James Horner

The Pagemaster

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James Horner has often been accused of cannibalizing his previous scores for the sake of subsequent films in the same genre, and The Pagemaster represents the proverbial smoking gun that closes the case. Lifting entire passages from past efforts ranging from Glory to Willow to The Land Before Time, the soundtrack is completely bereft of energy and imagination. Horner's sole response to charges of self-plagiarism is to make every melody and motif bigger and/or louder than in its previous incarnation, and to their credit the London Symphony Orchestra rises to the occasion, swelling to epic scale in an effort to give this shopworn music some real sense of drama. In its way, The Pagemaster is the quintessential Hollywood score of its era. It's music that merely apes what worked in the past, with absolutely no trace of daring, innovation, or heart.

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