Animated Film & Soundtrack
The Last Belle Movie Short and Soundtrack
Animated Short Produced By: Neil Boyle and Rebecca Neville
Musical Score By: Stuart Hancock
Distributed by: MovieScore Media
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
It all started simple enough - I was going to listen to this soundtrack that MovieScore Media sent me and has sat in my listening cue for over a year (I'm seriously swamped with movie soundtracks, but I vow to get to them all!). Then, I would write the review and post it on the site. But after listening to the soundtrack twice, I was intrigued. It sounded like it belonged in an animated film and it was obviously a comedic score, but what was it created for?
So, I did some research and soon learned that the score was written for an award-winning animated short about a woman whose look for love in the wrong place finally turned up Mr. Right. I decided that I had to see The Last Belle...I mean, why not? After all, it's only twenty minutes long. How bad could it be?
The Last Belle stars Sienna Guillory as Rosie, an office worker looking for love. She finally sees her opportunity with a man she has met on the internet. As she discusses Wally with her married with children friend Siobhan (Amanda Donohoe), we catch glimpses of the truth behind the ways Wally has described himself. Rosie is incredibly excited about the date with Wally which is to take place in a bar at 8pm. She is promptly on time. The real Wally, not the one he has described, finds himself on a horrific adventure that ends up right where he started. Rosie, however, finds love where she least expected it.
The musical score of The Last Belle was created by British pianist, arranger and composer Stuart Hancock. Beginning his composing career working full time for the London music production company Mcasso in 1999, Hancock has now moved into freelance work, creating musical scores for movies, television, commercials and theatre as well as concert music. Composing credits include Underground, Bodyguard: A New Beginning, The Desert Treasure and Atlantis.
For 2-D animation, I have to say that I was impressed. As I watched the whirlwind experience of Wally's attempt to be on time for his blind date while completely inebriated, I was amazed at the animation and how it was all so fluid. The storyline was so funny because it was so real. Well, most of it. We've all gone on a blind date and all know the jitters that go into that first date - what to wear (we never have anything to wear despite the full closet of clothing), how to wear our hair, will he be appealing, will I be appealing...the list of questions go on. Then there's that moment when we learn that this is someone that was met on the internet and we cringe, knowing full well that this person is not going to be the person who they are advertised to be. To be fair, it isn't always that way, but more often than not...Wally's trip to the bar is not realistic - it's designed to be a hysterically unbelievable disaster of a journey, but you end up feeling that he got exactly what he deserved for lying to Rosie and for drinking to extreme excess before the date. The ending is rather cute and I enjoyed it.
The musical score composed by Stuart Hancock was performed by the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra and features what I like to call the comedy waltz. The tracks featuring Rosie are initially somewhat somber, moving on to become optimistic and leveling out at sad and downright perturbed. The tracks featuring Wally are over the top comedy waltz that tells you something outlandishly funny is happening. The hint of carnival song can be heard in these tracks as well. The fourteen minutes of score found on The Last Belle Soundtrack is so enjoyable, that I listened to it twice trying to figure out what was happening in the scenes the music was written for. Now that I have seen the short film, I realize that the music was a perfect match for each scene, accenting the ups and downs of Rosie's date night and Wally's shady ineptness that leads him to disaster.
I thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack, which led me to see the animated short film. That, in my opinion, says a lot - when a musical score inspires someone to want to see the film it was created for, the composer has achieved his goal, peaking the interest while creating the right score for the film. The Last Belle is a fun animated short and I am happy that one led me to the other. I have been telling all my friends about this film and I never would have seen it had it not been for the score.