A Pixarian evening at the symphony

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As part of their 2013/14 concert series, the KW Symphony brought the music of Pixar to life with Pixar in Concert on Feb. 26 at Centre in the Square. The program showcased the first 13 Pixar films, from 1995’s Toy Story through to 2012’s Brave. A concert with a twist, the show contained clips from the movies that ran alongside the music, creating a unique atmosphere throughout the show.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Pixar’s filmography is that only four composers have scored the films: Randy Newman has done seven (Toy Story 1, 2, and 3, A Bug’s Life, Cars, Monsters, Inc., and Monsters University), Thomas Newman two (Finding Nemo and WALL*E), Michael Giacchino four (Ratatouille, Up, The Incredibles, and Cars 2), and Patrick Doyle scored Brave. That such whimsical and majestic music has come from just four people was certainly a shock.

As someone who has grown up with the Pixar films and has loved every single one, the concert was everything I hoped for and more. To be honest, I have never really noticed how fantastic the scores were for the movies; they just blended in so perfectly that I took them for granted. Never will I do that again, however, as the show proved to me just how important the music is to the mood of these movies.

The best example of this comes from one of my all-time favourite movies Up. Go and watch the “Married Life” montage from the start of the movie. Seriously, do it now, I’ll wait. … Okay, now try to tell me that didn’t bring you to tears. It’s impossible.

The score is perfect in that scene, telling an entire, beautiful love story without a single word. The KW Symphony matched it flawlessly — believe me, there was a not a single dry eye in the audience by the end of that set. Thank goodness they gave us an intermission after to recover.

The rest of the show was equally fantastic; while I don’t have space to discuss everything, I want to mention that the remainder was highlighted by an encore for the ages: “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” from the first Toy Story, in full symphonic glory.

If Pixar in Concert ever comes back again, I cannot recommend it highly enough. In the meantime, give some of your old favourites a watch, and pay a little more attention to the music; I promise that it will be worth every second. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch WALL*E for the umpteenth time and try not to cry. Chances are slim on that account, however, but dammit I’m going to watch it anyway. 

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