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John Debney

The Ant Bully [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Though The Ant Bully is a state-of-the-art computer animation spectacle, John Debney's music for the film often feels like a throwback to the music accompanying traditional, cel-based animation. The exotic flutes and percussion on "Parade of Ants" and "Ant Mother" sound a little bit like The Lion King's music (or alternately, the theme from Survivor), while the whimsy of "Honeydew Feast" and "Zac Attempts Potion" harks back to Carl Stalling's work on Warner Brothers' classic animated shorts. One of the classical pieces Stalling was inspired by, Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries, also finds new life here, providing one of the score's major motifs. "Colony Floods," "Wasp Attack," and "Frog Attack" -- pretty much any cue that reflects danger or excitement -- borrow some Wagnerian drama. John Williams' score for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial also seems to have provided inspiration for The Ant Bully's soaring, heartwarming pieces, particularly "Jelly Beans," "Home Coming," and "Hang Gliding." All of this means that The Ant Bully isn't an exceptionally original score, but it is effective at expressing the film's many moods. Though the score might be too long to hold the attention of most kids, film score buffs may appreciate its expansive style. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi

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