Ralph Schuckett, the composer for numerous Pokémon movies, games and animated shows including the original pocket monster catching anime, passed away last weekend.
You can credit Schuckett for the soundtracks to Pokémon: The First Movie, Pokémon: The Movie 2000, Pokémon 3: The Movie, Pokémon Puzzle League, Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns, as well as his work on the anime. He also composed the music for Yu-Gi-Oh!, Sonic X, One Piece, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Winx Club and a whole host of other shows that likely will have been the staple of countless childhoods. With regards to Pokémon, the music used in the Japanese version of the show wasn't brought over to be broadcasted in the Western localisation, and so Schuckett helmed the soundtracks instead. Some were disappointed, but without this change, we would not have had the opportunity to listen to his incredible interpretations of the most iconic moments in Pokémon stories.
In a series of interviews, Schuckett stated that his passion for music arose from his upbringing. "I was exposed to all different kinds of music, and I'm told that even when I was ... a year and a half, two years old, I would sit in front of the stereo and rock back and forth to the music," he said, and added that he got involved with bands in high school which is what motivated him to consider a professional career in the arts. In fact, outside of animation, Schuckett is most famous for being the keyboardist in the progressive rock band, Utopia.
"The way I prefer to remember him is from a time long ago," relayed Todd Rundgren, founder of Utopia, to Variety. "We were a new band on one of our first tours. Our gig in Albuquerque was cancelled so we decided to spend a few days in Santa Fe at the Sonesta Hotel, an adobe and tile open-court design. Someone had gifted us a pile of mushrooms, which band and crew all consumed, and we spent the day at a pueblo reservation. It was early in the a.m. by the time most of us retired and the hotel became quiet, but for the distant sound of a piano. I followed the music and found Ralph playing a floor below me, the sound gently filling every corner of the building. He had his back to me so I just listened to him spin out notes and colours and emotions until I grew sleepy and went back to my room."
"For the rest of my life, this is where Ralphie will be - improvising in the back of my mind," said Rundgren. Our thoughts are with Schuckett's family and friends during what is a very difficult time for them.
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