Film released by Disney, 2005
No score soundtrack available
Music clip, 0'29" (354Kb) [DVD menu
Ice Princess is a film perfectly atuned to the hopless aspirations of teenage girls who want to have their cake and eat it. Brains, hidden beauty, gentleman boyfriend, chance to rebel, talking as an equal with grownups, showing off, paying back people who previously thought themselves better... and perhaps the joys of skating. Whatever the wish, Disney (with director Tim Fywell and writers Meg Cabot and Hadley Davis) is happy to fulfill it. And luckily they do it pretty well with the help of good (and well-cast) acting talent. Kim Catrill as the scheming ex-skater/pushy coach, Joan Cusak as the dowdy egghead lecturer mum and Michelle Trachtenberg (linked to Beck via only a single Buffy episode) as the put-upon-but-brainy, beautiful, boyfriend-attractive, gently rebellious... Ice Princess. There is just enough sparkle here to keep any romantic watching, and if you sift through the pop element, there is also a rather nice little score from Chris Beck. Beck executes a neat but discrete leit motif style which pinpoints the following important recurring features of the plot - all of which are built round their interaction with the main character:
1. The Ice Princess theme [Ex.1] (see DVD
2. Piano figuration, which is both varied and changes instrumentation (light for the DVD menu, and stronger at 0:11'34")
3. Love theme 19'56" [Ex.2] (for example at 0:19'56")
4. Mother love theme [Ex.3] (for example at 0:24'49")
5. Skate class music: marimba underscore [Ex.4] (for example at 0:14'42")
click here to see Exs notated
Timings are approximate, using a PAL R2 version of the film
Characters/actors: Joan Cusack .... Casey Carlyle (skater-to-be, Michelle Trachenberg), Joan Carlyle (mother, played by Joan Cusack), Tina Harwood (pushy coach, Kim Cattrall), Gen Harwood (Hayden Panettiere, playing Tina's skater daugher), Teddy Harwood (Tina's son, who keeps the ice rink going - played by Trevor Blumas)
N.B. Songs not placed in the cue-by-cue: Casting call, There is no alternative, Bump, Just a dream, Get your shine on, Trouble, Toxic. Anyone who can help, do let me know!
[0:00'00"-0:02'27" Pop song 'No one' for opening credits.]
0:03'19"-0:04'30" Light marimba underscore for school friend science/social-life talk gives way to cool bluesy pop (blues guitar, beats) as Casey comes into contact with popular ice skater school friend Gen. The clash in style helps distinguish the social level and character of the principal young female characters.
[0:05'24"-0:05'54" Diegetic classical music: ice skating on television]
0:05'54"-0:06'48" Piano enters with a tinkling figure that becomes part of the accompaniment to the main Ice Princess theme [Ex.1] on upper strings. Clarinet rounds off the theme. Casey has her idea for an ice skating science project.
[0:06'48"-0:07'36" Pop music 'Doin' fine'. Casey starts filming skaters at the local rink]
0:08'21"-0:08'40" Marimba underscore. Casey is suspected of spying.
0:10'01"-0:10'18" Quiet and tentatively positive [Ex.1] on clarinet with piano accompaniment. Stops as love interest Teddy stops Casey from using street shoes on the ice.
0:10'23"-0:10'50" Casey tries again with ice skates. Brass take the theme [Ex.1] with string support, reflecting a little more confidence/rightness in Casey's approach.
0:11'34"-0:12'00" "Maybe they just cheat". Almost inaudible string chord as Tina (the pushy coach mother of Gen) faces off with her daughter over her desire to have a social life. Casey starts working on her project, accompanied by piano figurations (a softer variant of 5'54" perhaps) with the outlines of a possible theme, but too nebulous to committ to memory
0:14'42"-0:15'04" Marimba-led underscore to Casey's new starter class, [Ex.4].
0:15'22"-0:15'46" Etherial upper-string rendition of Ex.1 over glimmering high marimba as Gen gives a demonstration as teacher's assistant
0:15'50"-0:17'05" [Ex.4] returns for the class's practicing: sprightly marimba, gathering a retro guitar in the backing. Since the session shifts between practicing and dialogue the music yo-yos between quiet pizzicato and mezzo-forte ensemble with string descant: not triumphant, but giving some fun and forward motion.
0:17'04"-0:17'26" Casey is practicing on her own on a pond. Her piano figuration returns, with a variant of [Ex.1]. Fades to..
[0:17'27"-0:18'28" Pop song. 'You set me free']
0:19'56"-0:20'33" Acoustic guitar figuration echos Casey's piano idea. As with the piano setting, this becomes an accompaniment for a theme - on clarinet: we have ourselves a love theme [Ex.3] for Casey and Teddy.
0:22'19"-0:22'51" Piano configuration with strings taking the IceP theme [Ex.1] as Casey completes her first perfect jump for video
0:23'35"-0:23'55" Dreamy high [perhaps not..] marimba with impressionistic orchestral forces sketch the IceP theme for Casey's daydream
0:23'56"-0:25'29" Casey's mother has chosen the clothes for her college interview. Beck returns to the cheeky marimba underscore style from 3'19" - a good choice to continue the geeky social embarrassment thread. At 24'49" we encounter a new theme on piano for Casey's mother as she shows how proud she is of her daughter [Ex.3]. This shifts back to a variant of the music from the beginning of the cue as the mood is broken.
[0:25'35"-0:26'26" Piped Mozart underscore as Casey meets other potential students. Physics rocks? Mozart used both as diegetic music, but also perhaps to portray a pleasant yet boring atmosphere, even its leisurely pace might have been used to add weight to the passing of time as Casey itches to escape to the skating recital.]
0:26'26"-0:27'24" Tinkly underscore which brings out a charming theme of its own from out of the earlier piano figurations
[0:27'39"-0:29'34" 'It's oh so quiet' The skating recital, diegetic.]
0:30'36"-0:31'37" Casey and the coach talk about the difficulty of a skating career. Subdued string slow version of the IceP theme [Ex.1] underscoring the dialogue scene
0:33'52"-0:34'24" Casey starts to sell her knowledge of skating physics to competing performers. String tremolo breaks into a pop-styled cue (drum kit, male nonverbal vocal, moog synth, etc.)
[0:34'27"-0:35'10" pop song: ('Nothing can get in my way / Break me'??? fem vocals.-- unverified authorship) Fades out]
0:36'38"-0:37'15" The piano figuration returns, with hints of strings and wind alluding to the IceP theme [Ex.1]. Casey does the groundwork on working through fellow skaters' faults
[0:37'15"-0:38'11" pop song 'Get up' Casey coaches the skaters]
[0:39'04"-0:44'00" pop songs (unverified authorship), diegetic, fading in and out round the dialogue. Gen takes Casey to a club]
[0:44'02"-0:45'28" 'If I had my way' pop song. Non-diegetic. Casey practices and earns money.]
0:46'30"-0:47'09" [Ex.4] returns as Casey's secret skating infatuation is discovered by her mother. Piano and flute with string accompaniment
0:47'58"-0:48'40" Underscore as Casey and her mother fall out, but she carries on, so a subdued cue with the piano figuration and IceP theme [Ex.1] is used to match mood and situation
[0:50'18"-0:50'37" 'Rock & roll part 2' underscore]
0:52'20"-0:52'54" Casey gets a make-up treatment from Gen]. Guitar variant of the piano figuration shifts gear a little to allow the IceP theme [Ex.1] to reappear on wind instruments, and then Ex.4 when Teddy's name pops up.
[0:53'20"-0:54'02" Guitar rock for one skating performance at the competition (unverified authorship)]
[0:54'02"-0:54'43" Excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet overture for one skating performance]
[0:54'43"-0:55'31" Excerpt from the Offenbach overture, The Tales of Hoffmann (inc can-can) for one skating performance]
[0:55'31"-0:56'12" Excerpt from one of Vivaldi's Four seasons concerti (Quatro Stagione) for one skating performance]
[0:57'08"-0:58'37" Excerpt from Madonna's 'Ray of light' for Casey's first skating performance]
[1:00'06"-1:01'13" Pop-with-strings music for Casey's tragic second performance: 'Reachin' for heaven', instrumental]
1:02'16"-1:03'56" A minor-key version of the IceP theme [Ex.1] with sombre strings and marimba[?] as Casey tearfully confronts Tina with her cheating tactics. This shifts to [Ex.4] at 3'42" when Casey phones for her mother to collect her
1:05'20"-1:06'03" The IceP theme [Ex.1] remains in minor key: strings, piano, cor anglais. Low moment for Casey.
1:07'50"-1:08'24" Sombre strings tail the scene where Gen quits on her mother. Wisely the bulk of the scene is left to the actors rather than smothering with music. It concentrates the scene and also follows the track taken so far to use the score to reflect the feelings and interactions of Casey only.
1:08'24"-1:09'14" Gen and Casey make up after the misunderstanding. A pivotal moment musically: major key returns. Guitar takes on the piano's figurations and a quiet and slightly smoothed-out version of the IceP theme [Ex.1] returns.
1:10'07"-1:14'17" "So, Casey, why are you passionate about Harvard" Casey realises she feels more passionate about skating. The barest skeleton of the piano figurations, everso gentle with quiet string chords. Clarinet enters with [Ex.4] as the impact of her decision on her parent sinks in. With this covered, the piano figurations become more recognizable (a return to the format used towards the end of the 11'34" cue) and at 1:11'40" a viola solo brings back the IceP theme [Ex.1] (Casey skates on her pond - perhaps the rough-and-ready style of the practice locale is reflected in the more brittle tones of the viola's mid-to-lower register ion this performance). Upper strings do enter, but not solidly until 1:12'22", when Teddy comes to save the day by smoothing the pond for her to practice - this is a re-entry of [Ex.3]. Full strings and guitar give a real lift to the following practice shots. The clarinet takes hold of [Ex.3] again as the two talk properly. Other solo wind take the theme to a dinimuendo conclusion for a shift of scene to Tina (Casey is going to throw the olive branch, so the mood isn't broken). Again, the following reconciliation scene, heavy on acting and dialogue, is left to the actors until..
1:15'59"-1:16'52" "I want this more than anything". Casey pleas for Tina to be her coach. Wisely not too melodic and relying for most of its appeal on tinkly piano-figuration-inspired underscore.
1:18'04"-1:18'43" "You know it will always be the Casey and mum show". Casey now builds bridges with her mum. The previous row is again left unscored. Now Beck brings back [Ex.4] on piano, but the key is predominantly minor, especially when wind (with soft string accompaniment) continue with the theme. Casey is pleading with her mother to accept her choices.
1:18'45"-1:20'07" The skating final. A clarinet theme which sounds like it is part of a chorale solemnly accompanies our entrance to this event. No link to pre-existing material? Well, this theme twists until it fits perfectly beneath a sprightly variant of the IceP theme [Ex.1]. Paralells are bound to be made between this and the cheerleading final in Bring It On, but this is more thematically significant, and there is much less bombast. This underpins how much more straight-faced the action is between contenders. There follow clips of skating with faux-tv commentaries.
[1:20'08"-1:20'18" Guitar rock for one skating performance at the competition (unverified authorship)]
[1:20'18"-1:20'26" Excerpt from Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet overture for one skating performance]
[1:20'26"-1:20'36" Excerpt from an unverified slightly "Eastern" inflected orchestral work. (unverified authorship)]
[1:20'36"-1:20'48" Excerpt from the Offenbach overture, The Tales of Hoffmann for one skating performance]
[1:20'48"-1:21'00" Excerpt from Madonna's 'Ray of light' for Casey's skating]
1:22'01"-1:22'45" Casey reveals she hasn't spoken to her mum since their row. Strings help shift to her mum lecturing, and oboe enters at this point with (innevitably) the [Ex.4] theme.
[1:22'56"-1:23'30" Excerpt from an unverified slightly "Eastern" inflected orchestral work. Unverified authorship]
[1:23'30"-1:24'00" Guitar rock with odd juxtaposition of drums and strings for one skating performance at the competition (unverified whether Beck or not)]
[1:24'00"-1:24'34" Excerpt from Henry Mancini's music for The Pink Panther. Oddly prescient choice since CB has gone on to score the remake/prequel, released 2006]]
1:24'44"-1:25'35" "I just need to hear her voice." Casey tries to ring her mum prior to the second dance. Very sensitive arrangement of the [Ex.4] theme for piano with feather-light strings
[1:25'35"-1:29'00" Uplifting chick rock song, 'Reachin' for heaven'. Casey's routine. Nicely shifted up a gear as Casey's game rises when she spots her mother in the audience.]
1:30'30"-1:32'07" Reconciliation of Casey and her mother. Correctly toe-curlingly soppy version of [Ex.4]. In the interrim the piano figurations return with a hint of the IceP theme, but Teddy is next to greet Casey, and this heralds the return of [Ex.3] at 1:31'37", first on solo horn and taken up by strings and leading to a pleasant resting place fitting the character's emotional satisfaction.
[1:33'06"- Pop song. 'Unwritten'. Ending with mother and coach good-humouredly squabbling.]
[More pop for end credits: 'Reach', 'I fly']
Full music credits