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Animated Sounds for the Younger Set

Every once in a while, rockers take a stab at reaching a new generation of listeners, with decidedly mixed results. From a sales standpoint, it turns out that "kiddie rock" is one of the bright spots in the music industry these days.

The movies are a lucrative way into the tween market. Among the artists who are making some fresh soundtracks for the younger set are indie rockers Ben Folds and Paul Westerberg.

Five years ago, Folds released an energized and somewhat profane song called "Rockin' the Suburbs." The lyrics were clever and bitingly funny.

Folds reworked that song for this past summer's animated blockbuster Over the Hedge. The language was cleaned up, but the music wasn't watered down — and the lyrics were still funny.

Another indie-rocker making his way into the movies is Paul Westerberg. The former frontman for The Replacements connected with Sony Pictures for the animated film Open Season.

The song "Right to Arm Bears" is one of the musical highlights of Open Season, an animated film new in theaters, with a soundtrack available on Lost Highway records.

Westerberg's songs for Open Season demonstrate how music aimed at youngsters can be something that oldsters can rock to as well.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ned Wharton is a senior producer and music director for Weekend Edition.