The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released a list of 49 tunes eligible for consideration in the Best Original Song category of the 81st annual Academy Awards. The lineup includes two songs from Disney’s Bolt and one each from Disney/Pixar’s WALL’E and DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. Nominations will be handed out on Thursday, Jan. 22 at 5:30 a.m. (PT). The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 22 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. ABC will carry the live broadcast in the U.S.
The two songs from Bolt are ‘Barking at the Moon’ with music and lyrics by John Powell and ‘I Thought I Lost You’ with music and lyrics by Miley Cyrus and Jeffrey Steele. The song ‘Down to Earth’ from WALL’E features music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, with lyrics by Peter Gabriel, and ‘The Traveling Song’ from Madagascar: Escape to Africa was written by Hans Zimmer and will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas, who also performed the song. ‘I Thought I Lost You’ and ‘Down to Earth’ have already been nominated for Golden Globes.
On Tuesday, Jan. 6, the Academy will screen clips featuring each song, in random order, for voting members of the Music Branch in Los Angeles. Following the screenings, members will vote to determine which three, four or five songs become nominees in the category. A maximum of two songs can be nominated from any film. If more than two songs from a film are in contention, the two songs with the most votes will be the nominees.
To be eligible, a song must consist of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film. A clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition of both lyric and melody must be used in the body of the film or as the first music cue in the end credits.