John Williams is always said to be the prestigious composer of film music, but I have always preferred James Horner. He doesn't just write music that enhances the mood, he writes music that steals the show. The Main Title of this album is beautifully stunning with melancholy splendor, and then suddenly and appropriately goes into Feivel's upbeat, mischievous theme that you never can really forget. It's hard to believe that this symphonic-style score was written for a cartoon about mice. But, the story itself is beautiful, and could be told in any way, shape, or form, and I think that Horner realized this when he was writing his score--he was not thinking of little cartoon mice running around shouting "Down with Cats!" He was thinking of the trials and the bravery of those immigrants crossing the Atlantic to escape the persecution of their homelands, and I think Horner realized this, and composed the score for them, so that today it is more of a monument to them than to the cartoon itself.
"Somewhere out there" is like reading a poem, and although I first saw An American Tail when I was very small, I have always remembered the tune, and the lyrics.