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John Powell's FERDINAND (2017)

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Dude, Ferdinand is already one of my favorite Powell scores and I'm baffled how little attention it's getting even among the few Powell fans (though people at least like it enough, I guess).

This post is amazing and cathartic to read.

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Ferdinand is great!

There's even more music available on the FYC album, too!

 

Welcome back Stu! :wave:

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4 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

I have listened to this soundtrack at least twice a week over the past 4 months

 

So that's what you've been doing all this time you've been away...

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There's something about this score that feels so dignified and refined, moreso than usual for Powell antics. 

I actually didn't mind the movie. It's a very nicely animated, cute and harmless kids movie with its heart in the right place. Refreshingly deprived of cynicism. At the very least, I'd say it's one of the better Blue Sky things. 

Though I'm someone who used to live with roommates whose kids would watch things like Hoodwinked, Johnny Test, CGI Smurfs or Everyone's Hero. Ferdinand's practically a classic compared to what I've sat through during babysitting sessions. 

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1 minute ago, kaseykockroach said:

There's something about this score that feels so dignified and refined, moreso than usual for Powell antics. 

I actually didn't mind the movie. It's a very nicely animated, cute and harmless kids movie with its heart in the right place. Refreshingly deprived of cynicism. At the very least, I'd say it's one of the better Blue Sky things. 

Though I'm someone who used to live with roommates whose kids would watch things like Hoodwinked, Johnny Test, CGI Smurfs or Everyone's Hero. Ferdinand's practically a classic compared to what I've sat through during babysitting sessions. 

Your roommates had kids?  That sounds like a living nightmare!

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Two kids. And three dogs. Four cats. Left food out at night for ants and cockroaches to pick on in the morning.

 

But this story has a happy ending. :P I no longer live there. I now instead live with my grandpa who complains about every other film score I put on in the background. 

 

 

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Thanks everybody.  It really is a special piece of music.

 

I'm listening to the OST again this morning, and just had my mind blown listening to the track "Bull Olympics."  The track is mostly an extended workout for the theme that I call the "Spain Theme," but mostly because I don't know what to call it!

 

"Spain Theme" has an A and a B section.  The A section starts at 0:24, B at 0:34:

0:24 - 0:46

 

 

ANYWAY, listening to "Bull Olympics" there's a teensy quote of the Pacifist Theme I wrote about earlier that I never noticed till this morning.

 

At 0:54, there's like a three second quick quote of it unless I've just listened to the score so much my ears are playing tricks on me.  The setting is so different from how the theme is usually presented, I just never made the connection before.  Especially because it immediately transitions into the A section of the Spain Theme.

 

 

Either way, like I said before, it's part of what makes this OST so rewarding to delve into.  Powell plays with the themes constantly, especially the one I'm calling either the Family Theme or Ferdinand's Theme (it's the very first thing played on the first track).  But I don't have time to keep going into this right now.

 

 

 

23 hours ago, Not Mr. Big said:

It really is an underrated score.  The best Latin American 3D score of 2018 by a wide margin (Coco sucks).  

 

I feel obliged to point out that Spain is not in Latin America, but I understand what you're saying.  And I agree.

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I find a lot of Powell scores to be similarly rewarding to revisit for that reason, but Ferdinand is definitely particularly compelling in that aspect. 

As for Coco, I recall seeing the film and realizing in disappointment upon finishing that I didn't hear a single note of score. Giacchino wasn't asked to tell a story, he was asked to put some music on top as background noise. Whereas even the lesser Powell scores for animation are solid enough stories told through music. Sort of like Horner's animated film music, but more passionate.

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2 hours ago, Loert said:

@Disco Stu In anticipation of your upcoming analysis I am sure that you've noticed the way in which Powell transforms the "Spain theme" into the major key at the end of "Madrid Finale".

 

 

You mean the gorgeous rendition on cello at 10:34?  It's so good.

 

Man, you're raising the bar high for me!  I'm not sure I'm music theory literate enough to analyze to that level of detail.  I was really just planning on doing a theme guide presenting what the themes are and how/where they're used.  Mostly to show how densely packed the score is with just a few melodic ideas that he uses in such inventive ways that you often don't even realize that you're hearing the same few melodies over and over.

 

But mostly I'm just so excited to have sparked a conversation about Ferdinand, which I thought was getting criminally un-discussed or even unfairly dismissed by the enthusiast community.

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I'm really meek about trying to discuss music itself, as I've long found it difficult to articulate why certain scores resonate with my ears. They just do. I'm not educated or particularly bright, so I've long assumed I only love Powell's music so much simply because I'm an idiot with poor taste and someday I'll wise up and listen to "real music".

Being assured here that it's okay if Madrid Finale moves me to tears is comforting and cathartic. 

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1 hour ago, kaseykockroach said:

I'm really meek about trying to discuss music itself, as I've long found it difficult to articulate why certain scores resonate with my ears. They just do. I'm not educated or particularly bright, so I've long assumed I only love Powell's music so much simply because I'm an idiot with poor taste and someday I'll wise up and listen to "real music".

Being assured here that it's okay if Madrid Finale moves me to tears is comforting and cathartic. 

Reminds me of this post I saw on filmtracks a while back:

 

Quote

"Honestly, I cannot explain why I like the scores that I do... I have difficulty with that. I feel clumsy, like a caveman asking out a girl: "Me think this score pretty. Me like it." There is enjoyment, there is a measure of appreciation, but there is no lucid expression of why that is so."

 

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I remember following the scoring sessions bits posted by Powel on facebook. It was mostly flower theme. It's just sooo good.

 

 

@Loert Thanks for this great analysis !
I can say I'm pretty good at spoting theses differences but I'm unfortunately unable to put words on it so thank you :)

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On 22.4.2018 at 6:12 PM, kaseykockroach said:

I find a lot of Powell scores to be similarly rewarding to revisit for that reason, but Ferdinand is definitely particularly compelling in that aspect. 

As for Coco, I recall seeing the film and realizing in disappointment upon finishing that I didn't hear a single note of score. Giacchino wasn't asked to tell a story, he was asked to put some music on top as background noise. Whereas even the lesser Powell scores for animation are solid enough stories told through music. Sort of like Horner's animated film music, but more passionate.

That's what I thought, when I watched Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. "Man, couldn't they at least give these eerie eye eating dude's a theme or a motif? Nothing! Themes and motifs support the storytelling, did you know?:angry:"

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It's also a wasted oppurtunity that Coco's songs and score have no thematic connection (as far as I could tell).

Compare that to the "Real in Rio" song being the main theme in Powell's score, in terms of him scoring musicals.

Though in fairness, Coco has a lot more cooks in its kitchen than Ferdinand.

 

 

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