In Contention


Listen to Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi’s ‘I See the Light’ from ‘Tangled’

Posted by · 9:20 am · November 8th, 2010

Disney always does well in the Best Original Song category and this year should be no different.  We’ve already covered Randy Newman’s latest entry from the “Toy Story” franchise but today we showcase one of the many tracks from the upcoming film “Tangled.”

When I wrote up the film last month I noted that the strongest play at a nomination would have to be “I See the Light,” and I still feel the same.  In classic Disney form, the film fits a certain parameter, coming toward the end of the second act just as our heroes (voiced by Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi, who also sing the song) begin to connect romantically.

It’s a lovely tune, well-used.  But it’s obviously worth noting the presence of Alan Menken on this film.  The 18-time nominee (and eight-time winner) was last recognized in 2007 for three songs from “Enchanted” and he’ll get at least one nod, maybe a couple, for “Tangled.”

Glenn Slater, who last contributed to Disney’s “Home on the Range,” wrote the lyrics of the songs while Menken created the music.    Other tracks — like “Mother Knows Best” or “When Will My Life Begin” — could show up, but I’d place my chips here first.

Have a listen to “I See the Light” below, and as always, keep up with the original song race via our dedicated page here.

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[Photo: LA Times]




→ 12 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

12 responses so far

  • 1 11-08-2010 at 9:25 am

    Luke said...

    Alan Menken has one 8 Oscars, actually, which means that he has more than any other living winner

  • 2 11-08-2010 at 9:35 am

    Luke said...

    *won

  • 3 11-08-2010 at 9:36 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Glitch in my counting on the IMDb page.

  • 4 11-08-2010 at 9:49 am

    Tye-Grr said...

    Good song! I like it.

  • 5 11-08-2010 at 10:01 am

    Zack said...

    One of my favorite parts of “The Princess and the Frog” was that all the voice actors were singing their own songs; I’m glad this is taking the same strategy, not to mention the equally welcome step of casting the voices with the actors that work, rather than whatever actors are the biggest live-action box office draws (coughalmosteverythingDreamworkshaseverproducedcough),

  • 6 11-08-2010 at 10:20 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Pixar is just as guilty of celebrity voice casting, Zack. And I agree. I was just thinking the other day how great it was when someone like, oh, Scott Weinger was the lead in a Disney film. Or when Angela Lansbury had the most “celebrity” to a cast. I feel like The Lion King was the first film to try and fill every role with a name.

  • 7 11-08-2010 at 10:22 am

    Maxim said...

    Anyone else got a chill when they heard “I See You” towards the end of the song? The phrase never took off (and I didn’t think it would) but it’s a testament to “Avatar” that it still gets this kind of internal nod of recognition. Or, maybe, it’s just me?

    The song is a reminder to me that Menken, an ever consumate professional has musically overgrown these songs. I adore the man’s work (he is, without a doubt the best at what he does in the business) but here he feels little more than an orchestrator. Maybe the reason that I even made that whole “Avatar” observation is because little else here grabbed me. In fact, take away Mandy Moore’s inflection and pauses and you are left with something rather bland. Moore really is very good but Levi’s voice is weak to me.

    I do agree that the song will be nominated though. It’s got that classic Disney vibe and despite what I said above, the music has moments (it’s that professionalism at work again). And it already sounds vintage despite not being an instant classic like “Colors of the Wind” of which I am subjectively reminded. I realize that my whole dissection is based on only one song and it is very likely there is something zastier in the film.

    That said, I think I prefer Newman’s composition. I like the lyrics more and I also find nothing simplistic in his undertstanding of the film’s target audience. Not Newman’s best work either but I will defend his nominations for “Princess and The Frog” with absoly resolve.

    And to add an Oscar-related observation to the table – all of Menken’s previous wins happened in pairs (song + score). For what it is worth the likelihood of that happening again in the era of a single scoring category (which likely came about as a response to his sheer domination) is very low. But that won’t stop the man from scoring (multiple) nods. Oscarwise, the man is as much of a shoe-in as John Williams.

  • 8 11-08-2010 at 10:49 am

    Maxim said...

    “Pixar is just as guilty of celebrity voice casting, Zack.”

    Yes. And I think that this applies to Disney too, especially when it comes to all of the Ghibli dubs that they have made. The castlists in those are nothing if not impressive. That in itself is not necessarily a problem, for as much as I would have liked some unknown actors to be given a chance to work, with a notable exception of Princess Mononoke, the dubs were cast with care and well directed.

    The thing about DreamWorks is that, at least initially (and in light of how Anastasia fared), they must have felt it necessary to have stars in the cast to stand up to Disney. From that point on changing the strategy might have been nearly impossible.

    Which is yet another reason why neraly starless Tintin looks so unusual and exciting.

  • 9 11-08-2010 at 4:52 pm

    Glenn said...

    This is very 1992.

  • 10 11-09-2010 at 7:00 am

    Ryan said...

    I have the complete soundtrack on repeat… it really is some awesome music.

    Tangled’s also got “I’ve Got a Dream,” which is a fun and campy song not unlike Beauty and the Beast’s “Gaston”… While I do think it’s the film’s longest shot at a nomination, it’s still worth mentioning.

    Also, there’s an end credits songs, Grace Potter’s “Something That I Want.” It’s a really great song, but unfortunately it’s ineligible because Potter’s released a version of it the past (though to be honest this new version is much better).

    If Tangled is going to go for a two-fer, I hope it’s with “When Will My Life Begin”… it’s quite odd, actually, especially in a Disney animated movie. It’s very, very contemporary, much like Enchanted’s “Ever After”. However, as a stand alone song it’s really great, and it’s used in the film quite perfectly, and it really showcased Moore’s vocals (which I really hadn’t noticed were so great before seeing the film)