With the return of Disney On Ice presents Dream Big to the SSE Arena, Belfast, we ran through some of the best Disney songs you might catch at the show.
Where to begin with the top songs from Disney films? Well with some ground rules. Firstly, only one entry per film is allowed. Original films only, this means no sequels (even though Toy Story 2 does have some great songs) and no live action remakes.
25. The Hunchback of Notre Dame – ‘Hellfire’
Kicking things off is ‘Hellfire’ from 1996’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. An odd inclusion, as it’s about as un-Disney as Disney can get. The pious villian Frollo sings of his desire for Esmerelda and how if he can’t have her well…that’s where it gets pretty dark. Undeniably a good song though that thankfully will not be understood by children. The first Alan Menken composed song on the list, but certainly not the last.
24. The Princess and the Frog – ‘Almost There’
The unmistakable sound of Randy now for ‘Almost There’. Tiana sings about how her dreams of owning her own restaurant are ‘Almost There’, quite a different dream to your standard Disney princess. Would be higher but it’s not Randy William’s best work and you do tend to forget about it.
23. Sleeping Beauty – ‘Once Upon A Dream’
A classic song from a classic Disney film. Nice, but might be forgettable without the context of the film and the scene. Nonetheless, a swoony romantic song, exactly what you think of when you think classic Disney.
22. Cinderella – ‘Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo’
Cinderella is probably who people when they think of a classic Disney princess. A must-see film. However, it was made in 1950 and the music just isn’t quite what a 21st Century audience expects now. ‘Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo’ is probably the best song from the film, but at just over 1-minute long it’s over as soon as you get into it. Bonus points for featuring in the transformation scene though.
21. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – ‘Heigh-Ho’
A history-making film, the first feature-length animation from Disney, released in 1937. Also the first American film to have a soundtrack album release. With that in mind, they knew they needed something catchy, enter ‘Heigh Ho’.
20. Tarzan – ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’
Before the Cadbury’s Dairy Milk ad, Phil Collins was most associated with gorillas for his work on the 1997 Tarzan film. ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’ has been one of the few songs that has probably over taken the popularity of the film in the passing years. A classic Phil Collins power ballad, the track went on to win the Oscar for Best Original Song.
19. Tangled – ‘I See The Light’
Another Alan Menken composition, ‘I See The Light’ divided critics on release. However, the stunning scene itself adds to the song which might be a little forgettable without. The spectacular floating lanterns turn the song into one of the most romantic Disney duets.
18. 101 Dalmatians – ‘Cruella De Vil’
When you think iconic villains, Cruella De Vil has to be near the top of the list. A creepy song for a creepy woman.
17. Pinocchio – ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’
‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ was the first – but certainly not the last – Disney song to win an Oscar. The song has gone on to iconic status due to it’s use as the signature Disney song from the 1980s featuring at the production logo before most films.
16. The Jungle Book – ‘The Bare Necessities’
A classic. A song everyone from toddlers to those in the over-100 club can enjoy. Impossible not to bop along to.nAn honourable mention to ‘I Wan’na Be Like You’ which was just pipped at the post to represent The Jungle Book.
15. Frozen – ‘Let It Go’
Controversial placing here for ‘Let It Go’. A victim of it’s own popularity, the overplayed aspect of the song has lead to its mid-tier placement on our list. A powerful belter from Idina Menzel, it wouldn’t sound out of place in a Broadway musical.
14. Toy Story – ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me’
Probably the first song most people think when they think Randy Newman. ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me’ somehow manages to sound both like a modern-day hit and one that you’ve known all your life.
13. Mary Poppins – ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’
Dick Van Dyke’s accent aside, Mary Poppins is a classic that has stood the test of time. It’s as beloved by all ages as it was when first released in 1964. The main reason for that? The songs of course! ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ just steals ahead of stiff competition from ‘Spoonful Of Sugar’ and ‘Feed The Birds’
12. Pocahontas – ‘Colors Of The Wind’
The 90s truly were a golden era for Disney songs, as yet another Alan Menken classic shows. While they may not have aged flawlessly and John Smith is just the worst, both Pocahontas and ‘Colours Of The Wind’ are all too often overlooked.
11. Enchanted – ‘That’s How You Know’
Enchanted’s ‘That’s How You Know’ is greatly enhanced by the pure confusion of Patrick Dempsey, who was born to play the role of a real world Disney Prince. Catchy with a great ensemble dance sequence, a perfect fairytale.
10. Moana – ‘You’re Welcome’
Breaking into the top 10 now with Moana’s ‘You’re Welcome’ penned by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Who could have anticipated that The Rock would go on to sing one of the best modern Disney songs? Probably not Vince McMahon anyway, but it’s hard to imagine Maui being played by anyone other than Dwayne Johnson now.
9. The Lion King – ‘Circle Of Life’
The competition to represent The Lion King was tough, it could so easily have been ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’, ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’, ‘Hakuna Matata’ or Scar’s fabulous ‘Be Prepared’. ‘Circle Of Life’ beats the others as it’s THE song you think of when you think ‘The Lion King’. Plus baby Simba is really cute.
8. Mulan – ‘I’ll Make A Man Out Of You’
We would love to know who decided Donny Osmond was the right person to be the singing voice of BD Wong. A frankly bizarre choice but that doesn’t take away that ‘I’ll Make A Man Out Of You’ is fantastic song that deserves listens on repeat.
7. Enchanted – ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’
A second top ten entry written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. A high ranking is well deserved as it is only the second Disney song to reach No.1 on the Billboard Hot 10 as well as the studio’s first ever No. 1 in the UK Singles chart. It’s also really, really hard to get our of your head.
6. The Nightmare Before Christmas – ‘This Is Halloween’
The Nightmare Before Christmas might be more thought of as a Tim Burton film but it’s a Disney film nonetheless. ‘This Is Halloween’ (as well as the rest of the soundtrack) is a Danny Elfman masterpiece, and a long overdue Halloween carol.
5. Hercules – ‘Zero To Hero’
Similar to most of the top five, almost any song from Hercules could have been included in this list but ‘Go The Distance’, ‘I Won’t Say I’m In Love’ and Stephen Gately’s ‘Shooting Star’ lost out to the upbeat ‘Zero To Hero’. A Disney film not appreciated enough (once you overlook the historical inaccuracies) with one of the best soundtracks, once again written by Alan Menken.
4. Aladdin – ‘Prince Ali’
A tough call again, but Prince Ali just packs a bit more of a punch than ‘I Can Show You The World’ and ‘Friend Like Me’. Robin Williams is just at his Genie best as he sings about a “world class menagerie”.
3. Coco – ‘Remember Me’
Honorable mention to ‘Un Poco Loco’ that would have come out head and shoulders above the competition in most other films. Coco is one of the most moving films from any studio that would bring tears to heart of stone. At the heart of the film is the beautiful ‘Remember Me’ which you can enjoy in an upbeat version, a lullaby version and the ugly cry version below.
2. Beauty and The Beast – ‘Gaston’
Sometimes villains get the best songs, as is the case with ‘Gaston’. He’s awful, but he also eats five dozen eggs and is roughly the size of a barge. You need to put in that work to topple Jessica Fletcher herself, Angela Lansbury performing ‘Beauty And The Beast’ and ‘Be Our Guest’. Another Alan Menken entry.
Bonus: If live action remakes were included Dan Steven’s Beast performing ‘Evermore’ would probably be the Beauty and the Beast representative.
1. The Little Mermaid – ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’
There can only be one winner and frankly it could have been any song from The Little Mermaid, but once again the villain takes the crown with ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’. Based on drag queen Divine, Ursula is one of Disney’s best villains. Yes she’s an evil squid mermaid type hybrid, she’s terrifying but it’s hard to dislike her when she’s as fabulous as she is singing ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’. Let’s face it, Ariel was an idiot becoming human for someone she met once and Ursula was a good business woman who spotted an opportunity.
The award for best songwriter of top Disney songs has to go to Alan Menken and having more entries than anyone else on the list and for writing the No.1 song.
Don’t miss Disney On Ice presents Dream Big to hear some of the best Disney songs at Belfast’s SSE Arena this November. Get tickets here.