HAPPY FEET
Music composed by John Powell, Various

Label: Atlantic/Warner Bros.
Catalog: 83998
Year: 2006
Tracks:

1. The Song Of The Heart (Prince)
2. Hit Me Up (Gia Farrell)
3. Tell Me Something Good (Pink)
4. Somebody To Love (Brittany Murphy)
5. I Wish (Fantasia Barrino, Patti LaBelle, Yolanda Adams)
6. Jump N' Move (The Brand New Heavies, featuring Jamalski)
7. Do It Again (The Wondermints)
8. The Joker/Everything I Own (Jason Mraz, Chrissie Hynde)
9. My Way (A Mi Manera) (Robin Williams)
10. Kiss/Heartbreak Hotel (Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman)
11. Boogie Wonderland (Brittany Murphy)
12. Golden Slumbers/The End (K.D. Lang)
13. The Story of Mumble Happy Feet (05:50, score composed by John Powell)

Total Time: 47:47
Rating:

Reviewed by
Jorge Saldanha


In the highly sucessfull wave of CG-animated films featuring cute and furry animals, now its the time of Happy Feet to catch the attention of thousands of viewers around the world. In the U.S. the singing and dancing penguins did beat out James Bond's Casino Royale at the box office for two weeks in a row - only in its first weekend this Warner Bros., George Miller directed production earned $42.3 million, helping to launch a strong holiday viewing season.

Like the acclaimed live documentary March of The Penguins, Happy Feet is set deep in Antarctica, in the realm of the Emperor Penguins. Our main character, Mumble, is born without the ability to sing the romantic song he needs to attract a female penguin. So he learns to express himself in an unique way: by tap-dancing! The film features the voices of stars Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Elijah Wood, Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.

As you can imagine, music and dance both play a very important part in Mumble's life, and so in the film's history. Prolific film composer John Powell was enlisted to create arrangements for songs in the movie and on the soundtrack sung by the cast and by several popular music artists. Powell arranged songs for cast members Robin Williams, Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, as well as for Pink, Yolanda Adams, Fantasia, and Patti LaBelle.

John Powell spent a weighty four years scoring, arranging and acting as musical director and musical producer 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 picture as well as traveling to San Francisco to record Robin Williams. This soundtrack album features 12 songs and just one score track by Powell, fortunately the score CD is being released by by Atlantic Records this mid-December.

Powell's taste for unusual instrumentation, combined with his experience in diverse musical styles, made him perfect for the project. The score montage "The Story of Mumble Happy Feet" is a showcase of Powell's talents: at first gentle and joyful, very soon the music develops into a rousing, fast and wondrous piece plenty of samba and latin rhythms. The performance with orchestra, voices and percussion is stunning.

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. 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 and the ambient score for United 93 and the eclectic score for Ice Age: The Meltdown.

Amongst John Powell's next projects are Horton Hears a Who for Fox/Bluesky Studios animation and the next chapter of the "Bourne" series, The Bourne Ultimatum. Several of his film scores were highlighted at a special concert for the World Soundtrack Awards in Belgium, October 2006.

BACK TO SOUNDTRACK REVIEWS