Composer John Powell Bids Farewell to How to Train Your Dragon


Composer John Powell bids farewell to How to Train Your Dragon

With How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World all but wrapping up the beloved adventures of Hiccup and his dragon Toothless, several of the film’s cast and crew are taking the time to say their personal goodbyes to the popular franchise. Notably, composer John Powell, whose Oscar-nominated music made the films soar to greater heights was able to share his thoughts on the series in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

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According to the article, Powell was a bit overwhelmed, and found the “forbidden friendship” scene difficult to crack from a musical perspective. He actually waited to score the memorable moment last, that way the animation — particularly, the facial details — was fully rendered. The results are absolutely astounding.

For the new film, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Powell again found the intimate moments more difficult to navigate, noting that the beach scene featuring Toothless and the Light Fury was a bit daunting.

“It’s their kind of dating moment, I call it ‘Third Date’ on the album,” Powell said of the six-and-a-half-minute scene. “It really kind of killed me. The animators did such a wonderful job with the pantomime of that scene, that I really had to work to make sure the music matched that quality.”

He also discussed his working relationship with Dragon’s director, Dean Deblois, who preferred to speak in non-musical terms.

“The easiest thing for a composer is to talk about what the characters are trying to achieve, and focus on the language of story. In the same regard, Dean is only interested in how the emotion of the music strikes him, not whether it’s the strings or brass that achieves it.”

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The interview delves deep into Powell’s career as he reflects on his early work with Hans Zimmer, scoring The Bourne trilogy, and working with Phil Lord and Chris Miller before their firing on Solo: a Star Wars Story.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is the much-anticipated culmination of one of the most beloved animated film franchises in history. As Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) fulfills his dream of creating a peaceful dragon utopia, Toothless’ discovery of an untamed, elusive mate draws the Night Fury away. When danger mounts at home and Hiccup’s reign as chief is tested, both dragon and rider must make impossible decisions to save their kind. It’s now playing in theaters.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World