The Possible Best Song Nominees

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that 63 songs will be competing for the Best Original Song Acadedmy Award.  Usually the Best Original Song nominees are the most unbearable part of the Oscar telecast. But my hope is that with Adam Shankman directing this year, the Best Original Song nominees will finally showcased in the way they deserve. 

After the jump are my preferences for what songs should be nominated.

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Preview: The Princess and the Frog

Last night when I went to see Up (review coming shortly) I saw the trailer for The Princess and the Frog

Just by judging the trailer, The Princess and the Frog looks like an amazing throwback to earlier hand-drawn Disney movies. What is more interesting to me however is the hype surrounding the film months before its December release. Princess Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) is the first black Disney princess. Some see her as a character young girls can embrace, while others do not. 
Disney asserts that Prince Naveen, who hails from the fictional land of Maldonia and is voiced by a Brazilian actor, is not white. But critics see him as non-black. As Angela Bronner Helm, a blogger, writes: “Disney obviously doesn’t think a black man is worthy of the title of prince,” “His hair and features are decidedly non-black. This has left many in the community shaking their head in befuddlement and even rage.”

The debate surround Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen brings up an important question: Does The Princess and the Frog eliminate or promote racial stereotypes?

The New York Times ran an excellent article on Saturday that addresses this question and looks at the representation of race in past Disney films.

Disney’s Got a New Attitude

Disney previews 10 new animated movies, most 3-D
Tuesday April 8 7:46 PM ET

The Walt Disney  Studios previewed 10 animated movies on Monday that it will release during the next four years, including further installments in the Toy Story” and Cars series and two new fairy tales.

With the exception of Wall.E, a robot love story opening on June 28, and The Princess and the Frog, a hand-drawn animated fairy tale set in New Orleans and due to open Christmas 2009, the remaining eight movies will be made in digital 3-D.

“We’re excited to be pushing the boundaries of 3-D and computer technology to tell our stories in the best possible way,” said John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.

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Disney’s upcoming 3D movies are:

1. Bolt – the story of a dog of the same name who thinks he has superhero powers. John Travolta gives voice to Bolt while hit teen singer/actress Miley Cyrus is voicing Bolt’s owner Penny in the movie, due to open on November 26.

2. Up – the story of an unlikely 78-year-old adventurer and his 8-year-old sidekick, is due to be released on May 29, 2009.

3. The Toy Story Franchise – Toy Story and Toy Story 2 are due to be re-released in digital 3-D on October 2, 2009 and February 12, 2010 respectively, while Toy Story 3 is due to hit screens on June 18, 2010.

4. Rapunzel – The classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a girl trapped in a tower whose long golden hair is the only way for anyone to climb up to her, will be released at Christmas 2010.

5. Newt - A story of the last two blue-footed newts on the planet that aims to show that love is not a science, which is due to hit screens in summer 2011.

6. The Bear and the Bow - an action-adventure about a royal family in rugged and mythic Scotland — is slated to open Christmas 2011 starring the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson.

7. Cars 2 – Lightning McQueen and his best friend Mater bid to take on the world’s fastest cars, is due for release in summer 2012.

8. King of Elves – based on a 1953 short story by Phillip K. Dick, will hit screens at Christmas 2012.

Of course, you’ll have to wear those dorky glasses, but it just might be worth it

Then again, the hand drawn animation films are always wonderful, which is why I’m wicked excited about The Princess and the Frog.