Recording information: Abbey Road Studios, London / Air Studios, London / Stud.
Composed, conducted, and produced by Alexandre Desplat (Girl with the Pearl Earring, The King's Speech), the soundtrack for Dreamworks Animation's Rise of the Guardians is as spirited and surprising as it is refreshingly old-fashioned. Desplat must have tucked away some extra magic after completing the scores for the final two Harry Potter films, because his work here is steeped in Hogwarts-inspired whimsy. Opening track "Still Dream," a sweet and sentimental ballad performed by soprano Ren‚e Fleming, sets the tone, suggesting a classic old-world Disney approach to the fable, but Desplat never lets things dissolve into treacle, providing a muscular main theme that, along with the main melody from "Still Dream," weaves itself throughout the film with a quaint yet confident majesty. ~ James Christopher Monger