Recently, I re-watched Hercules, which was one of my favorite Disney movies when I was a kid. For those who have Netflix Instant, how great is it that so many Disney movies are available on Instant? I know it’s because the two companies struck a deal back in December, but I’m so glad the viewers are get something as well. Since my family’s collection of Disney movies consists almost exclusively of VHS tapes and we don’t actually own a working VHS player anymore, it’s nice to be able to watch some of my favorites anytime I’d like. Sure, ABC Family or the Disney Channel occasionally decides to play some of the Disney flicks I grew up with, but sometimes it’s nice to come home from a long day of work, have a drink, and sing along to Hercules at top volume.
My rewatch experience got me to remembering all the music from those Disney movies to which I still know all the words. There are plenty of playlists on Pandora, Songza, and Spotify devoted exclusively to those songs, such as “Disney” curated by my friend Monica. I also remember arguing with friends when I was younger over which Disney songs were the best, although movies like The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Mulan always made the list–to be honest though, my friends and I still have these discussions. So for a bit of nostalgia, I decided to put together my list of all-time favorite Disney songs.
10. “God Help the Outcasts”
From: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Sung by: Heidi Mollenhauer & the chorus
Although I didn’t really like The Hunchback of Notre Dame when I was a kid (it was too scary,) I did like Esmeralda. She was sassy, kind, and a strong female, plus she was different than the princesses who usually starred in Disney movies. On top of that, “God Help the Outcasts” is a very beautiful song.
9. “I See The Light”
Sung by: Mandy Moore & Zachary Levi
I may not have grown up with Rapunzel and Flynn Rider (since I was 20 when Tangled came out,) but I can still appreciate their love song because it is completely sweet and adorable. Plus, I won’t lie, I still get chills when I watch the scene with the paper lanterns. Besides, Zachary Levi’s voice is amazing and it goes well with Mandy Moore’s pipes.
8. “Almost There”
From: The Princess and the Frog
Sung by: Anika Noni Rose
Although The Princess and the Frog wasn’t a very popular Disney movie, I thought it had a great soundtrack. Also, I really wish I’d grown up with Tiana as a role model because “Almost There” is a great inspirational song about working hard to get what you want. Maybe it was a divergence from Disney’s typical heroine by portraying a hard-working woman but I loved it, and I love singing this song.
7. “A Whole New World”
Sung by: Brad Kane & Lea Salonga
While I do think “A Whole New World” has become kind of a cliche love song, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a classic. If I’m completely honest, I have to admit I still get chills everytime I watch this sequence in the movie. It’s kind of a difficult song to sing along to though because I try to sing both parts but they overlap! (Don’t lie, you’ve had the same problem.)
6. “Go The Distance”
Sung by: Roger Bart
Let’s be honest, if you haven’t listened to “Go The Distance” as an inspirational way to pump yourself up, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life. There’s nothing like singing this song in order to prepare for the hard road ahead (also known as finals week.) It’s a beautiful song with a great message of strength, plus it is fun to sing.
From: Beauty and the Beast
Sung by: Richard White & Jesse Corti
“Gaston” is probably not everyone’s favorite song from Beauty and the Beast, but c’mon, it’s awesome. Gaston is probably my favorite character from this particular Disney movie and his song is hilarious. Plus, it’s really fun to blast this song while driving and sing it at the top of your lungs with your best friend. (Try it and get back to me before you judge.)
4. “Part of Your World”
From: The Little Mermaid
Sung by: Jodi Benson
I think it’s safe to say “Part of Your World” is one of the most well-known Disney songs and I don’t know anyone who dislikes it. Ariel is earnest and endearing as she sings about feeling like an outcast and wanting more for herself. It’s a fun song to sing, and it’s hard not to love Ariel’s quirky little lapses in knowledge, like: “What’s a fire and why does it–what’s the word–burn?”
3. “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”
From: The Lion King
Sung by: Jason Weaver, Rowan Atkinson, & Laura Williams
Simba and Nala use this song to distract Zazu in order to sneak away and go to the elephant graveyard. It’s a great big showy number and it’s so much fun. Whether singing along in the car, while doing work, or dancing along with the movie itself, this song is never not enjoyable.
2. “I’ll Make A Man Out of You”
Sung by: Donny Osmond & the chorus
“Let’s get down to business to defeat the huns.”
I feel as if this is one of the most unifying Disney songs because I can honestly say I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t know the words to “I’ll Make A Man Out of You.” It’s a turning point in the movie as the training montage song where Mulan becomes a real warrior. Don’t tell me you don’t enjoy the part of the song where the music drops out and everyone is singing a capella. Besides, it taught us as children what it takes to be a man: swift as a coursing river, the force of a great typhoon, the strength of a raging fire, and mysterious as the dark side of the moon. (You read that to the tune of the song, didn’t you?)
1. “I Won’t Say (I’m In Love)”
Sung by: Susan Egan, Cheryl Freeman, LaChanze, Vaneese Thomas, & Lillias White
While all the other Disney heroines are singing cliche love songs (or falling in love while other characters sing the love song,) Meg sings about stubbornly refusing to admit she’s in love. I don’t know what I was thinking when I heard this song as a child, but now I completely and totally relate to it, which makes sense since I’ve actually experienced what Meg is singing about. Plus, this song is catchy as hell and it’s fun to sing both Meg and the muses’ parts.
Well those are my favorite Disney songs, are there any you think I missed? Let me know in the comments!