By Paul de Revere
The movies that win an Academy Award for Best Original Song usually run in a different circle than the rest of the nominees on Oscar Night. Yet most Oscar telecasts greet the nominated performers with as much fanfare as it does Best Picture. The Best Original Song category is often calculated as a more-populist breath of fresh air into otherwise stuffy proceedings of the Hollywood elite. How else do you think Pharrell gets to perform the number-one song in America at the Oscars?
Case in point: Sunday night’s Best Original Song winner “Let It Go” is a counterpoint of sorts to “Happy.” It may not sit atop the Hot 100, but it’s vying for the most ubiquitous song in the world right now: Not only has it been translated into 42 languages/dialects worldwide, its pre-fab Broadway energy has inspired sanctioned sing-a-longs in movie theaters. A song like “Let It Go” hasn’t swept the world like this since, well, the last big Disney song.
It was Frozen’s high-profile win this past Sunday night. At this point, listeners would expect nothing less than a show-stealing performance from Idina Menzel courtesy of the juggernaut of film music that is the Walt Disney Corporation. The music of Disney movies has provided a sentimental soundtrack spanning generations of children and adults plus a cultural force that binds the world and “Let It Go” is only the latest entry in this legacy.
In total, Disney has won 12 Academy Awards for Best Original Song.