« Previous gallery25 Greatest Oscar winning performances of all time
1. 'Rainbow Connection' (from 'The Muppet Movie')
Songwriters: Paul Williams, Kenny Ascher
Who it lost to: "It Goes Like It Goes" (from "Norma Rae")
Why it's still great today: 2011's "The Muppets" — Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller and James Bobin's attempt to remind the world of the inherent awesomeness of Kermit the Frog and pals — reaches its emotional climax when Kermit and Miss Piggy reconcile and take the stage to duet on the most beloved song in all of Muppet moviedom, and by the time Fozzie and the rest of the Muppets link hands to join them, there is not a dry eye among the audience in the Muppet Theater, and I personally witnessed multiple movie theaters get very dusty for adults at that point. (When you have small kids, you see "The Muppets" a lot.) That's the power of both nostalgia and of "The Rainbow Connection" itself, a beautiful, wistful composition that fits movie Kermit just as neatly as "It's Not Easy Being Green" did when he was on the small screen, and that manages to never feel like a knockoff of the many other songs about rainbows (including a certain Oscar winner from 1939). Now if anyone needs me, it's my son's bedtime and I have to sing it to him.
- Alan Sepinwall