Ice Age: Collision Course

Music Composed By: John Debney

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                The fifth installment in the Ice Age animated film series, Ice Age: Collision Course, begins with Scrat (Chris Wedge), a saber-toothed squirrel, accidentally activating an abandoned alien ship while trying to bury an acorn.  Of course, the ship takes him to deep space where he inadvertently sends asteroids on a collision course with Earth.  To save themselves, Sid (John Leguizamo), Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary) and the others must leave their home in search of a way to stop the asteroid impact, taking them to exotic places and introducing them to a host of new characters.

                The musical score of Ice Age: Collision Course was created by John Debney, a man whose parentage seemed to scream Hollywood-bound - father Louis Debney was a Disney Studios producer.  Beginning guitar lessons at age six, John Debney performed in rock bands while in college.  He began scoring for television in the late 1980s/early 1990s, working on projects like Star Trek: The Next Generation and Sea Quest DSV.  His first studio feature film score was created for the Disney comedy Hocus Pocus and he never looked back.  Since then, Debney has created musical scores for such notable films as The Princess Diaries, Spy Kids, Elf, The Passion of Christ, Hatfields and McCoys, Stonehearst Asylum, Draft Day, Jobs and more.

                Replacing John Powell as composer for the series, John Debney was delighted to take the helm: “I’m a huge Ice Age fan and have been since the first film a few years back.  Anchored by Scrat’s crazy adventures, the Ice Age stories always seem to warm the hearts of millions around the world…To now be a small part of the ‘family’ is a unique joy.  My friends at Blue Sky have yet again created a film of great heart as well as hilarious hijinks. The characters are timeless.  I believe that this is my Ice Age film yet, and I truly hope the fans will enjoy the spirit of fun within the score.”

                The music of Ice Age: Collision Course is orchestral with a quirky comedic style. Twangs on the guitar represent the antics of Scrat while electronic sound represents the abandoned alien ship he unwittingly activates.  Horns are often times used to express action while a choir is used for dramatic effect.  There is a brief snippet of Here Comes the Bride in Track 29, perhaps alluding to the impending nuptials between Manny’s daughter and her fiancée. 

                I have only seen one Ice Age feature – the holiday special – so I’m really not in tune with the characters and their quirks (except for Scrat).  That being said, I found that the quirky score created by Debney had me smiling.  Even though I had no idea what was going on the film, I found the music amusing.  The film didn’t receive great ratings, but that was through no fault of the score, which I thought was enchanting and a lot of fun.


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