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Soundtrack review: All hail King Julien (Freddie Wiedman – 2015)

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I am sure when the first Madagascar movie came out nobody thought the movie would be so successful that not only would it get sequels but also secondary characters would go on to spin off in their own shows and movies. After the penguins got the spotlight the Madagascar universe expanded and it’s time for wacky King Julien the lemur to get his own cartoon show. All Hail King Julien is a 2014 American computer-animated television series starring characters from the Dreamworks Animation animated film Madagascar, voiced by Danny Jacobs, Andy Richter and Kevin Michael Richardson. The plot of the new Netflix Original Series takes place before Madagascar. The score was written by Freddie Wiedman who is used to writing music for different kind of animated characters. He is one of my favorite composers and I love how the franchise went from Hans Zimmer to Lorne Balfe and Freddie for the spinoffs.

There are only 10 minutes of pure score. Even in this condensed environment we have time for a suite which is only 1 minute long but it’s as joyful and optimistic as one cue can get. I am listening to this close to Christmas and it couldn’t be a more appropriate time, even if the setting is far away from this. Freddie is such a great composer and no matter how big the doses of his music might be there’s always something exciting to find in there. “The magic baby forest” keeps up the dreamy mood and I am just enchanted to hear this piece. Music like this fills me with joy and inspiration and my morale is up to the stars. The playfulness of the sound invites me to join in and I don’t hesitate.

Enough fun and games though; it’s time for secret agent stuff next and “My name is Clover” adds to the depths of the score. There is nothing cartoonish about this cue and I could see it working in a movie. I actually hope there will be more score released from this show because I’d love to hear some of the themes developed more. There is a lot of material here that the composer can expand and every minute of these 10 is a delight. I feel as if I’m only listening to a sample of the album though, a special presentation and that the rest of it is going to come later.

I loved this score and it would be a shame not to take a 10 minute break for it.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 10 / 10

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

King Julien Suite

The Magic Baby Forest

My Name Is Clover

Peptalk

Launch To The Moon

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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