Some (but not all) of the best Disney songs
July 18, 2019 4:07 PM   Subscribe

The Ringer staff has ranked the 40 "best" Disney songs. Needless to say, the list is wrong, but at least they had the decency to put all the songs on one page, so you don't have to click through. They also made a video in which they discussed some of the contenders, including some songs that didn't make the list.

Pixar movies are out of scope, so don't worry about Sarah McLachlan coming along to sadden you. Also, Moana appears to have been excluded in what is either a serious oversight or a nefarious plot by Phil Collins. Also also, "It's a Small World" was technically in the Lion King, so....
posted by Huffy Puffy (42 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
This list is garbage.

Moana, Princess and the Frog and Tangled's exclusion, the over-inclusion of the least good Pocahontas and Hunchback songs, and "When You Wish Upon A Star" is THE DISNEY SONG you don't put it at anything but number 1 sorry no

The Author(s) are clearly living in their 90's era childhood and did not note their bias
posted by FritoKAL at 4:13 PM on July 18, 2019 [21 favorites]


The Bare Necessities needs to be closer to #1.
posted by Splunge at 4:22 PM on July 18, 2019 [13 favorites]


But the best Disney song, "Goodbye, So Soon," isn't even on this list.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 4:32 PM on July 18, 2019 [3 favorites]


Neither “I’ve Got A Dream” from Tangled nor “Everybody Wants To Be A Cat” from the Aristocats is on this list so I can confirm it to be wrong.
posted by billiebee at 4:49 PM on July 18, 2019 [9 favorites]


Nothing from Mary Poppins, the best work of the Sherman Brothers? No "Once Upon a Dream" from Cinderella? "When You Wish Upon A Star" at #13?? Feh.
posted by briank at 4:57 PM on July 18, 2019 [6 favorites]


No "Feed the Birds" from Mary Poppins? Psssh. Away with ye. That song still gives me goosebumps.
posted by Gray Duck at 5:10 PM on July 18, 2019 [12 favorites]


Sorry, the list is confined to Disney animated movies. They do say that in the link, but I missed it in the post.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:18 PM on July 18, 2019


No “Hellfire”? I ask you.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:25 PM on July 18, 2019 [12 favorites]


I figured half the list had to be Mary Poppins songs.

But on edit it’s only animated movies? No Dumbo?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:25 PM on July 18, 2019


Poor Unfortunate Souls is about the people who wrote this list.
posted by duffell at 5:28 PM on July 18, 2019 [12 favorites]


Look I'm not gonna get into what's better than what, and my taste is notoriously suspect -

BUT

Oliver and Company - Why Should I Worry
Goof Toop - Eye to Eye
The Great Mouse Detective - The Worlds Greatest Criminal Mind
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 5:31 PM on July 18, 2019 [6 favorites]


I saw that Poor Unfortunate Souls was number 38 and I threw my phone across the room in disgust.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 5:44 PM on July 18, 2019 [4 favorites]


"Let It Go" was robbed
posted by tofu_crouton at 5:47 PM on July 18, 2019 [3 favorites]


No “Hellfire”? I ask you.

I am very pleased two songs from Hunchback made it. But they are absolutely the wrong songs.

And we definitely need “Mother Knows Best” in there.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:53 PM on July 18, 2019 [3 favorites]


Needs more Oo-de-lally I tell you. A great song from a great movie, it's so fun to whistle too!
posted by Carillon at 5:55 PM on July 18, 2019 [12 favorites]


can we all just take a quiet minute to appreciate how amazing moana is?
posted by colorblock sock at 5:57 PM on July 18, 2019 [20 favorites]


The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers is criminally underappreciated and I won't stand for it any longer.
posted by downtohisturtles at 6:32 PM on July 18, 2019 [8 favorites]


Next up on The Ringer: are millennials are ruining listicles?
posted by turbowombat at 6:51 PM on July 18, 2019 [3 favorites]


I would just go for the track list from Hal Wilner's 'Stay Awake'.
posted by ovvl at 7:33 PM on July 18, 2019 [3 favorites]


The Guardian has offered a different list which seems more sensible.
posted by jjderooy at 7:57 PM on July 18, 2019 [5 favorites]


There are FOUR songs from Hercules on this list?!!??!? What the hell is wrong with these people?
posted by soundguy99 at 8:07 PM on July 18, 2019 [8 favorites]


I'm just gonna sit here and sing "The Ballad of the Headless Horseman" until somebody puts it on the damn list.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:53 PM on July 18, 2019


"When You Wish Upon A Star" is THE DISNEY SONG you don't put it at anything but number 1 sorry no

My vocal group does "When You Wish Upon a Star" as an encore, and it's an awesome feeling to see faces light up after the first couple of bars when they realize what song it is.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:06 PM on July 18, 2019 [4 favorites]


That there is not a single Moana song on this list means this list is ridiculous and should be burned from all collective memory. Every song on that soundtrack is a gem (except the pop cover version of How Far I'll Go).
posted by liquorice at 9:23 PM on July 18, 2019 [6 favorites]


I was quite pleased about the Hercules inclusions! Perhaps I was just exactly the right age when it came out, but I think that movie never gets the love it deserves. "I Won't Say I'm In Love" is one of two Disney songs on every playlist I make and it gets a lot more airtime than the other one ("Under the Sea"). And "Go the Distance" has quietly found a second life as a clutch Disney song in all the various park parade/firework medleys because it is damn good at making the heart swell.

It is a crime they didn't include "Hellfire."
posted by lilac girl at 9:55 PM on July 18, 2019 [2 favorites]


Everybody Wants to be a cat is not on this List, so...catastrophic failure?
posted by es_de_bah at 11:22 PM on July 18, 2019 [8 favorites]


The first time my daughter heard Let it go, she was about 2&1/2 years old and we were chilling outside at friend's barbecue while the older kids watched Frozen inside. She was happily eating a sausage when the first notes of the song drifted out of an open door. Her eyes widened and she went absolutely still, listening intently, for about ten seconds before dropping her sausage (unprecedented!) and running inside to find where the music was coming from. Thus began an obsession that lasted another three years and I expect to be rebooted when Frozen 2 comes out. She loves the movie, sure, but she LOVES the song. This is pretty much consistent across the 2 to 9 age bracket for kids I know. Let it Go at #20? WRONG.
posted by Wantok at 12:11 AM on July 19, 2019 [6 favorites]


I have never actually heard the song Let it Go, but I guess I should remedy that immediately. Also maybe I should try to hang around kids more often before I become a full-fledged crank. On topic, I think the exclusion of Candle on the Water from Pete's Dragon is just wrong. It's such a lovely song.
posted by backwards compatible at 5:49 AM on July 19, 2019 [4 favorites]


On topic, I think the exclusion of Candle on the Water from Pete's Dragon is just wrong.

Like Mary Poppins, I presume it's excluded on the basis of not being from a (purely) animated movie. Which just goes to show that, in addition to being bad at picking songs, they're also bad at picking criteria to make an interesting list.

And maybe it's just me because I don't see it often on these kinds of lists, but I have a soft spot for "God Help the Outcasts" from Hunchback. A quieter, more poignant song less often heard in Disney films, perhaps akin to "Feed the Birds."

The Guardian has offered a different list which seems more sensible.

Eh, that list might be more chronologically diverse, but it seems to criminally underrate the "catchy" songs: "You're Welcome" at #22, "Be Our Guest" at #23, "Under the Sea" — the catchiest of all catchy Disney songs, surely a top 5 pick — at #25, while "Friend Like Me," "I Just Can't Wait to Be King," and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" are left off entirely.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:23 AM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


This listicle appears much too soon after the "boring" tourism list for me to be at all motivated to look at it. I'm still hungover.
posted by MorgansAmoebas at 7:53 AM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Outside of other songs already mentioned above, as a small kid I always had a great deal of affection for Thomas O'Malley the Alley Cat. I think even at a young age, I could appreciate the swagger and confidence of the singer and the song, the smart lyrics (which I was too young to fully understand) and that fabulous beat.

Also how do you have a list like this and not include Peggy Lee?
posted by sardonyx at 9:18 AM on July 19, 2019 [5 favorites]


Aside from how wrong this list is, there's also this (re "Let It Go"):
I should note that I am a capital-S Sucker for a good key change, and, boy, does this song have one—along with a spectacular outfit swap from Elsa.

There's no key change in "Let It Go."
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 10:36 AM on July 19, 2019


I can’t listen to it at the minute but I think there is from memory, and I think this says so also if I’m reading it right.
posted by billiebee at 11:00 AM on July 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


No "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf"? No "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah"?
posted by SPrintF at 11:43 AM on July 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


"Whistle-Stop" by Roger Miller from Disney's Robin Hood is the ear-wormiest piece of music that exists. I love it so much.
posted by joelhunt at 11:48 AM on July 19, 2019 [6 favorites]


1. I think of dancing hamsters whenever I hear that song, for obvious reasons
2. How does a rooster whistle?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:59 PM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Baby Mine. That's all.
posted by StopMakingSense at 3:00 PM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Baby Mine. That's all.

A few years ago my niece was obsessed with Dumbo, so I watched it every time I saw her, and I never made it through Baby Mine without crying.
posted by billiebee at 3:25 PM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Not many of us can relate to the experience of going undercover to battle against a vicious emperor, but who hasn’t been here: “When will my reflection show who I am inside?”

I'm sorry, has this person actually watched Mulan?
posted by naoko at 4:49 PM on July 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


(puts on long-retired professional music critic hat)

Seriously, fuck this bullshit list.

(re-retires hat)
posted by jscalzi at 12:58 AM on July 20, 2019 [3 favorites]


I can’t listen to it at the minute but I think there is from memory, and I think this says so also if I’m reading it right.

Definitely not. It starts and ends in A-flat. If you want to get technical, it starts in F-minor and ends in Ab-major, but that's the same key.

People think there's a key change because of the way the Lopezes have crafted the bridge. The fiddly-bits before "my power flurries through the air into the ground" make you think that the song has shifted to D-flat, and then there are 8 bars in what sounds like D-flat. THEN, two lines later, the tonality shifts up to E-flat for the next two lines of the bridge, which sounds like a key change but is really just a move from a IV chord to a V chord. Then, when it returns to the chorus, it's back to A-flat major. Clever tonally, but not a key change.

Yes, I am a nerd.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:56 PM on July 21, 2019 [3 favorites]


Thank goodness "Only Solutions" and "1990's Theme" (Performed by Journey) from the movie "Tron" aren't on the list.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 4:10 PM on July 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


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