If you have seen the movie more than once you can follow along with the scenes while you’re listening to the soundtrack. I don’t know if every single piece of music is on the CD, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was! Some of the tracks even pick up right where the last one left off. For example “Duel” and “The Magician’s Island.” At the end of Eustace’s “Duel” with Reep, it goes right to the scene where Gael is discovered on the ship (beginning of “The Magician’s Island”).
There are two songs in the movie, which I know aren’t on the soundtrack. One is “In the Mood,” the 40’s piece played during Lucy’s dream about Susan. This is kind of equivalent to “Oh, Johnny!” (a 40’s song by the Andrews Sisters) which was not included on the LWW soundtrack. The second song is “There’s a Place for Us,” which was written and recorded by Carrie Underwood. This song, which plays during the credits of the movie, was also recorded by artists from around the globe for their versions of “Dawn Treader.” That may be why the song wasn’t included on the CD. It just seems a little odd, since almost every other soundtrack I own includes some song at the end of the CD that played during the credits or was an “inspired by” song.
That having been said, the soundtrack really sounds complete without those two songs. Ending with “Time to Go Home” is so emotional. I teared up when I got there! If you really want to hear Carrie’s song after that, you can buy “There’s a Place for Us” (which is very beautiful) and burn a CD of the soundtrack with her song at the end.
But I digress…
The score is beautiful. David Arnold did a fabulous job writing the new themes, mixing them together, orchestrating them, supplementing each scene with the perfect amount of music, and fitting them together to make a lovely soundtrack. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, the music would be enjoyable to listen to, but knowing the story really adds to the experience, I think (as I said above).
Some of my favorite tracks:
1. Opening Titles: He starts off with a high “ooing” voices and low strings (I'm calling that the “Liliandil theme.”) which escalate to a beautiful falling melody I’ll call the “Dawn Treader theme.” This is the perfect beginning to the movie and the soundtrack!
3. High King and Queen of Narnia: This is one of the two tracks credited to Harry Gregson-Williams, the composer for LWW and PC. When Edmund and Lucy are introduced to the crew, David Arnold uses the “Narnia Theme.” I sort of wish there was more of the old themes in this movie, but then it wouldn’t be the same beautiful soundtrack! The movie has a different feel, and the new composer really added to it.
4. Reepicheep: This is not one of my favorites, but it introduces us to the “Reepicheep theme.” (of course!) It escalates to a magical melody that accompanies Lucy and the Nymph she sees in the water. The “Reepicheep theme” is also heard during the sweet “Under the Stars” track when Reep is comforting Dragon Eustace.
8. The Green Mist: This track (and all of the Lone Island tracks) has a very Arabian feel to it. (Each island has its own feel: Magician’s Island is very magical, Goldwater is very dry and scary, etc.) It starts out with an ominous chasing music (An interesting note: the strings underneath remind me of the “Raid on the Castle” track from Prince Caspian.) For the actual “Green Mist theme” he invented a very ominous theme blared out on trombones and supplemented by a choir. This theme you can hear during Lucy, Edmund, and Eustace’s temptations… basically whenever the green mist is seen.
10. 1st Sword: This is a quiet, happy theme (I’ll call it the “Sword theme.”) for the scene where Lord Bern gives Caspian the first sword, and Caspian gives it to Edmund. It vaguely reminds me of the “Father Christmas” track from LWW, which I suppose is appropriate. :)
11. Eustace on Deck: This song exactly fits what it is couple with in the film, a scene of the kids and Reepicheep passing time on the deck of the Dawn Treader. Inserted in is a variation of the “Dawn Treader theme.”
12. Duel: This track is a “Pirates of the Caribbean” type fiddle piece that fits the scene perfectly, but the theme is never used again in the movie. Although it is suspiciously reminiscent of the “Dawn Treader theme...” :)
14. Lucy and the Invisible Mansion: I would title this track “The Book of Incantations.” It starts out very quiet and mystical as Lucy is opening the Magician’s Book. When it starts snowing, the “ooing” “Liliandil theme” begins, and right before it reaches the “Dawn Treader theme,” is where she slaps the book and the music stops. The beauty spell is next, then the boys’ fight with the invisible Dufflepuds. When everything is appearing again, it is very magical sounding.
16. Temptation of Lucy: (This isn’t one of my very favorites, but it has a lot of the themes in it!) It starts out with a very sweet and quiet version of the “Treasure theme” (seen later) with the “Green Mist theme” (listen for it!) squeezed in. When she transforms in the mirror, we hear a rather sad version of the “Liliandil theme.”
17. Aslan Appears: This is the second track where David Arnold uses the old “Narnia theme.” But this time it is slow and sad, since Aslan is telling Lucy how wrong she was and encouraging her not to be jealous.
21. Dragon Attack: The pounding beginning instantly reminds me of Dragon Eustace flapping his wings up and down, flying towards the Dawn Treader. This develops into a mini battle against poor Eustace. As he flies away, we hear a sad, climbing melody squealed out by the violins. Then we hear a goldwater-sounding chasing theme and as Eustace picks Edmund up to read his message, we are suspended in air, hearing a version of the “Liliandil theme” again.
“Dawn Treader theme,” which turns into the “Sword theme." As they try to pile the swords on the table a running theme plays over the slow "Sword theme.” Ramandu’s Island is dark and mysterious, until Liliandil appears. She brings with her the lovely “Liliandil theme,” which originally played during the Opening Titles.
27. Into Battle: This is the longest in length at 11:02. It leads you through Dark Island, where the “Green Mist theme” is prevalent, especially when the Serpent appears. There are glimmers of hope voiced by the “Sword theme,” but soon the epic battle takes over. I really like the use of choirs chanting during this piece. The one surprise is when the music suddenly cuts out for the quiet interlude during which Aslan “undragons” Eustace. I think the theme is a variation of the “Sword theme.” But back to battle! Another running theme occurs when Eustace, as a boy, tries to get the seventh sword on the table. The rest is crazy, wonderful battle music (except for one short pause for the witch to talk to Edmund. Did you know there are voices whispering “Edmund” in the music there?) until Ed stabs the serpent. Victory!
28. Sweet Water: Actually this is the victory piece. It starts out with the“Liliandil theme,” but soon crescendos to the victorious “Sword theme.” Then we hear a hint of the “Dawn Treader theme” before finding Eustace is a boy again!
29. Ship to Shore: This is where it starts getting emotional… The music is quiet, because Aslan is talking to them and they are all saying their goodbyes. You can hear some of the “Sword theme.” The clearest though is the beautiful “Reepicheep theme,” especially when Reep sails over the wave into Aslan’s Country at the end of the track. Awww…. Sob, Sob!
30. Time to Go Home: I think this is my favorite track of the bunch. The “Dawn Treader theme” is heard first. It is just brimming with hope, but also filled with sadness and longing. I really love how this movie ends, how Eustace is narrating about how his cousins will be missed by all Narnia. And right at the end, when you think it couldn’t get any better, David Arnold adds in a gorgeous, climbing theme from the violins. (A variation of the “Sword theme.”) They start low and soft, slowly escalating and passing each other, higher and higher, and finally resolving in quiet strains of the beautiful “Dawn Treader theme” as Eustace hangs the picture of the Dawn Treader on the wall. The soundtrack ends exactly how it begins. Quiet “Dawn Treader theme.” Fade out.
1. Watch the movie several times.
2. Buy the soundtrack.
3. Listen to the soundtrack several times.4. Buy the movie. :) It's coming out April 8!