I don’t want to freak you out, but I had three parents growing up. There was my father of course. He taught me the fatherly things in life (shaving, throwing baseballs, “men don’t cry” talks). My mother was there to comfort me when I did cry and dry my eyes before the old man found out. And finally there was my third parent. As you are probably assuming this “parent” did not come in the form of a human. Nay. Instead it came in the form of VHS tapes with cool packaging. One day it would come in the form of “The Lion King”. The next, “Oliver and Company”. Unlike my flesh creators, my third parent would actually sing to me. Oh the songs I would hear throughout my childhood.
Listen, I’m sure this isn’t news to any of you. I get it. You’ve all had that same third parent. But the thing that separates me (and also makes me much more pathetic) is that I still listen to all of these songs. Religiously. Check my Spotify. You would assume I was one of your friends from high school who had a kid too early and now had to make a Disney Spotify playlist for them. Sadly, no. I’m just a twenty five year old male who bought, BOUGHT, the Frozen soundtrack. I know how to pirate music. I’ve done it for at least the past eight years. This was me choosing to pay for music. The music happened to be on a soundtrack to a movie that was geared towards toddlers. There was a time when I was self conscious about it. But those days are long gone. This is who I am for better or worse. Mostly worse obviously. And I’m not trying to brag about this. Not at all. What I’m trying to do….is make a list. A list of the greatest Disney animated songs.
So there it is, out in the open. I’m going to attempt to make a list of the best songs that the Disney animated world has produced. Do I believe myself qualified to make this list? Absolutely not. But I’ve also seen so many bogus fucking lists floating around on the subject that I felt an urge to weigh in. There are so many hidden gems out there that nobody ever mentions. Don’t get me wrong, they usually put the best of the best out there. Every one knows that “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” will be around the top. I’m here to rank those smaller songs that I guarantee you’ve heard but have forgotten as the years passed by. In no way will I admit to getting the actual rankings correct. One hundred and twenty songs will make up my list. You heard me right, 120. That’s a shit ton of songs. And I had to make a butt ton of cuts, too. I did a lot of my picking and choosing on 4/20 of all days so…that should say something as well. All I know is that I owe it to my third parent to make this list. After all they’ve done for me. Oh, and that this will be fun. Really fucking fun. On to the rules then…
- Must be an animated feature
I will only be ranking songs that are in a Disney movie that is animated. My apologies to “Mary Poppins”. So, so sorry “High School Musical” franchise. I wanted you in there “Muppets”, but it’s against the rules. This is also the case for songs that are popular because of rides at theme parks. Don’t want to point fingers.
- Must be DISNEY
This should go without saying. But I have seen plenty of people claim “Anastasia” to be a Disney product. Anastasia is a god damn masterpiece of a movie (with one of the best soundtracks ever. Every Disney song dodged a bullet), but it’s not Disney. That’s all Fox. What’s that? You think I’m lying about how good the music is? Fine, you asked for it. Just remember YOU did this, not me.
- Must be a theatrical release. No straight to DVD
This rule was a bit sketchy for me. I wasn’t always sure what went straight to theaters or which ones went to DVD/VHS. I’ll tell you what. To qualify you had to be on this list. Again, my apologies to Aladdin 2 and 3. The Return of Jafar and King of Thieves had some pretty catchy tunes. But none of them come close to this gem from The Lion King 2: SImba’s Pride
- Must be an original song. Not a cover
Okay. This was a tricky one. And I definitely broke this rule somewhere on the list. But what I’m trying to say is that the song can’t be an already popular song. Like “Life is a Highway” is one of “Cars” bigger hits. Sadly that song has been around before the Rascal Flats or whoever covered it. The same goes for “Shake Ya Tail feather” on the “Chicken Little” soundtrack. “Fantasia” is one of the most popular Disney films ever, mostly because of the music. Not a part of this list. The song could still be sung by a famous band/singer (Elton John anyone), it just has to be an original they produced for the film. Like I said…I may have broken this rule. And if I did, it was for a hell of a song. I hope.
- Must be a movie. No television
Clearly this should be named the Phineas and Ferb rule. That show has some fantastic songs that probably should be on this list but can’t because it’s a TV show. They put out a movie? Well now…that’s interesting.
- Pixar Allowed
Obviously this should be brought up. I don’t necessarily consider Pixar to be Disney. It’s like how some people don’t consider Arnold Schwarzennegger to be an American citizen. I mean he is. Those people are just idiots. Anyways, Disney bought Pixar so they are part of the family. And need to be considered. It would feel wrong not to have them in here.
It’ll certainly be tough when it comes to ranking. I will take into consideration how popular the movie is. If you are a great song carrying a great movie, you have a better chance than a great song that’s in a so/so flick. Also, songs that are in the film I hold in higher regard than covers of said songs. Example. ” A Whole New World” film version will always be better than ” A Whole New World” Peabo Bryson version. Don’t know who Peabo Bryson is? You will find out my friend.
Those are pretty much the only rules I could think of. The rest is fair game. One hundred and twenty of the best songs Disney has ever released. It’s all up to me to put them in the right order. There are plenty of story lines for this tournament (is it a tournament? I don’t know. Deathmatchlist?). Will a song from a major conference win (The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast)? Maybe some of the lesser known gems will step up. Will the old veterans (Snow White, Pinocchio, etc.) be able to hang around with the new hot shots (Frozen, Tangled, etc)? Who is the ultimate Disney singer, Elton John or Phil Collins (or Billy Joel)?!
This will most likely take up months of my life, so I hope readers other than myself take some joy in this. At least get angry about how terrible of a job I did. If anything, I hope this leads some of you to watch a few of these movies like you did in decades past. Or even some you decided not to watch (cough TANGLED cough). You don’t have to watch as many of them as I do (that’s weird), but just for nostalgia if nothing else. I’ll leave you with the same thing I told my parents years ago. “I’m not gay. I just really, really love Disney.”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. With homosexuality. There’s plenty wrong with still liking Disney…
Next time – Songs 120-116