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A Wonderful Character Driven Score From Henry Jackman
on December 11, 2012
Henry Jackman has been riding in the fast lane recently as his career has propelled from additional music writer for Hans Zimmer to full-fledged auteur. His scores for X-Men: First Class, Monsters Vs. Aliens, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Puss In Boots have all been fantastic. Jackman scored Disney's Winnie The Pooh last year and it seems that kept him on the studio's radar. Wreck-It Ralph presented Jackman with the perfect opportunity to blend retro with modern in this wonderful score from the extremely versatile composer.
The music for Wreck-It Ralph has a wonderful soundscape and right from track 1 of the score we see how Jackman has incorporated that good ol' 8-bit sound into a modern feel. That first track also introduces us to Ralph's theme. Anybody who grew up with a GameBoy, NES or SNES will appreciate this score much more. While Jackman does play a nod to the early stages of game music he doesn't rely on it. The score is a wonderful orchestral experience that uses the electronic soundscape as an accent. Since the title of the film is also the main character one would expect this score to be character centric, and it really is. While the music plays the action very nicely, you can feel every ounce of story and character within it as well. Ralph's theme here is a simple 4-note motif that manages to resonate a lot of emotion for his character. The entire score just makes you feel good and has Jackman's emotional sensibility that prevents it from being hollow or empty. You may even get a few waterworks flowing after the final two tracks where we hear that 4-note theme take on a fully orchestral variation that signifies that Ralph's transformation into something more than just pixels on a screen. Wreck-It Ralph is simply a wondeful score.
Henry Jackman really excels here and we've seen him accomplish so much in the past few years that it's wonderful to see him as one of the respectable auteurs working today. His music connects with people and he is able to blend classic sensibilities with modern sounds effortlessly. You're going to be seeing him headline bigger and bigger projects in the future for sure as he's already proved himself as one of the most capable and versatile composers working in the industry.