Randy Newman

Monsters, Inc. (An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack)

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As with both of the Toy Story movies and A Bug's Life, the soundtrack to Disney/Pixar's Monsters, Inc. features a fun, whimsical score by Randy Newman. Bookending lively, big band-inspired pieces like the Monsters, Inc. theme are two versions of "If I Didn't Have You," one sung by Billy Crystal and John Goodman, who voice the film's main characters, Mike (the little green eyeball) and Sulley (the big, blue, vaguely Maurice Sendak-iancreature), and one sung by Newman. For all its charm, it can't help but sound a bit like a second-rate version of Toy Story's "You've Got a Friend in Me," but it's still a winning song. The rest of the score is charming and vaguely retro, particularly on the sprightly "Walk to Work" and "Sulley and Mike"; even spookily named pieces like "The Scare Floor" and "The Scream Extractor" sound more cute than creepy. While this album probably won't appeal to most kids, it's nice that Disney acknowledges the huge adult following that Pixar's films have by releasing this playful, detailed score. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi