“Let It Go,” from the animated film Frozen won the award for Best Original Song at the 86th Academy Awards Sunday night, beating out competition from U2’s “Ordinary Love,” Pharrell’s “Happy” and Karen O’s “The Moon Song.” Steven Price’s score for Gravity won the award for Best Original Score.
In our look at Upsets to Beat at this year’s awards, “Let It Go,” written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, was the favorite to win; a “bona fide anthem that’s Disney’s single biggest and best song in a generation, a tremendous showcase for Idina Menzel’s genre-defining pipes, and a rallying cry for its new not-your-mother’s-princesses vibe.”
Robert Lopez’s win gave the musician a rare EGOT (wins for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). Lopez had previously won a Tony in 2004 for Best Original Score for Avenue Q, two Daytime Emmy Awards in 2008 and 2010 for The Wonder Pets and a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album in 2012 for The Book of Mormon (He also won two Tonys for Mormon). Lopez is only the 12th person to ever achieve such a feat.
Earlier this year, “Let It Go” was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, but lost to U2’s contribution to Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
“Let It Go” From Frozen
Five nominees were originally up for the award, but earlier this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revoked “Alone Yet Not Alone,” the theme song to a Christian film of the same name, after it was discovered that composer Bruce Broughton emailed fellow voters during the voting period to inform them of his contribution. While campaigning is common among Academy Award nominees, organizers took exception to Broughton’s past involvement with the awards.
“No matter how well-intentioned the communication, using one’s position as a former governor and current executive committee member to personally promote one’s own Oscar submission creates the appearance of an unfair advantage,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. Broughton said he was “devastated” at the Academy’s decision.
Despite longlisting 75 songs for the category, the Academy chose not to replace, “Alone Not Yet Alone,” leaving the four nominees.
In 2012, the Academy revamped the process of picking Best Original Song after only two songs — “Man or Muppet,” from The Muppets, and “Real in Rio,” from Rio — earned above the necessary average of 8.25 out of 10 out of 39 songs. The nominees are now picked from the highest number of votes from eligible voting members.
To be eligible, songs must contain words and music written specifically for the given film. The songs must also be noticeable in the movie, or as the first song playing during the end credits.