Josh Mancell

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Josh Mancell
Mancell smiling to the camera, wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt
Mancell in 2015
Background information
Born (1969-11-13) November 13, 1969 (age 49)
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • Composer
  • music programmer
  • musician
  • Piano
  • drums
  • guitar
  • timpani
  • vibraphone
  • percussion
Years active1992–present
Associated acts

Josh Mancell (born November 13, 1969) is an American composer and multi-instrumentalist who writes music for film, television, and video games. He is best known for his work on the Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter series of video games.

Mancell has received two Daytime Emmy Award nominations for his work on the children's television series, Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Early life and education[edit]

Mancell was born on November 13, 1969 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He attended Sarah Lawrence College.[1]

As a child, Mancell learned to play the piano, drums, and guitar and was a "rabid record geek". The exposure of playing music in different types of bands (such as punk rock, jazz, marching bands, and orchestras), combined with fandom in many genres, led Mancell to pursue a composing career. He was encouraged by his college professors to move to Los Angeles to write music for film and television.[2]


Mancell has developed a successful career writing musical scores for film and television. In film, he has scored a range of films such as Bongwater (starring Luke Wilson, Alicia Witt and Jack Black) and Love Comes to the Executioner (starring Jonathan Tucker, Ginnifer Goodwin and Jeremy Renner) as well as contributing music to the cult indie Chuck & Buck (Independent Spirit Award winner).[3]

Mancell's music has been used for the animated television shows Gary the Rat (starring Kelsey Grammer), Shorty McShorts' Shorts (starring Wilmer Valderrama), and Clifford the Big Red Dog (starring John Ritter), which has earned him two Emmy nominations.[4]

Mancell is known for his music in video games including Sony's Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter series, and other titles such as Johnny Mnemonic: The Interactive Action Movie and Interstate '82. This work was done with the assistance of Mutato Muzika, the music production company which Mark Mothersbaugh formed with several other former members of Devo including his brother, Bob Mothersbaugh.[5]

Musical groups[edit]

Mancell has been a member of the following bands and musical groups outside of his solo composing career:

  • The Millionaires – punk rock/garage band (1995–1996)
  • Uluteka – acid jazz/lounge band (1996)[6]
  • Mutato Muzika – music production company (1992–2007)[7][8]
  • The Dining Room Set – power pop/mod/soul (1999)[9]
  • The Wipeouters – surf/electronic (2001)[10]
  • The Moon Upstairs – psychedelic rock (2006–2010)
  • Exploding Flowers – pop/post-punk/power pop (2010–present)

Musical style and influences[edit]

Mancell's influences include electronic artists such as Mouse on Mars, A Guy Called Gerald, Aphex Twin, Juan Atkins, Richard H. Kirk and Kraftwerk, as well as progressive rock band Pink Floyd. He has cited their "interesting rhythmic elements" and said that "melodically they're simple but kind of leftfield too".[2]


Video games[edit]

Year Title Notes
1995 Johnny Mnemonic: The Interactive Action Movie N/A
1996 Crash Bandicoot N/A
1997 Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back N/A
1998 Crash Bandicoot: Warped N/A
1999 Crash Team Racing N/A
1999 Interstate '82 N/A
2001 Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy N/A
2003 Jak II with Larry Hopkins
2004 Jak 3 with Larry Hopkins
2015 Totome N/A
2016 Vairon's Wrath Two tracks[11]


Year Title Director(s) Notes
1997 Bongwater Richard Sears with Mark Mothersbaugh
1999 This is Harry Lehman Brian King Short film
2000 Chuck & Buck Miguel Arteta "Nwo Tew"
2006 Love Comes to the Executioner Kyle Bergersen N/A
2008 Milkshake Renji Philip Short film
Stanley Renji Philip Short film
2009 The Lights John Sjogren N/A
2010 Love & Other Unstable States of Matter David Marmor Short film
2011 Eat the Sun Peter Sorcher Documentary
The Dude Jeff Feuerzeig Short documentary
2012 Cheesecake Casserole Renji Philip N/A
2013 A Star for Rose Daniel Yost N/A
2015 Dirty Laundry Renji Philip Short film


Award nominations[edit]

Daytime Emmy Awards
Year Award Work Result
2002 Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition Clifford the Big Red Dog Nominated
2003 Outstanding Sound Editing – Live Action and Animation Nominated


  1. ^ "Noted Alumnae/i". Archived from the original on May 19, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Keiji (April 3, 2008). "Interview with Josh Mancell". Crash Mania. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
  3. ^ "Music by Josh Mancell" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 25, 2015.
  4. ^ Josh Mancell – Awards – IMDb
  5. ^ Are you not Devo? You are Mutato, retrieved 4 August 2015
  6. ^ "Band Info". The Unofficial ULUTEKA Home Lounge. Archived from the original on May 7, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
  7. ^ "Mutato Muzika Staff Info". MutatoMuzika. Archived from the original on January 5, 2004. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  8. ^ "Mutato Muzika Staff Info". MutatoMuzika. Archived from the original on August 11, 2007. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  9. ^ "The Dining Room Set". AllMusic. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
  10. ^ Anderson, Richard J. "The Wipeouters – P'Twaaang!". Forgotten Records. Kittysneezes. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  11. ^ "Vairon's Wrath on Steam". Archived from the original on 2017-05-06. Retrieved 2018-06-09.

External links[edit]