Last week, I talked about my love for The Little Mermaid and how I started crying when I heard “Part of Your World.” Well, that got me thinking about the other Disney songs I love growing up. In fact, I’m going to start singing them… let me just rank them instead!
There are going to be a few rules here. The first rule is it has to come from a Disney Animated Film. Unfortunately, this would exclude Man Or A Muppet from The Muppet Movie and, sadly, most of the songs from Enchanted. It wrenches my heart not to include That’s How You Know… but I’m going to insert it below just because I feel like it!
Second, this is a list of my favorite Disney songs for now, not all time. I don’t think I’m qualified enough (ie. old enough) to effectively say this will be my final list of all time! There will be changes as I grow up, I think. So, like I said, this is a list for right now!
The final rule isn’t a rule, per se. It’s more of a twist. I’m going to reveal my favorite song first because, well, it would be very anti-climactic since I already mentioned it at the start! But after that, I’ll go rank them from 10 to 2. Let’s go start with Number 1!
1) Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid)
You may hate the Ariel herself. You may hate the shallowness of the film. You may hate the overall story. You may even hate the film itself. But there’s no way you can hate The Little Mermaid’s premier song, Part of Your World.
I guess now is as good a time to confess to how fallible my “vivid” memory was regarding my first viewing of The Little Mermaid. Turns out it was a school auditorium and they were showing a screening of it during my cousin’s school fair! That answers my question regarding how I managed to watch a movie that’s older than me! It also explains why we had to leave early; it was the only time they were showing it!
I may have gotten the situation wrong but I still remember the song!
Now that I got Number 1 out of the way, let’s go from Number 10 all the way to Number 2!
10) When She Loved Me (Toy Story 2)
Who would’ve thunk a movie about toys can make adults cry? But Toy Story 2 managed to do that with this song!
When She Loved Me isn’t the most memorable song on this list. I couldn’t recite any of the lyrics off the top of my head. But it does stir something inside of me whenever I hear it. Like the first time I heard Part of Your World, I also cried when I heard When She Loved Me in Toy Story 2. When I looked at my older brother just to say I was okay, I saw him tearing up as well! It’s an expertly written song that tugs at your heartstrings and Sarah McLachlan haunting singing just does me in…
…Oh God! My eyes are welling up with tears now since I’m listening to the song as I’m writing this. Go to the next song. Go to the next song! I need something more happy!
9) Hakuna Matata (The Lion King)
This song is catchy as hell! Thank God you don’t mind it getting stuck in your head!
In all honesty, it’s not much of a song. In fact, there isn’t even that much song in The Lion King’s Hakuna Matata! Around half of the song is Timon and Pumbaa teaching Simba what Hakuna Matata means… as well as eating bugs to survive. While most fans would say Circle of Life and Can You Feel The Love Tonight are better, I always felt they were just too dramatic, which is in stark contrast to the simplicity of Hakuna Matata.
8) Under The Sea (The Little Mermaid)
Another song from The Little Mermaid? Well, I can’t help it! Under The Sea is just too good to keep off this list!
I guess the reason why I love this song so much is because it’s so different from the other songs on this list. Sure, there are a lot of bouncy Disney songs but none of them have used this style before! Other than That’s How You Know (which isn’t on this list), I think Under The Sea is the only song that uses the Carribean/Jamaican style! When I hear this song, I can’t help to sort of sway to the rhythm of the music!
7) Something’s There (Beauty and The Beast)
Shocked to not see the main theme of Beauty and The Beast? So am I!
While I do adore Beauty and The Beast and the song, I do think Something’s There is much better for a couple of reasons. One, Beauty and The Beast, the song, is very in your face about what it’s about. There’s no subtlety. It may be wrong of me to take it against the song because, well, it is the main theme song. But I give the edge to Something’s There for another reason: the story it tells.
Beauty and The Beast is more about two people being destined to fall in love with each other… which is boring! Something’s There actually tells a better story! It’s about how these two different people fell in love even though they were repulsed with each other. It’s about seeing beyond each others faults and seeing the person inside.
6) A Whole New World (Aladdin)
I remember singing this in a duet for a school thing!
The reason why A Whole New World it here is because of the flow of the melody itself. It’s starts off very soft and almost meek. But as the song progresses, the voices become bigger and the song starts to swell with different instruments until it hits a crescendo of emotions! After that, the melody levels out and becomes soft again.
Basically, I just love A Whole New World sounds like.
5) Do You Want To Build A Snowman? (Frozen)
Obviously, you need to have at least one song from Frozen in any list of this nature.
Honestly, a lot of the songs in Frozen are very good! I wouldn’t be surprised if another person composing a similar ranking would have Frozen dominate his/her list. There is just something special about Do You Want To Build a Snowman. I love how it starts out with a very young Anna and you can actually see her grow up as she sings the song! It’s a great storytelling tool!
Also, I love how happy Do You Want To Build a Snowman is at the start then suddenly changes into something very sad by the end. Maybe I’m masochistic in that way…
4) Let It Go (Frozen)
C’mon! You know this song was going to be on this list! It was just a matter of where on the list!
So this is the second Frozen song on the list. And what can I really say about this song that hasn’t been said before? Let It Go has a lot of power behind it, especially the classical sounding Idina Menzel version (and not the wimpy pop sounding Demi Lovato one). I also love the lyrics as it is about a girl breaking the bonds of a stereotypical female and deciding she should act herself and not what society dictates. Just perfect!
3) When Will My Life Begin (Tangled)
I wonder why this song is often overlooked on best Disney songs list?
As a whole, I liked Tangled much more than Frozen. Disney’s take on Rapunzel is much more lighthearted and fun and their version of The Snow Queen. While Frozen may have more memorable and powerful songs focused on telling a story, Tangled’s When Will My Life Begin is more on setting up Rapunzel’s life. Being stuck in the tower, she’s managed to learn a lot of things and skills but never really lived life to the fullest as she’s never really experienced life… much like Part of Your World!
This is probably why I enjoy listening to When Will My Life Begin much more than the girl power anthem Let It Go. Then again, I love how perky Tangled’s opening song is… much more than Frozen’s more “angry” theme song.
2) I Won’t Say I’m In Love (Hercules)
Probably the most overlooked song in any favorite song list, Hercules’ I Won’t Say I’m In Love is my second favorite Disney song right now!
I know a lot of Disney fans can’t understand the entire Gospel theme all of Hercules’ song uses but I like it because it’s so different! Before then, I’ve never heard this style of music before and I loved it! I’m not exactly sure if I Won’t Say I’m In Love follows that style but it doesn’t matter. It’s still a pretty good song even if it doesn’t fit thematically.
I love how the “background” vocals (The Muses) and Megara play with each other. It’s essentially Megara trying to fool herself into thinking she’s not falling for Hercules and it’s just another “job.” It gives us a window into her thoughts. And it is about falling in love with someone and what little girl can’t identify with that?
It’s also the song that I wish I had the power to sing! I think I can sing Part of Your World, the song that has the Number One spot on this list, pretty good but I Won’t Say I’m In Love? There’s just this raspy quality and sass in Megara’s voice that I can’t duplicate! I Won’t Say I’m In Love still puts a smile on my face every time I hear it. Who knows? Maybe it’ll become my favorite Disney song in the future!
You may notice that there are no “classic” Disney animated features here. Why? Basically, I don’t really care for them. And I’ll explain why next time!
What are your favorite Disney songs? Shout them out in the comments section below!