LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The musical scores for two of this year's biggest animated films – Disney's ``Tarzan'' and the ''South Park'' movie – have been shut out of Oscar contention this year, angering the composers.

The scores for both films fell victim to a decision to reduce the number of music categories in the 1999 Academy Awards competition from three to two, officials at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Tuesday.

The composers, frustrated that their work has no avenue for Oscar recognition, said the academy's eligibility rules are flawed but reflect the fact that musicals, once a staple of the industry, have become a Hollywood rarity.

``I truly am extremely hurt,'' said Mark Mancina, who wrote the basic score for ``Tarzan,'' with five original songs composed and sung by pop star Phil Collins. ``I was hoping to get a nomination. It would have been good for me. To know that people can't even consider it is frustrating.''

``Tarzan'' and Paramount Pictures' ``South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut'' were submitted for consideration under the ''best original song score'' category, created in 1995 to separate the scores of musicals and comedies from straight dramatic scores. But that category was eliminated this year because ``Tarzan'' and ``South Park'' were the only entries.

The two scores then were resubmitted under the broader category for ``best original score'' but were deemed ineligible under that classification. The third Oscars music category is for best original song.

``Each body of music belongs in a particular place,'' academy awards coordinator Patrick Stockstill said. ``That particular place does not have enough entries for its own category. That does not mean (the scores) should automatically be redistributed to another category.''

The number of music categories, which have fluctuated over the years, was upped to three in 1995 with the creation of the ''song score'' classification, following three Oscars wins in the early '90s by composer Alan Menken for Disney films ``The Little Mermaid'' ``Beauty and the Beast'' and ``Aladdin.''

Many felt Menken was being judged on the basis of the catchy songs from the movies rather than on the scores, giving him an unfair advantage over the straight dramatic scores his work was competing against.

``The real problem is we're living in a world that doesn't have enough place for a musical,'' said Marc Shaiman, who composed the ``South Park'' score with five original songs he co-wrote with cartoon co-creator Trey Parker and has earned four Oscar nominations since 1994.

``It's a shame that now that musicals have come back by way of animated movies, they haven't figured out a way for them to be honored and not be in competition with standard scores.''

Mancina, whose credits also include the music to ``Twister and ``Speed,'' said the ineligibility of the ``Tarzan'' score was particularly unfair because all the music, including the Collins-penned songs, served as background to what essentially was an animated drama.

Shaiman's manager, Richard Kraft, noted that Randy Newman's music for ``Toy Story 2,'' which featured two original songs, one of them sung by the character Jesse the cowgirl, were accepted under the original score category.

Stockstill said the original song score category shelved this year is reserved for scores with five or more songs composed by the same writer or team of writers.

Reuters/Variety