I watch a little too much Netflix for my own good, and the “ta-dum” sound that plays at the start of every Netflix Original programme has become a staple in my daily life. However, it appears that the iconic 3-second intro isn’t quite long enough to work for cinema viewings, which is why Netflix decided to hire Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer to “extend” the original track.
Original films from Netflix have indeed been released in cinemas in certain markets since 2018, and the company is expected to continue to produce full-length original films in the near future. As such, the streaming giants’ decision to go with Zimmer makes a lot of sense—he’s won awards for his compositions for The Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean, Inception, Interstellar, and more.
However, while the new intro sounds very Hans Zimmer-ish, it doesn’t quite fit in with what millions of Netflix users are used to. The 16-second track starts with the sounds of the orchestra that quickly rises into a crescendo of strings and percussion, before ending with a soft, but familiar “ta-dum”. The idea here is obviously to build on Netflix’s iconic “ta-dum”, although some viewers have complained that the new intro lacks the necessary punch.
The new, extended intro is now available to listen to via a Tweet by Siqi Chen. If you scroll through the threaded replies, you’ll even come across producers who have edited Zimmer’s intro to feature a louder “ta-dum”—and I have to say, it does sound a lot more impactful. To me, the rising sounds of the orchestra in Zimmer’s track slightly overpower the most iconic thing about the intro, which I couldn’t really hear through my laptop speakers, until I put on my headphones.
According to Classic FM, Netflix wanted someone who would compose a score that would capture Netflix’s cinematic message while building on the original intro’s undoubted recognition. And while many may disagree with me on this, Zimmer’s extended score doesn’t quite have the oomph that legendary intros such as this have. Instead, it sounds a little more like a typical Hans Zimmer track, as opposed to a Netflix opening scene.
For now, it appears that Netflix will continue in its push to infiltrate the traditional cinema movie market. And a big reason for that is the possibility of Oscar awards, of course—you see, only movies that have a previously-planned theatre release qualify, thanks to a recent vote by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. They’ve already won an Oscar or two actually, with Marriage Story, American Factory, and Roma picking up awards in recent times.
So, what do you think? Do you feel like Zimmer has done the Netflix intro justice?