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Pete Hammond

A Best Song nod could be Tangled’s best shot at Oscar recognition this year after today’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science confirmation that just 15 movies have qualified for Best Animated Feature. That’s one short of the 16 needed to trigger five nominations instead of three. With Toy Story 3 and How To Train Your Dragon virtually assured of two of those slots, it will be a real dogfight now for the third position. Tangled composer Alan Menken tells me that, to regain some winning momentum (and maybe tie Alfred Newman for the most music victories in Academy history), he plans to let Disney only submit one song from Tangled: the love ballad, “I See The Light”, sung by Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi, which he thinks has a better shot than some of the more up tempo tunes in the toon. This way, Menken doesn’t risk cancelling himself out again like what happened when his three nominated Enchanted songs were bested by “Falling Slowly” from Once.

He’s adamant about entering just one song even though Academy rules would now allow two. He also bemoans the fact that his score is ineligible due to a rule imposed after music branch complaints when Menken won all those previous Oscars. He does admit though that “if I weren’t me, I would probably be complaining too”. Menken is an 8-time Oscar winner for Beauty And The Beast, Aladdin, The Little Read More »

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Oscar’s Animation Race Just Got ‘Tangled’

Pete Hammond

I know everyone (including my new Deadline colleague Mike Fleming who will be reporting on the ground there for us) is winging their way to Toronto right now to see a bunch of Oscar hopefuls that I already saw in Cannes, Telluride or oh-so-cool private L.A. screenings (more on THOSE flicks as the fest unveils them). But I am also focused on checking out some contenders NOT on display in Canada. That’s exactly what I did yesterday in the not-as-exciting clime of  Burbank.  I came away feeling I’d found another strong entry in what is becoming a very strong awards season race for ‘toons.

That’s right. Wednesday Disney did something studios never do unless they know they have the goods. They flew in several members of the press–mostly those who cover animation for outlets with long lead times–to see the first ever screening of the big Thanksgiving holiday release Tangled. The musical weaves a new take on the Rapunzel fairy tale, in what represents Disney’s milestone 50th animated feature since Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs in 1937. John Lasseter told the gathered press, “You can feel the pride people in this studio have in Tangled. We just couldn’t wait for people to see it.”

It’s looking like there will again be five nominees for Best Animated Feature this year. Based the deservedly enthusiastic  press response to the work-in-progress print shown yesterday, Tangled could easily be among them. As will Disney/Pixar’s Toy Read More »

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