Disney has enjoyed an undeniably huge market share in the world of children’s movies, capturing the hearts of many children who have grown up under Western influences, both boys and girls alike.
And although we children eventually grow up to become adults, we still feel the tugs of nostalgia whenever we remember our childhood that is (or was) dominated by stories of princesses and talking animals and dancing objects (candlesticks, statues, snowmen, I mean what’s next?).
Disney has released so many catchy songs, with the latest being Frozen, which was playing everywhere (to the point of massive Frozen-fatigue).
This list of the best Disney songs was compiled with great nostalgia, as I recall the great songs I grew up with, and enjoyed each and every one.
10. Colours of the Wind – Pocahontas
Colours of the Wind, sung by Christina Williams, the same actress who played Wilhemina Slater in Ugly Betty (I never knew Wilhemina Slater was a singer before I googled Pocahontas).
It’s a very native American song which talks about connecting with the earth and respecting it. Natives are extremely proud of their land, they don’t see it the same way we do. We think it’s just land, where you build stuff like railroads and houses on it, but they feel incredibly insulted if you so much as attempt to claim their land as your own.
Pocahontas: the first SPG?
9. Circle of Life – The Lion King
It’s catchy, even though you don’t even know the words. I always substitute the lyrics with any words and change it every single time I sing it. Try it! It’s the most noticeable opening song, starting with the big boom. I remember always having to turn down the volume first, otherwise the whole house will hear a big BOOM at the beginning of the song.
The Lion King was the first movie I ever watched, and easily became my favourite when I was a child. And fast forward 15 years, I’m still angry that Mufasa died (but to be honest now, I love Scar so much more for his villainy).
Hey wait a minute…
8. The Bear Necessities – The Jungle Book
A highly addictive song, the Bear(Bare?) Necessities ranks high on the list of top Disney songs. Who didn’t want to be a jungle kid and have a singing Baloo to run around a jungle with?
7. I Won’t Say I’m In Love – Hercules
Sometimes I forget that Hercules is a Disney movie, because it doesn’t even look like the other conventional cutesy cartoons Disney constantly pumps out.
A super anti-feminist song against the romantic notions of love, with background vocals provided by five talking statues. When I first heard it, I thought it was going to be a boring song. But it’s a super catchy song.
6. Be Our Guest – Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast have some of the most catchy songs, including Be Our Guest, sung by a talking candlestick. The things Disney animates…
But I really enjoyed this song because of how over-the-top it was. Especially the silverware dancing!
Yep, this totally happens whenever I sit down for dinner.
5. I’ll Make a Man Out of You – Mulan
One of the most macho songs Disney could possibly pump out, this is just like the Disney version of Eye Of The Tiger. The kind of music that gets you pumped up, and increases your adrenaline.
Does anyone else listen to this too while at the gym?
4. Strangers like Me – Tarzan
By Phil Collins, the man who helmed all the songs for Tarzan. Somehow I feel that Phil Collins’ songs do get overlooked in these top 10 Disney song lists. But he releases some of the nicest songs.
3. Tale as Old as Time – Beauty and the Beast
Who would have thought a song sung by a teapot, and danced by a animated girl and a large animal could be so beautiful? And so romantic.
I love how the video is so 3D, even though that technology didn’t exist at that time, especially the part where it zooms from the chandelier to the duo dancing. I still don’t know how they did that. Beauty and the Beast was released during a period hailed as the “Disney Renaissance“.
This video totally justifies that.
2. Under The Sea – The Little Mermaid
The Caribbean-style music has to make the top few on this list. I was wrestling between this and the romantic Tale as Old as Time, but I like this for it’s upbeat notes and cold (a.k.a. abrupt) ending.
Very good to use while hosting a radio show because the song will immediately end and the DJ can start talking, no overlapping-headache required (if you’ve ever done radio studio work, you totally know what I’m talking about).
Did you know this song was once hailed as being racially-insensitive? They compared underwater creatures as ‘black’ people who did nothing ‘under the sea’, because underwater, you don’t have to get a job. Get it? With Sebastian providing black-sounding vocals? How about the part when the blackfish appears? Hmm.
1. A Whole New World – Aladdin
A duet between Aladdin and Princess Jasmine. I was considering not adding this because of A Whole New World fatigue, can’t stand listening to this anymore after babysitting too much.
It was not just a love song but also a song that defined Jasmine’s want that she could not have: freedom. And the fact that the magic carpet could bring her to the dizzying heights and distances she previously could not reach.
What’s your favourite Disney song? Are you still hung up on Frozen or do you have Frozen-fatigue?
- Fari Wu