The Top Ten Disney Animated Movie Songs Of All Time
For decades, Disney movies and TV shows have made their impact on society unlike any company in history. It has become a worldwide phenomenon that looks to have no end in sight of their vast control of the entertainment business. By the recent purchases of studios such as Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilms, Disney has added to their arsenal of the already giant collection of recognizable characters. It’s a scary thought to think that if Disney, Coca-Cola and Microsoft formed an alliance of sorts, they could very well take over the world and enslave humanity to their products. That’s truly saying something. For a business that prides itself on making entertainment that can appeal to the whole family, its track record shows how successful it can and will continue to be.
Thus through its years of movie making, countless people have been touched by the films Disney has made. No matter the generation, you can ask most individuals what their favorite Walt Disney movies are and they can list them for you. Now putting together the best Disney movies in itself is a huge task and will be saved for another time. But viewed almost as important is another avenue, that is their music in films. When you stop and think about it, one of the reasons that Disney has grown into such a juggernaut, is the music and songs contained in many of the movies. By their catchy melodies and lyrics, Disney has appealed to a wide audience. Think about this, by making their main target audience of children that want to grow up, are facing the conflict of life and just want to have fun, they have been able to reach many in the form of relating with the listener.
In other words when you think back on your life growing up, are there not a few songs from Disney movies you loved that all of a sudden get stuck in your head? The genius behind the production of Disney movies is obviously seen and heard when you realize the cultural influence that it has built up over the ages. Conspiracy theories and corporate monopoly talk aside, you know you have your favorite Disney songs. You may have grown up as the years went by, but denying you’re too old to reflect back on classic songs you grew up with is impractical. Who doesn’t like looking back at the past and bringing back those memories?
Considering the numerous songs that have been produced to determine the best was not easy. If there was an honorable mention list, no doubt there would be close to a hundred songs. But to make it into the top ten, these were songs that beat out the rest. By looking at how much a song has made an impression on the entertainment industry, the quality itself of the song, and how much it has defined Disney, a top ten list was conceived. Our experts got together and came to a harmonized conclusion. Although each person may have their favorites, these all have their place in the top ten. Also only traditional animation Disney films were considered for this list. Therefore movies such as Mary Poppins, Tangled, Frozen and films made by Pixar, although full of good songs were not included. Let’s start off with number 10.
10. Part Of Your World
The Little Mermaid 1989
Starting off the list is the 16 year old girl’s anthem, “Part of Your World” from the Little Mermaid. Known to begin the “Disney Renaissance” this could best describe the Little Mermaid’s plot in a nutshell. It captures the girl “who has everything” but wants to follow her dreams. However her father/family thinks she’s overreacting which causes Ariel to belt out this classic tune. Although “Under the Sea” brought out how much a mermaid should not think of living on the land, this countered it’s thought with some sound reasons. Who can argue Ariel’s side of wanting a different life to be “up where they walk, up where they run, up where they stay all day in the sun”?
Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs 1937
From the very first full length animated Disney classic comes “Heigh-Ho”. A simple yet incredibly catchy song that even 70 plus years later it is recognized by many. Just starting with the first line of “Heigh-Ho” can cause an ensuing line of whistling for the rest of the day in your department at work. A classic tune that is more than likely running through your head right now as we speak.
8. Hakuna Matata
The Lion King 1994
“Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase!” You can probably finish the rest just from hearing that opening line. The 1994 mega hit “The Lion King” is full of memorable songs to include on anyone’s list. 20 years later and it is one of the more well-known Disney songs. The Swahili phrase meaning “no worries” (as Pumbaa explains to young Simba), struck a chord with young and old alike. Having a life motto of not worrying enables many to relate. Just like the muskrat Timon and warthog Pumbaa try to “put their past behind them” (or “put your behind in your past” depending on who you ask), many can connect with the song’s message. Therefore, if you’re having a bad day, this is a good positive song to listen to and remember: “it means no worries for the rest of your days”.
7. Under The Sea
The Little Mermaid 1989
Back during the release of the Little Mermaid and into the early 90’s it was hard to escape this song. Media and other outlets spoofed and covered the song relentlessly (even having a Chipmunks version released). In the film as little Ariel contemplates living on the land instead of the sea, Sebastian the crab decides it’s going to take some convincing through song to show how well she’s got it as a mermaid. As well delivered and original as the song was, it still caused Ariel to decide to try her hand at wooing a man she never met other than saving his life that one time. Thus the movie plot is developed from there and the rest is history. Still we can look back and see how fun and entertaining the song is even today as we know “the seaweed is always greener”.
6. The Bare Necessities
The Jungle Book 1967
Another positive message through song that Disney promoted was being content with what you have in “The Bare Necessities”. You have to give props to Disney for instilling in children not to strive after more than you need in life. As Mowgli is told by pal Baloo the Bear through song how to have the simple bare necessities of life, you can’t help but smile and enjoy the melody. Even to this day, it is regarded as one of the best Disney songs ever written.
5. Circle of Life
The Lion King 1994
The second song on the list from the Lion King places at number 5. This truly started off the movie with a bang. Even though no one has any idea what is being said as the sunrise comes up over the African horizon, it stirs up anticipation for what is to come. The single was released in a pop music style with Elton John (who also wrote the song with Tim Rice) performing, but the movie version truly is a work of art. With the iconic scene of Rafiki raising Simba for his presentation to the animal kingdom, it is a fitting song playing and has been a well-known sequence to many. So much in fact, that anytime someone holds something up, it’s hard not to imagine this song playing as they do it.
4. Kiss The Girl
The Little Mermaid 1989
You may be wondering, “why of all songs from the Little Mermaid is this the highest ranked?” When you break it down, there are few Disney songs that can be matched to this one. Few are able to capture the moment in a movie through song where you think, “if this song wasn’t here, the scene wouldn’t be nearly as memorable.” That is what “kiss the girl” is all about. Not only is it musically and lyrically written extremely well, but it captures Disney’s ability for ones to relate. Who hasn’t had that moment where they want to kiss the girl, but the moment doesn’t feel right? By song, Sebastian once again is able to set the mood (much like he did in “Under The Sea”) and come oh so close to having Prince Eric kiss Ariel. A memorable song from Disney that easily gets you humming it and singing “Sha-la-la-la-la-la” throughout the day.
3. Be Our Guest
Beauty and the Beast 1991
One of the most recognized and loved songs in the Disney catalog, this places in the top 3 quite nicely. Even after all these years since Beauty and the Beast was released, it’s still a very catchy song. The energy and excitement is on full display in the scene. All it seems to take is for someone to say “Be, our, guest-“, and you can’t help but sing the rest (I’m a poet and don’t know it). It undeniably is one of the most famous Disney songs ever made.
2. A Whole New World
After seeing Aladdin, most would agree they wish they had a magic carpet that allows them to see the world. Although it could be dangerous with so many flight routes in the sky, it would be so much fun to take a ride to your favorite destination within minutes. “A Whole New World” was able to show what it’d be like in Aladdin. Trying to win the affections of stubborn princess Jasmine of Agrabah, Aladdin takes her on a magic carpet ride and sings this ballad to her. It seemed to work well since she joined in and later he wins her love. One reason this song has become such a classic is how relatable it is. If you’ve ever been in a relationship, you can see that it’s “A Whole New World” compared to how your life was before. No doubt you’ve seen and heard this song spoofed in many other movies and TV shows, giving it the number 2 spot of this list respectively.
1. When You Wish Upon A Star
No other Disney song can come close to this in terms of sheer song writing, and impact it has made. When you watch a Disney movie, more than likely this tune will play as the Walt Disney logo appears. Not to mention Disney amusement parks and other media usually have this song attached. The message of this song is truly inspiring, showing that dreams come true if you wish for them enough. Although Pinocchio is not as well remembered as other Disney movies, this song is what ones can recall from the film. After decades this has withstood the changes of time and has special meaning to each generation. It’s something other songs can’t say, and for that reason has the top spot locked up.
Agree with this list? Comment below to voice your thoughts for the best Disney songs of all time.