Tag Archives: Academy Award

Contenders for Best Original Score: a first look

It seems like the Oscars were only a short time ago but believe it or not it’s already time to start looking at contenders for next year. As always, the award that means the most to me is the Oscar for Best Original Score and while there’s still several months left in 2018 there are already several front-runners emerging.

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The first front-runner I have to talk about is Solo: A Star Wars Story. I know it doesn’t seem like a viable candidate but hear me out. First of all, the score was composed by John Powell, an accomplished composer perhaps best known for creating the Oscar-nominated score for How To Train Your Dragon (2011). Not only that, the main theme of Solo was composed by the legendary John Williams who has been nominated for an Oscar 51 times. While the film undoubtedly has problems, the score is not one of them and I would not be surprised if it received a nomination.

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Another composer sure to get a nomination is Alexandre Desplat, the composer of Operation Finale, a Munich-esque film that recounts the hunt for Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. And if that doesn’t garner an Oscar nod, his work on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs just might. Desplat has collaborated several times with Anderson and two previous films, Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Grand Budapest Hotel both earned nominations for the composer.

However the odds-on favorite to win the Oscar, according to SportsBettingDime is Marco Beltrami for his work on The Quiet Place. As the plot of the film requires the main characters to evade vicious aliens by remaining completely silent, the music needs to do a lot of the storytelling. Beltrami’s score is a large part of why The Quiet Place was so successful.

In my opinion, any of these composers have a fair chance at winning Best Original Score next year, but what do you think? Do any of these composers stand a chance at winning the Oscar? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

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Aladdin “A Whole New World” (1992)

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There are many romantic songs in the Disney Universe, too many to list all at once. But of all those Disney love songs, “A Whole New World” probably ranks up at the top. And why not? Being whisked away on a magic carpet ride to fly all around the world is a beautiful idea. This song was nominated for and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It also remains the only Disney song to win Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards.

“A Whole New World” at the 65th Academy Awards

I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did
You last let your heart decide!
I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over sideways and under
On a magic carpet ride
A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we’re only dreaming
A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew
But when I’m way up here
It’s crystal clear
That now I’m in a whole new world with you
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The song (and everything that takes place during it) is how Prince Ali/Aladdin finally thaws his way into Princess Jasmine’s heart. Being used to stuck-up suitors who just viewed her as a “prize to be won”, Prince Ali stuns her by saying that she should be free to make her own choice (regarding who she marries).

Now I’m in a whole new world with you
Unbelievable sights
Indescribable feeling
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky
A whole new world
(Don’t you dare close your eyes)
A hundred thousand things to see
(Hold your breath it gets better)
I’m like a shooting star
I’ve come so far
I can’t go back to where I used to be
A whole new world
(Every turn a surprise)
With new horizons to pursue
(Every moment, red-letter)
I’ll chase them anywhere
There’s time to spare
Let me share this whole new world with you
A whole new world
(A whole new world)
That’s where we’ll be
(That’s where we’ll be)
A thrilling chase
A wondrous place
For you and me

Aladdin’s idea of inviting Jasmine for a ride is brilliant, but he makes a mistake (the first of several during this sequence). When Jasmine asks if it (the carpet) is safe, Ali/Aladdin says “Sure, do you trust me?” (When Aladdin met Jasmine while she was in disguise in the marketplace, he asked her the exact same thing as they were fleeing the city guards). Jasmine is slightly suspicious, but she agrees to come anyways, leaving a bewildered Rajah far behind.

I have a small story to share about this song. Two summers ago, I went home for a visit and attended an Il Divo concert with my mom (Il Divo is a singing group consisting of operatically trained male singers, look them up, they’re amazing). And during this particular concert tour, they had a guest performer with them: Lea Salonga, aka the singing voice of Princess Jasmine!!! You can imagine my unbridled joy when, in the middle of the concert, a familiar tune started up and Lea Salonga performed “A Whole New World” for us (with various members of Il Divo filling in for Aladdin)!!!! It’s been over twenty years since Aladdin came out, and she still sounds just the way she did in the movie.

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The flight starts in Agrabah but quickly moves across the desert, through Egypt (where the Sphinx loses its nose as a result of the carver being startled by the pair flying past), through what appears to be Ancient Greece, and finally China. The song is all about the experiences of life, and how Aladdin can show her the world she’s never gotten to see before. My favorite verse of all comes from Princess Jasmine:

“I’m like a shooting star/I’ve come so far/I can’t go back to where I used to be!”

In essence, this whole experience has changed Jasmine, to the point where she can no longer go back to simply living in the palace, she’s seen too much of the outside world for that.

Ali/Aladdin unwittingly continues to leave little clues as to who he really is. As the pair fly through Greece, Aladdin plucks an apple off a nearby tree and rolls it to her exactly as Aladdin did (again, in the marketplace). This time Jasmine gets a knowing look in her eyes. She’s still not sure exactly HOW it’s happened, but she knows now that Ali has to be Aladdin.

In closing, I love this song, it was very well done (there have been times where I’ve listened to this song on repeat). It’s also a nice quiet interlude because once this song is over, things in the story begin to move very quickly.

*All images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

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For more Aladdin, see:

Aladdin “Arabian Nights” (1992)

Aladdin “One Jump Ahead” and reprise (1992)

Aladdin “Friend Like Me” (1992)

Aladdin “Prince Ali” (1992)

Aladdin “Prince Ali (reprise)” (1992)

Aladdin “The End”

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z