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Soundtrack review: The boss baby (Hans Zimmer & Steve Mazzaro – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: The boss baby (Hans Zimmer & Steve Mazzaro – 2017)

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“The Boss Baby” is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated comedy film, loosely based on the 2010 picture book of the same name written and illustrated by Marla Frazee.Produced by DreamWorks Animation, the film is directed by Tom McGrath and written by Michael McCullers. It stars the voices of Alec Baldwin, Miles Christopher Bakshi, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow and Tobey Maguire. The plot follows a baby who is a secret agent in the secret war between babies and puppies. The music was written by Hans Zimmer and Steve Mazzaro.

Usually it’s not easy for me to write about comedy or animation scores because I can’t connect very well to slapstick music or monkeying around; this is Hans Zimmer though and previous experience has showed that, at least for animation he can provide the fun. “Survival of the fittest” is about as good an opening cue as I could have hoped for as it throws me right in the spectacular action while sweetening the mood with some 70s jazzy interludes. I find it fun how the composers nailed the baby angle: I have a 2 year old and the mood changes are as wide and as unexpected as the music makes them out to be with the constant back and forth between doomsday action and smooth playful 70s spy movie bass heavy tunes with vocalizations and back to joyful piano swings that make me groove in my chair and have a very optimistic outlook on life. If I close my eyes I can imagine a cue like “Welcome to the baby corp” is taken from a 70s European vacation movie. Hans’ obsession with Morricone is obvious in here as well and it’s a delight to hear, as is his subtle way of referencing classical compositions in some of the pieces.

When the action gets going the music is pure and awesome bubbly champagne. The entire score is just a schizophrenic delight and I had a smile on my face for the duration of the score and there was no time for filler cues or any dull moment. Hans Zimmer and Steve Mazzaro must have had terrific fun writing this one and it almost, almost makes me want to see a movie I would have normally avoided. I constantly pump up the volume as this musical rollercoaster throws thrills, surprises and delights at me.  If you only want to sample this score to see if it does anything for you just listen to “Super colossal big fat boss baby” and you’ll know what this is all about. But I think it would be a pity not to enjoy the entire infectiously fun and energetic composition. For me, a suite from it should also be included in Hans Zimmer’s live program for the 2017 tour.

Cue rating: 89 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 22 / 52

Album excellence: 42%

Highlights:

Survival of the Fittest

Welcome To Baby Corp

You Can’t Get Away From Johnny Law

Super Colossal Big Fat Boss Baby

Barfmitzvah

Toodaloo Toilet-Head!

I Wish You Were Never Born

Arrrggh

Upsies! I Need Upsies!

 

 

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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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