Tad the Lost Explorer

Composed By: Zacarías M. de la Riva

Distributed by: MovieScore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the 3D animated film, Tad the Lost Explorer (also known as Las Aventuras de Tadeo Jones), Tadeo Jones (Óscar Barberán) is a Chicago construction worker who dreams of becoming a famous archaeologist and adventurer like his hero Max Mordon (Adam James).  Mistaken for a real professor, Tad gets his chance.  He soon finds himself on a plane to Peru in search of the Lost City of Paititi.  It is here that Tad finally finds action, adventure, a beautiful woman and danger aplenty.

                The musical score of Tad the Lost Explorer was created by Spanish composer Zacarías M. de la Riva.  After completing a double major in Composition and Film Scoring at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Zacarías M. de la Riva returned to Spain where he began creating musical scores for short films and his first feature film score, Jaizkabel.  In 2000, he traveled to Madrid where he began collaborating with other composers, serving as an orchestrator movie scores for such popular films as The Machinist and 800 Bullets.  Zacarías M. de la Riva was the perfect choice to create the musical score of Tad the Lost Explorer, having created the musical scores for the two Tadeo Jones shorts in 2003 and 2007.

                As soon as the music of Tad the Lost Explorer began playing, I was taken in by its spirit of adventure.  I loved the big orchestral feel of the music with moments of action punctuated by fast-paced strings, blaring horns and rapid-fire snares accompanied by crashing cymbals.  Moments of danger were expressed through music played in the lower registries accompanied by the rumbling of kettle drums.  There even were some lighter moments in the music, little quirky sounds performed by woodwinds that gave the listener the impression that they were meant to accompany comedic moments in the film.

                But the more I listened to the soundtrack, I began to have the distinct impression that I had heard much of the main themes before.  Once the impression hit me, I found it necessary to identify just where I had heard it before.  Then, I had it - the score sounded just like something John Williams would have created for this film.  And of course, that makes sense, given the fact that Tadeo Jones fancies himself the dashing, daring explorer and archeologist in the style of Indiana Jones.  And who composed the musical scores of every single Indiana Jones film?  Yup, you guessed it - John Williams.

                Now there are some differences in the music, so I am more inclined to say this is a score that pays homage to those created for Indiana Jones by John Williams, but if you are a fan of those soundtracks, you are bound to love the Tad the Lost Explorer Soundtrack.  It perfectly expresses the action, adventure, danger and daring Tadeo Jones experiences in the film and is a terrific standalone album full of exciting and enjoyable composition.  I consider this album music well-worth taking a listen to.


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