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Giacchino's Up Soundtrack Flies High

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Disney Music
Courtesy Walt Disney Records
Michael Giacchino's Up Soundtrack is a great example of classic soundtrack composition, proving that you don't have to release a CD of rehashed pop tunes or shallow tie-in songs to create a popular, yet high-quality, soundtrack album. Giacchino's composing skills on the Up Soundtrack make it the best Disney Pixar soundtrack ever released.

The Artist

Giacchino composed period music, waltzes, and visually evocative sounds for the Up Soundtrack, his third score for Disney Pixar, after The Incredibles (with its James Bond, spy film musical vibe) and Ratatouille (evoking the wistful, smoky sounds of Parisian streets).

He provided the music for the recently-released Star Trek and Land of the Lost films, as well as the television soundtracks for Alias, Lost, and Fringe. Other works include the soundtracks for Mission: Impossible III, Speed Racer, The Family Stone, and numerous video games.

Music from the Up Soundtrack

Giacchino’s music for the Up Soundtrack perfectly captures the adventure, the bittersweet memories, and the humor of the film. Grand orchestral surges, tender piano vignettes, and music-as-sound-effects all evoke a visual recounting of specific scenes. And he’s as playful as ever in naming the tunes on the Up Soundtrack, with song titles like "Giving Muntz the Bird," "Kevin Beak'n," "Escape from Muntz Mountain," and "Up with End Credits."

Some of the more memorable tunes on the Up Soundtrack include "Memories Can Weigh You Down," which was recently included on the Disney Pixar Greatest Soundtrack CD; the last three tracks on the album, which are sound effects credited to "Skywalker Sound;" and "The Spirit of Adventure," a Rudy Vallee-like song complete with megaphone vocals.

Giacchino cites classic Disney composers Oliver Wallace and Frank Churchill as being major influences on his writing style for the Up Soundtrack, and lists the movies Around the World in 80 Days and Peter Pan as informing his music for this soundtrack, as well.

Giacchino’s goal, he says, was to create thematic but melodic music for the Up Soundtrack. He wanted to use majestic, emotional musical gestures, but also leave the audience with a tune stuck in their head.

The Verdict

Disney Pixar's Up Soundtrack flies high behind the first-class compositions of Michael Giaccino. The music will be especially memorable to those who have seen the film, but even if you haven't been to the theater to watch the movie yet, the Up Soundtrack is a treat to the ears.

The Up Soundtrack is only available as a digital download.

Released May 26, 2009; Walt Disney Records

Track Listing

  1. Up With Titles (0:53)
  2. We’re In The Club Now (0:43)
  3. Married Life (4:10)
  4. Carl Goes Up (3:33)
  5. 52 Chachki Pickup (1:14)
  6. Paradise Found (1:03)
  7. Walkin’ The House (1:03)
  8. Three Dog Dash (0:51)
  9. Kevin Beak’n (1:14)
  10. Canine Conundrum (2:03)
  11. The Nickel Tour (0:52)
  12. The Explorer Motel (1:26)
  13. Escape From Muntz Mountain (2:43)
  14. Giving Muntz The Bird (1:57)
  15. Stuff We Did (2:13)
  16. Memories Can Weigh You Down (1:22)
  17. The Small Mailman Returns (3:11)
  18. He’s Got The Bird (0:29)
  19. Seizing The Spirit Of Adventure (5:19)
  20. It’s Just A House (1:59)
  21. The Ellie Badge (1:30)
  22. Up With End Credits (7:38)
  23. The Spirit Of Adventure (2:30)
  24. Carl’s Maiden Voyage (0:52)
  25. Muntz’s Dark Reverie (0:52)
  26. Meet Kevin In The Jungle (1:32)
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