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Album Review: How To Train Your Dragon 2 – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

4 min read

In 2010, How To Train Your Dragon was a huge commercial success raking in $500 million during its time in cinemas; the soundtrack for the first movie, composed by John Powell, was nominated for the Academy Award for ‘Best Original Score’, it didn’t receive the award but a nomination is still a credit for the hard work that goes into composing a killer soundtrack. The second movie in the trilogy, How To Train Your Dragon 2, was released in theatres this month and is bound to be another success, the soundtrack for this film should be a stunning listen as we experience the soundscape behind the movie that takes us beyond the Island of Berk. John Powell returns as the composer for the new soundtrack, a smart move!

How To Train Your Dragon - Original Motion Picture SountrackIt would sound as if writer/director Dean DeBlois wasted no time in getting the film right into fifth gear, soundtrack opener Dragon Racing is an excitingly loud and enthusiastic piece that would launch the opening scene into an energetic atmosphere. Together We Map The World sets a more toned down and focused scene, the strings begin in calming waves until they are performed in a slight staccato spiking curiosity; definitely a great track to encourage optimism of where the plot of the story will take viewers. Hiccup The Chief/Drago’s Coming begins as a calm track but soon escalates into a louder and more dramatic score as the composers bring in the choir and sharply played strings, hence the two parted name of the song. Toothless Lost is a piece that transitions between loud and calm on a regular basis, dynamics that suit movie scenes so well; the short and sweet Should I Know You? begins with a beautiful verse sung by the choir, only for the soundtrack to once again launch itself into a flutter of energetically played instruments.

The choir subtly returns for Valka’s Dragon Sanctuary, a piece that would successfully set a scene of wonder and intrigue and makes you feel like you are one with the sky and your surroundings; Losing Mum/Meet The Good Alpha sets yet another climatic scene, but proves to be the storm before the calm as it evolves into this soothing melody of peace. Meet Drago sounds menacing, warranted that the scene would be giving viewers a good look at the movie’s main villainous attraction, Drago. Stoick Finds Beauty is the soundtrack’s most down key piece so far, every feature has a break from the action here and there; it’s not long before the score picks up yet again, Flying With Mother would seemingly have been composed to encourage excitement happening within the scene. For The Dancing and the Dreaming is different in contrast to the rest of the soundtrack, it begins like any other but makes way for a fun ballad shared between key characters.

All fun aside, Battle of the Bewilderbeast casts a dramatic action scene with the strings in full bloom and the brass setting the tone, Hiccup Confronts Drago continues said drama. Stoick Saves Hiccup begins as a calm piece that builds up into a climax, while Stoick’s Ship defines an awesome atmosphere driven by bagpipes, caressing strings and soaring vocals by the flawless choir. Alpha Comes to Berk builds itself up from curiosity, to excitement to a bit of fun; however, Toothless Found begins with the loud beating of the drums, before progressing into a more quieter sequence led by the choir and the faster paced strings, before launching into a flurry of hysteria and ending on a more victorious note. Two New Alphas is a fast paced and exciting number as each instrument and the choir clearly have their parts to play to unite and create this energetic aura, perfect for the closing scene! Icelandic artist Jonsi contributes to the soundtrack with Where No One Goes for the closing credits, as well as Into A Fantasy performed by Alexander Rybak.

The soundtrack to How To Train Your Dragon 2 is a collection of unique tracks that would reign suitable for an action packed animated feature such as those in the How To Train Your Dragon trilogy; each piece obviously had a story to tell, as would each scene in the film and it would seem they would go hand in hand to deliver a strong impacting film. We wouldn’t be at all surprised John Powell was to be nominated for an Academy Award just like he was for this soundtrack’s predecessor, and it would surely be up for various other awards. A great soundtrack to listen to if you are in need of having an energy driven day.