Oscars: Randy Newman Performs 'Toy Story 4's' "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away"

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Randy Newman

The two-time Oscar winner is nominated for best original song and for best score for his work on 'Marriage Story.'

At 76 years old, singer-songwriter Randy Newman took to the stage Sunday at the 2020 Academy Awards to perform his Oscar-nominated song "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away" from the best animated feature Oscar winner Toy Story 4.

The tune from the Pixar sequel marks Newman's 13th best original song Oscar nomination. He has been nominated for 22 Academy Awards throughout his career, having won twice for compositions from 2001's Monsters, Inc. ("If I Didn't Have You") and 2010's Toy Story 3 ("We Belong Together").

Newman also went into Sunday night nominated for best original score for his work on Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story. During his performance, he played the piano against a cloud-filled, blue backdrop reminiscent of the Toy Story universe.

Newman is the only composer in Academy Awards history to earn nominations for four original songs from a single franchise, breaking his own record. He also composed the score for each of the Toy Story films.

His most recent song for the franchise, "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away," follows Toy Story 4's breakout star Forky, a white plastic spork that wants to stay in the garbage. Forky's relatively dark inner conflict helped propel "existential" to Dictionary.com's word of the year.

"Woody is trying to keep Forky from throwing himself away," Newman told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview last year. "Just as in "You've Got a Friend in Me," where I wanted to emphasize the friendship. It's not a romantic creation. It's not like I suffered and agonized to come up with this song. I mean, I always suffer and agonize when I'm composing, but there was nothing from my life particularly."

While his work for Pixar films is closely associated with much of Newman's awards recognition, the singer-songwriter said much of his other work is different from his Disney tunes. 

"The songs I write for myself for albums and stuff are not Disney-like in any sense of the word," Newman said. "I went to Disneyland recently, and [my music] was all over the place. It really is an anomaly for me. I loved it, actually. But it's a real surprise."

The other songs competing against "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away" include "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again" from Rocketman, Breakthrough's "I'm Standing With You" and "Stand Up" from Harriet.

Newman's work on Marriage Story earned him a nod for best original score at this year's Oscars. Marriage Story is Newman's second collaboration with Baumbach, for whom he composed the score to The Meyerowitz Stories, starring Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffman. At six mentions, Marriage Story was among the most-nominated films this year.

While Newman used 100 musicians for his Toy Story scores, he employed just 40 for his Marriage Story composition.

"It's more difficult in some ways because you can't hide behind 40 violins. You hear everything," Newman told THR. If there's too much oboe, you hear it."

The 92nd Oscars were televised live from the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.