Patrick Doyle to score Pixar’s BRAVE – Five fave music from the Scottish composer

The Scottish love affair in Pixar’s upcoming 3D adventure continues. As you’ve seen in the trailer and poster, the fairy tale story is set in ancient Scotland about a feisty Scottish princess. The film already boast a stellar cast of talents from that neck of the woods, and now, Pixar has commissioned a renowned Scottish composer Patrick Doyle to score the project. I’m a huge fan of his work so this is fabulous news indeed!

Mr. Doyle may not be a household name like John Williams, John Barry, Hans Zimmer or Ennio Morricone, but chances are you are familiar with his lush, beautiful music. Just a bit of info from IMDb on the 58-year-old Glaswegian composer: Born in 1953, outside Glasgow, Doyle studied music at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and graduated in 1975. He is a now a Fellow of the RSAMD. In 1987, Patrick joined the Renaissance Theatre Company as composer and musical director. He’s scored about 40+ feature films since his breakthrough with Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V in 1989. He’s frequently collaborated with the Irish filmmaker/actor since then, with THOR being their latest one.

According to The Scotsman, Doyle has already penned a drinking song for Billy Connolly, who is voicing the film’s Scottish king. The project is “very much work in progress”, and sounds like it’s a project close to his heart. His research has included trips to the Hebrides to listen to unaccompanied Gaelic psalm singing, and he has played recordings of the haunting sound to the film’s producers. Not sure how much of the bagpipes sounds we’ll hear in the score, he’s quoted as saying “I want to make it accessible but to honour the Celtic traditions if I can… I could possibly use the bagpipes as a drone or something that gives atmosphere, but I will resist instantly using them until I see what’s going on … they are extremely loud.” Whatever it will be, I trust that it’ll sound wonderful!! Oh, and I learned from the article that BRAVE’s director Mark Andrews got the inspiration to set the film in Scotland after he honeymooned there with his wife.

In honor of Mr. Doyle, here’s five of my favorite music from his collection:

Sense & Sensibility

I have the CD in my car and play this one often. I love this scene when the song is played as Elinor teared up listening to Marianne’s playing their father’s favorite on the piano. This soundtrack was nominated for an Oscar, I really think it should’ve picked up the award.

Great Expectations

It’s been a long time since I saw this movie but I remember liking the score… and Ethan Hawke. This one is one of the most memorable ones.

Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire

I think this one could be my favorite Harry Potter movie so far because it’s the most romantic as well as heartbreaking. The scene of Cedric Diggory’s death is such a tearjerker!

NIM’s Island

I didn’t realize Doyle had worked on this movie until recently. I wonder if he knew Gerry Butler as they’re both from Glasgow? I quite enjoyed this family-friendly adventure with Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin, Butler played a dual role of an Indiana Jones’ type fictional hero written by Jodie’s character, as well as Abigail’s scientist dad.


As I said in my review, I love, love, love the movie’s score. I saw the movie twice this past Spring and the second time around I love the music even more. I’m hoping he’ll get some award nominations for this amazing work.

I’m even more excited about BRAVE now, if that is even possible! 😀 So, are you a fan of Mr. Doyle’s work? And while we’re at it, who is your favorite film composer(s)?

25 thoughts on “Patrick Doyle to score Pixar’s BRAVE – Five fave music from the Scottish composer

  1. Ted S.

    I like Doyle’s work, I thought his score for Carlito’s Way was great. Not sure if you’ve seen the film or not but the opening music of that film always gave me goosebumps.

    I’m gonna go with the famous ones as my fave composers, John Williams, Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. I also like John Murphy’s work, he might become the next big name soon.

    Also, I really like Elliot Goldenthal, his theme for Heat is still one of the best motion picture soundtracks ever. He got in a car accident in late 90s or early 2000s and he was out of work for a long time. Thankfully Michael Mann brought him back to score Public Enemies, let’s hope more directors would hire him for their upcoming films.

    1. Oh I haven’t seen Carlito’s Way but I believe you that it’s great. I should make my top ten list of fave composers one of these days. I like the 3 you mentioned, not familiar w/ Murphy, what movies did he do? I also like Philip Glass and John Powell. Oh yeah, Public Enemies score was great, can’t say the same about the movie though.

      1. Ted S.

        John Murphy’s from England, a lot his earlier work were films made by British filmmakers. His most well known films were 28 Days Later, Miami Vice, Sunshine and Kick-Ass.

        This is one of my favorite theme of his:, that theme’s been used in a lot of film trailers. He also re-used it in the Kick-Ass soundtrack.

  2. PrairieGirl

    Actually, Nim’s Island is my fav from your list ;-D Don’t really have a favorite film composer, I tend to like individual songs more than a particular composer.

    1. I forgot that he did Nim’s Island. His work is so subtle that it’s not as noticeable, but definitely adds a lot to the atmosphere of the piece which is what great composers should be able to do.

  3. I’ve only seen Thor and Harry Potter and while I loved the Potter score, I don’t really remember the Thor score. I’m not sure if that’s good or not. Perhaps he was going for a more subtle approach. I need to see it again.

    1. Hi Markus, if you listen to the Youtube clip I posted, it should refresh your memory on his work in THOR. It really stood out to me when I watched it in the cinema so when I saw Patrick’s name I wasn’t surprised at all 🙂

  4. I don’t remember any of his scores even though I have seen most of these movies 😡 Listening to them, he seems to be a good choice, although certainly a bit unmemorable.

    1. Unmemorable?? What, what?? Well, I suppose his music is more of my taste as I love classical music. His work isn’t ‘flashy’ like Vangelis or even Hans Zimmer but they’re sooo pleasing to the ear and the playability factor is great, for me anyways.

    1. Yay! His music is so lush and beautiful… perfect for period dramas. But yet, when he did THOR he showed that he had range. I’m real curious to hear what he’ll do w/ BRAVE.

  5. I’m not acquainted too much with the work of this composer, but you know I’m extremely excited about the film and I’m sure the music will be more than enchanting with stunning Scottish folk elements!

  6. His music is great, but I’m not such a big fan of the films on the list – sorry, just not my cup of tea. But again, the music is very nice.

  7. BRAVE is really shaping up to be chuffing awesome hey?

    S&S? hahaha How did I know it would be listed!

    Great post my friend, I hope the weather is better for you than it is for me!!


    1. He..he… I LOVE S&S with a passion, don’t cha know? I love the Scottish-ness of BRAVE, I love that culture, very fascinating, and the men, too 😀

      Yeah, I hope we both have fine weather this weekend, matey!

  8. You are right, A lot of Doyle’s work goes without the recognition it deserves. I, too, like his work. I’m glad he’s doing Brave. I think about you with every update I receive about the film!

    Nice tribute!

    also noticed the change to…Nice!

    1. Yeah, it’s exciting to have my own domain, finally! Now it’s just a matter of finding time to actually change the template to a custom one. Thanks T!

  9. Victor De Leon

    Some great info on Doyle, here, Ruth. I didn’t know he scored “Henry V.” Such a great film. I will have to seek that one out one day. I do own Goblet of Fire and Thor which are both very well structured scores (I think I prefer Thor over Goblet). Some of my stand-out soundtracks from Doyle, which I love, are Donnie Brasco, Carlito’s Way and Needful Things. Others which are nice are Eragon and Gosford Park which I accidentally stumbled upon on You Tube of all places 🙂 Great post Ruth! You are so good at these film score posts. So very few movie bloggers cover soundtracks. Thanks!

    1. Yay! I’m glad someone appreciates soundtracks as much as I do! Thanks for the kind words & encouragement Vic, I really appreciate that! I haven’t seen some of the films you mentioned that Doyle scored, but I will look for them in youtube!

      Yeah, composers are underappreciated in the blogosphere, but I personally LOVE soundtracks, that’s my fave music genre!

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