Friday, July 11, 2014

Score Sample - How to Train Your Dragon

If you are like me, and I know I am, then you are always on the look out for energetic and exciting film scores. One of the best composers for this type of sound is John Powell. Originally part of Hans Zimmer's team of studio composers, Powell was often teamed up with other composers on various projects. This allowed him to cut his teeth on some pretty big movies. Powell developed a colorful, bombastic and exciting style, perfect for action movies and animation. His scores for the Bourne trilogy actually changed the way action scores were written. But I love his amazing work in animation. One of his best scores is How to Train Your Dragon, which features an array of memorable themes, fantasy, romance, excitement and adventure. So many great tracks, but one of my favorites is Test Drive, where our hero tries riding his dragon for the first time. Really great stuff. Enjoy!


  1. Enjoyed the first Dragon movie a lot and I'm curious about the second one that has just come out. It's gotten some pretty good reviews, but I'm sure I'll wait until it's released on Netflix. Oddly I've never paid close attention to the soundtrack, I'll have to do that the next time I watch it, and with the newer Dragon film as well.

    1. Yes, the movie was a real surprise to me. I picked up the score before I saw the movie, because of all the good reviews the score was getting. In fact on a lot of the score websites I frequent, this was nominated and won for score of the year. When I finally got around to seeing the movie I was equally impressed. Really fun movie with a lot more depth to it than other Dreamworks animation films up to that point. (Kung Fu Panda being the real exception).

      Powell does the unheard of in film score circles - his sequel score is getting better ratings than his first score! I picked up the score to "How to Train Your Dragon 2" last week, and it is excellent. I think it is as good as the previous score, and does exactly what an excellent sequel score should do - develop main themes from the first, create new themes for this film and then work them all together in interesting ways. These days, this kind of thematic continuity in film score sequels is rare. The last one that had that was Giacchinio's wonderful scores to "Star Trek" and "Into Darkness".