A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that these lush, "retro-futuristic" arrangements are family-friendly without ever being condescending. Most of the tracks are fun instrumentals composed by the brilliant Danny Elfman, but there are also vocal appearances by talented musicians such as Rob Thomas, Rufus Wainwright, and They Might Be Giants.
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What's the story?
Danny Elfman's loopy orchestral score sets a perfect Back to the Future-esque tone on the MEET THE ROBINSONS SOUNDTRACK. The album includes pop performances by the likes of Rufus Wainwright ("Another Believer" and "The Motion Waltz"), Rob Thomas ("Little Wonders"), and the Jonas Brothers ("Kids of the Future"). Perhaps the most charming vocal moment is They Might Be Giants' grand, jazzy, and cartoonish rendition of "There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" -- an old Disney theme-park chestnut, originally seen at last century's New York World's Fair.
Is it any good?
All of the vocal performances are energetic yet smooth, backed by sparkling, imaginative pop and jazz arrangements that impart a somewhat retro-futuristic tone. The orchestral score is full of life, much reminiscent of the composer's earlier work with Tim Burton and The Simpsons. There's no one better suited to the task of creating a musical mood that is both enchanting and cartoon-y, while somehow appealing to all levels of taste and sophistication.