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Arthur Christmas by Harry Gregson-Williams (Review)

posted Jan 3, 2012, 10:47 PM by Kaya Savas

While Harry isn't as busy as he was a few years ago he still is churning out some great work. I am a HUGE Tony Scott fan so I look forward to every single score Harry does for Tony. I also love that he's Ben Affleck's go to composer now. Harry worked on the mega-flop that was Cowboys & Aliens and he did a pretty good job with that score. It wasn't very thematic and sort of fell in line with his score to X-Men Origins: Wolverine; fun but forgettable. Harry also has a great track record with Aardman Animation even though the rumor was that Michael Giacchino was initially attached to this film. With scores like Chicken Run and Flushed Away under his belt this is not new territory for Harry Gregson-Williams, and the result is quite a charming score.

Arthur Christmas delivers a side of Harry that we rarely see. When you think of Harry Gregson-Williams you usually think electronics and synth, but it's not often we get to hear his Kingdom Of Heaven or Narnia side. While this score is in no way as grand as Kingdom Of Heaven it is indeed a welcome entry in Harry's filmography. His trademark style is in full swing here and he delivers a fantastically heartwarming and memorable score full of character. He instills just the right amount of awe and wonder into the mythical world of Christmas thus giving it the sense of wonderment it needs. He doesn't make it a "Christmas" score; there aren't bells and typical genre defining sounds. It's pure warmth delivered in just the perfect dose. Since people see Harry mainly as an action composer he rarely gets to flex these muscles. So when he does it really reminds you how versatile of a composer he is, which is why he is one of my favorites.

Arthur Christmas is just plain perfect for what it is. It doesn't force anything and it delivers the warm cozy feeling that you associate with Christmas. This isn't a Christmas score though and can be enjoyed at any point away from the film. The themes are identifiable and full of wonder. This is a real treat that shouldn't be missed.