Penguins beat Bond
John Powell's score helps Happy Feet dance to #1
Singing and dancing penguins beat out superspy James Bond this weekend, as Warner Bros. CG-animated Happy Feet took the #1 position with $42.3 million, helping to launch a strong holiday viewing season. Prolific film composer John Powell spent a weighty four years scoring, arranging and acting as musical director and musical producer for "Happy Feet," directed by George Miller. The film stars Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Elijah Wood, Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. Atlantic Records has the soundtrack in stores and will release Powell's score CD in mid-December.
In addition to his work for the score, Powell also arranged songs for Pink, Yolanda Adams, Fantasia, and Patti LaBelle. Powell's talent for unusual instrumentation, combined with his mastery of diverse musical styles, made him perfect for Happy Feet. Powell traveled eight times to Australia to record some of the singers, a full orchestra and a 600 voice choir. He also had numerous sessions in Los Angeles with the stars of the pictures as well as traveling to San Francisco to record Robin Williams. Besides Happy Feet, this year alone Powell has contributed to an array of divergent projects, including the grand and powerful orchestration for X-Men: The Last Stand, the ambient score for United 93 and the eclectic score for Ice Age: The Meltdown.
In under 10 years, Powell has established himself as a leading composer with nearly fifty films to his credit. Powell has demonstrated his flair for melody, layers and sonic textures in virtually every genre from action, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and The Bourne Identity, to comedies, including Shrek, and Robots.
John Powell is currently working on Horton Hears A Who for Fox/Bluesky Studios animation and will be continuing the "Bourne" series with The Bourne Ultimatum next year. Several of his film scores were highlighted at a special concert for the World Soundtrack Awards in Belgium last month.
Atlantic Records will release the score album on December 19, 2006.