different from each other, I think my personal favorite is Balto. I don't know exactly why, but it's the one that feels the most mature, so to speak, and the melodies and orchestrations are very different from his previous efforts. Compared to the others, though, it doesn't have that much thematic material, but Horner uses the very powerful main theme in so many variations that I don't felt the need for much more primary themes.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2012 - 2:55 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Those are good, but his best score for an 'animated film' (if you could call it that) and one of his best scores overall is....AVATAR.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2012 - 3:32 PM   
 By:   mnrvason   (Member)

AVATAR is not an animated film. It may have computer generated effects, motion capture photgraphy and such, but nothing in the film was hand-drawn, "classic" animation. Now, as to AVATAR being his best score, that's debateable as well, but I DO happen to enjoy it immensely (and the film as well).

Now, back to the topic at hand. Horner's "classic" animated scores (by which I believe we can all agree were made in the 80s and 90s) are, indeed, some of his best works. At the very least, I find them to be the most emotional of his scores, without the later attempts at thematic saturation (Legends of the Fall, Titanic and Perfect Storm...these are three examples of scores whose main theme was hear over and over and over ad nauseum).

I pretty much like every single one of them. I'll go for the sentimental favorite, An American Tail, although Land Before Time and Blato are also right up there.

SheriffJoe

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2012 - 3:42 PM   
 By:   orion_mk3   (Member)

The Land Before Time is by far my personal favorite, both as a Horner animation score, an animation score, a Horner score, and just a score. It's pretty much my enduring favorite of all time, though I'll admit that watching the movie a lot as a tyke probably helped.

I'd submit that none of his animation scores are less than four stars on a five star scale, and I've been hoping that we'll get expansions one day. American Tail especially is missing a lot of good material.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2012 - 5:56 PM   
 By:   barryfan   (Member)

The Land Before Time is in my Top 5 Favorite Scores. The scene where Littlefoot is mourning his mother and sees her shadow............................. wow. It chokes me up just thinking about it. A fantastic scene helped by Horner's soulful and eloquent music. Just beautiful.

And the finding of the Great Valley and the reunion scene? Some of the best film scoring I have heard. Period.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2012 - 5:59 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

I couldn't agree with you more there is something SPECIAL about Horner's music.

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2012 - 6:16 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Balto, hands down! Land Before Time follows not too far behind.

Both could really use remastered, complete releases...especially since they're going for a lot (particularly the latter) on the secondhand market.

Yavar

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2012 - 7:05 PM   
 By:   book1245   (Member)

I never grew up with Land Before Time, but I listened to it a little while ago and I loved it!

Pulled up a suite on YouTube earlier today again and have been whistling it softly through the evening, and I come back to FSM and find a new topic about Horner's animated scores.

I'd love for Intrada to release a complete CD!

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2012 - 7:10 PM   
 By:   johndupree52   (Member)

Do not forget his score to the pilot of the 1992 animated series "Fish Police", which has not been released on CD.

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2012 - 8:56 PM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

Horner's animation efforts were important early building blocks in my appreciation of film music, and I'd love expanded and (more importantly) remastered versions of An American Tail and The Land Before Time. The CD of the former, in particular, has lousy sound, barely audible in spots and then PUNISHINGLY LOUD in others.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2012 - 2:06 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

AVATAR is not an animated film. It may have computer generated effects, motion capture photgraphy and such, but nothing in the film was hand-drawn, "classic" animation.

I know, I know....I was just being a bit 'cheeky'. smile

I love the film, though, and still think the score is one of his best (in fact, it's probably my current Horner favourite).

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2012 - 4:08 AM   
 By:   fmenard   (Member)

I like the Land before Time the best, but the soundtrack should have this written on it :



Music by Sergei Prokofiev and Bela Bartok, adapted and arranged by James Horner (includes previously released rearranged music by James Horner).


wink

 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2012 - 5:14 AM   
 By:   Michael2   (Member)

I like the Land before Time the best, but the soundtrack should have this written on it :



Music by Sergei Prokofiev and Bela Bartok, adapted and arranged by James Horner (includes previously released rearranged music by James Horner).


wink


And Wagner for the opening piece! razz

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2012 - 5:22 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

That's what makes Horner's score so special, you listen to them and say , where did i here that nice piece before, well, look at it this way, at least James, keeps our musical minds active like a quiz being taken.

 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2012 - 8:09 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

It's really hard to pick a favorite Horner animated score. I suppose I to would go with Land Before Time, followed by An American Tail then Balto. Then Pagemaster, and We're Back!. Once Upon a Forest is the red headed step child of the bunch.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2012 - 10:48 AM   
 By:   mnrvason   (Member)

It's really hard to pick a favorite Horner animated score. I suppose I to would go with Land Before Time, followed by An American Tail then Balto. Then Pagemaster, and We're Back!. Once Upon a Forest is the red headed step child of the bunch.

Which animated film did Silvestri score?? It was something to do with a forest.

 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2012 - 10:50 AM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)


Which animated film did Silvestri score??


You're probably thinking of the similarly-themed, eco-friendly Ferngully released around the same time.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 8:46 AM   
 By:   Tom Servo   (Member)

I never wound up getting WE'RE BACK, so I can't really rank it against the others, but for the rest I think they would fall in this order:

THE LAND BEFORE TIME
AN AMERICAN TAIL
BALTO
THE PAGEMASTER
AN AMERICAN TAIL: FIEVEL GOES WEST
ONCE UPON A FOREST

The first two probably top favorites for sentimental reasons since they were among those early Horner purchases back in '87 and '88, but I also happen to really like the thematic material (whether "classically" borrowed or not) and the music in general. I really just enjoy the themes and motifs in these Horner scores quite a bit. BALTO I wound up finding used in the late 90's and was immediately impressed with it. Emerging as it did during the stylistic changes of his LEGENDS OF THE FALL/BRAVEHEART period, it was a very refreshing score in terms of the orchestrations, harmonic intervals, energy and action material.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 12:21 PM   
 By:   mnrvason   (Member)


Which animated film did Silvestri score??


You're probably thinking of the similarly-themed, eco-friendly Ferngully released around the same time.


That's it!! Thanks!

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 1:36 PM   
 By:   Dr Lenera   (Member)

I'm not familiar with all the films listed above but the ones I've seen, I've been very impressed with Horner's scoring. I'm no fan of his but he seemed to try extra hard with his animated movie scores. Balto is magnificent!

 
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