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Postman Pat: The Movie by Rupert Gregson-Williams (Review)

posted Oct 2, 2014, 4:16 PM by Kaya Savas

Rupert Gregson-Williams has been quietly flying under the radar in the past few years as Happy Madison Productions’ go-to composer. Unfortunately, Adam Sandler comedies rarely get score releases, so to us fans it feels like Rupert had disappeared off the map. Earlier this year he co-composed Winter’s Tale with Hans Zimmer, and has always demonstrated fantastic writing in more of his substantial work like Hotel Rwanda and Long Way Round. Rupert is also no stranger to animation having scored fantastic scores to Dreamworks Animation titles like Bee Movie and Over The Hedge. It was those displays of great scoring plus minor involvement in Wallace & Grommit: Curse Of The Were-Rabbit that no doubt led him to Postman Pat: The Movie. To us “yanks”, Postman Pat will be a rather unfamiliar name. However, across the pond he is a family friendly staple whose been around since 1981. The film, clearly aimed at the very young crowd follows the adventures of a friendly postman. This whimsical and light-hearted affair could have easily fallen into a pile full of schmaltz. Thankfully, in the hands of Rupert Gregson-Williams it becomes a melodically heartwarming score.

Postman Pat has all of the expected beats of a low-budget CGI family film. In the standard practice of spending all their money on big-name voices so parents will buy tickets, the movie is expectedly choppy looking. But in the grand scheme it’s a harmless distraction. The score is able to do more than be just a distraction thankfully. Rupert is able to weave some splendid melodies with a rich orchestral sound that fleshes out the story. The music can be poignant at times, which you a rarely see in films like this. The emotions feel organic and true, never forced. The music has the right amount of bounce that propels it forward while never having to resort to zany tactics. In fact, the score shines for all the things it doesn’t do. It doesn’t become overly saccharine nor does it ever become schmaltzy and forced. Rupert treats the film and the audience with respect, and in turn the score is supremely enjoyable. There are no unexpectedly new things here, but what Postman Pat: The Movie does right is avoid everything other scores in this genre do wrong.

Rupert Gregson-Williams has an ability to handle light emotions without insulting the audience no matter what the age. The score moves at a quick pace, but knows when it needs to slow down to grab those deeper emotional moments. Otherwise, its melodic structures shine with a little spring in its step without overdoing it. Postman Pat: The Movie won’t change your world, but it will lighten it for a bit.