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America’s Musical Journey Movie Review

Join musician Aloe Blacc on his adventure through all major musical landmark cities.

Reviewed by on Feb 16, 2018
Rating: 5 Star Rating

Music’s rich and complex history is told in the latest IMAX documentary to hit museum screens across North America. read Kidzworlds review of America’s Musical Journey.

The Story of America’s Sound

In America’s Musical Journey the IMAX tradition of bringing to students vital stories on the best cinematic platform continues with their latest documentary which brings us the history of music in the United States. Following the journey of chart-topper Aloe Blacc (Wake Me Up) we explore all the places where music has evolved to trace the roots of modern pop to the traditions of Blues, Jazz and Rock n’ Roll. Aloe’s music is inspired by all the genre touchstone and through the wonderful 3D tech we get the stories that show how music took root in a new country. What’s very honest about the film is that it doesn’t shy away from the true history of music, how the blues came out of the music slaves brought with them from Africa and what it meant for an oppressed people seeking freedom which led to the birth of Jazz. Once freed and seeking to migrate north to Chicago, Jazz was born from the speakeasies filled with people of all races mingling during the prohibition.

Aloe BlaccAloe BlaccCourtesy of MacGillivray Freeman Films

We are United by the Sounds of Change

Told through the images of a time long past, director Greg MacGilivray takes us on the journey of the legends like Louis Armstrong with astounding visuals of the cities on the biggest screen possible--the movie envelops you in music’s enormous place as the heartbeat of a nation. How over time it was birthed through improvisation to create something new from Armstrong to Evis. The expression of music has always come from times of change and signaled them. Hip-hop was born on the streets where kids couldn’t afford instruments so they turned to turn-tables to create new sound.

New York BreakdancersNew York BreakdancersCourtesy of MacGillivray Freeman Films

The best moments in the film are when music is celebrated with communities of people coming together. Whether it’s Aloe telling New York music youth about how music has transformed over generations or if its generations celebrating music with dance in a Chicago or diner flash mob--music just lives and breathes through this film.

And of course there’s also the flying Elvis skydivers in 3D.

See Chicago spring to life with this musical flash mob led by Aloe BlaccSee Chicago spring to life with this musical flash mob led by Aloe BlaccCourtesy of MacGillivray Freeman Films

Mempis Flying ElvisMempis Flying Elvis

Music Lives in Every Major City

America’s Musical Journey is such a great opportunity to see the places where art was born and continues to bloom. New Orleans, Chicago, Miami and Nashville are incredible hubs that have never been seen in this way before with small details about the lives music touched to seeing these places from above. Music radiates and fills the world and the threads it created expand the globe.

Nashville Country Music Hall of FameNashville Country Music Hall of FameCourtesy of MacGillivray Freeman Films

Miami Salsa DancersMiami Salsa DancersCourtesy of MacGillivray Freeman Films

Through this journey Aloe Blacc concurrently is creating a song crafted by the tastemakers and as we follow him from city to city, music’s historical layers build the film’s title track. With some gospel, soul, jazz, and even a cameo from the original members of the Miami Sound Machine, we feel the story of music as birthed by a nation of immigrants. It’s an experience like no other and one that students from all over should seek out to see. Let your teacher’s know about this incredible film that celebrates the vitality and importance of the arts.

Detroit Youth ChoirDetroit Youth ChoirCourtesy of MacGillivray Freeman Films

America’s Musical Journey Movie Rating: 5

America’s Musical Journey MovieAmerica’s Musical Journey MovieCourtesy of MacGillivray Freeman Films

Catch this film at major museums around the globe which hold large format IMAX screenings. Check here to see if it will be in a city near you and when you can catch it. Don’t miss out!

Have Your Say 

Will you be seeing America’s Musical Journey? Let us know in the comments below!