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John Powell - THELMA THE UNICORN (2024)


Jay

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Hanging out with Thelma the Unicorn at Abbey Road Studios this week! ūüé∂

Coming this Spring! ūüĆ≥

#JohnPowell #soundtrack #thelmatheunicorn @netflix @batusener @markgrahamcreative @abbeyroadstudios

 

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https://www.instagram.com/p/C0d4ScQNXJp/

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The best thing Netflix has done over these past few months is giving Powell loads of animated movies for him to score. Take that, Disney!

 

Btw, I started reading the name of the thread and for a second I thought Powell was scoring a remake or a sequel to Thelma and Louise :lol:

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So basically Powell spent 2023 writing THREE animation scores, and they'll all be done recording soon even though two of the movies won't be out until later next year.

 

I wonder if he'll score anything else after these before the live action How To Train Your Dragon that's due for June 2025, about 6 months after That Christmas comes out.

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I still hope Powell will give the HTTYD remake to Sener or Anthony Willis or any other assistant, and take back Harold and the Purple Crayon. As great as HTTYD's score is, I don't want to see Powell wasting his time doing what Zimmer did in the Lion King remake: CTRL C CTRL V.

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17 minutes ago, Raiders of the SoundtrArk said:

I think Powell would not do like HZ. He's been able through three movies to reinvent himself and I'm sure he'll succeed another time

 

I mean sure, if the director lets him. Seems likely to me that the filmmakers will outright request a copy/paste job. They tend to do that you know.

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True, but from what I remembered Dean DeBlois came back for the sequels only because he was allowed to not repeat the same story, so I like to think that if he's coming back around ;) it's because they're allowed to have a new approach to it

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No one asked, but this is what the movie is about anyway:

 

Quote

The movie directed by Lynn Wang (Unikitty!) & Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre) is based on Aaron Blabey‚Äôs children‚Äôs novel and follows a small-time pony who dreams of becoming a glamurous music star and ‚Äď in a moment of fate ‚Äď is transformed into a unicorn and instantly rises to global stardom.

http://filmmusicreporter.com/2023/12/05/john-powell-scoring-lynn-wangs-jared-hess-thelma-the-unicorn/

 

BTW, the movie's name is Thelma the Unicorn, without the "and".

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Ugh. I'm one of the few people in the world who wishes Powell did less animated films. I know, per his own words, he's all about "nice things and kumbayah my lord" these days and steers away from a lot of serious live action pics (that he did the last BOURNE film seemed more out of obligation, and was consequently uninspired). That is his right, of course, but I want him to get back to things like ENDURANCE. Serious pics that allow a rich, more layered musical pallette. Scores that are neither whimsical animated affairs nor static, vacous things like DON'T WORRY DARLING or LOCKED DOWN.

 

But yes, I know I'm the odd one out here.

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  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, Edmilson said:

It'll be some very busy months for Powell fanatics:

  • Migration in December/23
  • Complete HTTYD: The Hidden World in February/24
  • Thelma the Unicorn in May/24
  • That Christmas in December/24
  • HTTYD remake in June/25

And perhaps some other movies we may not know about it yet.

Powell will be 2024’s James Newton Howard. 

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On 06/12/2023 at 4:08 AM, Thor said:

Ugh. I'm one of the few people in the world who wishes Powell did less animated films. I know, per his own words, he's all about "nice things and kumbayah my lord" these days and steers away from a lot of serious live action pics (that he did the last BOURNE film seemed more out of obligation, and was consequently uninspired). That is his right, of course, but I want him to get back to things like ENDURANCE. Serious pics that allow a rich, more layered musical pallette. Scores that are neither whimsical animated affairs nor static, vacous things like DON'T WORRY DARLING or LOCKED DOWN.

 

But yes, I know I'm the odd one out here.

Is there anything in Hollywood being made that’s like Endurance nowadays?

 

(in terms of potential substance)

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11 hours ago, LSH said:


Oh, I hope it’s better than that. :P

I just meant in terms of being prolific.

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6 hours ago, Kasey Kockroach said:

Is there anything in Hollywood being made that’s like Endurance nowadays?

 

(in terms of potential substance)

 

Sure, but to get Powell involved with that is a different matter (whether by his own choice or by people wanting to hire him for that), and to somehow magically compose music like he did then. It seems unlikely, but I keep my hopes up.

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1 minute ago, Brónach said:

I did like Still

 

The film or the score? To me, the title is very apt for the score. Very little movement and things going on. I like textural scores, but this didn't have a lot going for it, IMO.

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On 06/12/2023 at 10:08 AM, Thor said:

that he did the last BOURNE film seemed more out of obligation, and was consequently uninspired

 

Is that direct quote from some interview, or an assessment?

 

The thriller/drama side of Powell doesn't interest me that much, and thinking further, I'm not really a dedicated fan outside of his HTTYD/CotW work although all of his Ice Age scores are far more than the films deserved. He's like most composers for me where some of his projects pique interest, and some don't.

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The rule is simple: the more adult, mature, live-action, grim and realistic a movie is, the less interesting its John Powell score will be. The more kid-friendly, animated, comedic, and fun a movie is, the more interesting will be the Powell score.

 

Sure, there are some exceptions (HTTYD 2 is "darker" than Rio 2 but it has a better score than that), but overall whenever Powell works for an adult thriller about government conspiracies or something, his scores will be dull.

 

Actually, because of Powell and his Bourne music, I struggle to find interesting scores for dark and grim thrillers (or most traditional action movies in general).

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2 hours ago, Richard Penna said:

Is that direct quote from some interview, or an assessment?

 

An assessment, sorry if I was unclear.

 

1 hour ago, Edmilson said:

The rule is simple: the more adult, mature, live-action, grim and realistic a movie is, the less interesting its John Powell score will be. The more kid-friendly, animated, comedic, and fun a movie is, the more interesting will be the Powell score.

 

Not sure about that. My favourite Powell scores are FACE/OFF, ENDURANCE and SOLO. I'll leave it to anyone else to judge the "seriousness" of these. Some good things in the BOURNE scores too. They work brilliantly in their movies, and are hugely influential, but very uneven listening experiences on album. Of his animated stuff, I kinda like CHICKEN RUN and the second HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, but I'm not really into that whole "scene".

 

I think I like Powell when he's somewhere in the middle -- between the whimsy of the animated films and the grittiness of his more serious efforts. I wish he nurtured that side more.

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Why did you put "scene" in quotes?  You do that a lot, and I never understand what you are trying to get across.

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6 minutes ago, Jay said:

Why did you put "scene" in quotes?  You do that a lot, and I never understand what you are trying to get across.

 

I do that a lot, yes. It's part of my style, and I'm afraid it's here to stay. It's also a common linguistic tool when something has a circa meaning. What is an animated "scene" anyway? It gets the point across, while also being deliberately up to interpretation. When I use single quotes, as in 'quotes', it more denotes a defined term of some sort, so not quite the same.

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2 hours ago, Edmilson said:

The rule is simple: the more adult, mature, live-action, grim and realistic a movie is, the less interesting its John Powell score will be. The more kid-friendly, animated, comedic, and fun a movie is, the more interesting will be the Powell score.

 

Couldn't think of a better descriptor of Powell's scores. I did like a lot of his Bourne music at one point but I've moved away from it, and really only a few cues from that trilogy are interesting to me now. The Tangiers chase being an example of a good modern action cue. I did like Waterloo at one point but I used it in a short film at work years ago which unfortunately has kind of ruined my enjoyment of it. Atonement is a nice track too - understated and emotional.

 

Evolution is also really good and fun - a rare live action score without his thriller/drama sensibilities.

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31 minutes ago, Thor said:

Because it would be too bombastic to say animated scene without quotes, as if that was a real, defined thing.

 

Sorry, I don't understand.


This:

 

Of his animated stuff, I kinda like CHICKEN RUN and the second HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, but I'm not really into that whole scene.

 

Makes sense.

 

This:

 

Of his animated stuff, I kinda like CHICKEN RUN and the second HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, but I'm not really into that whole "scene".

 

I don't understand how it's different, or rather how you want it to be come across as different from my above hypothetical version.


I'm sorry I don't get it!  I'm honestly just trying to understand!

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I guess it is; I've never seen anybody else do what you've been doing lately with all these extra quotation marks.

 

Everytime I come across them in your posts, it slows me down and I go "wait, what? What is he trying to say?"  And then I never come up with an answer.  Really slows things down.

 

But, obviously, I'll have to make peace with it, since you don't even know why you do it!

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2 minutes ago, Jay said:

But, obviously, I'll have to make peace with it, since you don't even know why you do it!

 

He clearly knows why he does it. That you don't understand his explanation is a different matter.

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Again, not really that important. Using quotes around things is a useful tool for many things -- that the word is not meant in a literal sense, or that the meaning is kinda vague. It's a linguistic shortcut that I often use on messageboards, in cases where I don't feel like elaborating a lot, but getting close enough to get the point across. So for animated "scene", that could mean everything you can put into that category, from not watching a lot of animated films, the particular style that is associated with it (lots of mickey-mousing, for example). I general, things about animated films I don't follow. If I had written it without quotes, it could potentially mean a particular scene somewhere, and people could ask "what scene are you talking about?". I don't know if that made it any clearer, but anyways.

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2 minutes ago, Thor said:

Again, not really that important. Using quotes around things is a useful tool for many things -- that the word is not meant in a literal sense, or that the meaning is kinda vague. It's a linguistic shortcut that I often use on messageboards, in cases where I don't feel like elaborating a lot, but getting close enough to get the point across. So for animated "scene", that could mean everything you can put into that category, from not watching a lot of animated films, the particular style that is associated with it (lots of mickey-mousing, for example). I general, things about animated films I don't follow. If I had written it without quotes, it could potentially mean a particular scene somewhere, and people could ask "what scene are you talking about?". I don't know if that made it any clearer, but anyways.

 

What do you mean?  scene was defined in the first part of your sentence, when you said "Of his animated stuff"

 

Of his animated stuff, I kinda like CHICKEN RUN and the second HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, but I'm not really into that whole scene.

 

There's no ambiguity with that whatsoever!

 

The ambiguity only arrived when you put "scene" in quotes.

 

Of his animated stuff, I kinda like CHICKEN RUN and the second HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, but I'm not really into that whole "scene".

 

Wait, what? Now I'm lost.

 

But I guess its just me if no one else is confused by this style.

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FWIW I'm not having any trouble with the use of quotes there and Thor's reasoning makes sense to me - it's when the word is being used in a slightly less literal sense. A bit like the use of the word thing in I'm not into that whole "thing".

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6 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

Also, am I the only one here who likes X3: The Last Stand? It's "dark" Powell but the action music is so fun. I enjoy it very much. How could I dislike Powell + LOTR choir + John Williams' prequels + Don Davis' The Matrix?

 

Nope, love that one too!

 

I think it comes down to any film that's fun or sci-fi/fantasy will get an interesting score.

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A colleague of mine has a t-shirt stating "I only can explain it to you. I cannot understand it for you". :D

 

As I see written language as a representation of spoken language I often see quote as a certain kind of pronounciation, that Shows, that the speaker of the sentence is not 100% coninced,  that he got the perfect ord or expression at hand. Or maybe it is for pointing out, that the word in quotes can be understood in multiple different ways and one wants to point to that ambiguity. 

 

Anyway, from my experience, such statements in quotes are usually better taken as they are. Then I can do the interpretation (unless it is a personal statement about me. Then I want to know exactly why there are quotes). :D

 

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21 hours ago, Jay said:

 

But I guess its just me if no one else is confused by this style.

Nope you're not the only one

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