Film scores

Soundtrack review: Minions (Heitor Pereira – 2015)

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Just like the penguins of Madagascar, the famous and infamous minions have broken free from their initial universe and spun off into their own movie. After attracting so many fans in “Despicable me” the funny and annoying yellow creatures with blue overalls became important enough to be left on their own. I haven’t seen their initial appearances but I have been exposed, like many others, by their merchandise, visual and meme presence. I will probably have to admit my submission to their infectious charm. The ”Minions” movie benefits from a score by Heitor Pereira, one of Hans Zimmer’s preferred collaborators and a guy you’ve heard featured on a lot of interesting scores these past few years. I’ve recently revisited “Mission: Impossible II”.

The opening cue “Minions through time” catches me unprepared. The assortment of flavors in this musical ice cream charms me from the first minute and I have no other option but to join in the fun and follow the notes as the hop and hide and take tumbles. There are also choral inserts and some moments that feel like sudden waterfalls. This first piece is enough for me I mean I could stop listening to the score and I would be happy. It was an adventure in itself.

As the score progresses the feeling of surprise continues to prevail. Heitor Pereira painted this score with rainbows and everything feels like a celebration. Animation scores usually have down or more serious moments and they are rarely able to keep the same joyous pace for the duration. Somehow the composer managed to stir my imagination and introduce enough inserts and motifs to make me lust for a vacation on the Riviera when I hear the vocal sections from “Minions run amok” or “Tortellini”. Usually too much vocal work makes a score lose some of its appeal but it’s not the case here. Here everything sounds like a commercial for a vacation retreat from the 60s or 70s; I can almost see the postcards.

The journey of the minions is mirrored by the musical styles and hints that Heitor Pereira so wonderfully uses, from blues to pin up to jazz to almost James Bond like big band play in “Orlando”. The scores moves fast and this variety will make sure I never get bored or impatient. “Minions” is all about the ride and you will not find me asking “Are we there yet?” like the Donkey from Shrek every not and then. I don’t care about the destination; I am just enjoying the musical journey.

“Minions” is one of the most spectacular surprises of the year. I didn’t expect to have so much fun and to want to listen to this score over and over again. I don’t know about the movie but the score is so brilliant it might just be the best thing Hector Pereira has written so far. Everything shines, everything laughs and everything sneaks in this relentless score and you better make sure you don’t miss it. You can even forget about the characters and story and take the music separately.

Cue rating: 96 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 32 / 47

Album excellence: 68%

Highlights:

Minions Through Time

Kevin, Stuart And Bob

Minions Run Amok

Tortellini

The Vnc

Orlando

Scarlet Overkill

Ruby Fight

Traveling Tribe

Tower Of London

King Bob

Dungeon Mayhem

Sneaking In

King Kong Kevin

Our Hero Is Back

Minions Victory

Greatest Renegade Unveiling (Gru)

 

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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