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Disney Songs

Who know Disney songs would be so controversial? I thought I’d bang it out in a few minutes. But then I sat down with my sister and started naming the possibilities. We came up with over 40. Then my neighbor (who doesn’t even read; why should she get to opine?) chimed in with song after song that we’d forgotten, and when it was done we had 52 entries vying for the top ten.

And I’m supposed to choose just ten out of all of these, and then rank those ten? I’m not paid enough for this.

I realized that I needed a set of criteria. So, I tried to go with songs that were easy to sing, recognizable, memorable, and most importantly, had appeal outside of the movie. Doing it this way I found I had to sadly leave out the wonderful ROBIN HOOD songs, which I totally love, but aren’t too easy to get everyone to sing along with. I also didn’t include Fantasia, since those were previously written by great composers. I only had to cheat once.


#10 “Kiss the Girl” (THE LITTLE MERMAID) – This wasn’t originally on my list, but I had to include it simply for that stupid bird and his background vocals.

#9 “Dark Side of the Moon” (MULAN) – This is the most underrated Disney film, and this song has some great graphics along with it. I especially love the ending, where they are all high-kicking on a field of red.

#8 “Bear Necessities” (THE JUNGLE BOOK) – I wish someone would call me Li’l Britches.

#7 “Prince Ali” (ALADDIN) – My favorite line in the whole movie: ‘A hundred bad guys with swwwords.” Robin Williams should have gotten a special Oscar for just this song, let alone his role in the entire movie. Easily the highlight of animated characters in all of history.

#6 “Be Our Guest” (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) – My favorite trivia about this song: Lumiere was played by the same guy (Jerry Orbach) who played Baby’s Dad in DIRTY DANCING and Lenny Briscoe in LAW & ORDER. I also love the Simpsons parody.

#5 “Under the Sea” (MERMAID) –Also Like Homer Simpson, I wish I could take Sebastian’s advice and liver under the sea. Wouldn’t that be sweet! If only for the hot Caribbean band.

#5 “Hi-Ho/Whistle While You Work” (SNOW WHITE) – Technically these are two different songs, but they both include whistling, and so I’m making the executive decision that they are a medley. (And if you’re wondering why there are two #5s, I JUST NOW noticed it as I was typing this up, and it’s too late for me to rejigger this list, so live with it.)

#4 “When You Wish Upon a Star” (CINDERELLA) – My mother is incensed this isn’t #1, but let’s be honest: it’s really hard to sing. Best known to non-Disneyites as the song they play before they ask the MVP, “Adam Mullen: you just won the Super Bowl: what are you going to do next?” and hope to God the guy says “I’m going to Disney World!” instead of “Strippers!”

#3 “Beauty and the Beast” (BEAST) – I can’t remember which version it is—movie or official single—but Angela Lansbury sings one of them, and when she croons “Tale as old as time” I always like to substitute, “Tale as old as me….” And you wonder why I’m single.

#2 “A Whole New World(ALADDIN) – I can honestly say I had chills the first time I saw this song in theatres. It’s just an amazing sequence, especially when they get to watch the fireworks. It’s just too bad the movie was rated G, because if ever Aladdin was going to make his move….

And the #1 song in all of Disneydom….

#1 “Can you Feel the Love Tonight?” (THE LION KING) – There are so many great songs in this list and to choose from, but the more I think about it, the stronger I feel about this. Though everyone has their personal faves, LION KING was the ultimate pinnacle in 2-D animation as far as quality, hype, and making cartoons “event” movies. And this song captures the grace and good feeling of the film, not to mention that it went on to be a huge hit on its own. It’s romantic, soft, and singable, and will always be thus.