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Iron Will
(1994)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
David Slonaker
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Varèse Sarabande
(February 1st, 1994)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if wholesome children's adventure music for dynamic orchestral tonality is a predictable winner for you, Joel McNeely offering several strong themes and a compelling narrative in this score.

Avoid it... if temp track emulation severely bothers you in every instance, for John Williams and Bruce Broughton are extremely (and sometimes obnoxiously) clear inspirations for nearly every facet of this work.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,803
WRITTEN 2/23/12
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McNeely
McNeely
Iron Will: (Joel McNeely) Based in part upon a real-life 1917 dog sled race between Winnipeg, Manitoba and Saint Paul, Minnesota, the 1994 feel-good Disney movie Iron Will tells of a young man fulfilling his father's legacy and saving his family by competing in the race. When his father is killed in a mushing accident, the man decides to raise money for his family's South Dakota farm and earn his own passage in the sport (and to college). His plight is covered by news outlets in search of an underdog story, and the film's solid supporting ensemble included appearances by Kevin Spacey, David Ogden Stiers, and Brian Cox. The wholesome Disney entertainment was praised to same extent as any of these interchangeable films at the time, and a reasonable $21 million in box office grosses greeted Iron Will just after the start of the year. The movie's technical elements were vital to its credibility, and joining the Minnesota and Montana landscapes in bringing the feel of the great outdoors to cinemas was Joel McNeely's original score. The composer had earned his first mainstream recognition after his Emmy win for "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" in 1993, yielding two career-defining results that almost immediately guided his output over the rest of the decade. First, McNeely became known as "the next John Williams" as a result of his ability to emulate the maestro's writing style on command (a descriptor that was later transferred on to Michael Giacchino), and he was hired several times during the 1990's to provide what essentially amounts to knock-off Williams music. Secondly, he also established a strong working relationship with Disney, which hired McNeely to write music for a handful of their live action movies like Iron Will before transitioning him (with great success) to their straight-to-video animation division. Indicative of both his capability to channel Williams and supply Disney with hearty orchestral music is Iron Will, a highly entertaining and tonally ultra-accessible score for outdoors adventure. McNeely already had Squanto: A Warrior's Tale under his belt and was about to embark upon Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain the following year, and these three scores can easily be interchangeable in many of their action and drama sequences. Each has its own specialty, however, and whereas Squanto emphasizes the ethnic element and Gold Diggers concentrates upon the smoothly dramatic lyrical side, Iron Will is an exercise in fanfares and excitement extracted from the same general mould.



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VIEWER RATINGS
89 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.06 Stars
***** 17 5 Stars
**** 21 4 Stars
*** 19 3 Stars
** 15 2 Stars
* 17 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
1 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Thanks for the review!
Jon Adamich - January 9, 2013, at 7:42 p.m.
1 comment  (477 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 30:58
• 1. Main Title (2:57)
• 2. Jack's Death (3:44)
• 3. Leaving Birch Ridge (2:29)
• 4. The Race Begins (2:09)
• 5. Pushing Onward (1:47)
• 6. Gus Rescues Will (2:53)
• 7. Devil's Slide (2:23)
• 8. The Final Day (3:43)
• 9. Race to the Finish (2:22)
• 10. Crossing the Line (3:14)
• 11. End Credits (3:05)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes a very short note from the director about the film and score.
Copyright © 2012-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Iron Will are Copyright © 1994, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 2/23/12 (and not updated significantly since).
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