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Small Soldiers
(1998)
Album Cover Art
1998 Varèse
2018 Varèse
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Alexander Courage
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Varèse Sarabande
(July 28th, 1998)

Varèse Sarabande
(June 18th, 2018)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 1998 album was a regular U.S. release, but it went out of print in the 2000's. The 2018 album is a "Deluxe Edition," part of the Varèse CD Club, limited to 3,000 copies and available initially for $20 through soundtrack specialty outlets.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you have an affinity for the parody style of Jerry Goldsmith's The 'Burbs and don't mind hearing the composer's prior work and numerous outside sources pulled together for a robust, militaristic barrage of comedy.

Avoid it... if you expect the 2018 expansion of the original album to yield uniquely satisfying music, for this work's extensive redundancies are exposed in the longer Varèse Sarabande presentation.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #139
WRITTEN 7/30/98, REVISED 10/14/18
Goldsmith
Goldsmith
Small Soldiers: (Jerry Goldsmith) In the earliest days of the Dreamworks studio, Joe Dante was given an opportunity to resurrect the popularity of his cute Gremlins, merging the concept of that film's catchy plot with that of Toy Story to create a suburban battlefield for action figures that come to life. The idea was perfect for Dante treatment, allowing technologically enhanced toys, almost believable in reality, to take on personalities of their own that, instead of resorting to terror, decide to go to war with each other. Funny in-jokes made Small Soldiers perhaps more suitable for adults than children, though the film didn't really take hold with either audience. The release date coincided with one of America's more harrowing mass shootings at a public school, diminishing interest in the blatantly militaristic take on the children's genre. Among one of the expected results of Dante's return was his continued collaboration with Jerry Goldsmith, a fruitful pairing which spanned from the early 1980's to the composer's final score. Their previous work together, Matinee, was entertaining enough to merit some interest, but the score is largely forgettable. The same can't be said for Small Soldiers, for which Goldsmith provides one of his stronger entries for a Dante film. The composer's large-scale parody scores, especially those that expose his sense of humor, are typically quite enjoyable. Here, he plunders his own music as well as famous themes by Franz Waxman, Richard Wagner, and Richard Strauss, among others, recording new takes of their works for pinpoint parody throughout. The Civil War hymn "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" also returns prominently from its historical pinnacle in Dr. Strangelove. For a Goldsmith score as purely wacky and fun as Small Soldiers, you have to journey back to The 'Burbs, and the two works share several similarities. The opening march for "The Assembly Line" is a bombastic, over-the-top play on Goldsmith's own Patton score, which not only receives direct parody use later in the film but causes Small Soldiers to join The 'Burbs as the second such manipulation of the famous 1970 score by Goldsmith.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
2,815 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.34 Stars
***** 535 5 Stars
**** 784 4 Stars
*** 888 3 Stars
** 336 2 Stars
* 272 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Review of expanded album
Southall - June 22, 2018, at 1:49 p.m.
1 comment  (98 views)
Good, but excellent end theme!
Rende - October 14, 2006, at 6:36 a.m.
1 comment  (2131 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1998 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 31:01
• 1. Assembly Line (3:33)
• 2. Alan and Archer (2:58)
• 3. Roll Call (4:49)
• 4. Prepare for Assault (3:46)
• 5. Branded (2:15)
• 6. Special Design (2:33)
• 7. I'm Scared (2:01)
• 8. Trust Me (4:04)
• 9. Off to Gorgon (4:41)
2018 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 75:32

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert of the 1998 album includes a black and white picture of Goldsmith conducting but no extra information about the score or film. That of the 2018 CD Club album contains notes about both, as well as a list of performers.
Copyright © 1998-2018, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Small Soldiers are Copyright © 1998, 2018, Varèse Sarabande, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/30/98 and last updated 10/14/18.
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