Search Results for : Interviews

The Jungle Book: A 20th Anniversary Conversation with Bobbie Poledouris

jungle book poster1994’s The Jungle Book was the first time Disney turned one of its classic animated films into a live-action feature. Starring Jason Scott Lee as adult Mowgli, Lena Headey as his love interest, and Cary Elwes as the British baddie, the film was a surprisingly dramatic retelling of the Rudyard Kipling story, and featured exotic sets and locations, an effective blend of mature emotion and play, and an impressive supporting cast that included John Cleese and Sam Neill. The film was directed by Stephen Sommers, then only 32, who’d just made another delightful literary adaptation—The Adventures of Huck Finn (featuring my favorite Bill Conti score)—and would go on to make The Mummy films.

Christopher Guest on Spinal Tap at 30

I got to interview the great Christopher Guest a few weeks ago for a Variety piece on a 30th anniversary screening of This is Spinal Tap at the New York Film Festival. I used about 5% of the interview in that article—so here’s the other 95. Guest definitely wasn’t the warmest interview, but his reflections on one of the funniest movies ever made are pretty entertaining. Enjoy.

The Music of The Lion King: A 20th Anniversary Conversation with Rob Minkoff and Mark Mancina

As a nine-year-old cub myself when I saw it the first time in the summer of 1994, The Lion King hit me in that sweet, magical spot of childhood where movies become enshrined as idols for a lifetime—sometimes regardless of their quality. But I would have plenty of backup arguing that The Lion King is a serious contender for Disney’s best animated film, despite my biases. Shakespearean drama and excruciating loss are acted out by memorable, endearing characters, couched in some of the studio’s most lavish animation since the days of Pinocchio.

The final layer elevating the film to greatness is its music: classic songs written by (arguably) the greatest pop songwriter of the 20th century, and a serious, dramatic score by a young and explosively talented Hans Zimmer. The sum total is a powerhouse of a “family movie” I don’t think has ever been rivaled.

Scoring the Cosmos: A Conversation with Alan Silvestri and Seth MacFarlane

MacFarlaneIt still feels weird that the creator of the wisecracking, puerile, and frequently crude cartoon Family Guy is the executive producer of a series that (in his words) earnestly explores the science of the cosmos. But it seems Seth MacFarlane loves defying expectations as much as he enjoys spinning a dozen plates at once as an undeniably talented voice actor, regular actor, writer, director, and producer (despite your or my opinion of his sense of humor).

John Lunn, Jeff Beal, and Mark Snow on the ascension of TV music

I wrote an LA Weekly piece, posted today, on television music in light of the upcoming concert hosted by the television academy. In it I said that “TV music has largely languished in a sea of forgettability”—and while I admit it’s not totally fair to paint the whole medium with such a broad brush, I do think most TV scores throughout the decades have been pretty bad.

I’m not talking about TV theme songs, which are their own animal. Actual television underscore has suffered from the limitations and weaknesses of the format: short, choppy cues, the repetitive use of reheated “library” cues, and either a busy style that apes manic action or boring, ambient drones.