Sunday night's Oscar hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway joked early and often about how they were brought in to make the 83rd edition of the movie awards program young and hip. And while their enthusiasm was infectious and their timing spot-on, it was a segment they didn't appear in halfway through the show that dragged the sometimes-tired movie/music bits kicking and screaming into the present.
OK, maybe into 2009, but it's a start. "As we all know, this was the year of the movie musical," Franco proudly proclaimed, as Hathaway stood beside him in a glittering silvery gown, looking puzzled.
"I'm sorry, did I miss something? I thought there were hardly any musicals this year," she responded. "Guess again, Anne," Franco smirked, setting up one of the night's funniest moments.
What followed was an unexpectedly silly musical tribute that began with the instant classic "Tiny Ball of Light," credited to Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1." Taking a pivotal scene in the woods where the longtime pals reunite, Ron and Hermione are drawn into a finger-snapping R&B slow jam with a thumping beat and over-the-top Auto-Tune effects that would make T-Pain proud.
"This ball of light, this tiny ball of light floated through my chest, floated through me right here," Weasley stutter-sings as an incredulous Granger croons, "What exactly did it say, may I ask?" The sure-to-be-viral classic artfully reimagined the dialogue from the film and was right out of the "Saturday Night Live" school of digital-short musical parodies.
That number was followed by another Auto-Tune-ification, this time of Woody and the gang from "Toy Story 3," via the funktastic "We're Still Here." "Through every yard sale, we're still here, through every spring cleaning, we're all still here," Woody sings in his best club-crawling tone.
The capper, though, was courtesy of Mr. SNL Digital Short himself, Justin Timberlake. Taking the pivotal scene in "The Social Network" where Timberlake's Sean Parker lays out his manic vision for Facebook to the site's founders, the dialogue was transformed into a Euro disco banger, opening with his digitally skipped pitch, "Facebook, Facebook, Faa-aaa-aaa-cebook."
The song, "Fishing for Facebook," worked the infamous "14 trout" speech into the kind of slick club come-on that might easily have been a B-side to one of Timberlake's own albums. The piece ended with Timberlake dropping his signature line, "A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool?" over a driving beat, then pausing a moment before adding: "a billion dollars."
Just to make sure they snagged the kids, the musical tribute ended with "He Doesn't Own a Shirt" a pretend slow jam from "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," in which a jealous Edward Cullen sneers, "Doesn't he own a shirt?" at romantic (and, yes, shirtless and ripped) rival Jacob Black. In the background, a group of female singers explained, "He's too sexy for a shirt" and "She's so glad he doesn't have a shirt" as Bella Swan embraced her werewolf pal.
What did you think of the Auto-Tune musical number? Let us know in the comments!
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