Alexandre Desplat

The Secret Life of Pets [Original Motion Picture Score] [Digipak]

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Review

A year after a first-time Academy Award for his work on Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, and with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pts. 1 and 2 under his belt, The Secret Life of Pets takes composer Alexandre Desplat into the, for him, rare territory of children's animated film. It follows the adventures of pets on the loose in the city. With clarinet in hand, the "Sing Sing Sing"-inspired intro "Meet the Pets" sets a playful tone reinforced by track titles like "Telenovela Squirrels" and "Rooftop Route." The piece's jazzy character in maintained through the soundtrack, though it roams from big band to Mancini-esque lounge ("Rooftop Route," "You Have an Owner?"), and into Bernstein-like city settings and cartoonish orchestral fare (both represented on "Fetch Me a Stick"). "Gidget Meets Tiberius" incorporates most of these and more -- and there is much more. A track like "Initiation Time" borrows from action templates with big brass and tympani, while Brazil visits "Traveling Bossa." Throughout, Desplat's musical agility is on full display. Though nearly all of the recording is original score (pop music from the film is not included here), the film and soundtrack close with a cover of "We Go Together" from the musical Grease, performed by workers at a sausage factory that appears earlier in the film. ~ Marcy Donelson, Rovi