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Terry Pratchett's Discworld - Soul Music

3.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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(Jul 31, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This animated version of the bestselling novel by parody master Terry Pratchett is a cautionary tale about the dangers of Rock Music--which in the Discworld is literally Music with Rocks In. A restless harp-playing teenager from the countryside is determined to become the Disc's greatest musician. His prospects look dim, especially after he forms a band with a rock-bashing troll and a horn-playing dwarf. Until, that is, he stumbles upon a guitar with a life of its own and renames himself Buddy. Meanwhile, reeling from big-time job stress, Death takes a holiday, leaving his teenage granddaughter to look after the family business. Like girls all over the Disc, she falls for Buddy, a problem since he's living fast and soon will need her professional attention. But while the beat goes on, no one (almost) is immune to its spell. 175 minutes.

Special Features

  • Includes episodes I-VII
  • "Welcome to the Discworld" (complete pilot)
  • Interview with Terry Pratchett
  • Storyboards
  • Pratchett biography
  • Character biographies
  • Cast filmographies
  • Discworld booklist

Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Lee, Graham Crowden, Debra Gillett, Andy Hockley, George Harris
  • Directors: Jean Flynn
  • Writers: Terry Pratchett
  • Producers: Jean Flynn, Craig Hemmings, Mark Hall
  • Format: Animated, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2001
  • Run Time: 175 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005M0JI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,948 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Terry Pratchett's Discworld - Soul Music" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Leal on February 16, 2005
Format: DVD
I must say, with all the negative reviews that this animation was getting, I was almost afraid to watch it. But my insistance on seeing Death animated persuaded me to buy it anyways, and I'm glad for it. So I will address some of the main negative commentary. First, the quality of animation. Perhaps I've become desensitized to bad animation (thanks to some low-budget Japanese anime) but in my experience, Soul Music's animation is not at all bad. If anyone could stomach Scooby-Doo or Johnny Quest, then this is nothing. The adaptation itself (while I would rather have seen Reaper Man or Mort animated) was exquisite and followed the novel almost exactly. Sometimes the cuts or execution of a particular scene in the novel didn't translate exactly, but for the most part seeing it in action actually clarified aspects of the book. I was particularly impressed by how well things such as Death's house and time travel were handled. And finally, the voice acting was very well done. Christopher Lee as Death was a piece of casting that could not have been done better, not to mention the design overall was done well! Susan, although her character design fluctuated a lot, was also very good. The musical aspect of the story -- going through all the 'stages' of rock music since it started -- was handled surprisingly well also.

The only gripe I had was the fact that the Death of Rats didn't have a rat skull. Nor did he, er, SQUEAK properly. He looked more like a Death of Lizards. And Quoth didn't really look much like a raven, and talked more like a parrot. But otherwise, everything was spot-on.
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By A Customer on July 21, 2001
Format: DVD
As a Terry Pratchett fan, I eagerly awaited the arrival of "Soul Music" and I wasn't disappointed! The story was true to the book, and very entertaining. Mainly it's a story of Death's attempts to forget,and his granddaughter's attempt to fill his shoes. While Susan is filling in for death, she meets a boy whose death is averted by music. She than tries to figure out the how and why, and what to do next.Sounds confusing, but my husband, who doesn't follow the discworld, could keep up with it. I only have two complaints that keep it from receiving a perfect score. One, they used the same animators that did "Wyrd Sisters" so the animation seemed almost from the 1970's (someone compared it to the animation for Fat Albert!)and dated, and two, it was not a seamless story. The DVD version was broken into episodes . I found it distracting to get into the story and to have that episode end, and then have to go to the menu to choose the next one. The extras;howerver, were fabulous. They include an interview with Terry Pratchett, a copy of the pilot (which seemed to be based on the beginning of Reaper Man), a story board break down of one of the scenes, and more. If you like Terry Pratchett, or even writers such as Douglas Adams, this is a fabulous disc!! (pardon the pun, I couldn't help myself!)
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Format: VHS Tape
While this is not a PERFECT rendition of "Soul Music"--one of my very favourite Discworld books, ever--it's still pretty fun. First, to get it out of the way--the bad news. Some of the best running gags, such as the rock-fan wizards and the punk/garage band that kept changing its name, are shortened down considerably for time purposes. I didn't like the way they drew the wizards. And well, this really couldn't be helped, but things that were supposed to be just _feelings_ in the book, were translated into rather cheesy special effects. (Like the "energy" coming out of Imp's guitar and coursing through his body, for example.) But I guess that's the only way you CAN let the audience know what's going on, in a visual medium. It seemed more realistic/less cheesy in print, though. I should also mention that since this is probably my VERY favourite Discworld novel, I was judging it a little more closely than I might have otherwise. Other people might react differently.
Now, the GOOD! This cartoon miniseries does stay pretty dang close to the actual plot of the book--using original dialogue whenever it can, even. It includes the types of details and scenes that MOST movies-based-off-of-books would have clipped out. Susan and Imp the bard are especially well-drawn, I thought, and DEATH is, of course, just the way he should be. Also, the Music With Rocks In songs are _catchy_!
Overall, this video is an enjoyable time. It'll make people who _aren't_ familiar with Discworld yet want to learn more--and those of us who are already fans of those hilariously funny fantasy books should enjoy the chance to _see_ one of them on the screen.
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By A Customer on August 14, 2001
Format: DVD
Soul Music is one of my favourite Discworld books ever (it's a comedy fantasy series that takes place on a flat planet) and I must say that this animated version was pretty decent. The story of Soul Music, basically, is that Death, while trying to "FORGET", runs off, leaving his grand-daughter Susan (don't ask) to do his job--whether she wants to or not! Meanwhile, a young bard named Imp goes to the city and joins up with a dwarf named Glod and a troll named Lias to start a music band. He finds a strange guitar in a mysterious wandering shop. It seems to play of itself...
Imp is destined to die on stage during the band's first gig, but Susan--as Death--doesn't WANT him to die! (He's a cute teenage boy, she's a teenage girl...) Before _she_ can save him, though, something _else_ does...
...and _rock and roll_ breaks loose in a _medieval_ society! This causes about as much chaos as you might expect, and the rock-fan wizards among other things, are just about the FUNNIEST thing you could think of. This story--the original book, especially--pokes fun at just about _every_ rock or pop cliche of the genre you can think of. Examples include a song called "Pathway to Paradise", the Dean with his leather robe that says "BORN TO RUNE" and a _new_ twist on the idea of a rock star "redecorating his hotel room." The musical jokes are HILARIOUS, but you will only get them if you know about rock history! Those of you whose knowledge only goes as far back as Britney Spears and 98 Degrees--you won't get it. (Me, I wasn't born in the '50s or '60s, but I have good _taste_, see. ;))
However, "Soul Music" also has its serious side: The story with Death, Susan, and Mort and Ysabell is very tragic and parts of it will have you sniffling.
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