Thursday, January 30, 2014

Despicable Me 2 Soundtrack

Despicable Me 2’s soundtrack is just as good as the film itself. The film came out in 2013, winning three awards and receiving 39 nominations. The three awards that this film won were all for its music. Moreover, out of the 39 nominations it received, three of them were for its music as well, including an Oscar nomination.  The directors’ choice in music for their film could not have been more fitting to not only its scenes, but also to its audience.  

One of the songs utilized in the film was “Cielito Lindo” by Quirino Mendoza. This song choice enabled the film’s ability to persuade its audience by portraying ethos, logos and pathos. During the scene in which this song was played, the villain, El Macho, shows his Latin side by dancing with a woman at his Mexican restaurant. Consequently, the use of ethos and logos in the scene are evident. The song is not only well known by Latinos, but also by Americans. The fame of this song therefore gives credibility and authenticity to the Latin roots of the character, making his origins obvious to the audience. “Certain kinds of music can suggest locales, classes, or ethnic groups.” (Giannetti, 214) Being from Mexico myself, I was surprised when I heard the song in this scene, because even though the directors could have chosen any song in Spanish, they took the time to find a song that is a part of Mexico’s culture, as well as being identifiable in the U.S. The use of pathos can also be perceived from the use of this song in the scene, because it helps the audience know that the scene is meant to be funny. If there was no music playing while the villain was dancing, it would not only be harder for the directors to let their audience know the origin of the character, but it would also be harder for them to make the audience laugh.    

       Another song used in this film is “Y.M.C.A.” performed by the minions. The group Village People recorded the original song in 1978. Even though this song was released 36 years ago, it is still popular in most parts of the world today. In Despicable Me 2, the “Y.M.C.A.” song is used for Gru and Lucy’s wedding party scene.  Choosing a well-known song that is also a popular wedding party song was a good use of ethos and logos. It was evident to the audience that the scene was a wedding party, and that the song was adequate for it. Furthermore, the fact that the minions performed the song was an apparent use of pathos because it made the scene hilarious.

            The selection of voices for Despicable Me 2’s characters imply that the directors were trying to direct their film towards a broad audience. Although animation films are usually targeted at children, the cast for this film suggests a broader age range. Some of the actors in this film include Ken Jeong from The Hangover, Russell Brand, Steve Carell and Kristen Wigg.  “Mainstream animation films, ostensibly aimed at children, often attract adults as well, in part because the characters are voiced by well-known Hollywood stars.” (DreamWorks Animation SKG)

            As a true fan of the Despicable Me movies, Despicable Me 2's soundtrack was not disappointing. They used old and current songs, which made the movie appealing to various age groups, while also managing to make anyone who was listening, and watching laugh.  I give this soundtrack five well-deserved slurpies.

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