‘War Horse’ and ‘Tintin’ Score Details (Unofficial)

Below you can read some relevant information provided by one of our forum members who has heard both scores. Keep in mind that the information has not been officially confirmed, and the opinions presented are those of the source.


Quotes from FilmComposer518

Tintin is your typical ‘quirky’ Williams comedy adventure score. With some accordion, sitar, saxophone thrown in. There are a few memorable action cues, but IMO it doesn’t come close to War Horse in terms of creative and intelligent content – not to mention sheer beauty.
To put it in comparable terms…

War Horse = Angela’s Ashes/Raiders/Far and Away/Saving Private Ryan
Tintin = Funny SW Prequel moments/Terminal/SOME Catch Me If You Can/a PINCH of Jurassic Park (my favorite cue from the film)
(not to mention the biggest Hook pirate theme ripoff this side of James Horner)”

“You have to understand that I must be careful in my answers to not give away actual descriptions of music as that could get me into trouble.

But I will say that the pinch of Jurassic Park is a bit of half-action music…more just intense (I don’t mean scary) and millitaristic brass figures…except in Tintin it’s an actual action cue that is sped up. But it’s only the beginning of the cue. Trust me, if the whole of Tintin was on Jurassic Park‘s level, I wouldn’t be complaining about a thing! It’s a good solid John Williams score. But it’s just that. Whereas War Horse is one that made me go ‘Wow…this is why I wanted to be a composer’”

“There is a lot about Tintin that could be considered Carl Starling…but the Thompsons’ theme is probably the quirkiest and most tongue in cheek. There is nothing blatantly…like…Merry Melodies theme…it’s not THAT cartoony. But the Thompsons’ theme is dorky and quirky.”

Tintin is a bit more like his general action music BUT there are several cues that achieve more than that. (There are a lot of moments of excitement in Tintin)”

“The score does not feel jumpy at all. All of the ethnic instruments are used either to emphasize a brief filmic moment, or to evoke a certain tone in the music. It doesn’t jump from classic Williams orchestra to jazz saxophone from one cue to the next. Think the way Terminal had accordion in the main theme and throughout…it worked because it blended.”

“Quite the contrary in regard to the themes…each theme is used extensively in Tintin. Almost every cue has at least a touch of the several themes. I wouldnt’ say they are developed that much over time…pretty much what you first hear is what you get from them. Sort of like Indy’s theme…sometimes it is fast and adventurous…sometimes it is slow and thoughtful…but it doesn’t really morph that much over the film.”


Quotes from FilmComposer518 as posted in our forums.

“The ‘Battle Cry’ esque theme from the trailer that many think is just in the finale is actually LACED throughout the whole score quite a bit. In many many different variations. There was also a little Irish sounding bit that came in near the end of the trailer, and that is another MAJOR theme for the score, but is expanded a LOT more than that in most cases. That was just one bar from a probably 6-8 bar theme.”

“There is a LOT of Celtic, or Upper English music in the score…but it’s not over-done…it mixes in nicely with the gorgeous string writing Williams has done.”

“The action scenes hark back to old Williams ala RaidersFar and AwayLast Crusade. I’m telling you…this score is brilliant…can’t give it enough praise.”

“That piano theme (from the trailer) is the VERY last music you hear in the End Credits. It is interspersed throughout the score a TINY bit, if my memory serves, but it’s not a big theme that is heard often.”

“You know how a lot of the emotional music from Jurassic Parkactually had very ‘pop-like’ chords (including the main theme and journey to the island) that just perfectly worked because Williams twisted them and molded them into his own frame? A lot of War Horse has that.”

“What I am saying is that the most emotional music is very chord based…but the progressions Williams uses are wonderful and surprising a lot of the time. Wonderfully done.”

“I can promise you that if Williams were allowed to unchain himself from modern conventions in film (no, even Williams can’t do that if he wants to continue to work) we would be hearing those same classic setpiece action overtures. But before anyone gets down on the current state of film music, let me clarify thatWar Horse (for the most part) does not follow that trend in writing :)”

“The action pieces in War Horse are pretty neat, and while they don’t use the same style as say, Forest Battle, or Indy’s First Adventure in concert scoring, they certainly come close…and are DIFFERENT than his latest generic action music that has been accompanying most of his films (cue the xylophone and upper woodwinds chirping out endlessly). The few action cues in War Horse have great unique personality.”

War Horse does NOT have a ton of action material. But that is what is so cool about the ones it does have. Most of the score is so spellbinding and beautiful that when all of a sudden something millitaristic and ugly crashes through the background, it is incredibly striking. The action music in War Horse is less about fun adventure ala Indy, and more about nastiness of war. It’s harsh and brutal in most cases. There is definitely a rhythmic drive (done not with percussion, but more with exciting instrumental figures) but also strong melodic fragments. Again, I can’t give out tooooo much detail about individual cues, but I think that should answer your question a bit.”

“Obviously I haven’t SEEN War Horse, but I have heard the score, and I think Spielberg might have asked Williams to harken back to his older style with it. Either that, or Spielberg harkened back to HIS old style a little bit, because the action cues are very very focused in it.”

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