Randy Newman is the only songwriter in Academy Awards history to receive a nomination for best original song for three films from the same franchise. His tunes have been nominated for each of the first three Toy Story films — “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (1995), “When She Loved Me” (1999) and 2010 winner “We Belong Together” — and he could extend his streak come Jan. 13, 2020, with a nomination for Toy Story 4, from which he has two eligible titles: “The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy” and “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away.”
Alan Menken and the teams of Elton John and Tim Rice, and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, are also vying for best original song nominations for their work on franchises that have already won them an Oscar. Menken, who shared the 1993 award for “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, co-wrote “Speechless” for the live-action version with fellow Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. John and Rice, who won in 1995 for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King, co-wrote “Never Too Late” for this year’s remake. And the Lopezes, who won in 2014 for “Let It Go” from Frozen, wrote “Into the Unknown” for Frozen 2.
While Newman is the only songwriter to receive a nod for best original song for three films in the same franchise, legendary composer John Williams has equaled or surpassed this feat in the best original score category with two franchises: He was nominated for best original score for five Star Wars films (he won for scoring the 1977 original) and three Indiana Jones movies. He may land his sixth Star Wars nom for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, out Dec. 20.
Elsewhere, these composers have been nominated for scoring two films in the same franchise: Williams was nominated for two Harry Potter movies, Howard Shore won for two installments in the Lord of the Rings franchise, and in the late 1940s, Morris Stoloff was nominated for the biopics The Jolson Story and Jolson Sings Again. Come 2020, Menken will join this list if he’s nominated for scoring the reboot of Aladdin — nearly three decades after he won for scoring the original.