I was working on a project the other day looking for movie songs that have won Oscars. My daughters school is having an Oscar themed event and I was asked to supply a soundtrack. As I was looking at the The Academy Awards for Best Original Songs(BOS) listed I was pleasantly shocked to find that there were 10 songs that had won Oscars for the Disney Company over the years. The Oscar for this category began in 1934. Disney’s impressive run began in 1940 with ‘When you Wish upon a Star’ from Pinocchio. There were two other Oscars for BOS from what I call the Classic Era movies of Disney. In 1947, with an Oscar for ‘Zip a Dee Doo Dah’ in Song of the South and in 1964 for Chim Chim Cher-ee. From 1964 to 1988 there was a substantial lack of Disney Oscars for BOS. But that ended in 1989 with ‘Under the Sea’ from the Little Mermaid. For the next 12 years Disney would dominate in this category at the Academy Awards. From 1989 to 2001 Disney was nominated 19 times and won 7 Oscars. When you do the math that might not make sense. Then consider that in 1991 and 1994 they had three nominated songs for the BOS in each year. The along with 'Under the Sea', the New Era Disney Oscar winners were ‘Beauty and the Beast’(1991-Beauty and the Beast), ‘A Whole New World’(1992-Aladdin), ‘Can you Feel the Love Tonight?’(1994-LionKing), ‘Colors of the Wind’(1995-Pocahontas), ‘You’ll be in my Heart’(1999-Tarzan) and ‘If I Didn’t Have You’(2001-Monster Inc.).
In addition to the Oscar winners there have been a number of songs that were nominated for the BOS Oscar and did not win for the Disney Company. With the eventual Oscar winners included, Disney has had 29 songs nominated for Best Original Song. Some of the nominees: ‘Baby Mine’(1941-Dumbo), ‘Love is a Song’(1942-Bambi), ‘Saludos Amigos’(1943-Saludos Amigos), ‘Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo’(1950-Cinderella), ‘Bare Necessities’(1967-Jungle Book), ‘Candle on the Water’(1977-Pete’s Dragon), ‘Someone’s Waiting for You’(1977-The Rescuers), ‘Kiss the Girl’(1989-Little Mermaid), ‘Be Our Guest’ and ‘Belle’(1991-Beauty and the Beast), ‘ A Friend Like Me’(1992-Aladdin), ‘Hakuna Matata’ and ‘Circle of Life’(1994-Lion King), ‘You’ve got a Friend in Me’(1995-Toy Story), ‘Go the Distance’(1997-Hercules), ‘When She Loved Me’(1999-Toy Story 2), ‘My Funny Friend and Me’(2000-Emperours New Groove), ‘Our Town’(2006-Cars) and ‘So Close’(2007-Enchanted). A lot of my favorite songs.
Disney has surely shown that they are cyclic masters of the movie song. All of the above songs are available on ITunes and my source for this article was the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences web site archives. It was great listening to a lot of these songs again while writing this post.