Friday, July 12, 2013

How To Train Your Dragon 2 Teaser - Is That John Powell's Music We Hear?

UPDATED: 7/13/2013

So, as Edmund pointed out in the comments, the music contained in the teaser is NOT by John Powell.  I stand very much corrected.  The piece is called "Beyond the Clouds" and it was composed by Audiomachine.  (Listen below)  Well, call me exciteable or what, but this music works incredibly well and if I'm mistaking it for John Powell...I can hardly think of a greater compliment to the composer(s).

So if you still want to read my hopeful, yet misguided, original they are...preserved for all of posterity!  Enjoy!


Original Post: 7/12/13

It's been a long three years since we were blessed with Dreamworks Animation's HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON - a very long, three years.  Many would agree that this 2010 feature stands at the top of Dreamworks feature length animated productions to date.  Many would also agree that JOHN POWELL's original score for the film stands atop his amazing list of credits as well.  (And, nomination-be-damned, let's face it, Dragon should have taken home the Oscar for Best Original Score that year.  Do you even remember which score DID win?  Is anyone talking about it today?)

And so we have been waiting, with bated-breath,  for the sequel to come.  We've known for quite some time that it wouldn't arrive until 2014 and, while, it has been a painful wait at times, it's probably going to end up being a very good thing.  Dreamworks is clearly taking their time on this one.  You know: crafting the story and characters and all that stuff that some folks deem important?  I'm sure they are also pushing the envelope technologically as well.  Truth be told, Dreamworks, if your sequel looks exactly like the first installment, most of us will be a-ok with it.  We only ask that you take us on an equally charming and thrilling ride. Now that the teaser is out, let the jonesin' for HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 begin...

So as I clicked "play" on this video, like many of you, my first thoughts were, "Will this have new music from John Powell and if so, how good is it going to be this time?" 

I haven't been able to confirm that any recording sessions have taken place for the film yet, but with each viewing of this teaser I grow increasingly convinced that this is the real-deal.  At the very least, it's an early version of what we will ultimately find in the film.  If it is some sampled, mock-up, then kudos are deserved anyway...because it sounds fantastic. 

OK.  Let me get into into why I think this is John Powell's handiwork...

After the familiarly terrorizing sound of a Night Fury dragon, the orchestra explodes with percussion, strings, brass (the whole glorified works).  We are moved along in 3/4 time and soon the melodic progression becomes familiar.  It's not the bold and exciting fanfare used in How To Train Your Dragon's track "Test Drive,"(the theme that I think comes to most fans' minds first), but an expansive (almost Goldsmith-like) variation on the "Forbidden Friends" theme.  This original track was playful and innocent and, at it's end, joyfully teased Jonsi's contribution of "Sticks and Stones."  A lot has happened since then; however: a number of animated shorts, video games, and a television series have all advanced the story and their relationship.

As we settle into this teaser, we see clearly that both Hiccup and Toothless have matured physically and in their friendship, so it makes sense that their theme would mature as well.  The piece continues to build with choir then drops down to hits of percussion as the two friends enter their own freefalls.  Finally, the music returns to a full orchestral restatement of this evolved this "forbidden friendship" motif.

With the quality of music found in trailer-houses these days, it certainly is a possibility that this music is only coincidentally similar to John Powell's original work, but that would be some coincidence.

In the end, whether this is John Powell's work or not, the teaser is perfect.  It's chill-inducing from start to finish. I'm excited for the film AND I don't really have any idea what the plot of the story will be. That's all we need, Hollywood.  

Oh...and one other result of this teaser?  John Powell's original score for How To Train Your Dragon?  It's been on repeat all day.

So what do you think of this teaser?  Do you think this is Powell's handiwork? Tell us in the comments below.


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