Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances Watch: Tom Hardy Does Double Duty In Trailer For Gangster Drama 'Legend' Watch: Tom Hardy Does Double Duty In Trailer For Gangster Drama 'Legend' The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Soundtrack Details For Jon Brion's Score For Ghoulish Animated Film 'ParaNorman'

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist July 24, 2012 at 10:17AM

If we were allowed to talk about these things (which, of course, we're not), we would say that "ParaNorman," the new stop-motion animated film from Laika opening August 17th in 3D and regular cinemas, isn't just the best animated movie released so far this year (not to mention one of the biggest surprises this summer's dreary movie landscape has to offer) – but that it's one of the best movies of the year, period. And a big part of "ParaNorman" casting its ghoulish spell on you is the perfectly calibrated score by Jon Brion, a witches brew that is equal parts orchestral bombast and '80s slasher movie cheese. Thankfully, we won't have long to wait for the album, as Pitchfork reports that it will be released (via Relativity Music Group) on August 14th, just a few days before the movie comes out.
1
ParaNorman Jon Brion

If we were allowed to talk about these things (which, of course, we're not), we would say that "ParaNorman," the new stop-motion animated film from Laika opening August 17th in 3D and regular cinemas, isn't just the best animated movie released so far this year (not to mention one of the biggest surprises this summer's dreary movie landscape has to offer) – but that it's one of the best movies of the year, period. And a big part of "ParaNorman" casting its ghoulish spell on you is the perfectly calibrated score by Jon Brion, a witches brew that is equal parts orchestral bombast and '80s slasher movie cheese. Thankfully, we won't have long to wait for the album, as Pitchfork reports that it will be released (via Relativity Music Group) on August 14th, just a few days before the movie comes out.

"ParaNorman" (co-directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler) tells the story of young Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee from "The Road" and "Let Me In"), a kid in a small Massachusetts town who is constantly picked on, mostly because he claims to have the ability to see ghosts. (He really does!) Things get considerably weirder as Norman starts seeing omens connected with an ancient witch trial and a blood curse placed upon the citizens of his town. There are zombies and witches and… We've said too much. But Brion's score, both twinkly and menacing, is the perfect accompaniment to the movie's gorgeous stop-motion-animated visuals that are sometimes profoundly creepy (especially for a kids' movie). Strikingly, Brion uses some Goblin-esque synths alongside his orchestral compositions to really great effect.

Brion, of course, is the super-genius producer/songwriter/composer who has created the scores to movies ranging from Michel Gondry's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" to Paul Thomas Anderson's "Magnolia" to Adam McKay's "Step Brothers." "ParaNorman" is his first animated feature, although he did score a computer-animated Walt Disney short film called "Glago's Guest" back in 2008. That short, about a Russian soldier dealing with an alien encounter, was supposed to be brilliant (it was good enough to get its director, Chris Williams, the job of overhauling Chris Sanders' idiosyncratic feature "American Dog" into the much more digestible "Bolt") but has yet to have any kind of commercial release. It was said, too, at some point after the release of "Magnolia," that Paul Thomas Anderson and his then-girlfriend Fiona Apple approached Pixar about doing a musical, with Brion (who produced several of Apple's albums, including the first version of her troubled, ultimately compromised Extraordinary Machine) presumably supplying the music. (Brion will be providing the score to the still-untitled Pixar "umbrella short," which will be attached to unnecessary prequel "Monsters University" next summer.) 

As a producer, Brion has worked with Aimee Mann, Rufus Wainwright, Kanye West, Of Montreal and Keane (among many, many others). Most recently he produced Best Coast's summery album The Best Place. He also has a single, amazing solo album called Meaningless (anyone who loved his original songs for things like "I Heart Huckabees" and "Punch-Drunk Love" is encouraged to check it out). He's less a musician than a force of nature.

And everyone can hear his outstanding work on "ParaNorman" either when the soundtrack comes out on August 14th or when the movie opens on August 17th. It's scary good.

ParaNorman Soundtrack Cover skip crop
"ParaNorman" Soundtrack Tracklisting

01 Zombie Attack in the Eighties
02 Norman at the Piano/Main Title
03 Norman's Walk
04 Alvin Attacks
05 Enter Neil/Mr P/Ghost Walk/Ghost Dog
06 Goodbye Mr P/Historic Drama/Grounded/Heavy Visitation
07 Alvin Again/Scary Bedroom
08 Norman Tries to Keep It Cool/ Grandma's Got Your Back
09 Moth Rock
10 The Dead Shall Be Raised
11 Zombies Attack
12 People Attack
13 Are We There Yet?
14 Aggie Fights
15 Resolution
16 Oh, and One More Thing

This article is related to: ParaNorman, Jon Brion, Soundtrack


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates