Disney/Pixar’s COCO is nominated for Animated Feature and Original Song – can it win both?
The connection between animated films and the Original Song Oscar is relatively new one. From the inception of the Original Song category only two songs from animated films won between 1934 and 1988 (“When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio – 1940 and “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” from Song of the South – 1947). There was a huge lull with scattered nominations here and there but then the Disney renaissance in 1989 with The Little Mermaid saw the 90s Original Song winners completely dominated by animated films, mostly Disney, If the Animated Feature category had been created earlier we probably would have had a lot more double wins today.
Since the Animated Feature category was created in 2001 to last year, there have been 9 times where an Animated Film nominee also had an Original Song nomination. Of those 10 times only twice has the film won both: 2010’s Toy Story 3’s ”We Belong Together” and 2013’s Frozen’s “Let It Go.” Both films were huge blockbusters and are among the highest grossing animated films of all time (#4 and 5, respectively). Six times a film lost both of its bids. Just once has an animated film lost Animated Feature but still won Original Song (Monsters, Inc.) and vice versa (WALL-E).
This year, Coco is nominated for both Animated Feature and Original Song (for “Remember Me”) and is largely predicted to win both despite the odds not being in its favor to do so. I don’t think you’ll find anyone to argue against Coco winning Animated Feature. It has 33 critics’ wins (co-nominees The Breadwinner and Loving Vincent has just two apiece). It won every single category it was nominated in at the Annie Awards, only losing when it was double-nominated. It should be a complete landslide.
But the film isn’t a box office powerhouse like Toy Story 3 and Frozen were, which both earned over $400M domestically. Toy Story 3’s worldwide total is $1.06B, Frozen’s worldwide total is $1.2B. Right now, Coco sits at $204M domestic and $701M worldwide and the #36 animated film of all time (domestically).
Original Song could be a bit trickier. There aren’t a lot of solid precursors for this category. We have the Golden Globes going for “This Is Me,” from The Greatest Showman, beating fellow Oscar competition “Remember Me” and “Mighty River” from Mudbound. The Critics’ Choice went for “Remember Me” over “This Is Me,” “Mystery of Love” from Call Me By Your Name and “Stand Up For Something” from Marshall. That covers all of the Oscar-nominated songs.
So, is Coco a Toy Story 3/Frozen or is it a WALL-E? Despite “Remember Me” coming from the Oscar-winning team of Robert and Kristen Lopez of Frozen fame, there is a real threat from “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman and “Mystery of Love” from Call Me By Your Name. The former actually charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and the soundtrack hit #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The latter is the only song from a Best Picture-nominated film.
An Original Song win coming from a film’s only nomination since 2001 has happened three times: 2002’s “Lose Yourself” from 8 Mile, 2007’s “Falling Slowly” from Once and 2011’s “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets. This year, there are two songs that fit that bill: “This Is Me” and “Stand Up For Something.”
So where does that leave us with predictions for these two categories? As I mentioned, there’s no way I’m going against Coco winning Animated Feature.
Original Song is the tough one. At the moment I’m going with “Remember Me” but there is definitely spoiler-ready material in “This Is Me” and even “Mystery of Love.”