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Cinderella by Patrick Doyle (Review)

posted Mar 3, 2015, 3:18 PM by Kaya Savas

Patrick Doyle and Kenneth Branagh have something truly special, and I mean special. It is quite rare to see a director use the same composer over the entire body of their work. Even Spielberg didn’t have John Williams at the very beginning. Patrick Doyle has composed every single one of Kenneth Branagh’s directorial efforts. The two are inseparable, and to see how Doyle’s music can adapt to anything they tackle is very unique. Cinderella is probably a composer’s dream as it allows the music to really come to life. Doyle does a fantastic job of not just making this a fairytale score, but a score so deeply rooted from our central character that it becomes a wondrous and emotional journey from start to finish. 

Cinderella is a character we know well. She’s a charming person who breaks free from her tyrannical stepmother to blossom into the world. This score is not merely a “princess movie” score. The music introduces us to Cinderella and builds her musically for the audience. We become invested in her story from the start. The music is carries elegance but is very nuanced as well. Emotional moments like the track “Orphaned” really drive the score. The score also has a boldness too. It embraces the whimsical and magical side of everything, but never treats it as fluff. The music has weight to it, and is stunningly beautiful at times. From small bouncy moments to flourishing bursts of awe, the score is always carrying you along the emotional currents You really fall in love with the music because Doyle gives Cinderella a truly organic personality, and you get to know her personality simply through the music. There are also great "Polka" tracks that act as the ballroom dance music in the film. The thematic work here is also stunning. The score has this wonderfully beautiful identity that you feel grow through the story. This Cinderella is about overcoming bad with decency, and shaking off what weighs you down to be free. By the end we have wrapped up a simply wondrous journey that reminds us the worlds and journeys that a great film score can take us through. The album finishes with a selection of songs in pure Disney fashion.

Patrick Doyle has crafted a wondrous score that paints the character of Cinderella and takes us on her journey. The score has plenty of big flourishing moments that are filled with triumph and elegance to make this classic fairytale feel brand new and unique. The score feels more like a character journey than a fairytale score, but Doyle embraces the lavishness of the genre that Disney built as well. Doyle’s score is organic, moving, lifting and full of beauty and grace. It’s never melodramatic or over the top either. Cinderella is one of the shining examples of Doyle’s partnership with director Kenneth Branagh, and is a shining example of music bringing a story to life.