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James Horner composed the score for the soundtracks of both An American Tail and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. He wrote or co-wrote many of the franchises most famous and endearing songs, such as Somewhere Out There and Dreams to Dream. An American Tail was one of his earliest soundtracks, and his earliest successes when Somewhere Out There won awards and gained fame due to Linda Ronstadt's cover. He was most successful working alongside James Cameron for three of his most successful films. He composed the scores for many other family and animated films before his commercial success scoring Titanic.

Most of his work is known for his incorporation of the Ethereal Choir and Celtic instruments, as well as synth sounds. However, listeners tired of his "cute" sound, heard most prominently on his scores for TitanicLegends Of The Fall or Avatar, can find much more exciting (and seminal) material in his music for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (his breakthrough within the industry), KrullThe Rocketeer and Willow.

Known somewhat less fondly for reusing his music from previous films. Also along these lines, he has a habit of directly quoting themes and motives from 20th century Russian masters.

Horner, a private pilot in his spare time, was killed on June 22, 2015, when his airplane crashed near Santa Barbara, California. He was 61 years old.