James Newton Howard talks Dinosaur (2000)


I remember Dinosaur being a really big deal back in the year 2000. Not only was it a leap in CGI animation, it was also filmed against mostly live-action backgrounds (which I believe was a first). The film follows the story of a dinosaur named Alladar who travels with his adoptive lemur family to find a new home after the island he grew up on is destroyed by a meteor.

James Newton Howard composed the score for Dinosaur and I remember the music standing out to me right away due to the extended preview that the film had in trailers. Howard gave the score this huge, symphonic sound to highlight the live-action background and the various dinosaurs seen in the preview. I was really excited to find this video clip because “making of” clips with James Newton Howard are relatively hard to come by and he’s worked on some of my favorite childhood films.


As the interview clip explains, Howard uses the music in Dinosaur to direct emotional feelings, be it fear, wonder, or humor. And there is a full range of emotions to be found in the film, which shows just how talented this composer is. It was also emphasized that they wanted to make the music sound primal but not ethnic. That is, they didn’t want any music that could be traced back to a particular human culture (since this movie is set way before humans existed).

I really hope you enjoy this behind the scenes video with James Newton Howard. Let me know what you think about Dinosaur (and the music for Dinosaur) in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

James Newton Howard talks Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

James Newton Howard talks Signs (2002)

James Newton Howard talks The Village (2004)

James Newton Howard scoring King Kong (2005)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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5 thoughts on “James Newton Howard talks Dinosaur (2000)

  1. Pingback: James Newton Howard talks The Village (2004) | Film Music Central

  2. Pingback: James Newton Howard talks Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) | Film Music Central

  3. Pingback: James Newton Howard talks Signs (2002) | Film Music Central

  4. fivethreeninety

    This film represents so much to me: it’s my first memory of ever seeing a trailer at the cinema and knowing I needed to see it! To this day it has a very special place in my heart, so it was so good to see this article about it!


  5. Pingback: James Newton Howard scoring King Kong (2005) | Film Music Central

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