Soundtrack Review: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

POKÉMON Detective Pikachu stars Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu, the iconic face of the global Pokémon phenomenon—one of the world’s most popular, multi-generation entertainment properties and one of the most successful media franchises of all time.  Also starring are Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Suki Waterhouse, Omar Chaparro, Chris Geere, and Rita Ora, with Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy.  Fans everywhere can now experience a Pokémon on the big screen as never before, as Detective Pikachu, a Pokémon like no other.  The film also showcases a wide array of beloved Pokémon, each with its own unique traits and personality.

The score for Pokémon: Detective Pikachu was composed by Henry Jackman, whose scoring credits include Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: First Class, Monsters vs. Aliens, and Kong: Skull Island among others. The score, which released on Friday, May 3rd, is absolutely beautiful. Jackman employs a variety of strings and other instruments throughout the score. However, what really puts this score over the top is Jackman’s decision to mix in synthesizer music with the orchestral score. And by synthesizer, I mean think of the music you heard in the original Pokémon games, that synthesized “doop-doop” that is instantly recognizable. A number of the tracks slide in and out of this synthesized music, and it helps bring the Pokémon world to life.

Regarding the soundtrack, Jackman had this to say:

Writing the music for POKÉMON Detective Pikachu was immense fun.  The movie itself was a unique invitation to create a new musical world representing all the wonderful and colorful characters of the Pokémon  universe.  I really enjoyed using many different sonic colors so, if you listen carefully, you can hear everything from the full symphony orchestra to analog vintage synths.  I was also very happy to be working again with Rob Letterman, who even tried to get his beloved 808 Drum Machine into the score, until we found it was fatally damaged.  To have been selected to write music for such a well-loved and precious franchise is a great honor, and I greatly hope my best efforts contribute positively to the Pokémon experience.

If the film is as great as Jackman’s score, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu could easily be one of the best films of the first half of 2019. Even without seeing the film, the music is a joy to listen to. Jackman covers an entire emotional range, from light and humorous to dark and melodramatic. If the film has any failings, it will not come from the music.

As the Pokémon: Detective Pikachu soundtrack is available now, listen to it when you get the chance and let me know what you think about it in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

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1 thought on “Soundtrack Review: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

  1. Pingback: My Thoughts on: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019) | Film Music Central

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