My Favorite Disney Songs: #80-#76

This will conclude the first quarter of the list (85-81 are here). Not too many surprises thus far. Most of the stuff are good songs, but I don’t think any of us would really think to put them too much higher than where I did. (And if you think that statement is incorrect, just wait til we get to the rest of the list.)

This section of the list will include two songs that are pretty famous. The majority of people will definitely recognize them. Then we have another great song that’s the centerpiece of its film, one of those “hero singing his dreams” songs that people who grew up with that film would probably rank higher than I am, and then one of those songs that almost never gets its rightful due because it is the one that directly precedes the classic song from the same film.

That’s all really vague and doesn’t actually say anything, but damn it, I had to write something up here. It’s not like you read these anyway.

Here’s 80-76:

80. “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers,” from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Everybody knows this song. I don’t particularly love it (especially as compared to some of the ones below it), but it being what it is demands that I at least acknowledge that. So that’s what I’m doing.

I probably like this song somewhere around — 90 — but it’s the Tigger song. This has to be here. I refuse to put it higher though, since there’s really not much here, lyrically. It’s really this song’s standing that puts it where it is.

Also, I know I’ll catch shit for this — but I’m not the biggest Tigger fan. He’s kind of annoying to me, and he reminds me of a kid with ADD, which is the last kid I’d ever want to be around. So that has something to do with it. It really just adds to me not really thinking too highly of this song (though I do respect it).

80 feels right for this, though if I were going subjectively and not trying to take objectiveness into account, I’d probably have had it a little ways lower than this.

79. “Love,” from Robin Hood

I love this song. (Does that count as a pun?)

I just like everything about this song. The bass line, how sublime it feels — it’s just great. I’m not sure how strong the lyrics actually are, but the mood of the song is just terrific. It really does evoke its title very well. I’m a big fan.

In terms of catchiness, it’s definitely not as catchy as the other two songs from this film, but the fact that this one has lyrics, and is the real centerpiece song of the film, leads me to put it higher. I just really like it. It’s simple and effective.

78. “I Wonder,” from Sleeping Beauty

This song is usually forgotten in favor of the song that follows it — “Once Upon a Dream” — and with good reason, too. But that doesn’t change that this song is really great.

It’s actually — and I don’t know music, so I could be totally off-base with this — a sort of tonal pair with “I’m Wishing,” from Snow White. “I’m Wishing,” goes up in key, while this one goes down. And both are basically the same song, lyrically. They’re about finding someone to love.

The great thing about this song is that it’s so simple and so short. It accomplishes in a minute and change what most Disney songs couldn’t do in three minutes. That’s special. Though, on the other hand, it’s really not something I can rank that much higher than this (though I am tempted to as I listen to it now). It definitely feels like it should be in the bottom 30 on this list. So I’m cool with putting it where I have.

77. “Go the Distance,” from Hercules

Hercules is a film that I didn’t grow up with. I really stopped watching Disney movies after Pocahontas. Mostly because by that time, I was going to see R-rated movies in the theater, so Disney movies were the last thing I’d want to go see. (Plus I have a younger sister. When you have a younger sibling, stuff like that always reminds you of where you used to be, and it always feels so kiddie to be watching it, even if you were watching them two years earlier. Plus I remember scoffing at some of those movies, like Finding Nemo, but also watching them anyway because they were great. So, shit happens.)

My point with that digression is that I didn’t grow up with this, so the songs from this (and Mulan and Tarzan) — I don’t know them. That is to say — I didn’t know them. I remember in college, we put on Disney songs, and people were singing along to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” and they knew all the words, and I didn’t even know what the song was. (But of course, I had the song on my computer, because of course I would.)

So this song — while it is great — it probably doesn’t have that sentimental value for me that it does for some other people. So don’t get all up on my ass about where I ranked it. Still — it’s a great song. It’s really well-written. Two drawbacks for me, though — first, the wimpy voice on Hercules. I know why he has it, but it’s just not powerful enough to sustain this song. It just isn’t. At least Aladdin could sustain his songs. And second — it doesn’t build. There’s no big “moment” at the end of the song. When they hit the key change, it’s not exciting. The song doesn’t adequately build to that moment. I don’t know, it just feels a notch below where it should be, excitement-wise. This should make make my heart feel like it’s lifting out of my chest. This doesn’t do that. This feels like I’m Judy Garland singing on painkillers. The notes are there, but there’s no emotion behind them.

So all of that is why this is where it is. It’s a great song, but — that’s why I put it here. (Also, there’s another song from this movie I like a lot more than this one.)

76. “Give a Little Whistle,” from Pinocchio

I’m surprised this didn’t end up higher. I really have no answer to that except — the next 75 songs.

I guess this counts as one of those “middle of the order” songs. Since Pinocchio has “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “I’ve Got No Strings,” and this song is always the forgotten third. But it’s great. It’s also pretty great. It’s not totally universal, but it’s on the higher part of the spectrum. The “always let your conscience be your guide” part is a great message, only, it’s externalized. It’s literally Jiminy, as Pinocchio’s conscience, telling him that if he doesn’t know what to do, to whistle. Which, I guess, could still be a plea to, when you don’t know what you do, appeal to your conscience. Either way, on the whole — great song, mostly universal.

Honestly, this isn’t higher because of the rest of the songs. (Mike’s conscience note: No shit.) I really have nothing else. *shrug*

– – – – – – – – – –

Okay, tomorrow — we get into the top 75. Let’s — let’s just keep it a surprise.

Which is code for, “I don’t remember what the next five are and I’ll be as surprised as you are when they come up.”

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