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Soundtrack review: Homeward bound (Bruce Boughton – 1993)

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Bruce Boughton is one of the composers I’ve had a hard time connecting with over the years. Just like Michael Kamen or even Jerry Goldsmith in some moments, his music just didn’t click with me. I am jumping at every chance to get close to it so this new release of “Homeward bound: The incredible journey” might help me discover a great composer. The movie is a remake of Disney’s earlier “The Incredible Journey:. This time the story is set near the Sierra Nevada mountains in California and features voiceovers from Sally Fields, Michael J. Fox, and Don Ameche. After the pets are dropped off at a friend’s ranch while their family vacations, the animals think they’ve been left for good and escape the ranch into the wild wilderness in search of their family.

I didn’t watch a lot of Saturday morning family movies when I was a kid. I liked regular movies and I started watching them very early. The few times when I would stumble upon a family movie featuring kids and animals the sound of it would be just like what I am hearing now from Bruce Boughton. It’s the kind of light and feel good sound which I’m having a hard time to connect with because I am usually looking for something deeper in the music. I need to adjust my mood and state of mind in order to enjoy this.

This score has everything you could imagine or desire for such a story: the guitar motifs, the grave and sudden piano inserts that suggest jumping and running and the brass instruments having a field day playing with each other. There’s melody, there’s romantic sadness and a twist of melancholy that comes like a gust of wind in the summer. These are moments I smile at and which make the score more enjoyable to me. There’s playfulness and adventure in the music and also very much fun. I am sure fans of Bruce Boughton will cherish this one.

But I am not yet there and this score wasn’t for me. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood, maybe Boughton’s music still hasn’t found a way to get inside me. Either way this is not a score I will return to because the moments I really felt were very few and scattered. Of course I loved the take on the “Mission Impossible” theme, but that’s beside the point. Once again, I’m sure it’s just me. This will probably be a very enjoyable score for many and the ones who bought the original version should get the upgrade.

Cue rating: 78 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 10 / 71

Album excellence: 14%

Highlights:

Left alone

Where’s the house?

Reunion

Mission impossible+

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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