James Newton Howard

Treasure Planet [Original Motion Picture Score]

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James Newton Howard's third Disney animated score is a solid if predictable effort in the composer's signature larger-than-life orchestral vein. Like the previous Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Treasure Planet is pure Disney formula, balancing rousing action, cornball comedy, and bittersweet romance in bold, broad strokes. What sets it apart from its predecessor is the presence of Gaelic whistles and fiddles, as well as a fiery electric guitar that adds a dash of rock & roll to Howard's otherwise conventional symphonic sensibilities. The problem with Treasure Planet is the problem that plagues all contemporary Disney scores, and that's the mind-numbing predictability of the music's emotional arc: if you've heard one of these, you've heard 'em all. Banal pop tunes from Goo Goo Dolls frontman Johnny Rzeznik and BBMak merely compound the facelessness.

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