Thelma The Unicorn – John Powell

There is probably a decent chance you have not heard of the movie Thelma The Unicorn before. It is a Netflix animated film based on a children’s book series, and since I am not really part of the target demographic of that movie, I would probably have missed it. I am going to write a review about it, however, because the master of animation, John Powell, composed the music for it – or at least a part of it.

The reason why I say that Powell did not write everything is that the movie is also a musical. Not only are existing songs used during a couple of sequences, and the characters burst into song and dance from time to time, but they play a significant part in the narration as well. In a world where humans and animals live together, Thelma, a pony who pretends to be a unicorn, tries to become famous with her band and has written original material, which is also included in the movie. All these songs can be found on the soundtrack album, and take up half its duration next to Powell’s original score.

Now let’s talk about the music that Powell did write for Thelma. When I saw the movie from the comfort of my couch, I noticed that his music is subtle and more in the background than I am used to from his animation writing. It serves its purpose in not taking too much attention away from the songs. If you listen carefully, however, you can hear gorgeous Powell tunes surrounding a marvelous main theme Powell created for the animation, and the music shines through perfectly in a handful of places. At one moment in the film, we go into a fantasy world within the world of Thelma. Powell takes this opportunity in full and gives his music the Powell treatment that I love so much from scores like How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World, with orchestral musical explosions and with a loud choir built on top of that. You can hear this sweetness in the finale of “Schemes and Fantasies.” While the music is more hidden than I am used to, in a film you probably would have missed, it still contains the stunning Powell style of writing for animation, and it is worth your attention if you like Powell’s music.

Listen or buy


The highlights are in bold and the songs are in italic

  1. Fire Inside (1:54)
  2. Blubber Trouble (2:24)
  3. Pool Boys (2:15)
  4. Hurricane (1:16)
  5. Big (2:21)
  6. 3 C’s To Success (3:18)
  7. Here Comes The Cud (2:33)
  8. Only Unicorn (2:16)
  9. Just As You Are (3:26)
  10. Goldmine (3:55)
  11. Diners and Carrots (3:24)
  12. Becoming a Unicorn (1:03)
  13. They Liked Our Music (1:37)
  14. Red Carpet (2:26)
  15. Schemes and Fantasies (2:53)
  16. Blackmail Loo (2:30)
  17. Thelma Missing (2:02)
  18. Rescue & Coming Clean (2:13)
  19. Resolutions (2:02)

Total length: 45 minutes
Netflix Music (2024)


  • Anton Smit

    Anton is the editor-in-chief and founder of Soundtrack World. After writing about film music occasionally, he thought it was time to create his own site to celebrate music from film but also other media. Next to working on this website, Anton is a member of the International Film Music Critics Association, has a job in IT and plays the tuba in a local orchestra.

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