Storks: Original Score Review
Music Rating - 4/5
Review by Jake Morgan
Directors: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
Composers: Mychael Danna, Jeff Danna
Production Companies: Warner Animation Group, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, Sony Pictures Imageworks
A mustering of storks stop delivering babies to make for an efficient new business model - delivering packages for online retailer, Cornerstore.com. A spanner is thrown in the works when an order for a baby is accidentally processed. The top delivery stork must correct the blunder without his boss finding out.
The Canadian, oscar winning composer Mychael Danna (Life Of Pie, Little Miss Sunshine) teams up with his younger brother Jeff Danna (Silent Hill, Resident Evil Apocalypse) on their second feature film collaboration since ‘The Good Dinosaur’.
The overall style of the music is what you would expect from any animation. It is orchestral, expressive, emotion provoking and easy to listen to. We can hear Mychael’s influence creeping in with the incorporation of some non-western sounding percussion. I particularly love the use of space and playfulness the score expresses. The only criticism I would have is that it doesn’t take enough risks, leaving it with few defining features.
Tuning Into The Finer Details:
To mirror the animation style, Jeff and Mychael explore a huge palette of musical textures by combining and varying different articulations and orchestrations. The use of tremolo almost seems to be a thematic feature of the score. Metallophones, in particular, are put to great use in the more delicate cues along with other instruments associated with childhood such as harp, marimba, mark tree and music box. This orchestration is appropriate, with a strong theme of childhood and innocence running through the film. Listen to this gorgeous rendition of ‘Tulips theme’ when she meets her family for the first time.
One feature I appreciated as a composer was the use of humour in the Danna Duo’s score. They put an epic sounding gospel choir to use in the most hilarious way. Just take a look at this clip from the film when Junior is told of the success he may have in the near future, which blows his mind.
My favourite scene in the film regarding to audio has to be Junior and Tulip’s silent battle against a kidnapping waddle of penguins. After endless efforts, the penguins manage to get the captured baby to sleep when all of a sudden Junior and Tulip burst in the door and exclaim, “put down that baby!”, to which the penguins respond by gesturing at the sleeping baby. The two parties begin to fight while trying not to wake the baby. The Danna duo strategically decide to take a step back here, allowing sound designer, Michael Babcock and his team, takeover by creating a symphony of sound design, foley and sound effects.
In addition to the original score, Storks features the following soundtrack:
• Good Day – DNCE
• Kiss the Sky – Jason Derulo
• Keep on Loving You – REO Speedwagon
• How You Like Me Now? – The Heavy
• And She Was – Talking Heads
• Fire and The Flood – Vance Joy
• and the film’s original song: Holdin’ Out – The Lumineers
Storks is a ‘must see’ for animation lovers out there. It provides plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and will transport you back to your childhood for the 1hour and 40minute duration.
Written by Jake Morgan
Jake specialises in creating original music and audio for film, theatre, and video games. He studied contemporary composition and sound design at The Royal Irish Academy Of Music and Windmill Lane, Dublin. His music has been performed by symphony orchestras across the globe.