My Favorite Disney Songs: #70-66
All right. We get into the 60s now (75-71 are here). The one thing I’m excited for is finally being able to incorporate some of that good, old-fashioned Disney racism onto this list. Because it really wouldn’t be Disney without some racism. Can you guess what song it is? Ah, ah, no peeking. You’ll find out soon enough.
As for the rest of the list — we get introduced to another major film that’s yet to make an appearance (which is because all of its songs are great and are clearly going to be higher on the list than this). Coincidentally, it’s the very first song from that film, so that’s nice. And we also have another live-action song (two, but at least one of them has some animation in it. The other one is completely live-action), which actually is a song that wasn’t remembered that well until it was used in a movie twenty years after it came out. Can you guess what that is?
Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging. It’s coming up right now.
Here’s 70-66. I’m very excited:
70. “A Spoonful of Sugar,” from Mary Poppins
The more I listen to the songs from this show, the more I’m struck with the notion that I like all of the songs in theory, but not actually in practice. I would never want to listen to any of the songs from Mary Poppins that I’ve put on the list already, yet, I have absolute fond memories of all of them. I love all of these songs until I put them on, and then it’s, “All right, that’s enough. Let’s put on something else.”
But this is, to me, the best song from Mary Poppins. It’s catchy, and it has a nice life lesson in it. “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” I like it.
Again though — it’s still #70. So take that for what you will.
69. “So Close,” from Enchanted
I’m a sucker for a good slow song. And this is a good slow song.
Enchanted has a few great songs in it (five of them, which is actually all of them. Talk about a home run. They hit every song out of the park here), and the obvious two weak ones (out of the five) are the ones that aren’t really a part of the film — “Ever Ever After” and this. This at least is performed during the ball sequence at the end, making it somewhat part of the film, but still — it’s not really a part of it as much as “That’s How You Know” and “Happy Working Song.” Or even “True Love’s Kiss.” So I can’t put it that high.
That said — I think this is a beautiful song. I like it a lot, and I originally had it a lot higher than this (like, 15 spots higher), until I saw what was below it and realized, “No way.” It’s good, but it’s not that good. So it goes here.
And actually, I think this is a fitting spot for it.
68. “Arabian Nights,” from Aladdin
I had a tough time with this one. On the one hand — it’s “Arabian Nights.” I know all the lyrics to it, and it’s amazing. There’s nothing that compares to your first time seeing this on the big screen, and the chorus of this song kicking in and that big shot of the palace — oh, it’s breathtaking.
And on the other hand — the song is only like a minute-and-a-half long, and stops abruptly as we get into Robin Williams’ merchant character and his schtick. So I had to struggle with wanting to put this higher, but also realizing — all right, there’s not really that much here to necessitate such a high ranking.
I think I found a happy medium. It probably belonged somewhere in the 70s and I put it here. I think here fits. Plus, all the stuff that’s above it, we’ll soon forget that strong urge to rank this higher. Because from here on out, it’s all great stuff.
67. “He Needs Me,” from Popeye
This is another one of those songs — I have fond memories of it and wanted to rank it higher, but then I had to sit myself down and go, “Why would you put it so high?”
First off — it’s a great song. And Paul Thomas Anderson used this song to perfection in Punch-Drunk Love. That said —
The film of Popeye is a huge mess. We all know it. We might like it, but it’s a huge mess. And this song is really the only great one in it. (This and Shelley Duvall being perfectly cast are really the best things about it.) And I like the song — it’s one of those ones you get stuck in your head and want to rank highly.
However — there’s really not much going on in the song. It’s pretty much just her saying “he needs me” over and over again. Plus the staging — what the hell is going on? It’s almost like Altman just said, “Do what you want, I’ll follow you.” (That one moment where she turns around and runs to the pole is so awkward.) Either that or the sets were so big and the action was so small it just looked weird. Either way…
I like this song a lot, and personally, I’d probably rank this higher, but objectively — this is as high as I can go. And I might even be pushing it a little bit.
66. “When I See an Elephant Fly,” from Dumbo
Welcome back, racism. We’ve missed you.
God, I love Disney. It’s like they don’t know what they’re doing. How could this make it all the way through to the finished film? THERE’S ACTUALLY A CHARACTER CALLED JIM CROW!
Now, racism aside — this is a great song. The harmonies are great — no complaints with the song at all. My only real complaint is in the construction of the characters. How can you not see it?
But I love this song, and it deserves to be here. It’s just — oh, this racism is killing me inside.
– – – – – – – – – – –
In the next batch of songs —
Enchanted and Aladdin make returns, plus we have another mostly non-animated film making an appearance, plus a film that no one would guess has a song on the list (it being one of the weakest Disney films ever made), and a song from a Disney short has its day in the sun. (Don’t worry, you know this song. It’s really well-known.)