Eight-time Oscar winner breaks down the race for ideal song

"La La Land" is a major favourite to sweep Sunday night's Academy Awards, but Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken thinks that may well not extend to the finest original song category, despite getting a numerical advantage. Justin Timberlake's "Trolls"...

Eight-time Oscar winner breaks down the race for ideal song

"La La Land" is a major favourite to sweep Sunday night's Academy Awards, but Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken thinks that may well not extend to the finest original song category, despite getting a numerical advantage.

Justin Timberlake's "Trolls" hit "Can't Stop the Feeling!" is nominated, as is "How Far I'll Go," from Disney's "Moana" and "The Empty Chair" by Sting from "Jim: The James Foley Story." But with two songs from "La La Land" in that category, does any other song even have a likelihood?

"Of course it has a shot," said Menken, the eight-time Oscar-winning composer who co-wrote the songs for "Beauty and the Beast," "The Tiny Mermaid," "Aladdin" and quite a few other films.

Why? Because, Menken says, the two "La La Land" songs "might end up splitting the vote."

In basic, when it comes to best original song, Menken says the Academy desires "a clear sign that a song is especially written for a moment in a film. That it is not just somebody taking a song out of a trunk ... they look for integrity."

By that typical, both Timberlake's song and the "Moana" tune, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, qualify: they have been written for characters in their respective films to sing at the suitable moment. Then once again, so had been the "La La Land" songs.

"They also look at the outer package as properly," Menken mentioned. "If the film itself is a hit, that definitely assists the song to be recognized."

But, he added, "there's a lot of intangibles. There is certainly a lot of internal politics that occur ... you don't want to know what goes into the sausage!"

If Miranda loses, he'll nonetheless have a job writing Disney songs. Menken told ABC News that he and Lin are teaming up to create new material for a forthcoming reside-action version of "The Tiny Mermaid."

Menken won an Oscar for co-writing "Beneath the Sea" for the original.

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