My Favorite Disney Songs: #65-61
I’m very excited for this portion of the list (70-66 is here). There are two songs on here that I feel that people have no idea about (one much more so than the other).
Not to mention, also in this section is a famous song from a famous movie, plus a song from a Disney short (pretty much the only case of that on this list. There are three songs that don’t really have movies to them but are quintessentially “Disney” songs, but the one on this section of the list is one of the only songs from a short film made by Disney that made it).
I love this section, just because all lists have those entries that seem abnormally high based on how little people know about them. Also, I bet that if I gave you all five of the songs up front, you probably wouldn’t be able to guess the final order they’d end up in (in one try).
Here are 65-61:
65. “Friend Like Me,” from Aladdin
Not my favorite song from Aladdin. Good song, but not my favorite.
A lot of that has to do with the fact that I hear it and can see Robin Williams singing the song. It takes me out of it when I see the actor performing the character as opposed to hearing the character. A force of nature like Robin Williams tends to do that. (Plus, the way he sings some of the lines sounds like he’s masking the fact that he can’t sing. Why is he changing his voice like Nicki Minaj? What the fuck is that?)
But yeah — it’s “Friend Like Me.” If this were completely subjective, I’d probably have put this five or ten spots below this, but I felt this was a good place for it. 65 is not that high, all things considered.
But seriously — I find the way he sings this annoying. That really kept this from going higher. (I also never understood why this was the song they put over the beginning of the end credits of that movie.)
64. “True Love’s Kiss,” from Enchanted
Enchanted again. I still love how they wrote five songs for this film and all five are great songs. This is our third entry from the film on the list, and it’s clearly not as good as the top two songs. And the reason for that is because the song is itself a parody/homage (some kind of weird mixture) of those kinds of songs the Disney princess sings about finding true love. It’s not quite original, which makes me dock it just a little bit.
You can tell the song is not meant to be taken seriously, because at the beginning, as she explains to the animals about true love’s kiss, the animals ask, “Do you pull each other’s tails?” and all that. If this were a legit song, like all the other Disney princess songs — that wouldn’t be in there. It’s tongue-in-cheek, and that prevents me from taking it completely seriously.
Plus that line — “You were made / To finish your duet.” It’s cute, but it’s no “Once Upon a Dream.” So I can’t put it higher than this.
That said, it is a great song, and is catchy. And I like that they reprise it a bunch of times in the film. The fact that it becomes a motif get major points from me.
63. “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” from The Three Little Pigs
I bet you didn’t know this was a Disney song. That’s because how many Silly Symphonies do people actually watch nowadays? They’re actually pretty great. This one is one of the more famous Silly Symphonies, and is a really good retelling of the story.
Plus the song is incredible. It’s simple and it’s catchy. It’s the kind of song that’s so perfectly tailored to that story that it makes you feel like it was one of those songs that was always just there. You know? It’s brilliant.
The song was also used a cappella in It Happened One Night, plus it was the inspiration for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (though in the film, because of a rights issue, Elizabeth Taylor sang the title to the tune of “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush”)
Also check out 2 minutes, 5 seconds on the video for one of the greatest sight gags ever.
62. “Candle on the Water,” from Pete’s Dragon
What a beautiful song. Helen Reddy kills this. It’s terrific.
There’s really not that much I have to say about this. Just listen to it. You can hear why it’s great. I wish I could have but this higher. But unfortunately, there’s some heavy hitters coming up after this, and this just quite can’t hang with the big boys.
But it’s still amazing, and if you didn’t know about this song before, hopefully you do now.
61. “No Way Out,” from Brother Bear
I think we can all agree that Brother Bear is easily one of the weakest Disney movies of all time. Definitely bottom ten and possibly even bottom five. That said — this song is incredible.
Phil Collins is a treasure. In terms of what he’s done over his career and then for Disney — he’s amazing. He and Elton have easily put themselves right below Alan Menken for preeminent Disney songwriters since 1989.
But this song — just listen to it. The song speaks for itself as to why I ranked it this high. This feels like the “Live and Let Die” of the Disney world, to me, how this song so completely transcends its film. (Seriously, listen to the full song. Phil Collins made a career out of writing songs for movies and having the songs live longer than the films.)
This is another one of those — I wish I could put this higher, but the weakness of the film and the crazy amount of great songs coming up really tie my hands. But we can still celebrate this song where it is. I bet most people wouldn’t think to put this as high as I did. So I’m happy I was at least able to do that.
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And we move into the 50s next. What’s coming up in the next portion of the list —
Two all-time classics make their triumphant returns, Aladdin gets another song in there, a recent Disney film shows off an amazing song, and Randy Newman finally wins his first Oscar.