The Hero of Color City

Composed By: Zoë Poledouris-Roché & Angel Roché Jr.

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                The Hero of Color City is a computer animated film starring everyone's favorite animation tool - crayons.  When young Ben (Elizabeth Daily) falls asleep at night, he could never imagine that his crayons could come to life, but it's true.  They jump into their Crayon Box and are magically transported to Color City, a land fed by enchanted rainbows that contains waterfalls which give the inhabitants their colors.  Each of Ben's crayons has a very different disposition.  When timid Yellow (Christine Ricci) accidentally gets left behind one night, she accidentally awakens two monstrous unfinished drawings.  It's up to Yellow, brave Blue (Wayne Brady), meticulous Green (Jess Harnell), satirical Red (Rosie Perez), pessimistic Black (David Kaye) and overanxious White to prevent these villains from taking control of the waterfalls and keeping all of the color for themselves.

                The musical score of The Hero of Color City was created by the composing team of Zoë Poledouris-Roché and Angel Roché Jr.   Zoë is a Fellow of the Sundance Institute's Composer Lab and has written songs and composed musical scores for such popular films as Starship Troopers, Shadow of Doubt and White of Winter.  Angel began his musical career playing drums in his father's salsa band in Chicago.  Moving to Los Angeles, Angel began working with bands like Revolver, Dave Navarro and Mellowdrome before working as a recording and touring percussionist for Ziggy Marley.

                According to Zoë, daughter of film composer Basil Poledouris, "When I was very young my father played me a recording of Prokofiev'sPeter and the Wolf.'  He explained to me that each instrument represented a character in the story, a fact I loved. It taught me that music could be an important part of storytelling. I could hear nuance and relationships illustrated without having to see any characters on a stage or screen."  In keeping with her father's teachings, the couple decided to use instruments to represent each color with the trumpet representing Yellow, the trombone representing Blue, the bassoon representing Green, the clarinet representing White, the tuba representing Black, the saxophone representing Red and so on.

                As I listened to the four songs and 24 tracks of score on The Hero of Color City Soundtrack, I couldn't help but think of my nephew.  I remember thinking to myself, this sounds like something my nephew would enjoy.  The lyrics are catchy and fun for kids to sing along with.  The score is equally as fun for the kids.  I know, you're probably wondering how I could know that, but if you watch a kid listening to the kind of music you find on shows like Sesame Street, Barney the Dinosaur, Yo Gabba Gabba and more, they all have this special style that gets kids to bob their heads, snap their fingers, shake their bodies, rock from foot to foot, etc.  These are the kinds of tracks you will find on The Hero of Color City Soundtrack - music that will engage and invite your kids to dance as soon as they hear it.  Fun music, like salsas and rock and pop.

                I can't wait to tell my sister about The Hero of Color City.  The movie has a terrifically magical premise and the music is just perfect for an animated film geared towards children.  This is definitely a soundtrack parents will want to check out.


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