The recently concluded 86th Academy Awards will be making headlines in the Philippines for sure because of this: A Filipino-American won an award.
Robert Lopez, together with wife Kristen Anderson won the Oscar’s Best Original Song for the widely popular “Let It Go”, the soundtrack from Disney’s “Frozen”. This achievement puts Lopez in the league of Audrey Hepburn, Whoopi Goldberg and Scott Rudin, who all won America’s four major Entertainment Awards – Emmy, Grammy, Tony, and Oscar.
In an interview prior to the Oscar’s, Lopez thanked Filipinos who supported Frozen as well as the song Let It Go, which was sung “in the movie” by Idina Menzel.
Menzel herself also performed Lopez’ “Let It Go” at the Oscars.
When LA Times interviewed Lopez and his wife, he mentioned:
“When you’re starting to craft a melody you’re thinking to yourself — in the context of Disney — this could be an everlasting song. Not every song you write in the course of your career has that chance.”
According to that interview too, the story outline for Frozen had a spot where the movie’s heroine will sing a song that will communicate her inner strength and turmoil. During that time, it was called “Elsa’s Badass Song”. The Lopez couple ultimately penned “Let it Go” for this spot. Kristen Anderson-Lopez even mentioned that she became “very emotional” when she was writing the song.
Prior to Frozen, Lopez also worked in the musicals – The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q. The former made him won a Tony and an Emmy award while the latter earned him a Grammy and a Tony Award. He has also worked in 2011’s Winnie the Pooh film, which earned him an Annie Award nomination for Music in Animation Feature.
However, it was Disney’s Frozen that put him under the spotlight. Both the film and the song Let It Go were received favorably by critics and fans worldwide.
Frozen is now the highest grossing film from Walt Disney Feature Animation dethroning the Lion King, which has been on the top spot since the 90s. On the other hand, Lopez’ Let It Go is perhaps the best known contemporary song from a Disney Film. Entertainment Weekly dubbed it as an anthem of liberation, while New York Daily called it a tribute to Girl Power. The song has been nominated on various award-giving bodies, and won the Academy and Critics’ Choice Awards.