My Top 13 Favorite Animated Disney (Canon) Songs!

mickeymaestro

Well, due to the popularity of my last “Top 13” list, I decided to make another one! And today’s post takes a dive into an aspect of Disney’s animated films that is loved by everyone: its songs!

The vast majority of the Disney Canon films are musicals, or at least feature a song or two. And the magic of Disney along with the magic of many of Disney’s songwriters including the Sherman Brothers,

"We're awesome!"
“We’re awesome!”

Alan Menken and Howard Ashman,

"We're...second....awesome!"
“We’re…second….awesome!”

and many others whose names are relatively unknown to the majority of the world, make these songs enjoyable, cherished, and memorable to us all!

So the question is, “Which of the songs are my favorites?”. To find that out, I went through all the songs of the Disney Canon films and picked out the ones that I really loved…all 40 of them!

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Yeah, then came the nigh impossible challenge of shortening that “shortlist” to 13! (This was soooo much harder than figuring out my top 13 favorite animated Disney canon films)! So if you don’t see your favorite Disney song on here, don’t be mad! It most likely was in my shortlist to begin with and didn’t make my top 13!

Oh, why top 13? Because I’m not superstitious!

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Note: I personally believe that one’s favorites can change over time, so this is my list as of February 2013. With that said, I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!

#13: I WANNA BE LIKE YOU (THE JUNGLE BOOK)

This catchy swinging number performed by the “King of Swing” himself, Louis Prima,

Even musicians are happy to star in Disney films!
Even musicians are happy to star in Disney films!

along with the distinguishable voice of comedian and singer, Phil Harris,

Well maybe after lending your voice 3 times in successive films, the novelty wears off!
Well maybe after lending your voice 3 times in successive films, the novelty wears off!

definitely had to make my list! Sadly, it ranked 13, but nevertheless was saved from total eradication!

Written by the Sherman Brothers, the song takes place when King Louie’s “monkey cronies” kidnap Mowgli and take him back to their hangout.

"Remember boys, the boss wants the kid alive! Kill the bear if you need to, but save the kid!"
“Remember boys, the boss wants the kid alive! Kill the bear if you need to, but save the kid!”

King Louie then persuades..no…tries to persuade Mowgli to teach him how to make fire! Well, actually, the song is more about King Louie desiring to be like a man, and only near the end, does he actually slip in a line about learning to make “Man’s red flour”!

So why do I like this song? Well, like I said, it’s extremely catchy and features lovable banter-like scatting between Louis Prima and Phil Harris! King Louie may want to be like men; but many men’s songs want to be like this one!

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#12: THE BARE NECESSITIES (THE JUNGLE BOOK)

Ok, I know you’re suspicious because I put two songs from the same movie back-to-back.

Explanation

I’m sorry, that’s just how my rankings came out. I promise you this is the last song from this movie on my list.

When “The Jungle Book” was in production, the original drafts featured a much darker movie than what the final product actually became. And along with the darker quality of the movie were darker songs for the movie written by Terry Gilkyson (you can see/hear demos of the songs that he wrote in the “Bonus Features” section of the 40th Anniversary 2-Disc DVD Edition of the film).

Now when Walt decided to lighten the movie’s mood and give it a complete reform, he also let Terry Gilkyson go and brought the Sherman Brothers to write new songs for the movie. So all of Terry Gilkyson’s work was scrapped except for one song which everybody loved, and that song was “The Bare Necessities”!

"Walt, if you grant me accreditation, , that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I....what? Oh you HAVE given me credit? Oh well, ahem, this running gag is getting kind of old now, isn't it?"
“Walt, if you grant me accreditation, , that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I….what? Oh you HAVE given me credit? Oh well, ahem, this running gag is getting kind of old now, isn’t it?”

This song plays when Mowgli meets Baloo the bear and Baloo explains his way of life to Mowgli. The song teaches the basic lesson of being content with the “bare necessities” of life and not yearning for luxuries because worry and strife may come along with them. And the song itself is even more catchy than “I Wanna Be Like You”. I find myself singing this song unconsciously many times in my daily life.

Many songs try to be overcomplicated and too complex, but this song has the basic foundations of a wonderful song, i.e. the bare necessities!

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#11: KILL THE BEAST/THE MOB SONG (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST)

Well, as you all know, “Beauty and the Beast” is my favorite Disney film! Hence, I also love all the songs from this movie, well except the title song!

cat

Back to what I was saying, since I loved all the other songs, they all were definitely on my shortlist of 40. But sadly, in the elimination process, I got rid of most of them including “Gaston”, “Human Again”, and “Belle”. But to my surprise, “Kill the Beast” wasn’t struck off and maintained a spot in my top 13 list!

First off, “Kill the Beast” is an extremely underrated Disney song! The average person, I think, forgets this song and remembers the more popular ones like “Be Our Guest” and “Beauty and the Beast”. But, I always have loved this song and find myself singing it to myself quite often!

The song describes the fear that the people have of the mysterious beast and the conclusions that they all jump to regarding him. In the end, they all decide to storm the castle and, well, “kill the beast”!

I love this song because it’s catchy and dark, of course! But I also love it because it’s quite relevant in society and explains how people fear that which they don’t know. And through their own erroneous reasonings, they tend to assume that violence and oppression are the correct methods to deal with their doubts and fears.

If you’ve never liked this song, screw your courage to the sticking plate, and give this song one more chance!

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#10: PRINCE ALI (ALADDIN)

“Aladdin” is a musical masterpiece, so I’m sure you expected to see at least one song from it on my list. And behold, we have “Prince Ali”!

Composed and written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, the song plays while Aladdin makes his entrance into the city under the guise of Prince Ali Ababwa. And naturally, a prince needs some sort of introduction to the people. What better introduction than have Robin Williams as the genie sing an extremely catchy song highlighting the admirable qualities of the prince himself?

The song is also fun to watch because of the many characters that the genie transforms into as well as the magic that the genie performs during the span of the song!

"This just in...'Aladdin' proves popular!"
“This just in…‘Aladdin’ proves popular!”

What else can I say except “Hey, clear the way in the old bazaar” for this royal treat!

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#9: FRIEND LIKE ME (ALADDIN)

Sorry, I did it again! Two songs from the same movie in succession on my list! Again I’m sorry, that’s just how the ranking played out.

"Ok, but I'm watching you!"
“Ok, but I’m watching you!”

This is my favorite song from “Aladdin”, so it definitely had to make my list.

"If this is your favorite song from 'Aladdin' and is already at number 9, are you saying that 'A Whole New World' isn't one of your 13 favorite Disney songs?"
“If this is your favorite song from ‘Aladdin’ and is already at number 9, are you saying that ‘A Whole New World’ isn’t one of your 13 favorite Disney songs?”
Check!
“By Jove, you’re brilliant!”

cat

Ignore them! Composed and written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, the song plays in the Cave of Wonders when Aladdin gets trapped there by Jafar. While down there, he accidentally rubs the magic lamp and the genie emerges. And, believe it or not, Aladdin is skeptical about the genie and his powers!

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So to introduce himself better and showcase some of his powers, the genie sings a song! Wow, Robin Williams gets to sing two songs in this film! Nice!

No wonder he popularized the celebrity voice phenomenon!
No wonder he popularized the celebrity voice phenomenon!

The song, like the previous one, is extremely catchy and has quite clever lyrics! But the best thing about the song is the genie himself! True, the genie showcased his magic and transformed into different characters for “Prince Ali”; but this introductory song is where he goes all out!

If you’ve never heard this before, hurry up and befriend it!

aladdin-genie

#8: OUT THERE (THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME)

We have another underrated Disney song on my list! 

hooray

Composed and written by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, “Out There”, is a traditional Disney song in which a character yearns for something more. In this case, the song starts out with Frollo telling Quasimodo that he is ugly and that he should stay secluded in the tower for his own protection against the people who would hate and revile him for his appearance. What a horrible man!

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After Frollo leaves, Quasimodo picks up the song by singing about how he would just like to spend one day “out there”, i.e. amongst the people that he’s seen and loved from above since the beginning of his life.

I love this song because it can apply to any type of outcast in real life and how he/she wants to be accepted by the world for who he/she is. And it gives us a lesson by reminding us how we should view people and not judge.

What I’d give, what I’d dare, just to have the world loving and appreciating this song more!

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#7: UNDER THE SEA (THE LITTLE MERMAID)

“The Little Mermaid” was the movie that fueled the start of the Disney Renaissance and started the musical resurrection of the Disney films. So of course, at least one song from the film had to make my list!

Composed and written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, “Under the Sea” utilizes great Caribbean-style music to make an extremely catchy and Oscar-winning song!

"Told you we're awesome! Well, second....awesome!"
“Told you we’re awesome! Well, second….awesome!”

The song plays when Sebastian tries to convince Ariel that “life under the sea is better than anything they’ve got up there”. The song allows for a plethora of colorful underwater creaturs (with a plethora of underwater animal names included in the song) as well as some interesting underwater musical instruments!

If you haven’t heard this song, listen to it because it definitely is “hotter under the water”!

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#6: O’MALLEY, THE ALLEY CAT (THE ARISTOCATS)

Not only is this an underrated Disney song, but I believe that this is THE MOST UNDERRATED DISNEY SONG EVER!

35aalh

Sung by Phil Harris and written by Terry Gilkyson,

"I may not be fully remembered, but at least I have two songs in the Disney Canon under my belt!"
“I may not be fully remembered, but at least I have two songs in the Disney Canon under my belt!”

the song plays in “The Aristocats” when Duchess and the kittens are kidnapped…umm….catnapped and left by a bridge in the countryside. After wondering what to do, they hear someone singing and see that it’s none other than Abraham de Lacy Giuseppe Casey Thomas O’Malley, the Alley Cat himself!

This song is extremely catchy and fun to sing! It’s basically about O’Malley’s outlook on life and doing what he wants and introducing himself over and over again!

I love this song “and I’m very proud of that, yeah!”

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#5: THE PHONY KING OF ENGLAND (ROBIN HOOD)

Wow, this list is filled with underrated Disney songs! Well “Robin Hood” is quite an underrated film and one of my favorite animated Disney films! So of course, you can expect to find an underrated song from an underrated film!

Written by Johnny Mercer (an interesting choice),

"A famous songwriter and singer such as myself is sure to become a household Disney name!"
“A famous songwriter and singer such as myself is sure to become a household Disney name!”

the song plays after Robin Hood and his supporters flee from being captured by Prince John and his army. Well actually, after the fleeing there’s a short love song, and then right after that, comes this song! Hmm…pacing problems? Oh well, I don’t care!

The song is sung about Prince John and how he’s the phony king of England! It mentions the horrible things that he does, but also mentions that as long as we have Robin Hood and his “wily pack”, things will be alright!

What else can I say? The song is lovable and catchy! If you don’t like this song, you’re a “breezy, uneasy, snivelin’, grovelin’, measely weaselly, blabberin’, jabberin’, jibberin’, jabberin’, plunderin’, plottin’, wheelin’, and dealin’ phony fan of Disney”!

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#4: POOR UNFORTUNATE SOULS (THE LITTLE MERMAID)

Everybody loves a good villain song and I’m no exception!

Composed and written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, the song plays while the evil sea witch, Ursula tries to convince Ariel to give up her voice in exchange for becoming human!

Surprisingly, I never really loved this song all that much until very recently. I think the problem was I found the song too short, like it needed one extra verse. That’s when I discovered that the original version did indeed contain an extra verse! And while searching through Youtube, I found an audio clip of Howard Ashman himself singing the original version of the song!

And this is the version that I find myself singing to myself! So if this original version didn’t exist, I’m sure that this song would have been much further down on my list!

In the end, you “poor, unfortunate souls” who dislike this song, I pity you!

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#3: HELLFIRE (THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME)

We have yet another Disney villain song on my list! Always considered one of the best villain songs, if not the best villain song, “Hellfire” is visually stunning!

Composed and written by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, the song plays while Frollo battles with his inner sexual, lusty desires! That’s pretty much what the song is about! But it’s so amazingly recreated!

The animation and visuals just tell the struggle that Frollo is going through by themselves! And the tone of the music and lyrics is incredibly dark and incredibly enjoyable! I know that they had to take special care with this scene to ensure a G rating; but still I think the subject matter of the song ensures a PG rating! Regardless, I just love this song!

In the end, choose this song “or your pyre”!

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#2: BE PREPARED (THE LION KING)

Don’t worry, this is the last villain song!

Composed and written by Elton John and Tim Rice, “Be Prepared” is another visually entertaining song!

The song is basically Scar describing his plans to his hyena minions. The background starts out with nice greenish/darkish colors, then as the song gets more menacing, it goes into a yellowish background, and then finally into a devilish red! That color contrast is just phenomenal!

Also, the song’s lyrics are quite clever and not exactly kid-fare! There are some words and phrases in here that kids will learn to increase their vocabulary such as “retention”, “successions”, “sordid”, “dues”, “squared” (I myself have no idea what that means in its intended context), “quid pro quo”, “on board”, “addressee”, “coup”, “meticulous”, “tenacity”, and “bared” (as in to bear one’s teeth or ambitions). This goes to prove that Disney movies were never meant to be kiddie films!

What else can I say? Just “be prepared” for my favorite Disney song!

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AND MY #1 FAVORITE ANIMATED DISNEY (CANON) SONG IS:

drum-roll-please

BE OUR GUEST (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST)

Sigh, what to say about this masterpiece? Like I said before, I was surprised that songs such as “Gaston”, “Belle”, and “Human Again” got struck off my list, but “Kill the Beast” remained! But, “Be Our Guest” was never in danger of being struck off! It’s always been my number one favorite Disney song, still is, and hopefully, always will be!

Composed and written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, the song takes place in the castle after Belle is taken prisoner. Fun fact: The song was originally meant to be sung for Maurice when he enters the castle in the beginning; but they quickly decided that they shouldn’t waste such an amazing song on a supporting character!

The song is the enchanted objects’ way of welcoming Belle to the castle and making her feel at home! I really don’t know what else to say! If you haven’t heard this song, be my guest and check it out!

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Well, that’s the end! Let me know in the comments what you thought of this post! Also, let me know what your favorite Disney songs are! Also, let me know if you have any ideas for other “Top 13” lists that you’d like to see!

19 thoughts on “My Top 13 Favorite Animated Disney (Canon) Songs!”

  1. I love “Poor Unfortunate Souls!” I had no idea there was another verse! And I think Howard Ashman sings it really well…

    “Out There” and “Hellfire” are probably the best songs in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but to be honest, it’s just a movie of great songs. “Out There” is such a pretty song. I love stories with misunderstood social outcasts in them…

    xxx

  2. Omg. This list rocks. Like seriously. I can proudly(??) admit that I have almost all these songs on my MP3 player in my car. I love these songs. From the Little Mermaid to the Lion King and even Tarzan…they are all in my car. I could listen to them all day. I love the villain songs. So dark and just awesome. Be Our Guest is also one of my beloved favorites. I just love everything about that movie. Period. You even included ones from the Aristocats! I loveeeee O’Malley!! And omg Aladdin?!? I die. The songs are just too awesome. The only songs I’m actually not familiar with are the ones from the Hunchback. I never got into this movie. And the Jungle Book?!? Such amazing songs. One of my favorites. I actually need to update my iPod to include even more Disney songs. You can never have too many, right?!?! Awesome job on this top 13. I love every aspect of it!! 🙂

  3. Ok, so after thinking about this list some more, I’ve decided to add some more of my comment lol. While I love these songs on the list, I do have to ask one question. What about the songs from Tangled and the Princess and the Frog?!? The songs from Tangled, in my opinion, are absolutely amazing. Truly the high light of Mandy Moore’s career, also in my opinion. And I can’t help but like the songs from Princess and the Frog. They’re so jazzy and catchy! Do you like the songs from these movies?!? Do you like these movies?! Do you have any info on these songs or movies?

    1. The songs from “Tangled” were very catchy and enjoyable (the work of Alan Menken, so that helps) and I enjoyed them, but they’re not on my top 13 favorite animated Disney songs. Actually, I think “I see the light” from “Tangled” was on my original shortlist of 40, but sadly it was struck off.

      I like “The Princess and the Frog” as a movie, mainly because it was Disney’s way of returning to traditional hand-drawn animation after 5 years and that was the movie that made me realize how much I love hand-drawn animation as opposed to computer animation. But I’m not a fan of any of the songs. Most of them I find extremely unmemorable. Like I know the alligator sings a song, but can’t remember it for my life. I know that witch doctor lady sings a song, but can’t remember it for my life. I think even Ray the Lightning Bug sings a song, but I can’t remember it for my life. The “Almost There” song is almost good, but a bit too simple for my liking. The best song is the villain song “Friend on the Other Side”, but I enjoy the animation of the song, more than the song itself. So, sorry, I’m not a fan of those songs.

      1. See, I just love your insight!! I am also a huge fan of the hand-drawn animation. And you’re right…I can’t actually “remember” the songs from the Princess and the Frog, I just know when the movie is on I love them! Hah!

      2. Lol, to be fair, I’ve only seen “The Princess and the Frog” once, so that may be a reason why I can’t remember the songs. Then again, I’ve also seen “The Little Mermaid” and “Tangled” each one, but the songs are immediately memorable.

  4. Once again, you have an eye for the underrated. I do think Poor Unfortunate Souls is underrated, along with Out There and I Wanna Be Like You. With that said, I find it astonishing that you are able to leave off songs the likes of Circle of Life, Part of Your World, A Whole New World, and Colors of the Wind. Then again, the animation to accompany these songs were just fabulous, and the title suggests that this is purely a songs list; I like the list. Well done.

    1. Thanks for the compliments and comment!

      Well, as I mentioned in the intro to that list, this was the hardest list to make, because I had a shortlist of over 40 favorite Disney songs! So slimming the list down to 13 was quite an endeavor! So songs like “Part of Your World”, I’m sure was on my shortlist, but had to be eliminated in order to keep the list at 13.

      “Circle of Life” is ok, I’ve never really “LOVED” it! And “A Whole New World” is enjoyable. But I’ve NEVER liked “Colors of the Wind”! I found it to be extremely overrated! The only song I actually like from “Pocahontas” is “Savages” and that’s also probably the only THING I like about “Pocahontas”, so it’s safe to say that “Colors of the Wind” was NEVER ever in my mind as a favorite!

  5. In short I gotta say I really love the Gaston-related songs – very underrated and powerful – and most definitely “Be Prepared”!!!! I didn’t even remember this one when I was doing my list *sigh* but I think I’d replace the Lion King one I have with this one! Love Scar!!! 😀

  6. I love “Under The Sea!” It’s my favorite song in the movie! “Poor Unfortunate Souls” I also really like because of how it furthers the plot. I don’t think I can decide on my favorite Disney song, but maybe it would be “Hellfire.”

  7. Well, I love most of these songs! …though how did ‘Out There’ outclass ‘God Help the Outcasts’? (That…rhymed…). Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but I find God Help The Outcasts to be one of the most beautiful songs ever written.
    I’ve noticed you haven’t written a Top 13 list in awhile. Maybe you could to Top 13 Disney Villians?

    1. I never liked ‘God Help the Outcasts’. It just never caught on with me.

      Yeah, I’ve been wanting to do a Top 13 list, but the problem is finding a topic where I can actually find 13 things to put.

      I don’t really want to do a Top 13 Villains List because I feel everyone’s top 13 villains list will have the same people, maybe in different orders.

  8. I really liked your list! To be fair I am a big sucker for Villain songs (I love dark things I can’t deny xD).

    For me a song that would be somewhere up the list would be Savages from Pocahontas. I just love the colour schemes of Pocahontas as a whole, but especially during that scene and how it portrays both sides as misunderstanding the other rather then “these are the bad guys”. That and while brief, Judy Kuhn has a truly amazing voice, I envy her.

    Also the reprise of Mother knows Best was one of the better songs in Tangled and one I really enjoy.

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