Two words: John Williams. While that alone should be enough to explain how awesome it is, even by Williams' lofty standards, the Jurassic Park soundtrack is something extra special; segueing flawlessly between moments that are downright awesome, sad, exciting, terrifying and almost magical.
Jurassic Park (1993)
- The main theme starts off slow and calming before swelling into a grand tune that you will never grow tired of, forming the leitmotif.
- "Journey to the Island", played during the arrival at Isla Nublar, is probably just as recognizable as the main theme itself, and a lot more awesome. Shameless Scenery Porn of a gorgeous tropical island wrapped in one of Williams' most epic pieces of music, ever, somehow combine to make this supposedly tiny island seem gigantic, and cues up the amazing adventure that is to come. It gets a Triumphant Reprise during the climax, when the mighty T-Rex suddenly charges in to attack the Velociraptors, inadvertently saving the heroes in the process. As if you needed reminding, the soundtrack leaves you in no doubt that this dino is easily one of the most awesome and badass movie characters of all time.
- The leitmotif that plays during the initial encounter with the Brachiosaurus: no less gentle, graceful or powerful than the dinosaur itself. This scene was the world's first encounter with truly immersive CGI special effects, and this humble song was the melody that escorted so many of us as we stepped into a wonderful new world of cinematic magic. But beyond that, it is a perfect compliment for an incredibly endearing scene where we watch a man basically revert back to a wonder-struck boy, as the impossible childhood fantasies he built his life and career upon suddenly come true. The leitmotif is reworked into numerous other contexts within the movie and it pulls on the heartstrings every single time. Notable examples being where Hammond sits alone in the dining room eating ice cream, lamenting his grandchildren's peril, and the final helicopter ride where he silently laments the failure of his grandiose dream as he stares at his cane.
- The suspenseful "High Wire Stunts" plays as Lex, Tim and Grant climb the electric fence, building up to when it's finally turned on, electrocuting Tim.
- "T-Rex Rescue and Finale" starts unsettling and closes with triumphant music tracked in from "Journey to the Island" and an epic coda practically crowning Rexy queen of Isla Nublar.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
- The theme is just epic and badass; despite not being as grand or majestic, it makes up for it by being tense to set the tone for the escalation in the film.
- "Hammond's Plan" starts out soft and contemplative as Ian learns that Sarah is on Isla Sorna, then segues into a rendition of Williams' theme as he accepts the Call to Adventure. This is followed by a determined percussive beat as the Hunters make their way through the long grass, becoming more and more ominous as Velociraptors begin picking the men off. Then the cue becomes outright intense and urgent as Ian, Sarah, Nick, and Kelly rush through the grass and end up falling and sliding down a hill.
- "The Raptors Appear" emphasizes the dread of walking about at night in a place inhabited by vicious animals, beginning low and menacing before suddenly becoming darkly action-oriented as a Velociraptor jumps onto Sarah.
- "Visitor in San Diego" has three awesome moments: when the strings start swelling, the return of the leitmotif, and when the drums start.
Jurassic Park III
Don Davis did the music for this installment and pays homage to Williams' work a handful of times.
- "Frenzy Fuselage" is a frenetic piece that perfectly captures the mayhem of being trapped inside a downed aircraft that's being attacked by a large prehistoric predator.
- "The Raptor Room" has a cool, mystical beginning as we explore the mysterious InGen lab and ponder just what they've been up to, as Grant puts it so cryptically.
- "Brachiosaurus On the Bank" is a pensive composition that plays as the group rides a boat up river before blossoming into a magnificent rendition of Williams' familiar leitmotif.
Michael Giacchino took over scoring duties starting with this film.
- "Costa Rican Standoff" is an action-oriented composition that captures the conflict of Owen and his raptors facing off against the Indominus rex, ending with a Triumphant Reprise of Williams' immortal theme as Claire lures Rexy out of her paddock so she can help fight the Indominus.
- "Nine to Survival Job" starts out as a soft and gentle melody that encapsulates how the surviving humans are safe, then steadily builds into a Triumphant Reprise of Giacchino's new theme as Rexy stomps onto the helipad and unleashes her Mighty Roar, signaling that she has reclaimed her kingdom.
- "The Park Is Closed" is a solemn piano interpretation of Williams' theme that gradually transforms into a slightly exultant take on Giacchino's theme.
- The end credits theme, "The Park Is Closed", starting with a beautiful piano rendition of the original theme, only to slowly crescendo fully into a heroic climax. A perfect way to end the movie.
- "Does This Dinosaur Make Jurassic World Look Big?", the ominously chilling music for when Claire is showing Masrani the Indominus.
- "Indominus Wrecks" starts out slow and brooding, then becomes helter-skelter and panicky, scary and amped up, only to then become slow and suspenseful again.
- Our Rex Is Bigger Than Yours plays in the final battle between Rexy and the Indominus Rex, complete with Ominous Latin Chanting to showcase the might of the two dinosaurs while everyone else clears the streets.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Giacchino returned for the fifth entry of the series.
- "Lava Land" is a tense and suspenseful piece all the way through, illustrating the tension of Claire and Franklin trapped as Mount Sibo erupts.
- "Go with the Pyroclastic Flow" is loaded with desperation and scares as the dinosaurs and our human friends try to escape the eruption.
- "Volcano to Death" is a desperate, melancholic and jaw-dropping piece symbolising the tension of having to escape Mount Sib's eruption and say goodbye to Isla Nublar one last time.
- "Shock and Auction" is dripping with tension as dinosaurs get auctioned off to really wealthy buyers before it cuts to Clair and Owen breaking out the captive reptiles, symbolised by the music going faster and more desperate.
- "Declaration of Indo-Pendence" works in both harmonious and dissonant chaos in its score perfectly as the Indoraptor goes on the attack.
- "The Neo-Jurassic Age" starts as bittersweet, then becomes more somber in tone as it plays over the montage of dinosaurs roaming free in America while Dr. Ian Malcolm delivers his closing monologue.
- "Thus begins the Indo-Rapture" is epic yet frightening, and introduces the Indoraptor's leitmotif.
- "At Jurassic World's End Credits" starts off with a glorious reprise of Williams' classic theme before seamlessly transitioning into Giacchino's modern take on said theme, a perfect merging of past and present.
Jurassic World Dominion
- "Jurassic-logos/Dinow This" really sets the mood for the movie as it plays over footage of dinosaurs roaming the planet, showing how much the world has now changed. When the logo finally is shown, the theme is given a more melancholic tone.
- "Da Plane and Da Cycle" is an intense orchestral piece with synth playing beneath it. Perfect for being chased around Malta by a pack of Atrociraptors.
- "Wu-ing for Redemption" starts off as a tense theme that plays when Henry Wu is begging to join the others to help stop the locusts from devastating the ecosystem. But as Kayla arrives to rescue the group, the score becomes more powerful, almost tragically majestic as all the dinosaurs take refuge in the BioSyn facility from the fire outside the sanctuary. After that, the score becomes primal and aggressive, signifying the approaching duel between Rexy and the Giganotosaurus.
- "Larry, Curly, and MOE (Main on End)" and the last part of "Suite, Suite Dino Revenge" effortlessly combine the Park and World themes in a bittersweet and somber way, as if to say goodbye to a franchise that's endured for 29 years. The ending part of "Suite, Suite Dino Revenge," in particular, has a harp rendition of the Park theme. Hearing those few notes for seemingly the last time will surely bring a tear to long-standing fans.