Five Greatest Disney Songs
5. Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat f-The Aristocats
Ah, they don’t make ’em like this any more. As swing numbers sung by anthropomorphic animals go, this is up there with the best (and you’d be surprised at the competition). It’s got one of the slickest instrumental breakdowns in Disney history, and, if you didn’t want to be a cat before the song started, you do now. It’s also a Disney song with the line “If you want to turn me on”, which already puts it a thousand times further above Let It Go.
4. Friend Like Me- Aladdin
The tragic loss of Robin Williams threw into sharp relief just how good his work was, and this is the one that defined his career for hundreds of 90s gen-xers. A stringently energetic, salaciously catchy number that lewdly prances it’s way through a movie about double-dealing and general scoundriling about. Damn straight we ain’t never had a friend like you, Genie.
3.Zero to Hero- Hercules
Basically a song used to distract us from the silly amount that’s crammed into this montage, Zero to Hero remains a cult hit for all those who went on to study history in the hopes that it would all be scored by songs like this (raises hand sheepishly). A big injection of fun and energy (one of them pedantically corrects another one’s pronunciation of “vase”! THIS IS MY JAM!) in the Disney songbook, why do the slow romantic numbers when you can do this?
2. What’s this, What’s this- Nightmare Before Christmas
For me, at least, pretty much everything about this song is perfection- the quickfire clever lyrics, Danny Elfman’s barely-contained vocals, the delicious darkness (“and ABSOLUTELY no-one’s dead!”). Listening to this, you can understand why a thousand softcore proto-hipsters latched onto this movie like lachrymose leeches. Add to that the beautiful animation and it’s next to unbeatable.
1. Under the Sea- The Little Mermaid
Fuck Ariel- Sebastian is clearly where it’s at, with this insanely good reggae number. When I was growing up, my dad took me to see this film, and he became obsessed Under the Sea, leaving us to find him more often than I’d care to recount prancing round the house belting out an Aberdonian version of this number (not that I’ve ever known an Aberdonian to “prance”). It wasn’t till I came back to it last year that I understood why. Under the Sea is almost a compulsion, a catchy, joyful, elated number that stands beautifully as a song in it’s own right outside the soppy movie. Perfection.
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