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How to Train Your Dragon
Album Cover Art
Composed and Produced by:

Co-Orchestrated and Conducted by:
Gavin Greenaway

Co-Orchestrated and/or Arranged by:
John Ashton Thomas
James McKee Smith
Paul Mounsey
Dominic Lewis
Michael Mollo
Dave Metzger
Germaine Franco
Jessica Wells
Stefan Schneider
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Varèse Sarabande
(March 23rd, 2010)
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Regular U.S. release.
Nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award.
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Decorative Nonsense
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you have always appreciated John Powell's dense and rowdy orchestral style for animated films but have waited for him to provide an entry in that genre that finally flows consistently and develops its themes to satisfying maturation.

Avoid it... if you have an aversion to bombastic fantasy material of immense size or hearing Scottish specialty instrumentation at the forefront of a score meant for Vikings.
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WRITTEN 4/10/10
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How to Train Your Dragon: (John Powell) The first of author Cressida Cowell's novels about young medieval Viking Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was loosely translated by DreamWorks into an early 2010 film of 3D technology and the same name. After a series of ridiculously juvenile animated topics from that studio throughout the 2000's, How to Train Your Dragon is an epic fantasy adventure aimed at children and adults while carrying moral themes of tolerance and family bonding. It follows the unlikely development of a friendship between a nerdy Viking teenager and a dragon he was meant to kill as part of his culture's ongoing feud with the beasts. Through his tender relationship with the dragon, he not only seeks to bring peace between the species but also earn the respect of his father, the Viking chief, and the young female warrior of his liking. An absence of stupid humor, a plot with actual meaning, an effective cast, and a spectacular (completely computer generated) visual design combined to lead How to Train Your Dragon not only to overwhelmingly positive critical reviews, but also surprisingly robust earnings (the film blew past its $150 million budget in grosses within the first two weeks of theatrical release). The music in DreamWorks' 19 previous films has traditionally been the domain of Hans Zimmer and, by association, his Remote Control army of clones. John Powell, one of the two most successful graduates of Zimmer's organization, has been involved with several of these productions, but always sharing credit. Zimmer has long praised Powell's abilities, on more than one occasion asserting that Powell is the far superior composer between them, and it is refreshing to finally see Powell helm a DreamWorks production on his own. That doesn't mean, however, that there isn't an army of assistants, orchestrators, arrangers, specialty performers, and engineers that dwarfs the usual ensemble for the crew on the other side of the glass from the orchestra. You still get the distinct impression that Powell has himself attracted so many collaborators that questions may arise about how much of the success of a project like How to Train Your Dragon should be credited to the primary composer. Still, what the score for this film proves is that Zimmer is indeed correct about Powell's superiority when you take into consideration the incredible density with which he writes. Among those that used Zimmer's friendship to spawn their own careers, Powell continues to write music that is, on a technical level, more impressive in its orchestral mastery than any other.

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Average: 4.19 Stars
***** 1,302 5 Stars
**** 479 4 Stars
*** 251 3 Stars
** 134 2 Stars
* 114 1 Stars
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An Alternate Review from SOUNDTRACKBEAT.COM
K.S. - March 12, 2017, at 6:59 a.m.
1 comment  (518 views)
Alternative review at Movie Wave
Southall - May 19, 2014, at 1:05 p.m.
1 comment  (1236 views)
FVSR Reviews How To Train Your Dragon
Brendan Cochran - March 20, 2014, at 12:52 p.m.
1 comment  (1168 views)
How to Train Your Dragon- Brilliant
Deane Nelson - May 6, 2012, at 2:12 p.m.
1 comment  (1782 views)
Love that he loved it, but...   Expand >>
Knutt - August 29, 2011, at 10:56 a.m.
2 comments  (2121 views)
Newest: September 2, 2011, at 5:55 p.m. by
Should have won the Oscar   Expand >>
Michael Horne - July 26, 2011, at 7:11 a.m.
5 comments  (3293 views)
Newest: September 20, 2011, at 4:11 a.m. by
Chris R.

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 72:06
• 1. This is Berk (4:12)
• 2. Dragon Battle (1:55)
• 3. The Downed Dragon (4:16)
• 4. Dragon Training (3:10)
• 5. Wounded (1:25)
• 6. The Dragon Book (2:22)
• 7. Focus, Hiccup! (2:05)
• 8. Forbidden Friendship (4:10)
• 9. New Tail (2:47)
• 10. See You Tomorrow (3:52)
• 11. Test Drive (2:35)
• 12. Not So Fireproof (1:11)
• 13. This Time For Sure (0:47)
• 14. Astrid Goes For a Spin (0:45)
• 15. Romantic Flight (1:55)
• 16. Dragon's Den (2:28)
• 17. The Cove (1:10)
• 18. The Kill Ring (4:27)
• 19. Ready the Ships (5:13)
• 20. Battling the Green Death (6:18)
• 21. Counter Attack (3:02)
• 22. Where's Hiccup? (2:43)
• 23. Coming Back Around (2:49)
• 24. Sticks & Stones* (4:08)
• 25. The Vikings Have Their Tea (2:04)
* written and performed by Jonsi

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The insert includes lyrics to the song and extensive credits, but no extra information about the score or film.
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the 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 How to Train Your Dragon are Copyright © 2010, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 4/10/10 (and not updated significantly since).
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