Cocoon: The Return

Last updated

Cocoon: The Return
Promotional poster; Art by John Alvin
Directed by Daniel Petrie
Produced by Richard D. Zanuck
David Brown
Lili Fini Zanuck
Written byStephen McPherson
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Tak Fujimoto
Edited by Mark Warner
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • November 23, 1988 (1988-11-23)
Running time
116 minutes [2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$17.5 million [3]
Box office$25 million [4]

Cocoon: The Return is a 1988 American science fiction comedy-drama film directed by Daniel Petrie and written by Stephen McPherson. The film serves as the sequel to the 1985 film Cocoon . All of the starring actors from the first film reprised their roles in this film, although Brian Dennehy only appears in one scene at the end of the film. Unlike its predecessor, the film was neither a commercial nor a critical success.



Five years after they left Earth following a failed rescue mission, the Antareans return to rescue the cocoons that were left behind. Before they can be retrieved, one of the cocoons is discovered by a science research team and taken to a secure laboratory for testing. The aliens and their human allies must find a way to retrieve the cocoon in time for their rendezvous with the rescue ship, while the humans travelling with them must decide whether to return to Antarea or stay on Earth and become mortal again.

Joe learns that his leukemia has returned, but he knows it will be cured again as soon as he and Alma leave Earth. When Alma is hit by a car while saving a child, Joe gives up the last of his lifeforce, saving her life but sacrificing his. Before dying, he tells Alma to accept a job offer at a preschool and that he loves her. Art and Bess learn that Bess is pregnant, and decide to raise the child on Antarea so they will live long enough to see him grow up. Ben and Mary reconnect with their family and friends, including Bernie who is shown to have found love with Ruby, alleviating his suicidal depression over Rose's death. And although a lovelorn Jack once again attempts to woo Kitty, she instead grants him a vision of his future, showing him children and a wife with a small heart-shaped birthmark on her neck.

The next night, before Ben, Mary, Art and Bess leave to meet the Antareans, Alma tells them she is staying on Earth to work at the preschool. Art, Kitty, Ben, and his grandson David (Barret Oliver) then rescue the Antarean from the Oceanographic Institute. Sara, one of the scientists working at the institute, becomes aware of the company's plans to hand the alien over to the military. Unhappy about this, when she discovers the rescuers, she allows them to escape.

After the four get the Antarean on Jack's boat out at sea, Ben makes it known to everyone that he and Mary were going to stay on Earth as well, since family was more important than living forever and that they should not outlive their children. When the space ship arrives, they are met by Walter before the Antareans, Art, Bess, and the cocoons left behind from the previous trip are brought aboard the space ship which departs for their homeworld.

Back at port after he has said his goodbyes to Ben, Mary, and David, Jack is approached by Sara asking if he knows of a place where she could get some gas. They walk and talk for a bit, where Sara tells him she just quit her job. He eventually notices the small heart-shaped birthmark on her neck.



Cocoon: The Return
Film score by
Released23 November 1988
Genre Soundtrack
Length9 at 53:26
Label Varèse Sarabande
Professional ratings
Review scores
Filmtracks Star full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg link

The score to Cocoon: The Return was composed and conducted by James Horner who had scored Cocoon. The score mostly consisted of recycled themes and material from the first film. The soundtrack was released on 23 November 1988 through Varèse Sarabande and features nine tracks of score at a running time of just over fifty-three minutes. [6]

  1. "Returning Home" (6:05)
  2. "Taking Bernie to the Beach" (4:31)
  3. "Joe's Gift" (8:06)
  4. "Remembrances/The Break-In" (8:24)
  5. "Basketball Swing" (6:58)
  6. "Jack's Future" (2:44)
  7. "Growing Old" (1:55)
  8. "Good Friend" (3:16)
  9. "Rescue/The Ascension" (11:29)


The film had a generally negative reception. [7] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two and a half out of four stars saying "Yes, the performances are wonderful, and, yes, it's great to see these characters back again. But that's about it. For someone who has seen Cocoon, the sequel gives you the opportunity to see everybody saying goodbye for the second time." [8] Rotten Tomatoes gave the film 33% positive reviews based on 12 reviews.

The film brought $25 million worldwide, far less than the first film's $85 million worldwide gross.

Awards and nominations

YearAward ceremonyCategoryNomineeResult
1990 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Best Science Fiction FilmNominated
Best Actor Hume Cronyn Nominated
Best Actress Jessica Tandy Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Jack Gilford Nominated

Related Research Articles

The following is an overview of events in 1985 in film, including the highest-grossing films, award ceremonies and festivals, a list of films released and notable deaths.

<i>Alien Resurrection</i> 1997 American science-fiction film

Alien Resurrection is a 1997 American science fiction horror film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, written by Joss Whedon, and starring Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder. It is the fourth installment of the Alien franchise and was filmed at the 20th Century Fox studios in Los Angeles, California.

Kitty Pryde Fictional superhero appearing in Marvel Comics

Katherine Anne Pryde is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, commonly in association with the X-Men. The character first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #129 and was co-created by writer-artist John Byrne and Chris Claremont.

<i>Three Men and a Baby</i> 1987 American comedy film

Three Men and a Baby is a 1987 American comedy film directed by Leonard Nimoy. It stars Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, and Ted Danson as three bachelors as they attempt to adapt their lives to de facto fatherhood with the arrival of the love child of one of the gentlemen. The script was based on the 1985 French film Trois hommes et un couffin.

<i>Species</i> (film) 1995 film by Roger Donaldson

Species is a 1995 American science fiction horror film directed by Roger Donaldson and written by Dennis Feldman. It stars Natasha Henstridge, Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker and Marg Helgenberger. The film's plot concerns a motley crew of scientists and government agents who try to track down Sil (Henstridge), a seductive extraterrestrial-human hybrid, before she successfully mates with a human male.

Steve Guttenberg American actor, author, businessman, producer, and director

Steven Robert Guttenberg is an American actor, author, businessman, producer, and director. He is known for his lead roles in Hollywood films of the 1980s and 1990s, including Cocoon, Police Academy, Three Men and a Baby, Diner, The Bedroom Window, Three Men and a Little Lady, The Big Green, and Short Circuit.

<i>Cocoon</i> (film) 1985 film by Ron Howard

Cocoon is a 1985 American science-fiction comedy-drama film directed by Ron Howard about a group of elderly people rejuvenated by aliens. The film stars Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Brian Dennehy, Jack Gilford, Steve Guttenberg, Maureen Stapleton, Jessica Tandy, Gwen Verdon, Herta Ware, Tahnee Welch, and Linda Harrison. The screenplay was written by Tom Benedek, from David Saperstein's story.

Latanne Rene "Tahnee" Welch is an American model and actress. She is the daughter of actress Raquel Welch.

Brian Dennehy American actor

Brian Manion Dennehy was an American actor of stage, television, and film. He won two Tony Awards, an Olivier Award, and a Golden Globe, and received six Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Dennehy had roles in over 180 films and in many television and stage productions. His film roles included First Blood (1982), Gorky Park (1983), Silverado (1985), Cocoon (1985), F/X (1986), Presumed Innocent (1990), Romeo + Juliet (1996), and Knight of Cups (2015). Dennehy won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film for his role as Willy Loman in the television film Death of a Salesman (2000).

Alicia Masters Marvel Comics character

Alicia Reiss Masters is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is usually depicted as a supporting character to the superheroes the Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, she first appeared in The Fantastic Four #8.

Kismet (Marvel Comics)

Kismet, also known as Paragon, Her, and Ayesha, is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She exists in Marvel's main shared universe, known as the Marvel Universe.

<i>Three Men and a Little Lady</i> 1990 American comedy film

Three Men and a Little Lady is a 1990 American comedy film directed by Emile Ardolino. It is the sequel to the 1987 film Three Men and a Baby. Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, and Ted Danson reprise the leading roles.

Star-Lord Comic book superhero

Star-Lord is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character, created by Steve Englehart and Steve Gan, first appeared in Marvel Preview #4. The son of human Meredith Quill and Spartoi J'son, Peter Quill assumes the mantle of Star-Lord, an interplanetary policeman.

<i>Ben 10</i> (2005 TV series) American animated series

Ben 10 is an American animated series created by Man of Action, and produced by Cartoon Network Studios. The series is about a 10-year-old boy named Ben Tennyson who gets a watch-style alien device called the "Omnitrix". Attached to his wrist, it allows him to transform into various alien creatures with different abilities, allowing him to fight evil from Earth and space with his cousin Gwen and grandfather Max. The series first aired on Cartoon Network as a sneak peek on December 27, 2005 as part of "Sneak Peek Week", airing alongside other shows, including My Gym Partner's a Monkey, Robotboy, and Zixx. The show later began airing on January 14, 2006 and ended on April 15, 2008.

<i>Down to Earth</i> (1947 film) 1947 musical comedy film directed by Alexander Hall

Down to Earth is a 1947 musical comedy film starring Rita Hayworth, Larry Parks, and Marc Platt, and directed by Alexander Hall. The film is a sequel to the 1941 film Here Comes Mr. Jordan, also directed by Hall. While Edward Everett Horton and James Gleason reprised their roles from the earlier film, Roland Culver replaced Claude Rains as Mr. Jordan.

<i>Species III</i>

Species III is a 2004 science fiction action thriller television film. The film is a sequel to Species II (1998) and the third installment of the Species series. Directed by Brad Turner and stars Robin Dunne, Robert Knepper, Sunny Mabrey, Amelia Cooke and John Paul Pitoc. Natasha Henstridge, who was contracted to a trilogy commencing with the first Species film, briefly reprises the role of Eve in the opening scene.

<i>Ben 10: Alien Force</i> American animated television series

Ben 10: Alien Force is an American animated television series created by team Man of Action, and produced by Cartoon Network Studios. It takes place five years after Ben 10 and takes a darker turn than its predecessor.

<i>Race to Witch Mountain</i> 2009 American science fiction adventure film

Race to Witch Mountain is a 2009 American science fiction adventure thriller film directed by Andy Fickman and stars Dwayne Johnson, AnnaSophia Robb, Alexander Ludwig, Ciarán Hinds and Carla Gugino. The film is a live-action remake of the 1975 Disney live-action film, Escape to Witch Mountain, which is based on the 1968 novel of the same name by Alexander Key. It was Disney's third film adaptation of the novel; the second was Escape to Witch Mountain (1995). Filming began in Los Angeles in March 2008. It was released on March 13, 2009.


Lavalantula is an American 2015 science fiction horror thriller television film that takes place after a series of volcanic eruptions in Los Angeles unleashes a swarm of gigantic, lava-breathing tarantulas from which the film draws its title. It was directed by Mike Mendez and stars Steve Guttenberg, Nia Peeples and Patrick Renna. Ian Ziering appears as Fin Shepard, tying the film into the Sharknado universe. It premiered on Syfy on July 25, 2015.

<i>Lazer Team 2</i> 2017 film

Lazer Team 2 is a 2017 American science fiction action comedy film directed, produced and co-written by Matt Hullum and Daniel Fabelo. The film is a sequel to 2015's Lazer Team, and follows the team travelling through a wormhole to find their missing friend Woody. It was released on YouTube Red in November 2017. It received positive reviews, critics stating it as an improvement from its predecessor.


  1. 1 2 "Cocoon The Return (1988)". BFI. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  2. "COCOON : THE RETURN (PG) (!)". British Board of Film Classification . April 10, 1989. Retrieved July 10, 2015.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. Broeske, Pat H. (November 27, 1988). "Cocoon & Its Sequels". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 7, 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. "Cocoon: The Return". Box Office Mojo.
  5. "With 'Cocoon' Sequel, Guttenberg Repays Favor". The Morning Call. Retrieved November 7, 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. Cocoon: The Return soundtrack review at
  7. "Cocoon: The Return' Brings Back Respect For Older Citizens Movie Review". The Morning Call. Retrieved November 7, 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. "Cocoon: The Return" movie review at by Roger Ebert