I went back and revisited this score after watching the movie with my kids on Disney+ over the weekend and I think this is a pretty solid effort by Craig Armstrong. It's of course very saccharine and whimsical, but the film is very sweet and I think the score fits it nicely. There are a few standout moments in the score for me, ("Stella Leaves", "Ivan is Set Free" "Reflections of Ivan") that I think are really well done and got repeated listens.
Finally got around to giving this a blast...and I really like it. I've always liked Craig Armstrong's style - and he's a demon at tugging away at your heartstrings in and around popular songs and modern style musicals - and you can hear his voice well enough here. It's big and lush and tuneful. Some choir at times too. It is sugary and sweet, but also quite lovely at times, with that gorgeous CA 'melodic piano' style tinkling away. Some of the broad strings moments veer into Rachel Portman territory at times, but that's no bad thing to me either. A lovely 55 minutes was most certainly had.
I Done A Whittle...(55 minutes becomes 35 minutes)
1. Through the Mall (2:02) 5. Ivan Puts on a Good Show (1:28) 6. Ivan Remembers (1:15) 8. Julia’s Theme (0:52) 9. Ruby’s Arrival (1:15) 10. Meet Ruby (2:14) 16. Brave Ruby (2:09) 18. Stella Leaves (2:08) 21. Ivan and Ruby (2:01) 23. Arriving at the Forest (2:19) 24. You Can’t Be Out Here (1:23) 25. Ivan’s Memories (1:38) 29. Ivan’s Painting Revealed (1:22) 31. Ivan Discusses His Plan (2:22) 32. Ivan’s Farewell (1:41) 33. Ivan Is Set Free (3:20) 34. Reflections of Ivan (3:36) 35. The Reunion (1:42) 36. Ivan Orchestral Suite (Bonus Track) (2:29)