Tony Black reviews the scores for Despicable Me 3 and Castlevania…
The third film in the animated franchise sees Heitor Pereira return once again as composer for Despicable Me 3, in which loveable bad guy Gru gets a twin brother, the Minions go to prison, a new bad guy emerges and the usual comedic hijinks ensue. Pereira’s score, much like the film, doesn’t reinvent the wheel either for animated scores or the Despicable Me franchise itself; this has the same level of plinky plonky mischief, with drums and various unusual instruments including toys and even a cheese grater at one point! A strong layer of synth runs through many of the tracks too. Honestly, it’s a score that doesn’t work in isolation as a piece of music but set to the child friendly anarchy of Despicable Me 3, there’s enough to raise a smile.
Who knew that Castlevania, best known as a classic retro video gaming series, was coming to Netflix as an animated series? Probably a lot of people, in fairness, but hearing Trevor Morris’ score to this new show took me by surprise. Morris is a stalwart of film and TV composition and very quickly establishes a tone and feel with Castlevania which taps into the spirit of a story all about vampires, Eastern Europe, castles and elegant families. Morris keeps things brooding with a retro level of synth which anyone who played the old games will appreciate; indeed at times this reminded me of Toto’s score for Dune from 1982, whether consciously or not. Whether the animated series is worth a punt is an open question but there’s a fair amount to enjoy in Morris’ score.