John Powell wrote the movie soundtrack to "How to Train Your Dragon."

Another Dragons Sunday Seven: John Powell Was Robbed!

The composer of the How to Train Your Dragon soundtrack was nominated for an Oscar in 2010.  He should have won.  Yes, we all know the lovely waltz that played when Hiccup and Toothless took Astrid into the clouds, but there’s so much more.  I never grow tired of listening to it.

Seven Favorite Songs from How to Train Your Dragon
(in chronological order)

  1. “This Is Berk.”  It could be called “Overture.” It has many movements and themes that run throughout the movie.
  2. “Forbidden Friendship.” Hiccup feeds the (as yet unnamed) dragon a fish and… you know the rest.  In their DVD commentary the directors and producer said this was a 5 minute scene without dialog.  That’s extremely hard to do!  But the music and the action are so wonderful, you don’t notice.
  3. “See You Tomorrow.”  The “Scottish jig” played during the montage of Hiccup and Toothless trying out various flying apparatuses (apparati?), where we learn about dragon nip, chin scratches, and light chasing.
  4. “Test Drive.”  The song associated with the movie.  When Hiccup and Toothless go for their first long flight, Hiccup loses his cheat sheet, but it turns out dragon and boy are in total synch.
  5. “Romantic Flight.”  When Astrid says she’s sorry, Toothless takes her and Hiccup into and above the clouds to see the Northern lights and a view of Berk no one’s ever seen before.
  6. “The Cove.” After returning from the dragon’s den, Astrid agrees to keep Hiccup’s secret and gives him a kiss.  The moonlight on the water and an accordion (yes, an accordion!) give the feel of a romantic cafe.
  7. “Where’s Hiccup?”  As the debris clears, a distraught Stoick searches for Hiccup.  The song continues into the scene of Hiccup waking up, and swells when we realize Hiccup and Toothless are now even closer than ever.

For the record, I’m not alone in my love for the movie and its music.  Tom  says, “God dammit I love this film way more than is healthy,” and The Platypus Agent notes “Best. Movie soundtrack. EVER.”  I agree 2000%!

How to Train Your Dragon: Sunday Seven, Part 1

The dragon places  his nose in Hiccup's hand.

All together now—”Aww.”   [Photo credit: DreamWorks]

I’m a huge fan of all things How to Train Your Dragon:  the books, the movie, the soundtrack, the television series, all of it.  There are so many things to love, I could write seven separate Sunday Seven Dragon lists.  But that’s just overkill.  Let’s start with the movie.

When I first watched it, there were moments I was totally awed, by either the story or the animation. (And I haven’t even seen it in 3D yet!)  These are some of those moments.  (The list actually started with 11; these seven are the best of the best.)

Danger, danger!  If you’ve not seen the movie, stop reading now.  Besides possibly ruining the surprise, it might not make sense.  And also, what are you waiting for?

Seven Amazing (1st Viewing) Moments
from  How to Train Your Dragon (the movie)
  1. Hiccup’s first encounter with the downed dragon:  As the camera pans across its wing, its eye opens.  (According to the the DVD commentary this was unintentional.  But what a great mistake!)
  2. As Hiccup steps through the dragon’s maze, he looks as if he’s dancing.  He turns his body rhythmically, and his hair waves with the movement.
  3. When the dragon puts his head in Hiccup’s hand, Hiccup gasps.  It’s such a realistic moment, and we feel his thrill.
  4. As Toothless returns to the cove after his first flight with his tail fin (and Hiccup hanging on to his tail), the dragon’s body is reflected in the water. Gorgeous!
  5. On the way to the dragons’ island, the number of dragons flying alongside Toothless is slowly revealed.  The numbers just keep growing until dragons have completely filled the screen.
  6. Having been trapped under water while the Vikings are fighting the Green Death (sometimes erroneously called the Red Death), Toothless suddenly resurfaces carrying Stoic.  Not only is it a surprise, Toothless’s arched back and curved wings make a powerful yet graceful image.
  7. When Hiccup regains consciousness, he makes his way outside leaning on Toothless.  Toothless’s tail sweeps across screen, and we see how interrelated these two are.  (Oh yeah, I’ve heard this scene produces audible gasps from theater audiences. )

So those are some of my favorite scenes.  What about you?  Do you love the movie?  What are some of your favorite moments?