Are you ready to make room in the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) club for Lin-Manuel Miranda? The mastermind behind the Broadway sensation "Hamilton" is on track to add the final awards puzzle piece with one of his original songs for the Disney animated feature "Moana." Miranda's soaring anthem "How Far I'll Go" topped iTunes' downloads chart over Thanksgiving weekend, giving it the inside track to become the latest Disney number to win the Oscar for original song.
Here's an early look at the races for song and score, as well as animated feature.
"Kubo and the Two Strings"
"The Red Turtle"
Prime contenders: "Finding Dory," "My Life as a Zucchini," "The Little Prince," "April and the Extraordinary World"
Bubbling under: "The Long Way North," "Phantom Boy," "Trolls," "Sausage Party," "Sing"
Analysis: Three things we know from past history about the animation committee members who vote for these nominations: 1) They are suckers for stop-motion animation, making the soulful, searing "Kubo" a sure thing and a possible eventual winner. 2) They are dedicated to keeping hand-drawn animation alive, rewarding movies like "Miss Hokusai" and "My Life as a Zucchini" even though they may barely play theatrically in the United States (though that does not make them undeserving). 3) They don't mind ignoring wildly entertaining commercial pictures like "Finding Dory" (and, recently, "The Lego Movie") in order to make points 1 and 2.
Justin Hurwitz, "La La Land"
Johann Johannsson, "Arrival"
Alexandre Desplat, "Florence Foster Jenkins"
Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka, "Lion"
John Debney, "The Jungle Book"
Prime contenders: Michael Giacchino, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"; Mica Levi, "Jackie"; John Williams, "The BFG"; Nicholas Britell, "Moonlight"; Hans Zimmer, Benjamin Wallfisch and Pharrell Williams, "Hidden Figures"
Analysis: The music branch has its favorites and likes to reward them again and again. (In Williams' case, add "again" 48 more times to encompass his 50 nominations.) That could be good news for eight-time nominee Desplat, as well as Johannsson, who has earned nods the past two years for "The Theory of Everything" and "Sicario."
But there should be room this year for newcomers too. Hurwitz's innovative work on the musical "La La Land" and the evocative score created by O'Halloran and Hauschka that's prominently featured in "Lion" are the two most likely possibilities.
"City of Stars" ("La La Land")
"How Far I'll Go" ("Moana")
"Audition" ("La La Land")
"Runnin'" ("Hidden Figures")
Prime contenders: "Can't Stop the Feeling!" ("Trolls"), "I'm Still Here," ("Miss Sharon Jones!"), "A Letter to the Free" ("13th"), "We Know the Way" ("Moana"), "Flicker" ("Audrie & Daisy"), "Dancing with Your Shadow" ("Po")
Analysis: It's possible we might see a pair of nominations for both "La La Land" and "Moana," setting up an epic battle between the best picture front-runner and the popular composer behind a box-office behemoth. (After the recent "Hamilton" flap, who, outside of our president-elect, doesn't want to see Miranda at the Oscar podium?)
But the catchy Pharrell Williams song "Runnin'," used to fine effect throughout "Hidden Figures," will probably land a nomination, and it wouldn't be surprising to see voters reward a popular artist like Stevie Wonder (who sings "Faith" with an assist from Ariana Grande), Sheryl Crow (singing the lovely Burt Bacharach song "Dancing With Your Shadow") or Tori Amos, who wrote "Flicker" for the closing credits of "Audrie & Daisy," the Netflix documentary on sexual assault and bullying.