Thursday, September 2, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks - Oscar Winners Edition: Best Original Score and Best Original Song

Wandering Through the Shelves hosts Thursday Movie Picks. It's a weekly series where bloggers post and share various movie picks every Thursday. 

The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.

This week's theme is Oscar Winners Edition: Best Original Score and Best Original Song. 

Beauty and the Beast - (Alan Menken)

Beauty and the Beast also won Best Original Song for Beauty and the Beast (does anyone accidentally call this A Tale as Old As Time or is that just me?? I blame Angela Lansbury)

Beauty and the Beast changed everyone's assumptions of what digital animation can do. It's hard to believe how much this paved the way for the animated movies we see today. But does any kid forget the first time they saw this movie in theaters, especially the ballroom dance? I think it's still ingrained in our minds now when we think of iconic movie moments. A huge credit of that goes to Menken and whatever music gods he has a direct hotline to. Even though the live-action reboot includes outtakes of lyrics by Howard Ashman, nothing beats this version.

Aladdin - Alan Menken

Aladdin also won Best Original Song for A Whole New World. Menken and Howard Ashman were also nominated for Friend Like Me.

Aladdin is mostly remembered for Robin Williams' incredible voice-over for the Genie. However, it doesn't seem to be as popular as Disney's other movies for its animation or even Jasmine as a Disney Princess. But, A Whole New World was so freaking magical to me growing up. And, it still is. #firstdategoals

Pocahontas - Alan Menken (music) & Stephen Schwartz (lyrics)

Pocahontas also won for Best Original Song - Colors of the Wind. 

Like the first two picks, I'd be lying if I didn't say that this was a big part of my childhood. I remember  interacting with a live-scale version of Grandmother Willow at the mall (that's when Disney did real promotional tours), being obsessed with the soundtrack, and forever wishing Pocahontas was more recognized by Disney fanatics.

It's definitely one of Disney's more divisive films - from casting Mel Gibson as John Smith to the skewed relationship it portrays between himself and Pocahontas. But it's also one that some Native Americans highlight as one of the better portrayals of their community, and it's commendable that Disney collaborated with many artists for characterization, use of language, etc. - something that they've forgotten to do over the years with other films. The music is definitely one of the reasons why it stands out. Judy Kuhn's singing blends beautifully alongside Irene Bedard, who does the speaking voice-over. One of Disney's rules is not to use the same voice-over artists for different characters, but it's surprising they haven't been used more.

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