Professional purveyor of both Orchestral Bombing
and Award Bait Songs
. Wrote the score for numerous films, working alongside James Cameron
for three of his most successful films. He composed the scores for many 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 Titanic
, Legends Of The Fall
, can find much more exciting (and seminal) material in his music for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
(his breakthrough within the industry), Krull
, The Rocketeer
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.
Some of his scores include (reverse chronological order)
- The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
- The Karate Kid (2010)
- Avatar (2009)
- Apocalypto (2006)
- Troy (2004)
- A Beautiful Mind (2001)
- The Perfect Storm (2000)
- The Mask of Zorro (1998) and its sequel, The Legend of Zorro (2005)
- Titanic (1997) - The defining film for Horner, much like Star Wars for John Williams.
- Balto (1995)
- Jumanji (1995)
- Apollo 13 (1995)
- Casper (1995)
- Braveheart (1995)
- Legends Of The Fall (1994)
- The Pagemaster (1994)
- We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993)
- Hocus Pocus (1993) - with John Debney (Horner did one theme while Debney did the rest of the film)
- Once Upon a Forest (1993)
- Patriot Games (1992)
- The Rocketeer (1991)
- Glory (1989)
- Field of Dreams (1989)
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
- Willow (1988)
- The Land Before Time (1988)
- An American Tail - (1986) Also its sequel Fievel Goes West (1991). It was the first score that won him some awards.
- Aliens (1986) - He had such a hellish time scoring this due to the movie's famously troubled production and initially swore he'd never work with Cameron again. However, he relented on this, and had better experiences with the other Cameron movies.
- Krull (1983)
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan' (1982) and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984). Star Trek II was his big break and launched him into the Hollywood scene; he later declined the offer to score later Trek movies. Debate still rages over whether his or Jerry Goldsmith's music is superior.
- Nicholas Meyer famously quipped that Horner was hired for Khan because they couldn't afford Goldsmith again, and then when he returned for the sixth film, he discovered he couldn't afford Horner.
- Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) - Ironically considering his later career, music from this film would be used in several other Roger Corman productions (Space Raiders, Sorceress, Wizards Of The Lost Kingdom etc).note
Works for television include:
- Amazing Stories ("Alamo Jobe")
- CBS Evening News With Katie Couric (yep, that was him)
- Fish Police (he not only did the theme for this short-lived cartoon, he also did one of his very few episodic TV scores for the pilot)