Tag Archives: James Horner

The 3rd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon starts in 2 weeks!

It’s hard to believe but we’re only two weeks away from the start of the 3rd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon which pays tribute to the memory of the film composer extraordinaire.

There’s still time to sign up if you’d like to participate, just follow the link below and enter your information. Be advised though, there is a delay between when you enter the information and when it appears on the list.

Can’t wait to get this blogathon started in two weeks!

Remembering James Horner Blogathon Info and Sign-up

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An American Tail: Fievel Goes West “The Girl You Left Behind” (1991)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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An American Tail: Fievel Goes West “The Girl You Left Behind” (1991)

The first sequel to Don Bluth’s beloved-if-somewhat-disturbing An American Tail is an underrated gem of a story that follows Russian immigrant mouse Fievel Mouskewitz and his family as they immigrate to the wild West to make a better life than the one they have in New York City. Predictably, Fievel is separated from his family during the journey and he must race to catch up to their new home in Green River before the nefarious Cat R. Waul (John Cleese) fulfills his dream of turning all the mice into mouse burgers via a giant mouse trap.

One of my favorite sub-plots in this story is that of Tanya, Fievel’s older sister. With a gorgeous singing voice, Tanya is filled with dreams of becoming a great actress or a singer (or both) but her mother won’t hear of it. It’s not until Cat R. Waul happens to hear her singing to herself one day (“Dreams to Dream”) that Tanya is given a chance to realize her dream of becoming a performer. She’s taken to the local saloon and made up into a show girl by Miss Kitty (Tiger’s on-again off-again girlfriend) and is then thrust onto the stage where she has to perform for a saloon full of cats! Tanya’s nerves almost get the better of her, but with a little encouragement from Miss Kitty, she lets out a glass-breaking note that leaves the entire room staring at her in awe, and then the real fun begins!

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“The Girl You Left Behind” is one of my favorite animated songs that doesn’t come from a Disney film. It was created by the late James Horner and features the vocals of Cathy Cavadini (aka Blossom from The Powerpuff Girls). In this song, Tanya entertains the cats by singing about “the girl you left behind” and how they shouldn’t let her go.

Do you… do you ever miss…

Do you ever miss the girl…you left behind?

Is the girl you left behind out there tonight romancin’?

Makin’ eyes at someone else and singin’, is she dancin’?

Only the girl you left behind is real when you’re sleepin’

Puts the teardrops in your eyes from secrets she is keepin’

Happy just playin’ a tune and dance the whole night away

Hope the girl you left behind will be there for you someday

Lonely is the wind that blows, you know you’ll always miss her

Lonely is a lover’s heart, if only you could

Kiss her, kiss her, kiss her

Tanya’s debut takes place while Chula (Cat R. Waul’s tarantula henchman) is hunting Fievel to eliminate him as a loose end (he knows about the cats’ plan to kill all the mice). The poor mouse tries time and time again to get his sister’s attention but she’s so caught up in her performance that she doesn’t notice.

Chula is a sadistic tarantula with a high aversion to pain (just listen to his dialogue during the scene where he gets sprayed with Miss Kitty’s perfume). At one point, he corners Fievel and sings a demented version of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” that goes like this: The itsy bitsy spider caught a mouse in his web/The itsy bitsy spider BIT OFF THE MOUSE’S HEAD!

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All the girls you left behind could fill up California

Please don’t leave them too darn long, I think I oughta warn ya

Absence makes the heart go cold and makes a heart to wander

If you stay there by their sides, you’ll feel their hearts grow fonder

Cats:

Hope you see her someday

Hope I find my way

Back to the girl I left behind

Tanya:

So tell me you will never roam

Cats:

(We swear we won’t go roaming)

Tanya:

You’ll be by your fireside

Cats:

(We’ll all be home sweet home and kiss her, kiss her, kiss her)

Tanya:
So where’s the girl you left behind?

Cats:
She’s waitin’ for her sister

We won’t stop until we’re home we’ll hug and hug and kiss her

I’ll find the girl

I’ll find the girl

I’ll find the girl

I’ll find the girl

All:
You’ll (I’ll) find the girl

You’ll (I’ll) find the girl you (I) left behind

Tonight! Tonight! Tonight!

That’s right

Alright!

I can’t lie, as a little kid, I used to pretend I was Tanya putting on the performance of a lifetime. I wanted to put a big feather in my hair and dress up too (*sighs* good times…) What do you think of “The Girl You Left Behind”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day 🙂

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This review was actually posted a day in advance on the blog’s Patreon page. Patrons of the blog will have early access to my newest film and soundtrack reviews. The first tier for becoming a patron is $2/month which grants early access. The second tier is $5/month and gives you the right to commission one written film or soundtrack review from me per month (provided it’s one I haven’t reviewed already) as well as early access. The $10 reward grants the earlier rewards as well as commissioning one YouTube review of a film of your choice.

See also: Disney Soundtracks A-Z

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Announcing the 3rd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon

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It’s time once announce the return of my annual blogathon! The 3rd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon will be held June 22nd-June 24th, 2018 and will be hosted by me!

If you haven’t participated before, this blogathon is held every summer to honor the memory of film composer James Horner, who died in a plane crash in 2015. Participants choose any film that was scored by Horner and talk about what this film/soundtrack means to them. You can talk about just the film if you wish, or just the soundtrack or even just a favorite part of the film or soundtrack, it’s completely up to you. Also remember that your post must include a link back to my blog at the top (like this): This post is part of the Remembering James Horner Blogathon hosted by Film Music Central

If you’re stuck for ideas, check out my recaps for the previous two years for examples:

2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon Recap!

Remembering James Horner Blogathon: Recap

For a full list of Horner’s scores, see here: James Horner filmography

To ensure a diverse selection, each film may be chosen only twice. That is to say, only 2 people can write about Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, only 2 people can write about Titanic and so on and so forth. You can sign up for the blogathon below, leave a comment if you have any questions.

Please share this announcement to spread the word! Thanks everyone! Also feel free to borrow the banner up top to advertise for the blogathon 🙂

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The magic of James Horner: Casper (1995)

Thanks to everyone who has participated in the blogathon so far. Today is the last day and here is my contribution. Enjoy!

It’s been two years since James Horner was ripped away from us, his passing left a void that may never be filled. He had a gift for creating magical themes that stuck in the head for hours after the movie was over. And one of my favorite examples from the mid-90s was the main theme from Casper (1995).

Loosely based on the comics character Casper the Friendly Ghost, Casper follows a paranormal therapist, Dr. James Harvey (Bill Pullman) and his daughter “Kat” as they travel from state to state in an attempt to make contact with the spirit of Harvey’s deceased wife Amelia. The pair come to Casper’s former home when the spoiled heiress who inherited the home wants the ghosts (Casper and his uncles) removed so she can claim the “treasure” hidden inside.

Casper’s Lullaby

Casper’s theme, listed on the soundtrack as “Casper’s Lullaby”, is a haunting piano melody that comes to the forefront particularly when Casper remembers the events of his death, and also during the Halloween dance when Kat realizes she’s dancing with Casper (who’s alive for one night).

How Casper Died

It’s such a haunting melody, one that highlights the tragedy of Casper’s short life, and the fact that he “didn’t go where he was supposed to” but stayed behind instead. Actually, ever since Horner passed away, I’ve had a hard time listening to this theme, as it reminds me that one of the greatest film composers is gone before his time. I hope you enjoy listening to Casper’s Lullaby, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the blogathon today.

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See also:

2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon Day 1!!

2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon Day 2!!

Remembering James Horner Blogathon Day 3

2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon Recap!

It’s finally here, the 2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon is here! Even before I woke up this morning day 1 is off to a good start with two amazing entries already. As I see new entries come up, I will add them to this list below. Enjoy!!

Day 1

Plain, Simple Tom Reviews: The Land Before Time (1988)

Movierob: The Pelican Brief (1993)

Listening to Film: “Nautical but Nice”: James Horner and the Music for Wrath of Khan

Listening to Film: “The Underappreciated” (Star Trek III)

Reelweegiemidget: Willow (1988)

Day 2

Sean Munger: Postmodern patriotism: Howard’s “Apollo 13” as history and mythology

MovieRob: Clear and Present Danger (1994)

Day 3

MovieRob: The Karate Kid (2010)

The magic of James Horner: Casper (1995)

Christina Wehner: Sneakers (1992)

Listening to Film: The Rocketeer (1991)

Tranquil Dreams: The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

Old School Evil: The Land Before Time (1988)

Thank you to everyone who participated!

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Star Trek II: “Inside Regula I” (1982)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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One doesn’t normally associate the horror genre with Star Trek in any way, shape or form (though the infamous “Genesis” episode in Star Trek: The Next Generation comes awfully close in my opinion), and yet there is a scene midway through Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan that could be straight out of a horror film.

“Aboard Regula One” (beginning to 1:35)

The Enterprise is diverted from a routine training mission by an emergency call from space station Regula One and along the way are ambushed by Khan Noonien Singh, who seeks revenge against Admiral Kirk for stranding him and his followers on Ceti Alpha V fifteen years previously. Barely surviving this attack, the Enterprise limps to the space station, knowing Khan has been there and gone, not sure what they’ll find. Kirk, McCoy and Lieutenant Saavik beam over to see what, if anything, remains on the space station.

From the moment they transport down, the music is like something straight out of a horror film. The space station appears totally abandoned, and the music is dark and ominous. Even though Khan has left, there’s still no way of knowing if he’s left any “surprises” for Kirk and his crew.

Kirk, Saavik and McCoy walk through the empty corridors of the station, and the air is thick with tension. But it isn’t until we go back to a last shot of McCoy that we get the big “horror film” moment. He’s about to cross into a new section when he’s suddenly startled by a rat (because of course there are rats on space stations). And just when he thinks it is safe to keep going….WHAM!! He walks headfirst into the arms of a dead crew member, hanging upside down from a balcony.

It’s a truly horrifying moment, and one that I think is slightly underrated, due to the space battle that happens before and after this segment of the film. But this music is beautiful foretaste of what will come when Horner scores Aliens a few years after this film. I hope you enjoy a look at the scene “Inside Regula One.”

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See also: Film Soundtracks A-W

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James Horner scoring Braveheart (1995)

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James Horner scoring Braveheart (1995)

As I’ve mentioned before, 1995 was a very good year for James Horner. In that year alone he composed the scores for Casper, Apollo 13, Jumanji, Balto, Jade and Braveheart.

Braveheart was one of the standout films of 1995, eventually winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Directed by and starring Mel Gibson, the film tells the story of how William Wallace led the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England.

Braveheart

Wallace is spurred into action after his new bride Murron is executed by the English after she attempts to flee being raped. The Scots have several victories, including sacking the city of York. King Edward sends his son (also named Edward) to deal with Wallace, but that proves to be a failure. Then Prince Edward’s wife Isabella is sent (in hopes that Wallace will kill her and spur the French to jump into the war), but instead the two become enamored of each other and end up having an affair instead. Ultimately, Wallace is betrayed by would-be ally Robert the Bruce and is painfully executed by the English while Isabella is pregnant with Wallace’s child.

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While the film takes numerous liberties with actual history (Isabella and William Wallace never had an affair for example), the film was still very well received and James Horner’s score became one of the most commercially successful soundtracks of all time.

The footage features Mel Gibson’s comments on the music as James Horner leads the scoring sessions. If you’ve never seen Braveheart before, the music is absolutely gorgeous, a perfect example of James Horner at the top of his craft. Since the weekend is here, take some time, sit back, relax and enjoy the sounds of Braveheart.

If you’d like to learn more about the film scores of James Horner, see here

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*poster image is the property of Paramount Pictures