Every Disney song, from worst to best
April 15, 2016 7:51 AM   Subscribe

The good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, the unforgettable, the forgettable, the racist, the sexist, the silly, the enthralling — it's all here, in this list of every Disney song, ranked from worst to best. (Click here to start the list; here's the top 10; and here's the whole thing on one page.)

I love the story of how the #2 song was recorded:
what really brings “Beauty and the Beast” to life is the vocal performance of Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts. Lansbury was initially reluctant to sing the song, thinking her voice not strong enough to record what seemed initially to be a rock ballad. But Menken and the film’s directors asked her for just one take, in case it didn’t work out with someone else. One take, recorded live with an orchestra. One take, which reduced many of those in the room to tears. . . .
posted by John Cohen (113 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
I could only get the top 10 link to work correctly, but the info they have about "Part of Your World" is not really true. Ashman and Menken, being theatre writers, knew that Ariel needed an "I want" song, and would not have ever agreed to it being cut from The Little Mermaid.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:57 AM on April 15, 2016


Sure, but that doesn't mean Katzenberg didn't have other ideas!
posted by saturday_morning at 8:03 AM on April 15, 2016


This website appears to be some kind of HTML hate crime, so please forgive me for not commenting on their specific choices. I know they don't have that "No one Xs like Gaston" song in the top ten so clearly they have no idea what they're talking about.

Occasionally when things are real bad and Mommy and Daddy just need the kids to Be Quiet Please For a Moment my wife has a youtube playlist in her back pocket that just plays Disney songs for ever and ever. I have come to several conclusions from watching this, but mainly:

Something... bad happened with Hercules. What is going on with that movie, seriously? It feels like a Disney film made by an alien culture, or maybe Chuck Lorre.
posted by selfnoise at 8:04 AM on April 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


The irony of Someday My Prince Will Come and Let It Go appearing in the same top 10 list.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:04 AM on April 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Also did someone write a really good thinkpiece at some point about Let it Go? I feel like kids and parents take one message from this song, and then the movie is kinda not into that message, but it ultimately doesn't matter for the viewer? It's weird. Is it accidentally a good song?

I mean, the entire kingdom almost freezes to death. But you know... YOLO?
posted by selfnoise at 8:07 AM on April 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Gaston" is one of the great list songs ever. Should be top 5.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:08 AM on April 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


I could only get the top 10 link to work correctly

Hmm, I just checked the links and they're all working for me. The "whole thing" link is obviously the slowest-loading one, since it has over 200 embedded videos.
posted by John Cohen at 8:11 AM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh poor "Arabian Nights" if you weren't so racist, you'd be a top 25 song.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:12 AM on April 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


No one serves links with 250 youtube videos like Gaston
posted by miguelcervantes at 8:13 AM on April 15, 2016 [42 favorites]


If I hadn't included the link to every song, there would be comments complaining about "I hate these lists where you need to keep clicking! Why can't they put it all on one page?"
posted by John Cohen at 8:16 AM on April 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Gaston" is #23 — I agree it should be in the top 10.
posted by John Cohen at 8:16 AM on April 15, 2016


The "whole thing on one page" list mostly loads for me in FF and wow. 267 songls and there is some real effort here. Even the ones with one line written aren't quick snark and on to the next. My daughter is a huge nerd for Disney and singing and we're off to Disney World in 2 weeks, so she is sending you her thanks for this post from the future after she spends this weekend reading through this.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 8:17 AM on April 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I mean, putting the word "expectorating" in a lyric, followed by showing little kids what it means.... genius.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:17 AM on April 15, 2016 [11 favorites]


Why can't they put it all on one page that doesn't need to load 267 embedded YouTube videos
posted by beerperson at 8:19 AM on April 15, 2016 [14 favorites]


Poor Unfortunate Souls was robbed.

I mean I know the article is just super effective clickbait but overall the villain songs are underrated. Gaston as 23? Be Prepared at 48?

What happened to Hercules is that they made the movie based on marketing potential alone (with a side of blackmail -- make this financial hit and you can make your ambitious pirate movie).
posted by jeather at 8:19 AM on April 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


Whatever, I freakin' love the Kanine Krunchies jingle.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:19 AM on April 15, 2016 [13 favorites]


If I hadn't included the link to every song, there would be comments complaining about "I hate these lists where you need to keep clicking! Why can't they put it all on one page?"

Fair enough. But, there really should be a warning attached. Something like "Caution! Clicking this link will bring your system to a painful crawl."
posted by Thorzdad at 8:19 AM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


For the record, it isn't every Disney song. It's every Disney song from their animated movies.

Came looking for The Tiki Room Song, left disappointed.
posted by hippybear at 8:20 AM on April 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Also, "Feed the Birds" is the best Disney song and it isn't close.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:21 AM on April 15, 2016 [16 favorites]


Was cheered by the reminder of the Johnny Appleseed song, which I frequently end up singing to myself because it's really great for that. So I'm ok with it being so low on the list because now I'm kind of humming it to myself at work.
posted by PussKillian at 8:22 AM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Why do you hate The Sword in the Stone so much, Consequence of Sound?

Overall this is a very safe list - the writers themselves admit that Let It Go is the only song from the last 20 years (!!!) to make the top ten.
posted by subdee at 8:22 AM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm glad the Cruella DeVil song ranked so high since it was written by esteemed songwriter Roger Radcliffe.
posted by beerperson at 8:27 AM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Came looking for The Tiki Room Song, left disappointed.

It's not fair to put other songs against the Tiki Room song. (I used it as my ring tone for a very long time.)
posted by jeather at 8:28 AM on April 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


No "Short People" huh
posted by grobstein at 8:29 AM on April 15, 2016


"Accidentally good" is a perfect way to describe Let it Go. The rest of the songs from that musical are just eh. Overall they feel like a bunch of leftover songs awkwardly pasted into the the story at random points.

Frozen is set in (what I assume is) fake Finland. This is the country that brought us Hevisaurus , and many other great musical things. It's a region that has interesting and different folk music traditions. Imagine a world in which the writers of Frozen had and actually tried to pull in some of the keys and rhythms from there (Circle of Life-style.) The movie literally has a song sung by rock trolls... but the song isn't metal? Why?

p.s. I do credit Frozen with making my math students know the word "fractal" and that it has something to do with snowflakes.
posted by Wulfhere at 8:30 AM on April 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Okay now I'll just collect all my thoughts in one place as I read:

There’s a flood in the Hundred Acre Wood, and this omnipotent chorus would like to tell you all about it. Pretty forgettable song, but it gets a few bonus points for some great alliteration

FORGETTABLE? My wife and I refer to rain as rushing rising riv'lets all the time. Bite your tongue internet list!

I am glad to see them panning "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" which I really can't stand. It's dull and I don't know why it's there, and honestly I don't really know why Simba and Nala fall in love in the first place, but I've seen the movie once and the stage musical once, so maybe I'm missing nuance.

Okay see now "Les Poissons" is getting robbed. Should be higher. Same with "I'll Make a Man out of You." Heffalumps and Woozles is well placed, great song. Most of the non-"Let It Go" Frozen songs would be higher on my list, but I'm fine with where they are. It's a movie with a good collection of songs across the board. I want an Aladdin song in my top ten, but not "Never Had a Friend Like Me," probably "Whole New World"? The Top Ten is a little heavy on the older movies for me, but I understand why.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:31 AM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Be Prepared" at 41? FORTY-ONE? For the single greatest use of Jeremy Iron's talents, and the most menacing tone that an animated film ever achieved? And there are TWO OTHER SONGS FROM THE SAME MOVIE that finished ahead of it? Pistols at dawn, Ms. Shoemaker.
posted by Mayor West at 8:31 AM on April 15, 2016 [14 favorites]


Poor Unfortunate Souls was robbed.

I mean I know the article is just super effective clickbait but overall the villain songs are underrated.


I came in to say the same thing.

My top 5 is probably:

5. Be Our Guest
4. Be Prepared
3. Part of their world - also great for parodies.
2. Poor Unfortunate Souls
1. Circle of Life

With "I'll Make a Man Out of You" in the top 10.

You can probably tell what Disney era I come from.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:33 AM on April 15, 2016 [11 favorites]


Robbed:
- "Gaston" and "Be Prepared" (this has been addressed)
- But holy shit "Pink Elephants on Parade" at 132. I don't really remember most of the Early Disney ballads from the Top 10, but I will continue to have drugged-out elephant nightmares until the day I die.
posted by saturday_morning at 8:33 AM on April 15, 2016 [14 favorites]


it isn't every Disney song. It's every Disney song from their animated movies.

Including every Disney song would have meant drowning the page in six million Sherman Brothers deep cuts. No one wants to run down every number from Moon Pilot.
posted by Iridic at 8:34 AM on April 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Including every Disney song would have meant drowning the page in six million Sherman Brothers deep cuts.

True. Don't some of the toilets in Disneyland have their own specifically composed background music? That way could, truly, lie madness.
posted by hippybear at 8:36 AM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I also cannot access the full list, but I will say this: All songs featuring Phil Harris should at least be in the top 50.

Gettin' maaaad, baby!
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 8:37 AM on April 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh egads, I'd forgotten completely about the egregiously awful Chinese caricature in "Everybody Wants To Be A Cat" until this. ugh ugh ugh
posted by Maaik at 8:40 AM on April 15, 2016


Frozen is set in (what I assume is) fake Finland.

Norway! Arendelle is smack in the middle of a bloody fjord!

Also, a couple of years ago Disney invited a few EDM DJs to do some remixes of its classic tracks called Dconstructed. Mat Zo did an amazing remix of Circle of Life. Also before that Disney had an album called House Disney released in Japan where Kaskade did an amazing version of Baby Mine with the vocalist Sunsun.
posted by Talez at 8:40 AM on April 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


Oh egads, I'd forgotten completely about the egregiously awful Chinese caricature in "Everybody Wants To Be A Cat" until this. ugh ugh ugh

Unfortunate, but true, which is why when you seek out that track separate from the film, that particular bit has been edited out.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 8:43 AM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have my favourite amateur Disney + Disney cover, thank you.

(there are more)
posted by sukeban at 8:43 AM on April 15, 2016


While we're going for non-movie Disney songs, here's Tim Curry singing The Balland of Davy Crockett
posted by vibratory manner of working at 8:44 AM on April 15, 2016


I only looked at the top ten and bottom seven, but I object to their very definition of a "Disney song." "Kanine Krunchies" is a total of 20 seconds of a throwaway bit and does not count. "Bug Hunt" is the background music in an action sequence and does not count.

I propose that a "Disney song" is a musical-esqu sequence of characters singing/and or dancing to music.
posted by cmoj at 8:47 AM on April 15, 2016


"Let It Go" is literally the worst song from Frozen. "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" is much better, but "Reindeers Are Better Than People" is best.
posted by Foosnark at 8:47 AM on April 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


If you really want odd covers of Disney songs I highly recommend "Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films".

The irony of Sinéad O'Connor covering "Someday My Prince Will Come" is not to be missed.

You may not borrow my copy.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:48 AM on April 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


but "Reindeers Are Better Than People" is best.

It's just a sad reminder that Groff was criminally underused in that movie.
posted by Talez at 8:49 AM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sure, “Mother Knows Best” is a bit Into the Woods-lite, but it’s still a heck of a villain song, if only because the villain in question is trying so hard to make it sound like it isn’t. Mother Gothel gives up the charade in the much darker reprise, but both are about how damaging and debilitating emotional manipulation can be, particularly from those who (pretend to) love us. Donna Murphy’s giddily demented performance is just the cherry on top.

This. So much this. Never mind her singing. Donna Murphy's acting in that song is phenomenal.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 8:50 AM on April 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


"Mother Know's Best" is SO good. I find myself humming that all the time. I don't know what that says about me, but I love it. Meanwhile, my boyfriend is always singing "Let it Go".
posted by Marinara at 8:56 AM on April 15, 2016


Norway, fair :) But I still hold the entire region definitely deserves better than rejected Broadway numbers!
posted by Wulfhere at 8:59 AM on April 15, 2016


What about metal?
posted by Talez at 9:00 AM on April 15, 2016


I've never had a problem with the message of "Let it Go" clashing with the rest of the film. It's a revelatory moment for the character, she's liberating herself from a lifetime of fear and pain -- it's her first view of what self-actualization might look like. By necessity it's not a super nuanced view, any more than Anna's idea of romance is nuanced. That's what their sheltered lives have done to these women. Over the course of the film, Anna's dream of love and Elsa's dream of freedom get more complicated until at last they're things that can actually be realized. And I think there's a place in the film for a massive catharsis and for the reality that follows it, without calling it a contradiction or an accident.
posted by thesmallmachine at 9:01 AM on April 15, 2016 [26 favorites]


The full-list link murdered my computer to the point where killing the browser barely helped, but the page-by-page version seems to break at #200, with no more links to the next entries.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:01 AM on April 15, 2016


I mean I know the article is just super effective clickbait but overall the villain songs are underrated.

The final reprise of "friends on the other side"is the Single scariest song.

/ ARE YOU REAAA-AAADY?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:03 AM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mayor West: "Be Prepared" at 41? FORTY-ONE?

Yeah, Tom Lehrer deserves better than that.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:03 AM on April 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


While it's popular to hate on Let It Go, it's kind of undeniable that lots of people feel an inexplicable connection to it. Ages back I gathered together some of the more interesting musical theory tidbits about it from various sources to discuss with a friend or two, in an attempt to maybe explain why it managed to hook so many people.

I love her performance of Defying Gravity so much more though...

Listening to the Circle of Life at the Lion King theatrical performance was a mind blowing experience. I know, hundreds of dollars for a ticket seems irrational, but, wow. I may be convinced to go watch it again if it returns.
posted by xdvesper at 9:05 AM on April 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Frozen is set in (what I assume is) fake Finland."

Yeah, fake Norway. They took the animators to Norway for the visual inspiration and the folk art decoration is all straight-up Norwegian. (Notably the specific styles of rosemaling, one of my favorite things, so I was super-thrilled to see it in a Disney movie.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:08 AM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Interesting fact, in "Be Prepared" the voice of Jeremy Irons couldn't hold out. They actually got Jim Cummings (who played a Hyena in the film but you probably recognize as the current voice of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger) to record the final verse. If you listen really closely you can actually hear the change right after "YOU WON'T GET A SNIFF WITHOUT ME" and then Cummings comes in with "So prepare for the coup of the century".

Cummings actually did record a version of the whole thing but they tried to keep as much of Irons as they could in the song.
posted by Talez at 9:11 AM on April 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


All those Meet The Robinsons songs, and no mention of They Might Be Giants' version of "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow"?

I want to be disappointed, but then again, they kept on putting all The Princess and the Frog down pretty low, so...no.
posted by Katemonkey at 9:18 AM on April 15, 2016


Oh man, I'd forgotten about Kanine Krunchies! Fun to hear it at different speeds, especially slowed down.
posted by vacapinta at 9:34 AM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


For the record, it isn't every Disney song. It's every Disney song from their animated movies.

The animated ones that didn't mix in live actors at least (I think; the full list brought my browser to its knees). My favorite Disney movie memories are all stuff from the Pete's Dragon and Bedknobs and Broomsticks type movies. Trite and catchy doesn't mean bad in my book and I'd listen to Angela Lansbury sing the phone book.
posted by mattamatic at 9:36 AM on April 15, 2016


I think this list could be improved by replacing as many of the songs as possible with the corresponding tracks from the "Stay Awake" cover album, like this one [SLYT] of "Cruella de Ville" by the The Replacements.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:36 AM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


This list is a fraud. Everyone knows
Everybody Wants to be a Cat is the best Disney song ever. Didn't even make the top 10!
posted by littlewater at 9:43 AM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's a great song except for the hideous racism in the middle. What were they thinking?
posted by Daily Alice at 9:51 AM on April 15, 2016


Oh god I forgot about that. I just love the jazz and cat pride!
posted by littlewater at 10:05 AM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm glad to see plenty of others have already called out the ridiculous position assigned to "Be Prepared", but what the hell is "Hellfire" doing below what seems to be most of the Hercules soundtrack all the way down at number 74?
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 10:06 AM on April 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


My favorite Disney movie memories are all stuff from the Pete's Dragon and Bedknobs and Broomsticks type movies.

The music camp I went to for 10 years while growing up would regularly do Candle On The Water as part of the "everyone sings as part of the chorus" music selections. One year we did ASL while we sang it. I can still sing the whole song from memory and remember most of the sign language that went with it.

(Also Bless The Beasts And The Children in ASL. Good grief. The more I look at the song selection from that decade of my life, the more I realize exactly why I grew up to be a hippie.)
posted by hippybear at 10:08 AM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I suspect an astonishing amount of work went into putting this list together, so I'm happy to forgive all the click-baitness and just enjoy (and disagree, naturally) with the authors' choices. :-]

But what strikes me in perusing the list (once it loaded!) was the sheer amount of talent which went into some of these gems of songs and pieces of animation. Such a great deal of care and thought must have gone into their creation. Sure, it was all done to make ol' Walt and company zillions of dollars, but wow, there's an insane amount of artistry here.

Thanks for posting it.

(And I still can't really watch the Heffalumps and Woozles scene/song without remembering ALL THE NIGHTMARE FUEL it brought me when I was a child. :-] )
posted by zuhl at 10:17 AM on April 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


No villians' songs in the top 10? TRAVESTY.
posted by maryr at 10:24 AM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why can't they put it all on one page that doesn't need to load 267 embedded YouTube videos

Yeah. It's the sort of thing that might drive one to download the all-in-one page and process the source code to convert all the embeds to links, rather than crash one's browser a third time.

Not that I'm suggesting anyone's actually done such a thing.

Or stripped it down even further.
posted by Shmuel510 at 10:32 AM on April 15, 2016 [21 favorites]


Yeah, just the other day, apropos of nothing, Mr. Freedom burst out with "I use antlers in all of my DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEcorating!", so Gaston was robbed something fierce.


Note: he doesn't.
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:36 AM on April 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


Also:

248. “HIGITUS FIGITUS”

Shenanigans!
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:38 AM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


When you think about it, Let It Go is a lot like Hakuna Matata. They're both about the moment when a character decides to throw their responsibilities to the winds, and in both cases, it's a terrible mistake. But in both cases, the song is appealing in a way that masks this.
posted by baf at 11:01 AM on April 15, 2016 [11 favorites]


"I've Got a Dream" from Tangled at 125?!?

I mean... When he clinks the ceramic unicorns? I want that played at my funeral Mass.
posted by resurrexit at 11:05 AM on April 15, 2016 [11 favorites]


Oh egads, I'd forgotten completely about the egregiously awful Chinese caricature in "Everybody Wants To Be A Cat" until this. ugh ugh ugh
I had only the fuzziest memory of Everybody Wants to be a Cat, and so I thought the "racist bit in the middle" was the thing with the Siamese cats so I was gonna be all like "you know Thailand is a separate country from China, right?"

But then I realized that The Siamese Cat Song is it's whole own bundle of fun song/great animation/ruined by horrible Asian stereotypes.

I wish there were a text-only version of the list so I can figure out where that landed.
posted by sparklemotion at 11:06 AM on April 15, 2016


I wish there were a text-only version of the list

From a few comments upstream.
posted by hippybear at 11:08 AM on April 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I did a megapost a little while ago and someone had some kind of script that created a YouTube playlist of all the tracks in the order presented in the post, and posted a link to the playlist in the thread. Was one-click, one-stop shopping to listen to everything in order.

I wonder if someone could do that with this list?
posted by hippybear at 11:10 AM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I wish there were a text-only version of the list

From a few comments upstream.


Thanks -- I only ctrl-f'ed for "text"

Apparently The Siamese Cat Song was too terrible to include (AFAICT it's not included as part of the vids linked to the other Lady and The Tramp songs on the list).
posted by sparklemotion at 11:17 AM on April 15, 2016


From a few comments upstream.

Yup. Though apparently every link at a page break got lost in processing from the short version, including #140, The Siamese Cat Song. If I were admitting to having anything to do with this, I would hang my head in shame.

(Please stand by...)
posted by Shmuel510 at 11:20 AM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


(Please stand by...)

*graphic appears on screen and the Tijuana Brass starts playing something melodic and non-upsetting*
posted by hippybear at 11:23 AM on April 15, 2016 [7 favorites]


Ah... there it is.

Peggy Lee, as both cats, does her best, but between the instrumentation and the deeply, deeply unfortunate Asian accent the cats adopt, “The Siamese Cat Song” is just one of those Disney songs that doesn’t play as well with time no longer on its side.

Yup.

Thank you Shmuel510.
posted by sparklemotion at 11:35 AM on April 15, 2016




I only looked at the top ten and bottom seven...

Darling it's better
Down where it's wetter
posted by fairmettle at 11:44 AM on April 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Boo:

266. “What Made the Red Man Red” — Peter Pan (1953)
245. “Arabian Nights” — Aladdin (1992) (god damn it, this could have been such a good song)
140. “The Siamese Cat Song” — Lady and the Tramp (1955)
81. “When I See an Elephant Fly” — Dumbo (1941)
25. “Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat” — The Aristocats (1970)
21. “I Wan’na Be Like You” — The Jungle Book (1967)

Yay:

Practically every villain song ever

Actually I have a lot of opinions about this, I will be back
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:47 AM on April 15, 2016


Actually, aren't some of the songs from Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros iffy? I think a few of the people interviewed for the documentary "Walt & El Grupo" expressed frustration over Disney's interpretation of Brazilian, Chilean, Argentinean, and other South American countries in each of those movies. It may have been from an animation standpoint only though (i.e. the songs themselves were fine, but the contexts in which they were used was stereotypical/reductive).
posted by Hermione Granger at 12:05 PM on April 15, 2016


I thought Les Poissons could have been a bit higher in the list.

HEE HEE HEE HON HON HON
posted by Fleebnork at 12:06 PM on April 15, 2016 [11 favorites]


No 'Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah'?

I know Disney memory-holed Song of the South, but, jeez, the song won a freaking Oscar.
posted by box at 12:10 PM on April 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


My husband emailed me this morning about this with just "I've Got a Dream WAS ROBBED"

(He is right, it was)
posted by FritoKAL at 12:12 PM on April 15, 2016


I assume that Song of the South was excluded on the same grounds as Mary Poppins; they're excluding live-action films, even if they have animated sequences in them.
posted by Shmuel510 at 12:16 PM on April 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Why wasn't Nightmare Before Christmas on the list?
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:17 PM on April 15, 2016


I mean, the entire kingdom almost freezes to death. But you know... YOLO?

To be fair, while Letting It Go, Elsa does not actually know that Arendelle is in deep shi... snow.
posted by madajb at 12:17 PM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I Wan’na Be Like You

I'm torn on that one. It's highly problematic if you read the apes as black and the wish to "be like you" as a desire to assimilate into white culture.

But, beyond the fact that the song is jazz, I don't think there are really markers (in the movie*) that the desire to be human is intended as an allegory for the racist assumption that everybody wants to be white. So, you have to ask why the first instinct is to read apes --> blackness (the answer of course being racism, in that we know that racism exists black people<>monkeys is a known trope). But I don't think that the movie is doing that -- when Disney wants to create racial caricatures they are not subtle.

But on the other hand, it's a pretty great song. I'll admit to being glad that they cast Christopher Walken as King Louie in the grimdark live action version though.

*I'm going to choose to not address the source material.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:22 PM on April 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I know Disney memory-holed Song of the South, but, jeez, the song won a freaking Oscar.

It is also played on a continuous loop on the Splash Mountain ride.
posted by beerperson at 12:24 PM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I assume that Song of the South was excluded on the same grounds as Mary Poppins; they're excluding live-action films, even if they have animated sequences in them.

Thanks--I like that one better than mine.
posted by box at 12:41 PM on April 15, 2016


I assume Nightmare Before Christmas was excluded because it wasn't originally released by Disney Animation.
posted by jeather at 12:46 PM on April 15, 2016


I'm glad I'm not the only one who has fond memories of "Candle on the Water". There aren't too many opportunities to bring it up in conversation, so I'm a little sad that it wasn't eligible for the list.
posted by redsparkler at 12:54 PM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm glad I'm not the only one who has fond memories of "Candle on the Water".

I have awful memories of Candle on the Water, personally. Being of a certain age and intimately involved with the school music scene of the time, I can tell you that I know all the lyrics, the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass parts, and the ASL translation, and if I never heard the song again it wouldn't be too soon.

For similar reasons, I don't think I ever need to see Annie again.
posted by chainsofreedom at 2:30 PM on April 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Hercules bothers me less now on rewatch, and I do really like I Won’t Say (I’m in Love). At the time I could not enjoy the film because of the horrible mangling of Greek myth. Where were the other four muses? Hades is not a reskinned Satan just because he runs the afterlife. He was actually one of the Greek gods that did the least messing with people. Hera as a doting mother to Heracles? Has anyone there ever read any of these myths ever?!?!?! Much like Pocahontas, the less you know about the source material, the easier it is to watch.
posted by Karmakaze at 2:30 PM on April 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


When my children were younger, we went to Disneyland 3 years in row, and we had the Disney music CDs in the car. Yo Ho (A pirates life for Me) was always one of my favorites, (We're beggars, blighters, and ne'er -do-well cads, drink up, me hearties, yo, ho...AYE, but we're loved by our mummies and dads, drink up, me hearties, yo ho!")

It's a great song except for the hideous racism in the middle. What were they thinking? - posted by Daily Alice.

So, Everybody Wants to be a Cat is definitely my other favorite...but I had only heard it on the CD, and I've never actually watched the Aristocats. So I'm wondering, What racism is Daily Alice talking about? So then I watched the video that Sparklemotion posted, and I get to the 1:28 mark, and I'm like...Ok, yeah, I can totally see the racism in that. must be what Daily Alice is talking about.

and then I got to the 1:46 mark.

Oh damn...THAT's what Daily Alice is talking about. Yeah, it's definitely that part.
posted by KillaSeal at 2:32 PM on April 15, 2016


Karmakaze: What I do love about the Hercules movie is the utter and total middle finger it gives celebrity culture and modern media bullshit and even merchandising. I don't think the movie was promoted as much as it might have been because Disney was sort of afraid of it shaving off a certain percentage of the audience from participating in the marketing and monetizing of both Hercules and future projects.
posted by hippybear at 2:39 PM on April 15, 2016


"I Wanna Be Like You" is significantly improved if you're listening to the Los Lobos cover of it. I just googled it, and apparently they did an entire album of Disney covers, which I may have to track down.
posted by skycrashesdown at 3:06 PM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I wish I had a time Machine so I could get Oingo Boingo to do "Grim Grinning Ghosts".
posted by sourwookie at 3:11 PM on April 15, 2016


I was about to post a whole passel of covers of "I Wan'na Be Like You," but then I saw that the Christopher Walken version is out.
posted by Shmuel510 at 3:39 PM on April 15, 2016


I was about to post a whole passel of covers of "I Wan'na Be Like You," but then I saw that the Christopher Walken version is out .

OMG it's perfect. Now I just want to hear that they mo-caped Walken dancing for the scene in the actual movie.

And I noticed that they changed "an ape like me" to "someone like me" and "a gigantopithecus like me", which pulls it even further out of problematic territory.

I might actually have to go see this stupidly overwrought grimdark thing.
posted by sparklemotion at 3:50 PM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


One Jump Ahead at 46 is way way too low. It was my favorite song in that movie.

But, then, I have a soft spot for a hero singing a song about doing crimes.
posted by likeatoaster at 4:16 PM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Gaston at number one and The Mob Song at number two, i don't know what these numbers are all about
posted by Greg Nog at 4:33 PM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I liked the ones you could dance to. I Wan'na Be Like You - problematic x 10 :/ but Louis Prima, wow. Bare Necessities, for sure. Once Upon A Dream, FTWaltz.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 4:56 PM on April 15, 2016


I like all the songs from Tangled and I contend that the movie is superior to Frozen in every way. "I've Got a Dream", "Mother Knows Best" and "When Will My Life Begin" are all great.
posted by wabbittwax at 5:06 PM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm finding it hard to continue reading this after one of the authors throws in the "Clowns are terrifying" cliche and doesn't bother to put an "AMIRITE" tag on the article.
posted by queensissy at 5:35 PM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Frankly, given the content of their top 10, I judge the authors' taste. Who the fuck thinks that the insipid music of Cinderella and Snow White and fucking Colors of the Wind tops I'll Make a Man Out of You and Hellfire and Be Prepared?
posted by sciatrix at 6:56 PM on April 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tangled was in development for six years and burned through something like $260 million, if it wasn't good there wouldn't have been a Frozen.
posted by Small Dollar at 7:14 PM on April 15, 2016


I have A Lot of Opinions about this, but mostly I'm just thrilled that "Will the Sun Ever Shine Again" ranked as high as it did. I adore that song.
posted by specialagentwebb at 7:41 PM on April 15, 2016


65. “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” — Mulan (1998)

DISHONOR ON YOU

DISHONOR ON YOUR COW
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:04 PM on April 15, 2016 [14 favorites]


In my book the good parts of Disney songs are;
- the music
- the humor

They don't do serious themes, well, seriously -- of course they don't, they're aimed at kids. Let It Go isn't great poetry, it's the music that makes it great. (And it is great.)

By the same token, I think you don't have to read complex themes into them. I see what's "wrong" with King Louie, but does he really have to be more than just this really ambitious orangutan with a cool jazz number?

The funny songs were the ones I thought mainly got robbed:
Gaston ("and every last inch of me's covered with hair!" is one of the great moments in cinematic history)
Le poisson
In summer
I've got a Dream
posted by bjrubble at 9:25 PM on April 15, 2016


Hercules bothers me less now on rewatch, and I do really like I Won’t Say (I’m in Love).
That's probably one of my favorites from the modern Disney era. I could have that song on repeat and not get tired of it. 59?! Needs to be higher up, as in, the highest one from Hercules.

"Tomorrow is Another Day" from The Rescuers at 251 makes me question this list's intent, and in reading the text and the reviewer citing its music not being a strong point? Yeah, that extremely moody and sad intro "The Journey" (160 and the review is actually quite positive -- yet 160 and songs ranked higher are panned)? The lovely "Rescue Aid Society" song (233)? And of course, "Someone's Waiting For You" (129, didn't even get to the 100). Yes, I have a beef! This is one of my favorite Disney films.

All the songs from Robin Hood except "Love" broke 100, at least. I hum those tunes to this day and that movie is also one of my favorite (and like The Rescuers rather flawed) Disney films.

Okay, so the top 10. The only one I agree with is "Bare Necessities."

This list was definitely formed by committee when all the reviewers got together and did voting and veto and compromise, and therefore feels rather disjointed, non-thematic, and as a ranked list pointless. As a list of Disney songs you can peruse and be reminded of the little gems you've forgotten, it's a good one.
posted by linux at 10:20 PM on April 15, 2016


At least Music in Your Soup didn't actually make it into Snow White. They would have had to figure out a way to rank it at five-thousandth place on a 200 something item list.
posted by radwolf76 at 9:58 AM on April 16, 2016


I'd mostly agree with this list, except (a) I like "Something That I Want" a lot better than they do, and (b) I would have moved the sweet twinkly wishing songs from the old Disney out of the top ten so that Cruella DeVil and Gaston and Poor Unfortunate Souls were higher up in the list. Seriously, those are the best villains.

Frozen is a weird mishmash of songs. Let It Go is on the same soundtrack as the creepy troll song* and "Reindeers are Better Than People." Not that I don't agree with the sentiment of the last one, but....so weird.

* don't even get me started on how cute but HORRIBLE those damn trolls are. They literally said the WORST things to "help" (not help) the royal family with their situation and then are thisclose to forcing Kristoff and Anna into a marriage ASAP regardless of what she has to say about it. Sometimes I like to compare them with the bear witch in Brave as to which one's worst at "helping," and in the end I gotta go with the trolls.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:02 AM on April 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I would rate all the Tangled music much higher [and I can't believe the highest one they rated was the forgettable lantern song rather than "Mother Knows Best" or "When Will My Life Begin?"], but I think that "I've Got a Dream," even though it's a great song, feels a bit derivative of "Gee, Officer Krupke".
posted by phoenixy at 2:47 AM on April 17, 2016


I felt like this was a little too PepsiBlue to create a FPP, but the Disney Crossy Road app is live, and is tangentially related to this topic, because it features Disney songs in the various different areas in the game.

Reviews are positive. I played it myself last night and it's really fun. The Paul Frees ghost host voice in the Haunted Mansion had me squeeing with geeky joy.
posted by Fleebnork at 9:09 AM on April 18, 2016


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