Score Reviews‎ > ‎

Cars 3 by Randy Newman (Review)

posted Jul 21, 2017, 9:42 AM by Leo Mayr

Randy Newman is one of Pixar's more regular composers. Having scored the original Cars movie, his return for Cars 3 after having skipped the second installment was a welcome surprise. The Cars franchise is considered by many to be Pixar's weakest, yet somehow the movies made enough money to warrant sequel after sequel. After the mostly unpopular second film which replaced racing with obscure car espionage, the third movie returns the franchise to its roots, again focusing on racing.

Right from the start, Newman's orchestral writing makes the score stand out. The music has a more "old school" sound to it, focusing on bold heroic themes and melodic writing. In a lot of places, the score ends up sounding more like a concert piece than a film score, which makes for a wonderful album presentation, while also giving eagle...eared (?) cinemagoers something to listen to. Some themes heard in Newman's first Cars return and are joined by new ones. Newman does a great job at infusing the music with emotion throughout, yet there are no tear inducing moments Pixar is known for.

Cars 3 is a wonderful breath of fresh air for orchestral film scores. While the score could have focused a bit more on emotions or characters, the end result is a stunning listening experience while also infusing some much needed fun into the movie.