Thursday, April 30, 2020

Disney·Pixar Bao Soundtrack Review (Music by Toby Chu)

Disney·Pixar Bao Soundtrack Review (Music by Toby Chu)

You all know I love collecting Pixar merch and that extends to all the soundtracks as well! I've loved film scores since I was a kid (I vividly remember The Mask of Zorro being my first soundtrack CD I got and listened on repeat at eight years old—1998) and that passion is still with me today. I especially love and look forward to Pixar scores as they're consistently beautiful with tracks that are fun, tracks that are emotional and always feature memorable themes. Just like the films themselves, there's a certain charm that just can't be found anywhere else. I can honestly say out of 22 films and countless shorts, a Pixar score (regardless of the composer) has never disappointed me.

Until not too long ago, the music for short films was never available to purchase (which always kind of disappointed me). That all changed with the first ever digital release of a Pixar Short Film soundtrack in 2013—The Blue Umbrella! Since then we've gotten Toy Story of Terror in 2014, Lava in 2015 (featured on the Inside Out soundtrack), Piper in 2016, Lou in 2017 and then Bao in 2018 (the seemingly last Pixar theatrical short film; at least for the foreseeable future). For whatever the reason, Sanjay's Super Team and Toy Story That Time Forgot did not get soundtrack releases.

Disney·Pixar Bao Soundtrack Review (Music by Toby Chu)

The music for Bao was composed by lesser known Chinese American composer Toby Chu (Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s ReturnCovert AffairsUnforgettableBurn NoticeHenchmen). I had never heard any of Chu's work before, but found it very cool that a composer of Chinese descent was chosen to tackle this project as it gave the film and the score that much more authenticity. This single (6:33) was released on June 15th, 2018 on iTunes and Amazon music for $1.29. I meant to get review up then, but it got put on the back burner and honestly forgotten! When I remembered that I never posted on this recently, I got excited to finally be able to share my thoughts on it here.

Composer Toby Chu

It really is a beautiful track to a beautiful film (even if the short was a little controversial or misunderstood by some when it was first released). The elements of traditional sounding Chinese music and instruments are wonderfully incorporated. It has a gorgeous melody throughout (the film's main theme) that will stick with you and has all the heart I've come to expect from Pixar scores. My favorite moments are when the orchestra really swells—especially at the end. I highly, highly recommend downloading it (or at least listening to it on YouTube) if you're a fan of the short, Pixar and/or film scores in general. I've included the links to purchase below.

Let me know your thoughts down in the comments! Hopefully this post helped those who may not have known this track was out there and available to download.

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