Monsters vs. Aliens

Musical Score By: Henry Jackman

Music By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Monster vs. Aliens is a 3-D animated feature film from DreamWorks Animation and Paramount Pictures, the first of its kind to be produced entirely in real 3-D rather than converted to 3-D upon completion.  The film stars Reese Witherspoon as Susan Murphy, a young woman from California who is struck by a meteor on her wedding day causing her to grow to a height of 49 feet and 11 inches.  Fearing this new “monster”, the military captures Susan and hides her away on a secret government compound along with other so-called monsters.  When a new threat to the world presents itself in the form of a mysterious alien robot, Susan and her new friends are called upon to save the day.  Can Susan, now named Ginormica and her ragtag group of monsters – a scientist called Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie), a half fish, half ape being known as The Missing Link (Will Arnett), a gelatinous creature named B.O.B. (Seth Rogan) and a 350-foot grub named Insectosaurus (Jimmy Kimmel) protect Earth from this new threat?

            The soundtrack of Monsters vs. Aliens is a mix of musical score and songs by various artists including The B-52’s, The Exciters, Little River Band and more.  The musical score is composed by British composer Henry Jackman who studied classical music at St. Paul’s Catherdral Choir School, Eton College and Oxford University, but whose interest in technology and contemporary culture offered some variety to his education in the form of club music and electronica.  Jackman has composed music for The Da Vinci Code, Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3, The Holiday, The Simpson Movie and more.

            The musical composition of the Monsters vs. Aliens Soundtrack is to be expected – action and adventure suffused with a sense of science fiction and some lighthearted comedic undertones.  Therefore, one would expect horns, strings and woodwinds to combine to produce an air of excitement and a sense of adventure.  The first track, A Giant Transformation, employs the use of opera to enhance the visuals of Susan’s growth from average size to her full height as Ginormica.  The comedic and lighthearted compositions come to play in Meet the Monsters and March of the Buffoons.  More exciting, pieces containing music entering higher crescendos and faster paces can be found in The Battle at Golden Gate Bridge.  But my favorite composition is a mix of music and quotes from the film entitled Monster Mojo.

            The music by various artists contain songs that will be considered new to the child audience and oldies to folks of my generation.  I loved singing along with Tell Him by The Exciters, Reminiscing by the Little River Band, Wooly Bully by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs and Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley.  I laughed at songs like When You See (Those Flying Saucers) by The Buchanan Brothers and Planet Claire by The B-52’s.

            All-in-all, the Monsters vs. Aliens Soundtrack is an incredibly enjoyable CD with something to enjoy for listeners of all ages.  It will happily take its place on the shelf beside the numerous soundtracks that I have deemed deserving of the right to join my soundtrack collection.  Parents will be happy to learn that this is a child-friendly soundtrack – no cursing or foul language to be found.  The Monsters vs. Aliens Soundtrack is clean fun and enjoyment for all family members young and old.


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