Perhaps one of the most important elements of any themed area at a Disney Park is the soundtrack that accompanies that location. The best music loops pull you into the theme of the location and accompany your mood and senses, setting the stage for truly immersive storytelling. Today, we’re paying tribute to the music of Pandora – The World of Avatar, who in our opinion, represent some of the most transformative music in the parks, adding depths of story and experience into the immersive world in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, pulling you right into the environment of Pandora with the immersion of music. That’s the true power of music at Walt Disney World, but there’s a lot that makes the tunes of Pandora- The World of Avatar the very best amongst its companions.
To bring Pandora – The World of Avatar to life, Walt Disney Imagineering recruited almost the entirety of the team that worked tirelessly on the Avatar film. Due to the unfortunate passing of the film’s composer, James Horner, who passed away in 2015, all of the duties of producing and further composing music went to Simon Franglen, who also worked alongside Horner on Avatar and Titanic, another James Cameron-directed film. The soundtrack heard throughout Pandora: The World of Avatar pays tribute to the music composed by Horner for this film, not only bringing the world of Pandora to life through the musical aesthetic created in 2009 but by further expanding the legacy and environment even further beyond the film. Each soundtrack carries the same musical theme that is represented in Avatar, primarily the beautiful, gripping, track that is Jake’s First Flight, which became the main soundtrack of Avatar: Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The consistency between the use of the soundtrack from the film and the gorgeous tie-in of the attraction cemented a wonderful use of continued world-building, putting you directly into the world of the movie, evoked by Horner’s stunning soundtrack.
Pandora very much cares about the conservation of the inhabitants of this vibrant planet, and one of the ways that it expresses this is through the Na’vi music that is heard in every spot. The sounds (and in many cases, even the absence of sound) in every location continues to contribute to the theme of the land. The Shaman of Songs, the main feature of the Na’vi River Journey, brings vibrant life to the attraction through her music, with music that is carefully crafted to feel like it was something of an ancient medley in Pandora. The sense of the idea that the characters in Pandora are taking part in something that is deeply rooted in the heritage of this planet is a brilliant example of the world-building and mythology that sets apart The World of Avatar from anything else ever built in a theme park.
Pandora: The World of Avatar is a beautiful collection of sights, sounds, and story. Despite being open for almost two years already, it is hard to not be impressed by its amazing efforts in the story and in scale, and it sets a new standard of theme park immersive storytelling. Perhaps, its most important component in setting the mood is its music, which will pull visitors into its environment through gorgeous that expands the world of Avatar and beyond. Pandora sets a new standard for Disney, and as a result, we can’t wait to see what will be delivered with their next project, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge later this year.
The full soundtrack to Pandora – The World of Avatar is also available for purchase on iTunes.