Los Angeles-based English composer John Powell crafts scores for major motion pictures, with a focus on animated films and sci-fi/action movies. Following his first major score for Face/Off, he went on to compose for the Jason Bourne and the Ice Age series. In addition to multiple Saturn, BAFTA, and Annie Award nominations, Powell also received a Grammy nomination in 2008 for his score for the animated penguin flick Happy Feet, and an Oscar nomination in 2011 for his score for How to Train Your Dragon.
Born in East Sussex in 1963, Powell got his start with television work, writing from 1989 to 1993 on the British series Stay Lucky and later for a single season of the U.S. cop drama High Incident in 1996. He graduated to the big screen in 1997, delivering his first film score for John Woo's Nicolas Cage/John Travolta action flick Face/Off. In the early 2000s, he composed The Road to El Dorado with Hans Zimmer and Chicken Run with Harry Gregson-Williams, the first of his many collaborations with DreamWorks. Powell first met Zimmer and Gregson-Williams when he became a member of Remote Control Productions, a film score company based out of Santa Monica founded by Jay Rifkin and Zimmer. In addition to El Dorado, Powell also collaborated on a number of films with Zimmer, including their first together, 1999's Chill Factor, and the first two Kung Fu Panda films. As for his work with Gregson-Williams, the pair followed Chicken Run with Shrek in 2001.