Score Reviews‎ > ‎

Despicable Me 2 by Heitor Pereira [Songs & Themes by Pharrell Williams] (Review)

posted Jun 17, 2013, 4:35 PM by Kaya Savas

Despicable Me was the world’s introduction to Illumination Entertainment and gave Universal a surprising contender in the world of animated films. It had great characters, a fun story, but it also had tons of heart. Pharrell Williams was also brought on to do the score and it was his first time doing a film. The score was credited as music by Pharrell Williams and Heitor Pereira. Heitor of course is a skilled composer who has worked on tons of projects including Riding In Cars With Boys, It’s Complicated, Real Women Have Curves, Illegal Tender, Running The Sahara and many more. He’s also worked on many of Hans Zimmer’s scores as a musician and additional composer. Pharrell and Heitor worked together on the score of the first film, but it was Pharrell's first time working on a score so you can be sure he leaned heavily on Heitor. For the second film Heitor has solo scoring duties as Pharrell only focuses on the songs. The end result is a wonderful blending of two ingredients. While the songs are catchy and great hooks, it’s the score that truly shines here for Despicable Me 2

Heitor Pereira has always had a light and sensible approach to his scores for family films. From The Smurfs to Curious George to Beverly Hills Chihuahua he knows how to make the score specifically for the film. The same goes for the two Despicable Me films. This film’s score has more focus, a deeper imprint of the characters and a more graspable structure. He echoes the melody of Pharrell's Despicable Me song throughout the score and it becomes the very subtle central theme. Throughout the journey we get a dose of different world sounds and styles. There’s the slight accent of 60’s jazz here and there to fuel the Bond-esque super villain sound. We visit some different nationalities including a hispanic touch to the music for El Macho, which also has some clever use of chorus. The heart of the film is always present, which gives the score its identity. The scope of the film isn’t large and it’s a bit more zany and cartoony than say How To Train Your Dragon. So, there’s no point in comparing it to a grand score such as that. We are treated to some nice long tracks that really play out the story. There is a sense of weight and danger but just ever so slightly. The score isn’t fluff though and adds significance to the characters’ journey. In no way is Despicable Me 2 a "kiddy" score. Heitor does a fantastic job delivering a journey worth taking over and over. The score imprints itself to the film and echoes it wonderfully.

The style and sound of the music reminds me of family comedies of the 90’s or even light PG-13 romantic comedies. It has that warmth and sparkle that makes it very appealing, but in no way is it a generic sound. Despicable Me 2 is a much stronger score from Heitor Pereira than the first outing. With Pharrell Williams dedicated solely to the songs it seems Heitor had a better grasp and focus on the whole thing. The score has an identity and a very inviting soundscape. Despicable Me 2 is a nice charismatic fun time that shines through a summer full of bombast.