Just a few weeks ago on the LOS FANBOYS Podcast Jammer and Kellvin discussed their disappointment about the current state of film scores. Following a viral video that pointed out how the Marvel Cinematic Universe has totally missed the mark when it comes to their music, a big topic for us at LRM was how movies, in general, don’t have many magical musical moments anymore. If you grew up watching the iconic films in the action, adventure, or sci-fi genres in the 70s and 80s, you know what I’m talking about. There aren’t very many instant classic scores anymore. That may change when the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them comes out next month.
Composer James Newton Howard takes a musical cue from the man, the myth, the legend John Williams in his theme for the film. Williams scored the first few Harry Potter films, and his “Hedwig’s Theme” became known as the official theme for the franchise. In a fitting tribute to both the Harry Potter franchise, and to the work of WIlliams, Howard’s theme for Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them opens with a few bars of “Hedwig’s Theme” to get you in that magical mood, before going off in new and interesting directions.
Give Howard’s Fantastic Beasts theme a listen right here:
While many composers have stepped in to build on work that was initiated by John Wlliams, few are of the caliber of James Newton Howard. The man is no slouch. With 149 composer credits, he’s been a go-to man for everyone from Christopher Nolan to M. Night Shyamalan.
“You hear the main theme song of the movie play when the main crew arrive at the MACUSA (Magical Congress Of The United States of America) the first time and various other times,â€™ told Pottermore, of his Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them theme. “You hear this haunting kind of theme. If you had to say what is the theme for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for now and in the future, it would be that theme. I wrote it on my piano because I believe that if that kind of thing is going to be good, it should be done that simply.“
Indeed, if you listen to the track all the way through there are some haunting parts, some contemplative parts, and others that call to mind moments of sweeping adventure.
The soundtrack for Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them will become available on November 18.
What do you think of Howard’s Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them theme? Happy to hear the return of “Hedwig’s Theme”?