Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo

Composed by: Dynamic Music Partners

Distributed by: La-La Land Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            When a high-tech ninja attacks Titans Tower, the Teen Titans spring into action, taking him down quickly.  They soon discover that the ninja was sent by a mysterious Japanese criminal known only as Brushogun.  Realizing that they must track this new menace down and bring him to justice, the team packs up and heads off to Tokyo.  But will the team of Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Raven and Beast Boy be enough to stop Brushogun, or will this new enemy turn the tables and destroy the Titans?

            The soundtrack of the straight-to-video animated film Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo was composed by Dynamic Music Partners, a three-person team consisting of Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis and Kristopher Carter.  Michael McCuiston has a vast history in composition for television, film and video games including Spider-Man: The Movie Game, Mother Dreams the Satan’s Disciples in New York and Ben 10: Alien Force.  He has been nominated for nine Emmy Awards and two Annie Awards for his musical compositions over the past 15 years.  Lolita Ritmanis is also a nine-time Emmy nominated composer who has created musical composition for quite a few well-known animated series, including Batman Beyond, The Spectacular Spider-Man and Ben 10: Alien Force Kristopher Carter was one of the youngest composers to work for Warner Bros.  Carter composes music for television and film, having won an Emmy Award for his work on Batman Beyond

            With Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo being released straight to video, the composers were given more time to create and a much larger music budget to work with.  Thus, the composers were able to call in A-List musicians to perform the music they created.  Featured musicians on the soundtrack include Greg Herzenach on guitars , John Yoakum on woodwinds, Olivia Tsui as concertmaster, Jennifer Gordon-Levin on violin, Piotr Jandula on viola, Armen Ksajikian on cello, Warren Luening and Rick Baptist on trumpets, Brian O’Connor, Phillip Yao and Justin Hageman on horns, George Thatcher on trombone and Tommy Johnson on tuba and bass trombone.  The music was recorded in a rather unique style, with guitars being recorded one day, strings, trumpets and trombones another and so on.  Then, all of the separate parts were mixed together by Mark Mattson and Mako Sujishi.

            The combination of a large music budget, talented musicians and composers and equally talented music mixers has resulted in a soundtrack worthy of any action film.  Soundtracks for animated television series and movies have become so elaborate that they sound as if they were actually created for a major motion picture.  The soundtrack of Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo is no exception.  The album begins with rocking guitars and drums and becomes infused with a more exotic sound as the team travels to Tokyo via the use of woodwinds and strings.  As I listened to this soundtrack, I often found myself playing air guitar or tapping out beats with my pens.  Anyone who entered the room while Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo stopped to listen and were astonished to discover that they were listening to a soundtrack composed for an animated film.  One person commented that the action sequence compositions would fit into his workout routine perfectly, pumping him up and getting the blood flowing for more.

            If you are going to create a soundtrack for an action feature, this is definitely the way to go – live musicians, composers with a history of creating musical score for action-packed media, and music mixers with a flare for blending together the perfect sound.  Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo is perhaps the best soundtrack ever created for an animated superhero adventure!


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