Aug 26, 2010

My TOP 10 favourite Disney songs

Disney wouldn't be Disney without the songs. They are used to set up a story, to introduce a character, to make people fall in love with each other, to learn what is going on in a character's head, or simply because there's nothing like a merry little song to spice up a scene. I've wondered and pondered over this list for a while now, and it's as complete as it can be. I didn't make a top five as usually, because five simply wouldn't have been enough. Hell, ten isn't enough! I had to exclude many songs that I like, even love. I picked only one song from each film, to get some versatility. There's one exception though, sorry. Voila, dig in. (Making this list was so much fun! I don't now if it was the topic or what but I really enjoyed myself. Should've made it a top 20...)

10. I'll make a man out of you from Mulan (1998)

 In this training montage scene Captain Shang struggles to turn a bunch of sissys (and Mulan) into fearless badass warriors.

Mulan has otherwise pretty forgettable songs, but this one's catchy. I've been working out to this song for a couple of times now, and it really is motivating! Fetching that arrow is one of the coolest things a Disney princess has ever done. Kick ass, girl! (See, I call them all princesses, even if they technically weren't. They are all royal to me.)

You're the saddest bunch
I ever met
But you can bet
Before we're through
Mister, I'll make a man
out of you

9. Be prepared from The Lion King (1994)

Scar kindly suggests his hyena army to be prepared for his upcoming reign.

Boy did I have a hard time choosing only one song from The Lion King. Finally, I chose this over wonderful songs like Can you feel the love tonight, Hakuna Matata and Circle of Life, mostly because of Scar's awesome charisma and the visual awesomeness of the scene. This is the finnish version, because I think it's even better than the original. Jukka-Pekka Palo's voice is just wonderfully raspy and creepy! What a great baddie.

So prepare for a chance of a lifetime
Be prepared for sensational news
A shining new era
Is tiptoeing nearer

8. A dream is a wish your heart makes from Cinderella (1950)

Cinderella wakes up to another morning, singing her worries away and, as usual, never ceasing to dream.

Most of the songs on this list are from more recent films, but of course I had to include this wonderful song from an age-old favourite. I love the optimism of the song, it really summarizes the essence of Cinderella.

No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true

7. I won't say I'm in love from Hercules (1997)

Meg tries to fight the feelings he has towards Hercules and remind herself that it's just not worth it, she's seen it all before. Yeah, yeah, talk to the hand, girl.

Of all the groovy songs of Hercules, I had to choose this one. It's always been my favourite. The little Amor statue, the flower and muses singing the backs... A really nice scene. Meg is cool. Although she has those crazy hips, swinging from side to side all the time.

If there's a prize for rotten judgment
I guess I've already won that
No man is worth the aggravation
That's ancient history - been there, done that! 

6. Just around the riverbend from Pocahontas (1995)

Not sure what path she should choose, Pocahontas takes a canoe ride on the wild, playful, unsteady river. The fierce torrent is so much more fun than a steady little stream, and she knows it!

An awesome song about taking chances, and how it might not be better to be safe than sorry, if safe means marrying a dude, who has forgotten how to smile. Ah, where's the nearest river, I want to go canoeing! (I easily could've filled the list with songs from Pocahontas, but decided I'd be happy as long as this one was on it... And the other one. I had to make an exception. Keep reading...)

Can I ignore that sound of distant drumming
For a handsome sturdy husband
Who builds handsome sturdy walls
And never dreams that something might be coming?

5. Once upon a dream from Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Walking in the woods, the princess, who doesn't know she's a princess, sings and dances with her animal friends (because that's what princesses do, duh) and attracts the attention of a handsome prince, who just happens to be in da hood, what do you know. (That's what princes do, especially the Charming ones.) She's sneaky and finds a loophole in her strict no-talking-to-strangers promise.

It's simple, but so pretty. I could dance to this song at my wedding. (Or to that other Disney walz, from a more recent film, not that animated and way more embarrasing, so let's leave that story to another time...)

I know you
I walked with you once upon a dream
I know you
The gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam

4. Belle from Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Belle walks through her home town one morning, and we see how tough the life of a soon-to-be princess can be: you can't go anywhere without people starting to sing a song about you!

Introducing the best Disney princess ever, Belle is as great a song as Belle is a character. And don't forget the reprise! (Ok. The biggest sacrifice I made was leaving Tale as old as time out of the list. Ouch, it still hurts. Be our guest kind of stinged, too.)

And for once it might be grand
To have someone understand
I want so much more than they've got planned

3. The bells of Notre Dame from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

In the prologue of the film, we see how Quasimodo came to grow up in the bell tower of Notre Dame.

You just can't deny the goosebumbs.

Now here is a riddle to guess if you can
Sing the bells of Notre Dame
Who is the monster and who is the man?

2. A whole new world from Aladdin (1992)

Aladdin takes Yasmine on a ride of a lifetime, introducing her to the wonders of the world beyond Agrabah and a whole new world... of love?

The only non-childhood-favourite film that managed to fit a song on my list. Actually, I wanted to include One step ahead and maybe Arabian nights, too, but ten is only ten, so I couldn't. Oh well. Aladdin is a recent discovery, I don't why I didn't like it more as a kid, but it's awesome. And this song, ah! Just amazing. Forget the canoe, get me a magic carpet, will you?

I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over, sideways and under
On a magic carpet ride

1. Colors of the wind from Pocahontas (1995)

Pocahontas teaches John Smith the famous proveb: when in the pre-colonilized America, do as the aborginal people do. Because they just know better than you idiots, you savages, you oh-so-civilized Europeans.

What can I say? This song is not THE ABSOLUTE favourite of mine, but I made it number one, because... Well. It's one heck of a song, isn't it? The melody, the lyrics, the visuals of the scene, the context, the message... Everything about it is just fantastic. (On top of it, this summer - at a kids' camp I worked in - some lovely lovely girls sang this song to us. We were all holding back our tears, it was wonderful.)

You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You'll learn things you never knew you never knew

Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon
Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned?
Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?

To conclude... The best Disney songs were written in the 90s. Actually, the best Disney films were made in the 90s. And I'm not biased, alright? I just happened to grow up in the 90s...

Now. That will be enough Disney for a... while. (That wasn't a promise, I'm afraid.)


Pia said...

I share your feelings about Disney-movies from 90's -they were/are something incredible comparing those nowadays films...but oh, I love your list!!<3 I could make my own too, if you don't mind? :D

Eeva said...

I'm glad you liked it! And quite the contrary, I'd love to read your list and see someone else's favourites, too :) Looking forward to it! ;)

Leena said...

Valitse Ruusunen häävalssiksi. Illan pimetessä sitten tanssipeli...

Eeva said...

:D No joo. Ehkä mulla on tässä vielä hetki aikaa harkita ennen kun alan häävalsseja valitsemaan.