Renowned Television And Game Composer Kevin Manthei Scores Justice League: The New Frontier
La-La Land Records will release the soundtrack for Justice League: The New Frontier on March 18. The animated feature will be released on Blu-Ray, Hi Def DVD, and on Demand on February 26 and on HD DVD on March 18th. Kevin Manthei (Batman: Gotham Knight, Xiaolin Showdown, Invader Zim) composed the original music.
Kevin Manthei has been working in the film, television and game arena for over 15 years. He has worked as the series composer on five animated TV shows representing over 130 half hour episodes, composed over 50 game soundtracks, has made a mark composing music for animated features, independent films, as well as contributing additional music on many well-known feature films.
Manthei began his game writing career working on some of the biggest titles of the time: Panzer General 2, Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption, Sacrifice, Twisted Metal: Black and other classic games. Jhonen Vasquez, the creator of Nickelodeons cult hit Invader Zim, was a huge fan of games and game music, hiring Manthei to score what was to become 26 television episodes of Invader Zim. This garnered Manthei his first Annie Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Music for an animated series. Invader Zim also led to Xiaolin Showdown for Warner Brothers Animation as well as Brandy and Mr. Whiskers for Disney. He continued to score both of these shows along with Warner Brothers’ Johnny Test, for which he wrote the emo punk inspired main title and score to the first season.
While continuing his work on games and film, working on such game titles as Ultimate Spider-Man, City of Villains, The Sims 2, Starcraft: Ghost, Shrek 2, and recently Marvel Universe Online & Kung Fu Panda, Manthei has also been active working on several film scores including Batman: Gotham Knight and The 24th Day starring James Marsden and Scott Speedman. Batman: Gotham Knight, which Manthei co-composed, is an anime inspired straight-to-DVD release whose storyline bridges the gap between the live action films Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.
Based on the graphic novel by Darwyn Cook and produced by Michael Goguen and executive produced by animation legend, Bruce Timm, Justice League: The New Frontier is the epic tale of the founding of the Justice League. DC Comics legends Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are all featured in the film as are Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and The Flash as they band together to form the legendary super team.
Strangers at first, these very different heroes must overcome fear and suspicion to forge an alliance against a monster so formidable, even the mighty Superman cannot stop it alone. If they fail the entire planet will be cleansed of humanity.
The setting of the film allowed Manthei to draw on inspirations from the past. I felt very fortunate, because of the fresh take Darwyn Cooke took in his graphic novel, Manthei described. The setting, in the late 50s and early 60s, set up a nice backdrop and tone for the score. Gone was the current standard of a hybrid score consisting of electronics and orchestra. Rather, a new approach was suggested, which was to compliment the time period with a score that was rooted in that time. He was inspired by the works of Bernard Herrmann and Aaron Copeland, along with elements of film noir.
The biggest challenge of the score, said Manthei, was keeping a cohesive feel while still addressing all the different characters and thematic elements. I chose to write major themes for the Centre, Flash, Hal, Green Lantern & Jonn Jonzz while letting the other super hero characters be supported by scene specific underscore.
Michael Goguen described, The surprising touch of a soft, soulful, film noir-ish saxophone as Jonn Jonnz, the Martian Manhunter, first stands up into the light to reveal himself to the audience in the films first act; the thrilling, propulsive strings and soaring horns of the Flashs first action sequence as he runs to and around Las Vegas; the dream-come-true excitement of the secret Mars space flight, followed by the draining suspense of the tragic crisis-in-space sequence; and the wonderful moment when a choir of angels welcomes Superman as he arrives to save Hal Jordan from certain death; these are all inspired moments of pure musical bliss for me, those things that can only come from a place of true depth of feeling and sensitivity. This score is full of such things, and I invite you to listen for them and savor them.
Warner Bros. Video presents Justice League: The New Frontier, out on Blu-Ray, Hi Def DVD, and On Demand on February 26, 2008 and on HD DVD on March 18th. The Justice League: The New Frontier – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will be available in stores or from www.lalalandrecords.com on March 18, 2008.
Please note that Superman Doomsday – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is still available for purchase.