Film Score Friday: Cocoon

Welcome back to Film Score Friday! Today, my kids are listening to James Horner’s “Theme from Cocoon.”

Director: Ron Howard
Composer: James Horner

I remember watching this movie as a kid and feeling uncomfortable about the thought of “old people” gettin’ it on! It’s really funny how this film score made it on my list. A few years ago, I was decorating a cake in silence. No music. No podcast. Out of nowhere, this tune popped in my head. I kept decorating, and I kept reaching into my memory bank for more of the song. At first, I thought it was from an animated movie.

An American Tail?
Maybe The Land Before Time?
That had to be it!

I searched up the soundtrack knowing that a lot of the score for The Land Before Time circled around “If We Hold On Together” by Diana Ross. So, what was this song stuck in my head?

NOTE: We will come back to “The Land Before Time” in a future post!

I felt like I was so close. I felt like what I was humming should’ve been in The Land Before Time. So, I checked the composer: James Horner. He composed for The Land Before Time? I didn’t know that. I scrolled though his albums, and made my way to Cocoon. I hummed the song, what bits and pieces I could recall, and it seemed to fit what I remembered from the movie. So, I listened to the last song titled “Theme from Cocoon.”


This movie marked the beginning of many collaborations between James Horner and director Ron Howard. The film is heart-warming and the score has a romantic sweep that I hear in many James Horner compositions. (I call it “willowy.”) Here, he took lyrical and emotional themes and created an entire film score with them. The movie itself is tender and joyous, and you can hear it in the score. This specific track encompasses all of the other tracks from the film. Each theme is weaved into this masterpiece. It’s not like an overture, where you are shifting abruptly from song to song. It’s more like soaring through a dream-filled night and waking to have them all seem like they were meant to be one continuous story!

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