A heartfelt evocation of childhood dreams, Radio Flyer largely avoids the more brutal elements of director Richard Donner's tale of domestic abuse in favor of sunny melodies and bold orchestral arrangements -- what proved disastrously ill-fitting onscreen works far better on record, and taken purely on its own musical merits ranks among Hans Zimmer's finest scores. Zimmer's idyllic approach captures the energy and rhythms of childhood with aplomb -- the themes hop, skip, and jump, with an appealing silliness wonderfully emblematic of the juvenile mind. Yet tragedy haunts this music, lurking around its margins until the climactic "Lost Secrets" vaults the darkness front and center. Credit Zimmer for avoiding pathos and histrionics.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny
feat: Shirley Ellis