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Academy Music Branch Disqualifies ‘Princess & Frog’

Randy Newman’s Disney musical will still be eligible in the song category, but it’s no longer eligible for best original score

The Academy’s music branch strikes again.

Although Randy Newman’s score to Disney’s animated film "The Princess and the Frog" was originally deemed to be eligible in the original score category at the Oscars, the Music Branch Executive Committee met on Monday and disqualified Newman’s music from consideration.

The score, the committee determined, runs afoul of an AMPAS rule disallowing "scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music,
diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs, or assembled from the music of more than one composer."

Newman’s songs are arguably the dominant musical element in "The Princess and the Frog."  Four of those songs remain eligible in the Oscar original-song category.

Earlier, the music branch committee disqualified Karen O’s and Carter Burwell’s score for "Where the Wild Things Are."  Other notable musicians, including Brian Eno ("The Lovely Bones") and T Bone Burnett ("Crazy Heart") opted not to submit their scores for consideration.

Although 274 films qualified for the Oscars this year, only 80 scores are eligible.   

Randy Newman has been nominated for 17 Academy Awards, nine times for song and eight times for score.  Four of his previous score nominations came for animated films.  He has won one Oscar, for the song "If I Didn’t Have You" from "Monsters, Inc."