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Iron Will
(1994)
Album Cover Art
1994 Varèse
2019 Intrada
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Conducted, and Produced by:

Co-Orchestrated by:
David Slonaker
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Varèse Sarabande
(February 1st, 1994)

Intrada Records
(April 22nd, 2019)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 1994 Varèse album was a regular U.S. release. The 2019 Intrada album is limited to an unknown number of copies and retailed at soundtrack specialty outlets for an initial price of $22. Within a year, it started the process of going out of print.
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AWARDS
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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.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,812
WRITTEN 2/23/12, REVISED 7/19/20
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 financially 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 fully symphonic 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, where he cranked out numerous solid but wholly anonymous scores for decades. 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.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
106 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.14 Stars
***** 21 5 Stars
**** 24 4 Stars
*** 25 3 Stars
** 21 2 Stars
* 15 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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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  (617 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1994 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼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)
2019 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 77:00

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert of the 1994 Varèse album includes a very short note from the director about the film and score. That of the 2019 Intrada product includes extensive information about both.
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or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Iron Will are Copyright © 1994, 2019, Varèse Sarabande, Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 2/23/12 and last updated 7/19/20.
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