23 April 2014 12:13 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

With “Rio 2” in release and “How to Train Your Dragon 2” due in June, London-born John Powell reconfirms his status as today’s leading composer for animated films.

Twenty of his 54 features have been animated. And with a resume that also includes a 2010 Oscar nomination for his soaring “How to Train Your Dragon” score and music for such hits as “Happy Feet,” three of the “Ice Age” movies, two Dr. Seuss entries, “Kung Fu Panda” and the original “Shrek,” it’s hard to dispute that Powell has made a lasting impression on the genre.

“I grew up on ‘The Jungle Book,’ Warner Bros. cartoons, and ‘Tom and Jerry,’” says Powell in his expansive Pacific Palisades studio, the day before leaving for London to record music for the “Dragon” sequel. “I love the artistry of animation, and I prefer the stories. It’s much more joyful. Live-action is just so »


- Jon Burlingame

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