Thomas Newman,
Finding Nemo
(Disney, 2003)

Finding Nemo was a wonderful movie. It had color, depth and beautiful imagery. Pixar has been involved in some great movies, including Toy Story, Ice Age and a number of others. This studio makes sure to take great care in the design and production of its films, and so it was no surprise to learn that the movie's music contained the same fine attention to the details. Composer Thomas Newman has managed to capture the essence of the sea with all its poignancy and beauty. It is a lovely piece, and one worthy of performance in the new symphonic hall created for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

It is a great joy to discover a new piece of music. Remember the first time you heard or saw a band you really liked, and how hearing them brings back all kinds of feelings? Is it the music, or the words, that carries you along? Sometimes the sounds and the tones create such memories that they overshadow the pictures and words created by the filmmakers.

Many of us can remember the music in a film more than the actual plot. Music is used as a way to set a time and place in the viewer's imagination, and this music then sets the tone and the feeling of the film. Thus, the music lingers and the film takes a backseat. Although the music in this movie is not full of catchy lyrics or phrases, it does manage to seamlessly blend into the tone and beauty of a fine film.

It should be noted that one tune, "The Girl from Impanema" by Antonio Carlos Jobim, was included in track 32, "The Drill," which is a puckish reference to the dentist who owns the aquarium where Nemo was trapped for a time. Dennis Sands recorded music on tracks 9,10,16, 17 and 18, which are titled "Short-Term Dory," "Why Trust a Shark," "Squishy," "Jellyfish Forest" and "Stay Awake." Robbie Williams performs "Beyond the Sea" on track 40.

As you can see, there is an awful lot of music on here, which fits due to the complexity and richness of the ocean.

The music is alternately soft and stormy, and reflects quite nicely the moods of both the sea and the multivariate creatures living within. It brings an emotional response that one cannot put into words, or otherwise express the feelings brought forth. Sometimes, music just IS.

If there had been some catchy little theme song for Finding Nemo, it probably would have been fun and enjoyable, like a wintergreen snowcone on a hot July day. Maybe that tune would have been something one would remember when July days are full of endless meetings, boring routines and not so much pleasure. Maybe those two weeks at the beach would be enriched by the first rush of the ocean, and by the knowledge that Atlantis really does exist. The water is fine, the wind is soft and the music you hear in your heart is the music you may hear from under the sea.

- Rambles
written by Ann Flynt
published 14 February 2004

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