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Soundtrack review: Tiny Christmas (Ryan Shore – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Tiny Christmas (Ryan Shore – 2017)

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“Tiny Christmas” is a Nickelodeon holiday TV movie. When a girl (Riele Downs) and her quirky cousin (Lizzy Greene) are accidentally zapped by a shrinking ray at the hands of one of Santa’s inept elves on Christmas Eve, they must learn to trust and appreciate each other and work as a team to get back home before Christmas, or risk staying tiny forever. Ryan Shore wrote the score.

Earlier this year I heard Ryan Shore’s score for the “Julie’s greenroom” show and it was very nice. And what could possibly keep me away from listening to this one as well especially now in December and especially when Nickelodeon is a big part of my life currently, both the normal channel and Nick Jr. since I have a 3 year old little girl. It is the right mood to enjoy this music. My expectations for a gentle, melodic and whimsical composition are met right from the start, as I instantly connect with “Emma’s crazy secret box”; on the other side of the spectre are the playful pieces like “North pole tech lab”, a colourful celebration of joy and occasional silliness. This is a fairy tale after all so there must be no shortage of magic and imagination in the music.

It’s hard not to give in to the infectiously fun mood of this score, even if you might be feeling a little down going in; Ryan Shore does everything right with his orchestral pieces, from sparkling adventurous to suspenseful or tender. The music has that comfortable childish warmth from start to finish, with chimes and bells and flutes that keep the soul of the music safe and protected inside its boundaries. There’s also variety in this score, after all, the interest of the kids watching needs to be kept fresh also through sound not only through visuals and every now and then the score explodes in flashy jazz numbers like “Tinsel paws” or in relentless piano motifs like in “Kitty litter cannonball”.

With an open mind and soul it’s impossible not to giggle and love this score even without watching the movie and even without having a joyful kid around; Ryan Shore knows which chords to tug on to make his music bright and enjoyable. There are also moments when my nostalgia kicks in hard, like the Disney nostalgia in the beginning of “Monster sized candy” with that angelic chorus at the beginning or the nostalgia of magical childhood winters in “Christmas Eve snowfall”. “Tiny Christmas” is the right album to have around during the holiday season and I’m sure you will find something inside it to connect with.

Cue rating: 87 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 21 / 59

Album excellence: 35%

Highlights:
Emma’s Crazy Secret Box
We’re Shrunk!
Time To Double Feather
Tinsel Paws
Kitty Litter Cannonball
Mrs. Findlay Wakes Up
Dialing Dad
Mrs. Findlay’s Calendar Candy
Christmas Eve Snowfall
Climbing The Snow Mountain
Spotting The Goggles
Different Can Be Good

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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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