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Top 6 Animation Composers In The Game Right Now

Cartoons and awesome music go together like Ying and Yang, ebony and ivory. This list counts down my favorite composers who provide the music to some of the best animated shows of all time.

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1. Sebastian Evans

Growing up, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was one of my favorite shows. Scratch that -- it was straight up my favorite show. When I first heard that Nickelodeon was rebooting the series a few years back, I cried a little bit. The thought of my totally perfect childhood memories being replaced by some new imposter was frightening, and worse yet, the best theme song in the world would probably replaced alongside it. Turns out I had no reason to fear -- not only is Nickelodeon’s take on TMNT very classy, but the new theme song and music are actually *gasp* just as dope as the original?? Shoutout to Sebastian Evans II (whose style you may recognize from Ben 10: Omniverse) for keeping the theme song somewhat similar to the original while totally revamping it. My childhood memories can remain in piece and, if anything, enhanced since there’s a whole new generation of youngsters reciting the almighty call to battle of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!”

2. Jake Monaco

So in case you haven’t noticed, I’m skeptical of franchise reboots. I had a massive Scooby Doo phase in elementary school, and one of my favorite parts of the show was its music. Hanna-Barbera treated the 30 minute episodes like mini movies, the eerie music making adventures of hippies and an anthropomorphic dog probably way scarier and more intense than it should have been. I was glad to see that this element of the new Be Cool, Scooby Doo! Remains unchanged -- composer Jake Monaco brings the fresh stingers and moody atmosphere, sometimes with the help of crazy instruments. Also, he’s scoring two other animated shows right now -- Netflix’s Dinotrux and Amazon’s The Stinky & Dirty Show… and I thought I was busy?

3. Tim Davies

Have you seen Netflix’s Trollhunters? No? Okay, that needs to change right now. Go get your grandma’s Netflix login info and watch the first two episodes. I’ll wait.

Okay, is what you just saw not one of the most awesome animated shows on TV right now? The brainchild of one slightly famous Guillermo Del Toro, Trollhunters is about as cinematic as a television series can get. This is in large part thanks to Tim Davies, who handles all the music for the show. Davies was personally selected by Del Toro for the show, and his epic orchestral moments speak for themselves as to why.

4. Joby Talbot

Sing!, which came out this past holiday season isn’t technically a TV show, but I had to throw it on this list anyway for this reason: in a movie full of famous pop songs from the past 30+ years, the most memorable musical moments in the film are actually from the score, not from the pop bangers. Credit Joby Talbot with making sure the film was an emotionally charged motion picture instead of just a weird, Matthew McConaughey extended animated music video.

5. Leo Birenberg

I first saw promotional posters for Fox’s Son of Zorn during the San Diego Comic-Con back in July. It looked lit AF, picking up where Space Jam and Who Killed Roger Rabbit left off by surrounding an animated main character (Zorn) with live action co-stars. The music in SoZ is without a doubt some of the craziest on television right now. Not only does its composer Leo Birenberg create cool cues through traditional instrumentation, but he’s also written a few songs (complete with crazy lyrics) that featured on one of the episodes. One of these songs, “Whiskey and Zorn” (available on iTunes by the way) actually made me laugh out loud to the point that my cat probably thought I was undergoing cardiac arrest. I’m fine, Bailey, just fine.

6. Joe Hisaishi

Joe Hisaishi is the Lebron James of animation score. Providing the music for 9 Miyazaki Studio Ghibli films (including at one time japan box office record holder Spirited Away), it’s safe to say that, when it comes to music for animated media, there’s not really anyone that compares. Hisaishi’s scores are as iconic as the Ghibli films themselves, and are what I would want as the soundtrack to my life when they make my biopic (let me dream).

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