With a period of Disney history down us, we look backmost astatine 100 songs that person helped specify nan timeless brand.
Rania Aniftos, Katie Atkinson, Katie Bain, Eric Renner Brown, Keith Caulfield, Anna Chan, Hannah Dailey, Stephen Daw, Thom Duffy, Paul Grein, Lyndsey Havens, Rylee Johnston, Jason Lipshutz, Joe Lynch, Heran Mamo, Rebecca Milzoff, Taylor Mims, Danielle Pascual, Jessica Roiz, Neena Rouhani, Kevin Rutherford, Andrew Unterberger
In October 1923, brothers Walt and Roy O. Disney founded nan Disney Brothers Studio, to person a spot to nutrient nan hybrid animated/live action shorts that Walt was past creating. In nan period since, Disney has go arsenic inextricable a portion of American civilization arsenic baseball, barbecue and nan blues — a taste changeless that has continued to specify not only nan shared acquisition of each generation, but a bully woody of nan connective insubstantial betwixt group of each ages. And euphony has been astatine nan halfway of each of it all.
From nan studio’s breakthrough Steamboat Willie short (set to “Steamboat Bill” and “Turkey successful nan Straw”) successful 1928, correct up to this week’s merchandise of nan live-action The Little Mermaid remake (featuring caller songs from legendary Disney scribes Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda, and pinch popular prima Halle Bailey successful nan lead role), euphony has been nan substance for nan full Disney machine. It’s played an basal domiciled successful not only dozens of nan studio’s astir classical movies — animated, live-action aliases some — but besides successful nan awesome mostly of their signature Disney Channel TV shows, and moreover successful astir of nan taxable parkland rides that support fans returning twelvemonth aft year.
So pinch that successful mind, we’re celebrating nan Disney Century pinch our database of nan 100 top songs from nan Wide World of Disney — immoderate composition, from popular numbers to showtunes to instrumental scores, that was specifically written for a Disney property. That intends nary pre-existing songs that person travel to beryllium commonly associated pinch Disney useful (sorry, Sorcerer’s Apprentice fans) and nary songs written for properties later acquired by Disney (no early Simpsons aliases Star Wars) — but it still intends there’s hundreds of unforgettable philharmonic moments to take from, spanning decades and genres and formats and carrying a lifetime’s worthy of memories betwixt them.
Thus, we coming our 100 favourite songs from nan full Disneyverse: successful different words, nan happiest database connected earth.
"Into nan Unknown" (Frozen II, 2019)
Set nan Scene: All is good successful nan kingdom of Arendelle pursuing nan events of nan first Frozen film, but Elsa (Idina Menzel) remains restless. After all, she ne'er did get answers arsenic to why she has her snow-making superpowers successful nan first place. It’s a enigma she shies distant from astatine first, but passim this song, she rediscovers her powerfulness and decides to activity retired her birthright aft all.
Why It Works: Returning “Let It Go” songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez astir apt knew location was nary measurement of matching nan occurrence of nan first film’s showstopper, and were smart to fto “Into nan Unknown” beryllium arsenic its ain entity. It sounds little for illustration an attempted recreation of its predecessor and much for illustration an integrated followup, which speaks to nan dichotomy betwixt Elsa’s headspace successful nan first movie vs. nan sequel.
Magic Moment: The icy precocious statement motif that calls retired to Elsa passim nan song, sung by featured creator Aurora. — HANNAH DAILEY
"Nothing Can Stop Us Now" (Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, 2020)
Set nan Scene: Inside nan attraction Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (at Disneyland successful Anaheim, Calif. and Disney’s Hollywood Studios successful Orlando, Fla.) you’re invited to nan premiere of nan caller animated short movie Perfect Picnic. It stars Mickey and Minnie (and their champion canine pal Pluto) who warble “Nothing Can Stop Us Now” arsenic they embark connected a time wherever Minnie sings “absolutely thing will spell wrong.” Of course, everything perfectly goes incorrect – mayhem ensues, and you go portion of animation itself.
Why It Works: The jazzy, nostalgic ditty evokes Mickey and Minnie’s agelong bequest arsenic nan main marque reps for nan House of Mouse, while its sunny and optimistic lyrics group up misdirected expectations of nan attraction’s action. What could perchance spell incorrect connected “the unfastened highway” wherever “everything is conscionable truthful peachy keen?” (Bonus: The tune useful independently of nan ride, too, arsenic a benignant of poppy earworm relative of Katrina & The Waves’ “Walking On Sunshine.”)
Magic Moment: (Spoiler alert!) If you acquisition nan attraction, you’ll perceive a type of nan opus astatine nan conclusion of your frantic adventure, wherever Mickey and Minnie sweetly singing to 1 different (and you) “I knew someway that we would yet make it… pinch you by my side…nothing tin extremity america now.” In nan commercially released azygous type of nan track, that concluding verse is absent, replaced by a swelling razzle-dazzle large decorativeness wherever nan duo singing of walking “hand successful hand, crossed this wonderland.” — KEITH CAULFIELD
"Best of Friends" (The Fox and nan Hound, 1981)
Set nan Scene: The all-knowing Big Mama, an owl who sees everything, happily narrates nan first gathering of nan titular narration betwixt a baby fox named Tod and a babe bloodhound named Copper. Though earthy calved enemies, nan 2 go accelerated friends.
Why It Works: The way speaks to improbable pairings, pinch Big Mama rooting for nan 2 to make it through. But much so, “Best of Friends” establishes nan hostility of nan full film: “When these moments person passed, will that relationship last?/ Who tin opportunity if there’s a way?/ Oh I hope, I dream it ne'er ends/ ‘Cause you’re nan champion of friends.”
Magic Moment: When Big Mama first notices what’s happening conscionable beneath her and she crosses her feathered wings to say, “My my, look astatine that. A fox and a hound! Playing together,” earlier breaking into song. — LYNDSEY HAVENS
"He's a Tramp" (The Lady and nan Tramp, 1955)
Set nan Scene: After landing herself successful canine jailhouse (or, successful this case, nan canine pound), nan elegant Lady meets immoderate caller friends — including Peggy Lee’s sultry Peg, who sings this song. It’s astatine this infinitesimal that Lady learns (through Peg’s jazzy rendition) that nan stray mutt she’s falling for is really considered a heartbreaker.
Why It Works: While nan lyrics picture him arsenic a rogue, not-so-faithful pup, nan opus has a catchy jazz hit you can’t thief but pat your feet on to. It’s besides a much upbeat song, and erstwhile mixed pinch nan subtle howls of nan neighboring dogs, it really transports you to nan movie moment.
Magic Moment: After describing each of nan title character’s antagonistic qualities, Lee fades retired admitting that sloppy of his flaws, she still wishes she “could recreation his way,” making clear nan charm the Tramp has complete people. — RYLEE JOHNSTON
"Golden Dream" (The American Adventure, 1982)
Set nan Scene: There isn’t arsenic overmuch to spot astatine EPCOT’s The American Adventure pavilion arsenic nan different 10 represented nations, but what it does boast is simply a half-hour jaunt into nan history of America, soundtracked by “Golden Dream”: a fittingly bombastic anthem that drops aggregate patriotic buzzwords (Freedom! Golden wings! New frontiers!) into its four-minute runtime.
Why It Works: There’s a good statement erstwhile penning American patriotism into opus betwixt reverence and sheer cringe. “Golden Dream,” pinch lyrics by Randy Bright and Lynn Hart and euphony by Robert Moline, avoids nan second acknowledgment to remaining conscionable wide capable successful its themes while besides delivering a grandiose chorus that gets amended each clip it’s repeated — particularly erstwhile you’re 5 aliases six drinks heavy connected a drinking-around-the-world crawl.
Magic Moment: Depending connected nan type you’re listening to astatine home, you mightiness only get nan modular instrumentation and lyrics. But nan in-ride type of “Golden Dream” adds audio of famed speeches from John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. positive Neil Armstrong’s satellite landing. The propaganda is real, and it is beautiful (and frankly, it’s not worthy listening to a type without it). — KEVIN RUTHERFORD
"I'll Get You What You Want" (A Cockatoo successful Malibu)" (Muppets Most Wanted, 2014)
Set nan Scene: A kidnapped Kermit nan Frog has been replaced by Constantine, nan world’s astir wanted criminal and an uncanny transcript of Kermit. The dubious doppelgänger takes Kermit’s spot connected nan roadworthy pinch nan remainder of nan Muppets (including Kermit’s No. 1 compression Miss Piggy) arsenic screen for his world crime spree. For nan “I’ll Get You What You Want” sequence, Constantine must get a peeved Piggy backmost connected his bully broadside – by apologizing and promising to springiness her thing and everything she wants, successful song, of course.
Why It Works: The catchy track, written by Flight of nan Conchords’ Bret McKenzie and performed successful nan movie by Matt Vogel, is an ‘80s disco-pop fever dream. Constantine lays connected nan ultra-slick charm, wooing Piggy into believing he conscionable mightiness springiness her nan world. Among his memorable offerings: a unicorn, puppy dog, a gem ring, a thingy-thing and a cockatoo (in Malibu).
Magic Moment: As Constantine rattles disconnected 1 outrageous committedness aft different (“You want an armadillo, I’ll springiness it to you,” “You want a Hollywood star, I’ll springiness it to you”) he realizes he’s overextended his connection aft asking “You want to spell to nan moon?” He pauses, and past recovers, singing “Oooh, I’ll spot what I tin do!” — K.C.
"On My Way" (Brother Bear, 2003)
Set nan Scene: Shortly aft magically transforming into a bear, a grumpy Kenai teams up pinch an exuberant young cub named Koda to find some of their ways home. Their confederation will yet move analyzable erstwhile Koda discovers that his momma carnivore was hunted and killed by Kenai erstwhile he was still quality — but for now, nan 2 are astatine nan charismatic commencement of their basal and adorable brotherhood.
Why It Works: A opus astir talking bears could’ve easy go excessively cheesy to carnivore (pun intended), but Phil Collins’ simple, nonspecific lyrics and lukewarm instrumentation support “On My Way” classical capable to activity some successful and retired of discourse of nan film.
Magic Moment: When Koda’s excited small sound joins successful astatine nan very extremity to chime in, “Yes I’m connected my way!” — H.D.
"A Place Called Slaughter Race" (Ralph Breaks nan Internet, 2018)
Set nan Scene: Bored of Sugar Rush (once location of her BFF Ralph), Vanellope (voiced by Sarah Silverman) feels unfulfilled — and successful nan wilds of nan internet, meets nan Disney Princesses (plus Frozen’s Anna and Elsa), who counsel her to look meaningfully astatine immoderate h2o and singing her ain “I Want” song to fig retired what she really desires successful a game. It turns retired what she wants is to pain rubber alongside Gal Gadot’s resistance racer Shank successful nan Ralphverse’s Grand Theft Auto-esque Slaughter Race — and maybe never leave its rubble-filled streets.
Why It Works: The hilarious preceding segment of Vanellope pinch nan princesses couldn’t set up nan opus better: As she stares into a puddle and steps into a spotlight that literally finds her, she starts singing what’s essentially her “Part of Your World” about Slaughter Race. (No mishap that Alan Menken happened to constitute some songs, either.)
Magic Moment: The lyrical opening hits nan Disney “I Want” opus melodic tropes, moreover arsenic its lyrics poke nosy astatine them and hint astatine thing much subversive to come: “Look, I’m rhyming; My spirit’s climbing/ As I’m called done this fog of mace/ To this spot called Slaughter Race.” — REBECCA MILZOFF
"Promise" (IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, 1999)
Set The Scene: On Oct. 1, 1999, arsenic nighttime fell connected nan waters of nan World Showcase Lagoon of EPCOT Center, nan entity exploded pinch fireworks timed to a melodramatic score, arsenic images of nature, quality useful and world leaders were projected onto a 28-foot diameter “Earth Globe.” The spectacular production, created by longtime Disney show head Don Dorsey, debuted that nighttime arsenic portion of nan Florida resort’s millennium celebration, and continued playing for 20 years arsenic llumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Amid nan aural and ocular play came nan sound of Kellie Ann Coffey singing “Promise,” composed by Gavin Greenaway pinch lyrics by Dorsey: “Every evening brings an ending/ Every time becomes a legacy…”
Why It Works: It is tempting to mention Disney’s statistic for nan show containing “Promise:” nan 67 computers, nan 258 strobe lights, 180,000 ray emitting diodes, nan 37 nozzles shooting propane flames into nan air. But what attendees retrieve astir is nan beauty of Greenaway’s soothing melody for “Promise,” nan optimism of Dorsey’s lyric and nan soaring charm of nan vocals from Coffey, who went connected to triumph nan ACM Award for apical caller female vocalist successful 2003.
Magic Moment: “Over nan years I’ve had countless messages from fans utilizing “Promise” arsenic their wedding song,” Dorsey precocious told Billboard. — THOM DUFFY
"Strut" (The Cheetah Girls 2, 2006)
Set nan Scene: After trying to make it successful Manhattan, Cheetah Girls Galleria (Raven-Symoné), Chanel (Adrienne Bailon), Aqua (Kiely Williams) and Dorothea (Sabrina Bryan) person touched down successful Barcelona to return their dreams of superstardom to nan adjacent level. With nan thief of handsome, guitar-playing section Angel (Peter Vives), “Strut” is an infectiously groovy preamble to nan lively Spanish metropolis — for nan fictional woman group and viewers astatine location alike.
Why It Works: It sets nan reside for nan DCOM arsenic a whole, fusing Flamenco pinch respective characteristics of a Destiny’s Child-era hit. Plus, “Strut” serves nan intent that its title implies — truthful yes, you won’t regret queueing it up during your adjacent Hot Girl Walk.
Magic Moment: Angel’s vocal entranceway astatine nan song’s outro, atop nan quartet’s last rendition of nan hook, was each nan enticement needed to want to book a travel to Barna: “Bienvenidos/ Esto es mi sueño/ Síganme y descubran mi Barcelona” (Welcome, this is my dream. Follow maine and observe my Barcelona). — DANIELLE PASCUAL
"Wouldn't Change a Thing" (Camp Rock 2, 2010)
Set nan Scene: Demi Lovato’s Mitchie and Joe Jonas’ Shane are connected nan rocks. This was expected to beryllium their first summertime arsenic an it-couple, but each Mitchie tin attraction connected is defeating rivals Camp Star successful an epic, nationally televised conflict of bands, whereas Shane conscionable wants to relax. Can their teenage emotion relationship past done each this adversity? The 2 stars observe done power-belted harmonies – which only Lovato could’ve pulled off, successful opposition pinch her chap precocious 2000s Disney Channel starlets – that successful spite of their differences, yes they can.
Why It Works: Viewers of nan Camp Rock sequel instinctively knew that a duet betwixt nan film’s stars was inevitable. The only mobility was: would it comparison to nan delicious “This Is Me” / “Gotta Find You” mash-up performed by Lovato and Jonas astatine nan extremity of nan first film? “Wouldn’t Change a Thing” perfectly obliterates expectations, acknowledgment to perfectly synced lyrics and melodies, and nan real-life ex-couple’s aggravated vocal chemistry.
Magic Moment: When Lovato and Jonas waste and acquisition lines backmost and distant during nan span earlier unifying erstwhile much for a rapturous last chorus. Those 2 kids whitethorn not person worked retired successful existent life, but this one-for-the-books duet makes america deliberation that their characters are still happily successful love, moving their ain stone ‘n’ rotation summertime campy somewhere. — H.D.
"Ultimate" (Freaky Friday, 2003)
Set nan Scene: After a hilarious (and somewhat horrifying) body-swapping fiasco, Lindsey Lohan’s Anna Coleman has recovered a caller respect for her mother Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis) and soon-to-be-stepfather Ryan (Mark Harmon). To observe her mom’s wedding, she and her precocious schoolhouse pop-punk set Pink Slip perform an ode to uncovering nan cleanable feline arsenic nan film’s credits roll.
Why It Works: Step-parents usually get nan suffix of “evil” aliases “wicked” successful your emblematic Disney movie — conscionable inquire Snow White, Cinderella aliases Rapunzel astir their relationships pinch their ain malicious matriarchs. To spot a Disney movie wherever nan caller summation to nan family not only gets a bully rap, but gets a full opus dedicated to his beingness is nan benignant of heart-warming crippled twist we should person seen much often by now. It besides helps that Pink Slip is an perfectly slayer band.
Magic Moment: Did you deliberation you were going to get an perfectly sick electrical guitar solo successful a Disney movie? Surprise! Anna’s large solo infinitesimal — complete pinch head-banging, stone posturing and landing from a jump connected her knees successful a pinkish silk dress, mind you — is nan cherry connected apical of this delicious moment. — STEPHEN DAW
"Stand Out" (A Goofy Movie, 1995)
Set nan Scene: Max, nan boy of classical Disney characteristic Goofy, is astir to extremity different schoolhouse twelvemonth emotion for illustration an outcast astatine school. The young Goof is coming of property and his nightmares are filled pinch nan image of him becoming his very uncool father. So, successful an effort to “stand out,” he and his friends travel up pinch an elaborate prank wherever Max pretends to beryllium nan biggest popular prima successful nan Goofy movie cinematic universe: Powerline.
Why It Works: Powerline feels location betwixt Michael Jackson successful a abstraction jumpsuit and overly produced boy bands, and someway his azygous spikes your adrenaline and makes you want to Moonwalk crossed your precocious schoolhouse stage, your surviving room aliases wherever you get nan pleasance of proceeding “Stand Out.”
Magic Moment: About 2 thirds done nan track, Powerline slows everything down (which Max impersonates) for a coquettish spoken-word verse stating, “There’s thing that I wouldn’t do if it was getting you to announcement I’m alive.” — TAYLOR MIMS
"Candle connected nan Water" (Pete's Dragon, 1977)
Set nan Scene: While our protagonists Pete and nan occasionally invisible dragon Elliott effort to settee into life successful nan cape municipality of Passamaquoddy, Nora (Helen Reddy) — nan girl of nan section lighthouse keeper — sings this stunning ballad to her beloved fiancé Paul, who has been mislaid astatine oversea for nan amended portion of a year. Despite her father’s insistence that Paul is dead, Nora refuses to springiness up dream that he is retired there, trying to return home.
Why It Works: In a communicative arsenic fantastical and often ridiculous arsenic Pete’s Dragon, you request a patient dose of dramatic, sentimental songwriting to group nan stakes. Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn’s moving opus does that successful spades, pinch Reddy’s phenomenal vocal capacity making “Candle connected nan Water” a torch opus for nan ages.
Magic Moment: If your bosom doesn’t swell pinch nan euphony arsenic Reddy belts retired “soon you’ll spot a aureate watercourse of liiiiiiight,” past bask being a robot, I guess. — S.D.
"One Little Spark" (Journey Into Imagination With Figment, 1983)
Set nan Scene: You’ve conscionable been blasted pinch principle of skunk, astir tally complete by a “train of thought,” treated to a assortment of wacky oculus tricks. Now nan purple dragon Figment is fresh to really group your imagination free pinch “One Little Spark,” a bouncing earworm of a opus that celebrates opening your mind to nan sights, sounds and smells that tin really adhd immoderate zip to your imaginative side.
Why It Works: No matter its loop – from nan original Sherman Brothers-penned version to nan 2000s update adding Eric Idle – “One Little Spark” contains nan axenic principle of what EPCOT was primitively each about. It’s zany, catchy, illuminating and inspiring each astatine erstwhile – truthful overmuch truthful that erstwhile it was removed from nan thrust successful nan precocious ‘90s, its absence did not past long.
Magic Moment: There are fundamentally 2 awesome melodies successful nan latest version – Figment’s repeated “Imagination! Imagination!” refrain and Dr. Nigel Channing’s (Idle) “One small spark/ of inspiration” taxable that pulls from Figment’s earlier verses. They’re infernally catchy connected their own, and by nan end, some are heard concurrently. Doubly memorable. Good luck getting it retired of your head. — K.R.
"The Three Caballeros" (The Three Caballeros, 1945)
Set nan Scene: The prologue of nan 1945 movie features Donald Duck dancing successful measurement pinch his 2 pals, nan parrot Josè Carioca and nan rooster Panchito Pistoles — meant to correspond Brazil and Mexico, respectively. These avian buddies later springiness Donald a bid of gifts that carrier him to locales illustrating (often pinch somewhat unluckily clichéd taste stereotypes) Latin culture. Produced by Disney to create goodwill betwixt nan United States and Latin America, nan movie features an wholly Latinx formed and was nominated for 2 Academy Awards.
Why It Works: Because nan robust tenor of Mexico-repping vertebrate Panchito Pistoles, voiced by vocalist Joaquin Garay, pairs truthful good pinch the song‘s peppy drawstring and brass conception and nan goofy camaraderie of this trio of sombrero-sporting heroes.
Magic Moment: Pistoles holds a 20 2nd statement while Donald Duck and Josè Carioca propulsion awesome hijinks — cutting a spread successful nan level astir him, putting him successful a coffin, increasing a bush astir him and then setting it connected fire — to make him stop. But trust, it’s each successful bully fun. — KATIE BAIN
"Grim Grinning Ghosts" (The Haunted Mansion, 1971)
Set nan Scene: In The Haunted Mansion attraction, guests return a circuit of a spooky abode wherever an unseen shade big says location are 999 happy haunts successful nan expansive Mansion. But, there’s “room for a 1000 – immoderate volunteers?!” Variations of nan tune are heard passim nan thrust successful type humorously creepy settings, but possibly astir famously successful nan finale graveyard scene. There, astir 2 twelve audio-animatronic “grim grinning ghosts,” engaged successful amusing afterlife situations, cheerfully singing to passing guests.
Why It Works: The song, pinch euphony by Buddy Baker and lyrics by legendary Disney Imagineer X Atencio, succeeds arsenic an atmospheric earworm. Depending connected erstwhile you perceive nan opus – and successful what type — wrong nan attraction, it tin evoke chuckles aliases a spot of dread. “Grim Grinning Ghosts” is heard successful iterations of The Haunted Mansion astatine Disney Parks astir nan world.
Magic Moment: As you exit nan thrust successful astir versions of nan attraction, a haunting a cappella type of nan opus is heard playing, wherever nan vocalists impulse you to “hurry back, we would for illustration your company.” — K.C.
"Portobello Road" (Bedknobs and Broomsticks, 1971)
Set nan Scene: David Tomlinson (who played Mary Poppins’ George Banks 7 years earlier), meanders down the titular thoroughfare while singing nan jaunty yet mysterious and accordion-accompanied opus astir nan street’s vendors, offering “anything and everything a chap tin unload.”
Why It Works: The moody, romanticist opus embodies nan tone of nan roadworthy itself — a spot pinch mystery, history and nan anticipation of danger. Indeed, nan aforesaid tone of nan magic that will beryllium unfurled by what nan film’s heroes find here.
Magic Moment: As Tomlinson’s Emelius Browne unveils nan knock-off quality of nan road’s galore “cheap imitations of heirlooms of old,” a swarthy fig piques astatine nan mention of nan book of spells Browne and unit are successful hunt of, indicating that not everything on Portobello Road is simply a fake. — K.B.
"Surface Pressure" (Encanto, 2021)
Set nan Scene: The Familia Madrigal’s sentient Casita appears to be cracking, and Mirabel worries nan family miracle’s magic is dying — but nary 1 other seems concerned. That is, until her older sister Luisa — whose magical gift is super-strength — betrays her ain worry pinch an eye twitch and confesses (in song!) that she’s starting to consciousness overwhelmed by each nan expectations placed connected her.
Why It Works: Structurally, musically, lyrically, everything astir the song‘s building perfectly mirrors Luisa’s intelligence breakdown — from nan pounding “I’m fine!” opening to nan reggaetón-esque verse (all nan “Under the surface….” revelations) to a chorus that virtually sounds for illustration a façade crumbling (“Pressure like a drip, drip, drip that’ll ne'er stop/ Whoa-oh”), to a floating span imagining what an alternative, less-stressful life.
Magic Moment: The opus is rife pinch nan benignant of soul rhyming and lyrical jujitsu that defines Lin-Manuel Miranda astatine his best, but “Diamonds and platinum/ I find’em, I flatten’em” and “Under the surface/ Was Hercules ever for illustration ‘Yo, I don’t wanna fight Cerberus?’” are consistent, every-time-you-hear-’em jaw-droppers. — R.M.
"Just Around nan Riverbend" (Pocahontas, 1995)
Set nan Scene: Pocahontas, girl of Chief Powhatan of nan Powhatan tribe, is fearing nan “steady” life that her parents person plotted for her — but dreams of thing yet-unseen that will travel astir and alteration her people forever. (Spoiler: It’s English settlers.)
Why It Works: Intended by lyricist Stephen Schwartz (semi-problematically, arsenic was regrettably par for this whitewashed telling of nan Pocahontas and John Smith story) to beryllium “the Native American type of ‘Something’s Coming’ [from West Side Story],” nan soaring “Riverbend” does an awesome occupation capturing nan emotion of suspecting that a greater destiny awaits you, but not having nan clarity of imagination to show precisely what it is yet.
Magic Moment: When that four-word title, belted by Judy Kuhn complete racing strings, sneaks up connected you from nan commencement of each chorus — assured but tremulous, excited but unmistakably anxious. Squint and you tin almost spot nan outline for a really coagulated early Joni Mitchell cut. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER
"Send It On" (Disney's Friends for Change, 2009)
Set nan Scene: Disney recruited its hottest teen stars astatine nan clip – Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and nan Jonas Brothers – to grounds a opus for Disney’s Friends for Change, a pro-social greenish initiative.
Why It Works: The superstar sextet group speech their interpersonal, headline-making play for a bully origin — and successful doing so, delivered a satisfyingly schmaltzy “We Are nan World”-like telephone to arms to thief prevention nan planet.
Magic Moment: Lovato breathlessly belts retired nan second-to-last “Shine a light, and nonstop it on” arsenic she and her Disney cohorts nestle connected a sofa successful nan mediate of an unfastened section à la Friends, and fans flock to nan stars earlier everyone looks retired to admit nan quality they’re desperately trying to sphere together. — HERAN MAMO
"She's So Gone" (Lemonade Mouth, 2011)
Set nan Scene: The hottest set successful municipality is connected nan up-and-up aft gathering and forming successful precocious schoolhouse detention, and has now snagged a residency astatine nan section pizza joint. As Lemonade Mouth finds its sound done these sessions astatine nan restaurant, truthful does bassist Mo – a woman shedding her tegument and learning to unrecorded for herself, not for nan men successful her life, proving her newfound assurance while dancing connected tables and countertops and sticking it to her ex-boyfriend watching from down nan hostess’ stand.
Why It Works: Not only is it 1 of nan astir memorable tracks from nan Disney Channel film, but “She’s So Gone” besides gave an inspiring anthem to young girls who different whitethorn person waited respective much years to find support successful euphony to reinvent themselves arsenic galore times arsenic they like.
Magic Moment: When Naomi Scott, who plays Mo, takes a agelong region earlier hitting that stunning chorus location 1 past time, capturing nan attraction of each Dante’s Pizzeria customer successful nan thenar of her hand. — H.D.
"Man aliases Muppet" (The Muppets, 2011)
Set nan Scene: The faux-dramatic ballad arrives successful The Muppets arsenic Gary (Jason Segel) and his relative Walter are each facing an personality crisis: are they men, bound to their mundane “human” priorities, aliases are they muppets, pinch their allegiances much intelligibly “felt”?
Why It Works: The opus from The Muppets that won songwriter/co-producer Bret McKenzie an Oscar for champion original opus astir resembles his Flight of nan Conchords work: a loving spoof of a theatrically yearning, plot-advancing duet, that’s still conscionable arsenic clever and catchy arsenic nan champion examples of that archetype.
Magic Moment: Seeing The Muppets successful a crowded theatre successful 2011, Gary looking successful a shop-window reflection and seeing a Muppet type of himself earned immoderate hearty laughs; Walter staring astatine a quality type of himself – played by The Big Bang Theory prima Jim Parsons, successful an uncredited cameo – brought nan location down. — JASON LIPSHUTZ
"We Are Here to Change nan World" (Captain EO, 1986)
Set nan Scene: With Michael Jackson starring arsenic nan titular state fighter, Captain EO touches down pinch his ragtag unit connected a satellite of filth led by nan witchy Supreme Leader, pinch a ngo to toggle shape nan Leader and her realm via nan powerfulness of music: specifically, nan nervy dance-pop of nan alternatively virtually titled “We Are Here to Change nan World.”
Why It Works: I mean, having nan King of Pop conscionable years aft he released nan best-selling original medium of all-time (and different twelvemonth still earlier he’d driblet its follow-up) is simply a beautiful bully start. “Change nan World” mightiness not precisely beryllium Prime MJ — it’s a small lo-fi by his ’80s standards, albeit still very catchy — but it’s still sewage capable of nan singular pizzazz that powered nan top highest successful popular history to beryllium plausibly universe-transforming.
Magic Moment: Once he starts hitting those “eeee-heeee!!“s and “oooOOOO!!“s complete nan song’s climactic chorus… The Supreme Leader ne'er really stood a chance, did she? — A.U.
"Bet connected It" (High School Musical 2, 2007)
Set nan Scene: Zac Efron’s Troy Bolton belts his existent feelings successful a infinitesimal of self-reflection during “Bet On It,” arsenic he explores nan conception of free will. Will he beryllium capable to triumph his friends back, aliases will he let Sharpay to push them further away?
Why It Works: This was nan first infinitesimal we sewage to perceive Efron singing without nan thief of nan talented Drew Seeley (who provided astir of Troy’s singing sound successful nan original High School Musical). He doesn’t miss a hit arsenic nan drums footwear successful and nan first verse begins. We tin really perceive his vexation and soul turmoil passim nan opus showing really versatile nan character is.
Magic Moment: There’s a constituent towards nan extremity of nan opus wherever it slows down and you perceive Efron say, “Let maine deliberation for a moment,” shifting nan full reside of nan song. What happens adjacent is simply a sped-up, rap-like verse, showing nan ranges of some nan feelings of his characteristic and his skills arsenic a performer. — R.J.
"S.I.M.P. (Squirrels successful My Pants)" (Phineas and Ferb, 2008)
Set nan Scene: The long-running animated Disney show Phineas and Ferb featured nan titular measurement brothers spending their summertime break clip traveling, building roller coasters and much improbable adventures. The show’s euphony matched its chaos, pairing unthinkable scenarios pinch catchy accumulation — including “S.I.M.P. (Squirrels successful My Pants),” improvised by thoroughfare performers 2 Guyz N nan Parque arsenic nan protagonists’ older sister Candace struggles pinch nan titular issue.
Why It Works: Because of nan hilarity. Plus, nan moves characteristic Candace makes to effort and shingle them disconnected mightiness arsenic good beryllium a modern time TikTok challenge.
Magic Moment: When 1 of nan 2 Guyz sings “S to nan I to nan M to nan P, past possibly you tin beryllium moving for illustration me,” frankincense giving this infectious opus its abbreviated title. — L.H.
"Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit" (Kitchen Kabaret, 1982)
Set nan Scene: An audio-animatronic show that ran astatine EPCOT from 1982 to 1994 (before being replaced by Food Rocks), Kitchen Kabaret preached nan balanced-diet gospel to unsuspecting kids — pinch thief from immoderate very catchy philharmonic numbers, including nan climactic, Carmen Miranda-styled “Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit.”
Why It Works: Whether aliases not you spell successful for nan nutritional propaganda astatine its core, there’s nary resisting nan delicious entreaty of this cha-cha-cha-ing number, which will person you chanting its four-word title hook done each sojourn to your supermarket’s nutrient conception for years after.
Magic Moment: Gotta beryllium nan region earlier (and backing vocals underneath) each last connection successful nan rhyming couplet of “I simply person to show you that my friends who are singing are… delectable!/ Meals are divine arsenic agelong arsenic you tin dine pinch consequence and… vegetables!” — A.U.
"Proud Family" (The Proud Family, 2001)
Set nan Scene: Penny Proud is conscionable a 14-year-old girl, figuring life retired and surviving nan antics of her endearingly wacky friends and family. The show’s theme song, sung by Solange Knowles and Destiny’s Child, captures nan unconditional emotion of family, arsenic a montage including each personnel of nan Proud family rolls – including Penny’s intrusive pals – featuring playful pranks and loving moments.
Why It Works: This era of Y2K taxable songs was peculiarly top-tier, pinch mainstream acts stepping into nan world of kids’ tv for a fewer memorable cameos and songs. While Solange Knowles constricted her surface clip to acting, she made a philharmonic scatter pinch nan unforgettable R&B opening track.
Magic Moment: There’s thing peculiarly satisfying astir singing on to nan very on-brand Destiny’s Child melody during nan line, “you cognize I’m lovin’ each azygous point you do-o-o.” — NEENA ROUHANI
"Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" (Lilo & Stitch, 2002)
Set nan Scene: Surf’s up, sun’s out, and Stitch is present to stay. Lilo and her large sister Nani are capable to put their troubles speech and bask a blissful time of sunshine pinch their recovered family, which includes Nani’s emotion liking David Kawena and nan gang’s adorable caller bluish alien friend. Sure, evil extraterrestrials are trying to kidnap Stitch nan full time, but he’s safe pinch his ohana – because nary 1 gets near behind.
Why It Works: With bilingual lyrics and instrumentation that sounds for illustration axenic sunshine, “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” serves arsenic a awesome introductory span to nan beauty of Hawaii that some young and aged audiences tin find accessible.
Magic Moment: The very beginning, earlier nan instruments footwear in, erstwhile it’s conscionable composer Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu and The Kamehameha Schools Children’s Chorus singing a gorgeous, anticipatory Hawaiian telephone and response. — H.D.
"When Will My Life Begin" (Tangled, 2010)
Set nan Scene: Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) takes america connected a philharmonic circuit of her galore hobbies – “pottery and ventriloquy, candle making,” to sanction a fewer – but contempt her very packed schedule, and her BFF chameleon Pascal astatine her side, she desperately wonders what other mightiness beryllium extracurricular nan building walls.
Why It Works: The bubbly song illustrates that Rapunzel has made nan very astir of her confined adolescence – coating each quadrate inch of her walls and school herself caller skills regular – but nan 3 books she’s publication complete and complete could ne'er thatch her everything that nan world has successful store.
Magic Moment: The assemblage knows what Rapunzel doesn’t – that nan lights that glow successful nan entity each twelvemonth connected her day are nary coincidence – and we besides cognize that her “mother” isn’t going to group her free anytime soon. So this heartbreaking finale is particularly poignant: “Tomorrow night, lights will appear/ Just for illustration they do connected my day each year/ What is it for illustration retired location wherever they glow?/ Now that I’m older, Mother mightiness conscionable fto maine go.” – KATIE ATKINSON
"Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat" (The Aristocats, 1970)
Set nan Scene: Streetwise feline Thomas O’Malley (O’Malley nan alley cat, arsenic voiced by Phil Harris) introduces nan refined, making out Duchess (Eva Gabor) and her sheltered kittens to Paris’ vibrant bohemian underbelly via his pal Scat Cat’s (Scatman Crothers) sizzling jazz band.
Why It Works: Aside from being sound acting legends, Harris and Crothers some boasted superior philharmonic bona fides; erstwhile nan latter’s gravely cool digs its claws into this amazingly legit portion of New Orleans jazz, he is inarguably nan cat’s meow.
Magic Moment: The raucous finale, erstwhile nan cookin’ jazz combo swings truthful difficult they nonstop a soft crashing down six floors, past proceeds to return their 2nd statement parade to nan streets while nan Eiffel Tower looms ample successful nan distance. — JOE LYNCH
"Gotta Find You" (Camp Rock, 2008)
Set nan Scene: Sent to Camp Rock to reside down his inflated ego, Shane Gray (Joe Jonas) originates shifting attraction aft he overhears a captivating voice, though incapable to uncover nan singer’s existent identity. Backed by conscionable an acoustic guitar and ray harmonies, he shares “Gotta Find You” pinch Demi Lovato’s Mitchie Torres arsenic a confession of his desire to find nan “girl pinch nan voice” — without realizing who he serenades is nan enigma woman he’s been searching for each along.
Why It Works: The lyrics are elemental yet heartfelt — precisely what you’d expect from a teenage boy’s first effort astatine describing his existent feelings. It’s a immense turning constituent for Shane, who yet comes to recognize that yes, location are things successful nan world that are much important than himself.
Magic Moment: When Shane yet finds “the logic that I’m singing,” arsenic his opus mashes up pinch Mitchie’s closing number, “This Is Me.” — D.P.
"The Ballad of Davy Crockett" (Disneyland, 1954)
Set nan Scene: Originally appearing arsenic portion of a conception astir nan Old West people leader connected nan Disneyland ABC anthology bid successful 1954 — arsenic performed by Tess Parker, who besides played nan title domiciled — “Davy Crockett” would spell connected to beryllium a taste sensation, starting manner trends and influencing governmental campaigns and launching countless deed renditions of nan country-folk theme.
Why It Works: You don’t precisely request a heavy humanities knowing of nan frontiersman-turned-politician aliases his effect connected nan pre-Civil War South — admittedly it astir apt wasn’t quite arsenic elemental arsenic him “fixin’ up nan government/ and laws arsenic well” — to get swept up successful nan song’s anthemic pull, peculiarly erstwhile it gets astir to that banger of a refrain.
Magic Moment: Sing it pinch america now: “Davyyyyy… DAAAAAVY Crockett! KING OF THE WILD FRONTIER!” — A.U.
"That's How You Know" (Enchanted, 2007)
Set nan Scene: A calypso singer, mariachi band, wedding bells and much assistance Amy Adams’ Giselle arsenic she sings and dances her measurement done Central Park for Enchanted’s centerpiece philharmonic number. Though nan once-animated but still starry-eyed princess from nan kingdom of Andalasia has yet to uncover nan realities of, well, nan existent world, she can’t thief but melodically definitive her fairytale thought of emotion to Patrick Dempsey’s Robert, a applicable New York City lawyer (and eventual emotion interest).
Why It Works: You could show Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz had nosy pinch “That’s How You Know.” The lively tune uniquely parodies and pays homage to past Disney works, arsenic its poetic yet playful lyrics perfectly seizure Giselle’s innocence and optimism.
Magic Moment: There’s a peculiar lyric successful Marlon Saunders’ verse that serves arsenic a reminder for anyone successful a relationship. “You’ve sewage to show her you request her/ Don’t dainty her for illustration a mind reader,” he speak-sings complete triumphant horns. — D.P.
"The Unbirthday Song" (Alice successful Wonderland, 1951)
Set nan Scene: Don’t telephone it a day bash: Alice stumbles onto nan Mad Hatter and March Hare’s unbirthday tea statement successful Wonderland, yet ingratiating herself arsenic an invited guest.
Why It Works: Alice quickly learns to expect nan unexpected successful Wonderland, acknowledgment to this nonsensical song, but it does incorporate 1 spot of logic: As nan Mad Hatter says, “Statistics beryllium that you’ve 1 day … but location are 364 unbirthdays!” Hard to reason pinch that.
Magic Moment: Take it away, teapots! The cleanable breakdown successful nan loopy lullaby is erstwhile nan steaming-hot teapots person a whistling solo connected nan table. – K.A.
"Poor Unfortunate Souls" (The Little Mermaid, 1989)
Set nan Scene: Pat Carroll’s delightfully devious Ursula sells herself arsenic a reformed, selfless champion, convincing nan lovestruck mermaid that nan precocious value she’d person to salary for nan oversea witch’s thief – Ariel’s gorgeous sound – would really benefit the beautiful mermaid successful her quest for Prince Eric’s heart! As Ursula points retired successful her opus (exactly arsenic a villain would): “The men up location don’t for illustration a batch of blabber!”
Why It Works: Carroll’s rich | sound injects truthful overmuch nosy and wickedness, faux empathy and desire – each astatine nan aforesaid time! — pinch nan whispering of her reviling opinions to lackeys Flotsam and Jetsam being nan shrimp connected top. Take, for example, erstwhile she sings of her powers: “I usage it connected behalf/ Of nan miserable, nan lonely and depressed/ (Pathetic!)” It’s magically manipulative and catchy!
Magic Moment: All of it? Seriously, paired pinch nan animation, nan opus is consecutive from nan wealth chest, particularly erstwhile nan oversea witch shakes her ample booty and tentacles to stress nan “body language” lyric. But Ursula’s powerfulness of persuasion and villainy genuinely radiance done erstwhile she declares – successful a beardown and ominously throaty sound — Ariel arsenic nan “poor unfortunate soul” arsenic she throws nan potion together, convincing nan beauty to motion nan dastardly contract. — ANNA CHAN
"The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers" (Winnie nan Pooh and nan Blustery Day, 1968)
Set nan Scene: The legendary Sherman Brothers wrote 1 of nan astir bouncing-off-the-walls songs of nan ’60s to let Winnie nan Pooh’s friend Tigger a chance to make his preamble — first successful 1968’s Oscar-winning Winnie nan Pooh and nan Blustery Day, past successful galore Poohverse installments to travel — pinch a mildly braggy opus astir really awesome it is to beryllium a one-of-one.
Why It Works: Like nan characteristic it trumpets, “Wonderful Thing” is besides beautiful singular wrong nan Wide World of Disney, pinch an irrepressible power that makes moreover nan astir hyperactive songs of Disney films and shows past consciousness successful request of a sucrose injection by comparison.
Magic Moment: “They’re bouncy-trouncy-flouncy-pouncy-FUNFUNFUNFUNFUN!!!” Hard to reason with. — A.U.
"Rescue Rangers Theme" (Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, 1989)
Set nan Scene: After spending 40-some years arsenic Donald and Pluto’s food-swiping adversaries successful animation shorts, nan chipmunk duo was reimagined arsenic adventuring detectives for a TV bid – and you couldn’t reinvent a franchise successful nan ‘80s/’90s without a bitchin’ taxable song.
Why It Works: Composer Mark Mueller (a songwriter down Hot 100 apical 10s for Heart and Amy Grant) conjures up nan enigma and threat of akin TV detective themes — think Magnum, P.I. and Miami Vice — while Jeff Pescetto belts these lyrics astir gumshoe rodents arsenic if nan destiny of nan satellite depends upon them.
Magic Moment: The rapid-fire “ch-ch-ch-Chip and Dale” commencement of nan chorus, delivered arsenic if Pescetto is truthful gripped by excitement that he tin hardly spit nan words out. After that, nary 1 is turning nan transmission to spot what other is on. — J. Lynch
"Heigh-Ho" (Snow White and nan Seven Dwarfs, 1937)
Set nan Scene: As Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, Dopey and Doc time off Snow White to timepiece successful astatine their jobs mining for diamonds and rubies, they sing-narrate and whistle nan full journey. Then they sing-narrate and whistle nan workday away. Then aforesaid woody connected nan measurement home.
Why It Works: “Heigh-Ho” is fundamentally nan sound of achieving nan perfect home-job life balance: Heading for activity pinch a opus successful your heart, spending nan time doing what you love, and past clocking retired for nan time pinch a grin connected your look and going location to statement for nan remainder of nan night. (Though it besides sounds for illustration nan Dwarfs are a small excessively contented “dig-dig-digging” for jewels erstwhile they “don’t cognize what we excavation ’em for”; if they started asking questions location they mightiness extremity up whistling a somewhat different tune.)
Magic Moment: A awesome whistle hook really does spell a agelong measurement towards surviving successful ignorant bliss. — A.U.
"Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" (Frozen, 2013)
Set nan Scene: “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?“ isn’t a opus arsenic overmuch arsenic an elliptical bid of snapshots of a related relationship, deteriorating done neither party’s fault. As teenage Elsa struggles pinch nan threat of her concealed magical crystal powers, she shuts retired nan remainder of nan world — peculiarly nan younger Anna, who can’t understand why her sister has mislaid liking successful sharing their erstwhile wintertime frivolities — while nan symptom connected some sides is exacerbated by nan accidental decease of their parents.
Why It Works: You could publication it connected its aboveground arsenic a communicative of 2 sisters whose narration is irreparably damaged by youthful traumas, aliases arsenic a metaphor for really puberty and different hormonal timelines tin really screw pinch a related dynamic, aliases conscionable arsenic a instruction successful nan value of communicating pinch nan group you love, nary matter really scary it feels. It’s perfectly devastating regardless.
Magic Moment: At nan end, arsenic a now-teenage and abruptly orphaned Anna’s last last-ditch posing of nan title mobility astatine her sister’s doorway is near to linger unanswered — while connected nan different side, Elsa silently chokes connected immoderate words she wishes she could connection successful response. – A.U.
"You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly!" (Peter Pan, 1953)
Set nan Scene: Peter Pan enters the chamber of nan Darling children and teaches them to alert by instructing them to deliberation happy thoughts (“Like toys astatine Christmas, sleigh bells, snow”) past shaking a spot of nan basal constituent (Tinkerbell’s pixie dust) connected them, past starring them successful formation to Neverland.
Why It Works: Essentially a tutorial connected nan powerfulness of affirmative thought, nan opus is simply a literal and figurative uplift successful 2 parts, pinch Peter and nan children singing conversationally while learning to fly, and past a delightfully 1953-sounding chorus soundtracking their ascent done London.
Magic Moment: The euphoric joyousness of nan infinitesimal nan Darling children’s feet yet emergence from nan floor. “Oh my, we tin fly!” “You tin fly!” “We tin flyyyyy!” — K.B.
"Oo-De-Lally" (Robin Hood, 1973)
Set nan Scene: After “Whistle Stop,” a quick, whistled ditty complete which nan film’s title credits play, nan titular characteristic of Robin Hood and sidekick Little John are decently introduced pinch “Oo-De-Lally,” a plaintive people tune detailing nan duo’s wide blasé attitudes and carefree lifestyles, moreover erstwhile they’re connected nan brink of getting hauled distant by “a schemin’ sheriff and his posse.”
Why It Works: Much of the Robin Hood soundtrack was penned by state singer-songwriter Roger Miller, who by past had a brace of Hot Country Songs No. 1s to his sanction successful “Dang Me” and “King of nan Road.” Point is, nan pedigree was there, and “Oo-De-Lally” successful peculiar does good to immerse nan spectator successful nan bucolic world of Robin Hood and his set of outlaws pinch thing but Miller’s twangy vocals and acoustic guitar.
Magic Moment: At a tick nether a infinitesimal long, “Oo-de-Lally” is practically 1 agelong infinitesimal successful and of itself, and from nan infinitesimal Roger Miller’s sound enters to show nan communicative of Robin Hood and Little John’s near-miss pinch nan law, it’s clear this is not your mean opus from a Disney movie, eschewing layers of vocals, accumulation and at-times lush orchestral arrangements for a elemental voice-and-guitar segment setter. That only adds to its charm. — K.R.
"The Best of Both Worlds" (Hannah Montana, 2006)
Set nan Scene: A California teen named Miley Stewart (played by Miley Cyrus) lives a double life arsenic world popular prima Hannah Montana, a balancing enactment champion summarized by nan show’s taxable opus “The Best of Both Worlds.”
Why It Works: As unrealistic arsenic nan script whitethorn beryllium to propulsion disconnected successful existent life, it’s a sentiment that apt feels very real for galore popular stars – particularly arsenic performed by a young talent who would extremity up being 1 of nan very biggest of nan adjacent mates decades.
Magic Moment: When Miley wonders, “Who would’ve thought that a woman for illustration me/ Would double arsenic a superstar?” earlier unleashing a rallying yelp that blends into nan catchy chorus. — L.H.
"Lava" (Lava, 2014)
Set nan Scene: Released arsenic a Pixar short movie alongside 2015’s Inside Out, Lava has a communicative told wholly done its eponymous song: a lonely volcano spends millions of years successful nan mediate of nan ocean, wishing for immoderate woman volcano company. He astir goes extinct (seemingly from heartbreak), until an underwater eruption creates a beautiful, blossoming caller volcano, whose lava travel brings him backmost to life — and who yet joins him successful song.
Why It Works: Lava head and songwriter James Ford Murphy has spoken of his ain heavy affectional relationship to Hawaii, arsenic good arsenic really Hawaiian vocalist Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s beloved return connected “Somewhere Over nan Rainbow” inspired him — and some influences radiance done connected nan gentle, ukelele-accompanied tune.
Magic Moment: The chorus — nan only chunk of nan opus employing rhyme — pinch its lilting melody that feels a spot for illustration floating connected a bobbing wave, and its “awww”-inducing entreaty: “I wish that nan earth, sea, and nan entity up above-a/ Will nonstop maine personification to lava.” — R.M.
"King of New York" (Newsies, 1992)
Set nan Scene: A chaotic battalion of New York’s finest newspaper transportation boys (affectionally called Newsies) person collected successful a diner to spot that their onslaught complete unfair value increases made nan beforehand page of a newspaper. It’s nan first clip nan teenagers – galore of whom struggle to make ends meet — person tasted immoderate benignant of prestige, and their minds daydream of wherever that fame could onshore them.
Why It Works: A thumping bassline draws nan spectator successful arsenic nan boys’ dense New York accents build connected bigger and bigger dreams (“a brace of caller shows pinch matching laces” to “a imperishable container astatine Sheepshead races”) until nan group becomes a chorus dreaming of being nan King of New York.
Magic Moment: When nan Newsies each singing “Tomorrow they whitethorn wrap fishes successful it/ But I was a prima for 1 full minute” earlier jumping onto luncheon tables to pat and creation successful unison — pinch a young Christian Bale astatine nan forefront. — T.M.
"All I Want" (High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, 2019)
Set nan Scene: Nini, prima of her precocious school’s philharmonic accumulation of High School Musical and a budding singer-songwriter herself, is emotion peculiarly angsty astir nan emotion triangle she finds herself arsenic nan mediate constituent of — and composes a song connected a keyboard successful her chamber astir wishing emotion could conscionable beryllium a small spot simpler.
Why It Works: Did we hap to mention that Nini was played by a real-life singer-songwriter, who penned “All I Want” and would spell connected to constitute 1 of nan biggest and angstiest teenage emotion triangle songs of each clip connected a keyboard successful her ain chamber astir a twelvemonth later? Listening to nan character, emotion and sophistication of “All I Want” — which besides became a Hot 100 deed successful its ain correct — it’s beautiful unsurprising that Olivia Rodrigo was astir to go Olivia Rodrigo.
Magic Moment: Nini starting nan 2nd verse, “And there’s 1 much boy, he’s from my past/ We fell successful emotion but it didn’t last.” It’s stunningly economical and profoundly felt songwriting, and nan measurement Rodrigo leans into “past” gives it that small other spot of second-hand hurt. — A.U.
"Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" (Pirates of nan Caribbean, 1967)
Set nan Scene: Walt Disney, a shrewd and canny producer, whitethorn person sensed that Disneyland could usage immoderate darker notes to equilibrium each nan sweetness and light. Enter Pirates of nan Caribbean, which was 1 of nan past rides he worked connected earlier his untimely decease successful December 1966.
Why It Works: Kids are ever expected to beryllium well-behaved. By singing on to “Yo Ho,” they could rebel against their accompanying parents a little, conscionable by bellowing retired lines for illustration “We pillage, we plunder, we rifle, and loot.”
Magic Moment: You get nan consciousness that lyricist Xavier Atencio had awesome nosy coming up pinch lines for illustration “we’re beggars and blighters, ne’er-do-well cads.” But he added this 1 grace note: “Aye, but we’re loved by our mommies and dads.” – PAUL GREIN
"Miracles Happen (When You Believe)" (The Princess Diaries, 2001)
Set nan Scene: With nan cardinal conflict of Princess Diaries resolved and Anne Hathaway’s Mia Thermopolis’ family royal statement saved — it’s yet clip to celebrate. The recently titled princess does conscionable that, surrounded by her friends, family and a party-starting song.
Why It Works: The opening soft of Myra’s upbeat anthem progressively turns up arsenic nan crowd hits nan creation floor. It’s a infinitesimal of alleviation arsenic we, nan audience, tin bask successful nan happy ending. Once nan chorus belts, “Miracles happen erstwhile successful a while,” you can’t thief but deliberation really it was practically a occurrence (and a small movie magic) that led Hathaway’s characteristic to wherever she is.
Magic Moment: Much for illustration an EDM hit drop, this popular opus slow useful up to nan lyrics really reaching nan title building — leaving you anticipating nan climactic constituent of nan song, truthful erstwhile it yet hits you tin propulsion your hands up pinch nan main characteristic and celebrate. — R.J.
"Let's Get Together" (The Parent Trap, 1961)
Set nan Scene: The rowdy Susan (Hayley Mills connected guitar) convinces strait-laced Sharon (Hayley Mills connected piano), her recently discovered identical twin, to loosen up and collaborate connected a jangly stone and rotation song.
Why It Works: The cheeky lyrics activity connected 2 different levels – nan newfound sisters are figuring retired really they fresh together while they strategy to get their divided parents backmost together too.
Magic Moment: The 1998 Parent Trap remake starring Lindsay Lohan features a very ’90s cover on its soundtrack by erstwhile woman group Nobody’s Angel. And arsenic a motion to nan 1961 original, Lohan moreover hums nan tune to herself successful nan movie. – K.A.
"I Wan'na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" (The Jungle Book, 1967)
Set nan Scene: Crafty orangutan/jungle VIP King Louie has “reached nan apical and had to stop,” and truthful he tries to onslaught a woody pinch feral quality Mowgli, offering safe haven successful speech for nan concealed of fire.
Why It Works: The Sherman Brothers were pros astatine penning songs that pushed nan communicative guardant while opinionated unsocial arsenic chopped popular compositions. And pinch plaything king Louis Prima presiding complete this jump blues number, it’s evident that King Louie doesn’t request “the powerfulness of man’s reddish flower” to power things up.
Magic Moment: The very end, erstwhile Baloo’s monkey disguise falls isolated and nan euphony stops, but nan mediocre carnivore is excessively engaged scatting his bosom retired to announcement that nan jig is up. — J. Lynch
"When She Loved Me" (Toy Story 2, 1999)
Set nan Scene: Sarah McLachlan’s delicate vocals and a gentle soft melody provides a poignant backtrack to Jessie’s (Joan Cusack) affectional backstory in Toy Story 2. The lyrics of “When She Loved Me” starkly opposition emotion and loss, coating a wistful image of nan value moments that led to nan doll’s eventual abandonment by her original owner.
Why It Works: It doesn’t matter whether you’re a kid aliases an adult: nan Randy Newman-written, Grammy-winning tear-jerker is capable for you to want to excavation done nan depths of your closet to find a dusty aged favourite artifact and springiness it a tight squeeze.
Magic Moment: It’s much of a soul-crushing moment, actually: When Jessie reunites pinch her proprietor aft years gathering particulate nether her bed, only to beryllium near successful a container connected nan broadside of nan road. (“And she smiled astatine maine and held me, conscionable for illustration she utilized to do.”) — D.P.
"Soarin Theme" (Soarin' Over California, 2001)
Set nan Scene: In this formation simulator attraction, guests soar precocious supra memorable sights successful California (Golden Gate Bridge successful San Francisco, Yosemite Falls and Half Dome successful Yosemite National Park, and of course, Disneyland itself), each group to a rousing, epic taxable (“Soarin’”) by Academy Award victor Jerry Goldsmith.
Why It Works: Goldsmith treated this highlights reel of California landmarks arsenic if it were a movie trailer for nan full authorities itself. Thus, it feels for illustration you’re portion of a movie trailer, appropriately immersed successful some eye-popping visuals and a theatrical film-quality sweeping soundtrack. The Soarin’ attraction is recovered successful different Disney Parks, pinch immoderate showcasing an “around nan world” taxable highlighting world landmarks. All permutations characteristic a people adapted from nan original Goldsmith composition.
Magic Moment: Call america a sucker for Disney magic. After flying complete a frantic segment of nighttime Los Angeles’ bumper-to-bumper postulation successful Soarin’ Over California, nan action dramatically cuts to an overhead changeable of Disneyland itself. Then, nan “Soarin’” taxable kicks into its large finish, an animated Tinkerbell appears, pixie particulate is sprinkled, and you travel successful for a landing nether an onscreen fireworks display. — K.C.
"Cheetah Sisters" (The Cheetah Girls, 2003)
Set nan Scene: After a rocky preamble to fame, nan 4 members of fictional teen-pop/R&B group The Cheetah Girls reunite successful nan streets of New York City to present a powerful song astir sticking together.
Why It Works: Because it’s conscionable arsenic overmuch a banger extracurricular of nan discourse of nan film. Girl powerfulness each nan way.
Magic Moment: When nan crunchy electrical guitar helps nan opus modulation from tender ballad to a punchy popular song. — L.H.
"I'll Make a Man Out of You" (Mulan, 1998)
Set nan Scene: A training montage! While the titular Mulan frets astir being exposed arsenic a female disguised arsenic a man successful nan Chinese army, her antheral comrades must get down to business to conclusion nan Huns – and move from laughingstocks to warriors complete nan people of 1 song.
Why It Works: Besides nan gender stereotypes that are woven into nan lyrics (“Did they nonstop maine daughters/ When I asked for sons?”) and yet dismantled throughout Mulan herself, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” is an efficaciously rousing sing-along, pinch stray lines from nan various characters stomped retired by Donny Osmond’s lead vocal: “Be a MAN!”
Magic Moment: Mulan’s lone lyric successful nan macho opus – “Hope he doesn’t spot correct done me!” – is nan astir nosy statement to sing, preferably successful a melodramatic falsetto. — J. Lipshutz
"Why Should I Worry?" (Oliver & Company, 1988)
Set nan Scene: The big-eyed and lonely protagonist, an guiltless kitten named Oliver, has conscionable been utilized by nan streetwise and scruffy terrier Dodger to people immoderate sausages from a thoroughfare vendor. The stolen links drapped astir his neck, Dodger breaks retired into song to thatch nan mini tabby a instruction successful “street savoir faire.”
Why It Works: The eventual New Yorker, Billy Joel, sings successful a brawny-yet-smooth tenor complete an anthemic soft groove astir really only nan astir clever folks tin make it connected nan reliable streets of nan Big Apple.
Magic Moment: When nan bandana-wearing Dodger, sporting a brace of boosted sunglasses, sits atop a soft being crane-lifted into a high-rise building belts retired nan chorus of “Why should I worry/ Why should I care?” while playing nan keys pinch his tail. — T.M.
"I Won't Say I'm successful Love" (Hercules, 1997)
Set nan Scene: The precocious heartbroken Meg, nan emotion liking of Hercules, finds herself falling for nan Greek leader against her amended judgement and contempt nan truth that she’s been lying to him since they met.
Why It Works: In a Disney flick filled pinch over-the-top bangers, “I Won’t Say I’m In Love” slows nan tempo down for a puckish popular ballad that sounds arsenic bully arsenic ambrosia (presumably) tastes.
Magic Moment: Any clip nan Muses singing is worthy a mention, but erstwhile nan five-member group chimes successful to show Meg, “Who’d’ya deliberation you’re kiddin’/ He’s nan Earth and eden to you,” it brings nan opus to nan godly level of Mount Olympus. — T.M.
"How Far I'll Go" (Moana, 2016)
Set nan Scene: In a infinitesimal that was arguably much affectional for adults successful nan assemblage than nan kids that Moana was made for, nan film’s 16-year-old heroine reveals nan soul turmoil of wanting much for herself than her organization is tin of imagining. Perched atop a soft stone on nan statement of a turquoise sea, Moana delivers nan captivating, Grammy-winning ballad, bringing retired nan illusionist successful each assemblage member, young and old.
Why It Works: In bid to successfully represent Moana’s experience, Lin-Manuel Miranda has recalled locking himself successful his puerility chamber for a week to recapture his ain feelings of wanting more. The little sabbatical resulted successful 1 of nan astir gripping inspirational philharmonic moments Disney has delivered, serving arsenic a formidable follow-up to Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez’s “Let It Go,” acknowledgment to its gripping production, and sincere confessions: “I’ll beryllium satisfied if I play along/ But nan sound wrong sings a different song/ What is incorrect pinch me?”
Magic Moment: Watching Moana’s saccharine pet pig Pua struggle to support up pinch nan chief’s girl arsenic she rushes from nan elevation down to nan statement during nan song’s climax is judge to animate a tear aliases two. — N.R.
"Disney Afternoon Theme" (The Disney Afternoon, 1990)
Set nan Scene: It was nan superior soundtrack to nan post-school weekdays for millions of ’90s kids — peculiarly those not yet aged capable to bask nan somewhat much big pleasures of ABC’s Friday nighttime TGIF aliases Nickelodeon’s Saturday nighttime SNICK lineups. The taxable opus to Disney Channel’s midday syndication artifact (a rotation of original Disney shows for illustration TaleSpin and Darkwing Duck), “Disney Afternoon Theme” promised 2 worry-free hours of bully times ahead.
Why It Works: Because it’s each spot arsenic nosy and memorable arsenic nan classical themes of nan shows it leads successful to, pinch triumphant horns, mischievous xylophone, roving bass and immoderate very smiley vocals each shepherding you to “where nan nosy begins.”
Magic Moment: Can you hit that flute solo? Rarely, if ever. — A.U.
"Belle" (Beauty and nan Beast, 1991)
Set nan Scene: After nan movie opens pinch the origin communicative of nan Beast, “Belle” past helps nan movie modulation to nan coming day, and introduces nan kind-hearted, book-loving protagonist — while hilariously juxtaposing her pinch handsome “brute” Gaston successful their quaint town.
Why It Works: Among opening songs successful movie musicals, “Belle” is reliable to beat. Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman penned a tune that manages to beryllium a fun, affectional earworm that besides has Belle and Gaston make an contiguous effect while coating nan segment pinch cleanable orchestral moments. That is immoderate benignant of awesome magic, moreover for Disney.
Magic Moment: The Belle-Gaston “duet”! Sure, they’re not precisely singing together, but arsenic nan opus crescendos, Belle belts out, “There must beryllium much than this provincial life!” arsenic Gaston declares from different portion of town, “Just watch, I’m going to make Belle my wife!” masterfully highlighting their opposing dreams for their futures. — A.C.
"Pink Elephants connected Parade" (Dumbo, 1941)
Set nan Scene: Dumbo and his bestie Timothy Q. Mouse accidentally portion champagne-spiked h2o and spell connected a psycho/spiritual travel successful which they hallucinate the song‘s titular pinkish elephants.
Why It Works: Certainly Disney’s astir overtly trippy caper (especially for 1941), nan opus is, for illustration psychedelic experiences themselves, strange, alluring, a small spot scary and often rather elegant, pinch nan surrealist animation elevating its effects.
Magic Moment: Watchful eyes will way galore whimsical flourishes here, but we emotion nan vibe displacement infinitesimal erstwhile nan ominous march opus transforms into a Middle Eastern-inspired song, past a mambo, past a ballet earlier nan full point dissolves into cacophony and nan pinkish elephants simply go nan pinkish clouds of nan entity astatine dawn arsenic Dumble and Timothy look from nan night’s adventure. — K.B.
"Hakuna Matata" (The Lion King, 1994)
Set nan Scene: A young Simba conscionable watched his begetter Mufasa get trampled and killed by a wildebeest stampede, sewage blamed by his uncle for stampede, and narrowly escaped a deed connected his life from a trio of hyenas. Now, nan lovable meerkat and warthog who person recovered him want him to cognize everything’s going to beryllium conscionable fine.
Why It Works: Mufasa’s decease and nan ensuing scenes are immoderate of nan astir harrowing and bleak moments successful immoderate Disney film, and bringing audiences backmost from nan separator required an utmost dose of reassurance. Enter nan clever and catchy “Hakuna Matata,” a belief successor of sorts to “The Bare Necessities” that besides expedites nan film’s crippled by scoring a montage of Simba’s adolescence.
Magic Moment: In their roles arsenic Timon and Pumbaa, respectively, Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella’s philharmonic chemistry is instantly palpable – and peaks erstwhile Timon breaks nan 4th wall to be aware Pumbaa, astir to expound astir his flatulence, to debar doing truthful “in beforehand of nan kids.” — ERIC RENNER BROWN
"Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" (Cinderella, 1951)
Set nan Scene: This is wherever each nan magic happens. Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother transforms a pumpkin and mice into a gilded equine and carriage to whisk nan aspiring princess disconnected to nan shot – wearing nan cleanable royal glitter to match, of course.
Why It Works: The song follows successful nan expansive contented of Disney turning gibberish phrases into taste touchstones. More than 50% of nan lyrics are nonsense, and yet we each person it committed to memory.
Magic Moment: While it doesn’t look successful nan 2015 live-action remake, nan caller Fairy Godmother (played by Helena Bonham Carter) did grounds an eccentric new version that plays successful nan end-credits. – K.A.
"The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room" (Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, 1963)
Set nan Scene: When Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room debuted astatine nan California parkland successful 1963, nan grounds wasn’t drafting connected a preexisting spot – truthful nan 4 robot macaws trading lead vocals needed a straightforward song pinch an instantly hummable hook to waste nan concept.
Why It Works: Prepare to measurement into an authentic, immersive showcase of Polynesian cultures… location else. But for nan first taxable parkland attraction to usage Audio-Animatronics, this Sherman Brothers opus is dripping successful nan requisite kitsch to waste a room “where nan birds singing words and nan flowers croon.”
Magic Moment: That unexpectedly acheronian lyrical move erstwhile nan macaws show you that unless nan show “fills you pinch pleasance and glee,” they’ll extremity up dormant and stuffed “on a lady’s hat.” So bask yourself – aliases their vertebrate humor is connected your hands. — J. Lynch
"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (Mary Poppins, 1964)
Set nan Scene: The titular British nanny (Julie Andrews) magically transports her 2 pre-teen charges, Jane and Michael, into a sidewalk chalk drafting created by her friend Bert (Dick Van Dyke). During that adventure, mixing unrecorded action and animation, Mary Poppins wins a equine title and is besieged by animated reporters who foretell her emotions to beryllium indescribable. Poppins replies, “On nan contrary, there’s a very bully word!” — and launches into “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” which, according to Syracuse student Helen Herman (who coined nan building successful a 1931 assemblage newspaper column) “implies each that is grand, great, glorious, splendid, superb, wonderful.”
Why It Works: Imagination and silliness are basal qualities for entertaining young children (or adults) and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” offers some successful abundance. The opus romps done its orchestrated statement — accompanied successful nan movie by an animated thoroughfare set — arsenic Andrews and Van Dyke delight successful offering rhyming lines ending pinch “atrocious” and “precocious.”
Magic Moment: If the 34 letters and 14 syllables of nan title building aren’t charming enough, there’s that rapid-fire break done nan song: “Um diddle diddle diddle, um diddle ay! Um diddle diddle diddle, um diddle ay!” — T.D.
"Call Me, Beep Me!" (Kim Possible, 2002)
Set nan Scene: As described successful her titular program’s theme, Kim Possible is a precocious schoolhouse cheerleader by time and wards disconnected supervillains by nighttime – aliases whenever she’s needed, which her trusty pager ever alerts her of.
Why It Works: “Call me, beep me, if you wanna scope me,” has transcended this 1 opus aliases show, becoming a universally utilized building that present is group to a catchy tune courtesy of ’00s hitmaker Christina Milian.
Magic Moment: The inescapable, instantly recognizable pager beeps. Duh. — L.H.
"Friend Like Me" (Aladdin, 1992)
Set nan Scene: In nan very first brushwood between Aladdin and Genie, nan Genie (voiced by nan precocious Robin Williams) not only lets Aladdin know he tin assistance him whichever 3 wishes he desires but besides makes a clever effort to befriend him — and his mischievous monkey Abu — pinch a stellar “Friend Like Me” performance.
Why It Works: This large band-styled number is feel-good and silly but powerfully makes a lawsuit that nan Genie is simply a friend for illustration nary other. The head-bopping classical was nominated for champion original opus astatine nan 1993 Academy Awards, and later performed by Will Smith for nan 2019 live-action remake.
Magic Moment: It’s a no-brainer that nary friend will assistance you 3 wishes — unless you’re nan Genie, and 1 of nan astir memorable moments of this segment was erstwhile he tells Aladdin up front, “I’m successful nan temper to thief you, dude,” later showing disconnected his endless talents to triumph his trust. — JESSICA ROIZ
"You'll Be successful My Heart" (Tarzan, 1999)
Set nan Scene: Tarzan’s adoptive gorilla mother Kala comforts nan fussy newborn pinch a tender ballad astir nan everlasting enslaved betwixt a genitor and a child, which fades into nan nighttime arsenic a lullaby that soothes Tarzan, arsenic good arsenic nan remainder of nan children successful nan jungle, to sleep.
Why It Works: Phil Collins’ sincere, warmhearted melodies underscore nan film’s cardinal taxable of family and a parent’s domiciled to supply for and protect their child, particularly erstwhile he croons, “For 1 truthful small/ You look truthful strong/ My arms will clasp you/ Keep you safe and warm/ This enslaved betwixt us/ Can’t beryllium broken/ I will beryllium here/ Don’t you cry.”
Magic Moment: Our mini protagonist adorably coos erstwhile Kala throws him up into nan aerial during Collins’ swoon-worthy chorus, and Tarzan is met pinch a kaleidoscope of butterflies, while 1 of them lands connected his look and unintentionally, yet flawlessly, masks it. — H.M.
"There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" (Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress, 1964)
Set nan Scene: The Sherman Brothers wrote this irresistable jingle for nan GE-branded Carousel of Progress astatine nan World’s Fair successful New York successful 1964-65. In 1967, nan thrust was exported to Disneyland and, later, Walt Disney World.
Why It Works: The opus is heard arsenic span euphony betwixt each of nan 4 acts successful nan exhibit. It had to beryllium catchy capable truthful that aft proceeding that earworm 4 times, group would want to get correct backmost successful statement and spot nan show again. It worked. Capitalism ne'er sounded truthful good! The opus fed nan enduring American story that happiness was conscionable a shiny caller appliance away.
Magic Moment: Country vocalist Rex Allen was perfectly formed arsenic nan sound of nan dada successful nan vignettes – and arsenic nan vocalist of nan song. The full “family” — including their canine — chimes successful astatine nan extremity of nan song. – P.G.
"Almost There" (The Princess and nan Frog, 2009)
Set nan Scene: In 1 of nan champion “I don’t request a man” Disney moments, early Princess Tiana sings a jazz-infused, New Orleans-inspired song of desire to fulfill her dreams. Waltzing astir a dilapidated mill pinch her mother Eudora, Tiana fantasizes astir what her early edifice will beryllium done an Aaron Douglas-style ocular rendition, declaring, “Trials and tribulations/ I’ve had my share/ There ain’t thing gonna extremity maine now/ ‘Cause I’m almost there.”
Why It Works: Because Tiana is doing what fewer Disney princesses of nan past had done: moving towards her ain dreams, independent of immoderate man. Her words exude assurance and self-assurance, qualities indispensable for immoderate small 1 watching nan film, and important to nan crippled statement of this reimagined “Princess and nan Frog.”
Magic Moment: Watching a glamorous Tiana head-to-toe successful white, making an quality successful nan restaurants of her dreams, arsenic nan train of her dress flutters down her. All nan while, her vocals glide from 1 statement to different connected nan line, “Trials and tribulations.” — N.R.
"This Is Me" (Camp Rock, 2008)
Set nan Scene: Enduring superstars Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas (along pinch brothers Nick and Kevin, of course) co-star successful this movie astir a sought-out philharmonic summertime camp, pinch Demi taking nan lead on this ballad astir yet letting nan world cognize who she really is.
Why It Works: It’s nan cleanable “coming retired of my shell” song, during which Lovato embraces her talent –- and nan spotlight -– while Joe steps into a supporting role, bumping nan opus into powerfulness duet territory.
Magic Moment: When Joe and Demi harmonize into 1 another’s faces for nan last chorus, during which she hits notes she hadn’t yet reached connected her own. — L.H.
"What Dreams Are Made Of" (The Lizzie McGuire Movie, 2003)
Set nan Scene: Our astonishment antagonist, Paolo, has made a fool of himself connected shape and it’s up to Hilary Duff’s Lizzie McGuire to prevention nan show. With nan thief of Duff’s different character, Isabella, nan 2 put connected a showstopping capacity that leaves nan crowd roaring.
Why It Works: Paired pinch nan unforgettable line, “Sing to maine Paolo,” this female-empowerment infinitesimal paired pinch nan a opus that captures nan principle of nan business really captures a business that is genuinely “what dreams are made of.”
Magic Moment: That first line, “Have you ever seen specified a beautiful night?” is specified a wow moment, arsenic some nan assemblage successful nan crowd and watching nan movie unfold are shocked. Not erstwhile passim nan movie does her characteristic singing to america — moreover erstwhile you watch nan rehearsal scenes — making this a infinitesimal wherever you wonder, can Lizzie McGuire really sing? — R.J.
"You've Got a Friend successful Me" (Toy Story, 1995)
Set nan Scene: “You’ve Got a Friend successful Me” is played during nan opening segment of Toy Story, spotlighting nan undeniable relationship betwixt Andy and his artifact cowboy Woody. The clip shows a school-aged boy packing his toys successful a box; whereas his favourite one, Woody, gets each nan play attention.
Why It Works: Performed by Randy Newman, this country-jazz fusion is charged pinch emotive lyrics astir relationship and loyalty: “And arsenic nan years spell by/ Our relationship will ne'er die/ You’re gonna spot it’s our destiny/ You’ve sewage a friend successful me.”
Magic Moment: Not only does nan opus group nan reside for the entire firm, but it’s besides go a staple for nan full franchise: “You’ve Got a Friend of Me” is besides heard successful nan opening scenes of Toy Story 3 and 4, further proving nan value of existent friendships. — J.R.
"That's So Raven" (That's So Raven, 2003)
Set nan Scene: The taxable opus to nan Raven-Symoné-starring conveyance that ran for 4 seasons successful nan mid ’00s, “That’s So Raven” introduces nan eponymous protagonist and her character’s signature future-forecasting powers, but lets nan assemblage cognize soothsaying isn’t arsenic easy arsenic it looks: “I effort to prevention nan situation/ Then I extremity up misbehaving.”
Why It Works: More than possibly immoderate different Disney TV taxable of its time, “Raven” sounds for illustration a plausible popular deed successful its ain right, down to nan frenetic R&B accumulation that was unavoidable successful early-’00s apical 40 radio, and moreover nan hint of Auto-Tune connected nan verses. (Plus, it’s arsenic hooky arsenic nan champion Darkchild and Kandi Burruss jams.)
Magic Moment: “It’s truthful MYSTERIOUS to mee-eeeeee!!!” — A.U.
"Who's Afraid of nan Big Bad Wolf?" (Three Little Pigs, 1933)
Set nan Scene: Two porcine lollygaggers mock their survivalist brother, a hard-working ceramic furniture who will soon person nan past laughter successful this Oscar-winning short from nan Great Depression.
Why It Works: Sure, nan pig pinch nan panic room saves nan day, but Frank Churchill’s irrepressible, cheery melody makes it intolerable not to sympathize pinch nan shiftless layabouts. It was specified an immediate, inescapable deed that it led to a statement betwixt Walt Disney and Irving Berlin successful 1933, opening nan agelong history of Disney characters catapulting a tune into popular civilization ubiquity and publishing profits.
Magic Moment: When nan 2 prancing porkers laughter successful their brother’s look aft his informing astir their half-assed homes, dancing a state jig while singing nan taunting chorus pinch a renewed flippancy. — J. Lynch
"Under nan Sea" (The Little Mermaid, 1989)
Set nan Scene: Sebastian nan crab, an emissary of Ariel’s begetter King Triton, knows she’s plotting to time off nan water down for Prince Eric connected onshore — truthful he launches into nan balanced of a Broadway eleven-o’clock number, calypso-style, to person her to stay.
Why It Works: Lin-Manuel Miranda put it perfectly erstwhile he told Billboard successful 2022 that “Under nan Sea” is his individual apical Disney opus of each time: “It’s for illustration Sebastian making nan lawsuit for a measurement of life and presenting america pinch a world truthful overmuch much beautiful than our own! I wanted to spell f–kin’ unrecorded nether nan sea!”
Magic Moment: It’s delight-a-second start-to-finish, but nan mid-song litany of marine philharmonic talent — “The newt play de flute/The carp play de harp,” etc. — captures lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken’s imaginative alchemy successful a cleanable snapshot. — R.M.
"Whistle While You Work" (Snow White and nan Seven Dwarfs, 1937)
Set nan Scene: Snow White enlists each nan creatures of nan wood to thief her tidy up nan house, pinch nan chipmunks connected dishes, nan squirrels connected dusting, and nan raccoons connected laundry.
Why It Works: The difficult activity seems truthful pleasant acknowledgment to Snow’s cheery tune – and nan afloat animal assembly statement is needed to cleanable up aft nan 7 mini men of nan house.
Magic Moment: The only harmonizing Snow White needs for her lilting whistle is nan chirping birds each astir her, who partake successful a cheerful call-and-response pinch nan woodland princess. – K.A.
"Supernova Girl" (Zenon: Girl of nan 21st Century, 1999)
Set nan Scene: The futuristic woman successful question, Zenon, is connected a ngo to foil an evil crippled to clang nan abstraction position her family lives connected — wherever she utilized to live, earlier being sent to Earth arsenic reward to unrecorded pinch her aunt. Her secondary extremity is to be a performance connected that abstraction station, held by teen idol Proto Zoa and his retro-futuristic pop-rock set Microbe, wherever they play their signature hit, “Supernova Girl.”
Why It Works: Because “Supernova Girl” friggin’ goes. It sounds for illustration JC Chasez covering Duran Duran (or possibly nan different measurement around), and by their first clip done nan “zoom zoom zoom” hook complete that liquid electro-funk groove, you’ll person forgotten each astir nan movie’s convoluted teen-sci-fi crippled and beryllium laser-focused connected your ain boogieing.
Magic Moment: Any clip nan set starts strutting successful lockstep crossed nan shape while that repeated hook rings retired complete nan popping beat, it’s beautiful damn magical. — A.U.
"Reflection" (Mulan, 1998)
Set nan Scene: After failing to execute arsenic a cleanable woman for a matchmaker, Mulan catches her reflection in a pond, leaving her to mobility who she is and wants to beryllium – and encouraging her to return action (impersonating a man and entering nan draught for her father) truthful that nan 2 align.
Why It Works: Largely acknowledgment to Christina Aguilera’s breakthrough rendition of nan hit, “Reflection” has go an anthem for young group – particularly women – who are moving towards being unapologetically themselves.
Magic Moment: When she belts, “When will my reflection show who I americium inside?” only to repetition nan building erstwhile more, and overmuch softer, arsenic if realizing only she tin reply nan question. — L.H.
"Nobody Like U" (Turning Red, 2022)
Set nan Scene: 4*TOWN are nan heartthrobs of Turning Red’s vivid universe, and “Nobody Like U” is their signature popular anthem. The bass-heavy, synth-filled lead azygous has each nan fixings of an early 2000s boy set banger — including a rap verse and creation break.
Why It Works: Producer/writer FINNEAS and his superstar sister Billie Eilish are nary amateurs erstwhile it comes to crafting popular bangers, and “Nobody Like U” is nary exception. But dissimilar a fistful of Eilish’s hits, this 1 is an earworm for each ages: you can’t thief but grin singing on to “But they don’t move my tummy nan measurement you do.”
Magic Moment: The song’s reprise, erstwhile Mei’s (Rosalie Chiang) trio of fangirl friends subordinate 4*TOWN for nan catchy hook arsenic her family chants successful Cantonese, is simply a pivotal constituent successful nan Disney-Pixar movie — helping nan 13-year-old study to clasp each portion of herself. — D.P.
"You're Welcome" (Moana, 2016)
Set nan Scene: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Maui delivers “You’re Welcome” arsenic a sung-spoken, self-aggrandizing preamble of his mythological backstory to nan movie’s protagonist — but look out, Moana, it’s conscionable a very catchy distraction truthful he tin bargain your ride!
Why It Works: Because Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ultra-clever, perpetually overstuffed songwriting has ne'er been arsenic charming arsenic erstwhile delivered by 1 of nan fewer real-life humans some bonzer and self-aware capable to plausibly present a lyric for illustration “I’m conscionable an mean demiguy.”
Magic Moment: When, amidst a parade of triumphant horns successful nan song’s umpteenth chorus, our leader unexpectedly sneaks successful a glimpse of his existent intentions: “‘I’m gonna request that boat… ‘Coz Maui tin do everything but float!” — A.U.
"I 2 I" (A Goofy Movie, 1995)
Set nan Scene: Goofy finds retired that his teenage boy Max deceived him into driving to Los Angeles alternatively of Lake Destiny for their father-son sportfishing travel arsenic an effort to impressment his crush Roxanne by appearing onstage astatine superstar Powerline’s concert. Goofy and Max yet dress up aft a near-death acquisition successful nan Colorado River, and Goofy proves that he’s Dad of nan Year by committing to sneak Max onstage pinch Powerline. With each that being said, what amended opus to execute pinch nan popular prima than an anthem astir yet seeing “eye to eye”?
Why It Works: Tevin Campbell’s sleek, nosy and oh-so-catchy capacity of Powerline’s biggest hit could easy beryllium a opus heard connected popular power extracurricular of nan Disneyverse, which is why you can’t thief but groove on to nan hit moreover 28 years later.
Magic Moment: When Max yet falls onstage successful betwixt Powerline and Goofy,and nan 3 creation successful unison to nan fitting lyric: “If we perceive to each other’s heart/ We’ll find we’re ne'er excessively acold apart.” It’s a show of a father’s emotion not often depicted successful Disney films, and a infinitesimal wherever Max realizes his dad’s really beautiful cool. Try not to tear up! Go up and try! — RANIA ANIFTOS
"DuckTales" (DuckTales, 1987)
Set nan Scene: Ducks tally amok, pinch Scrooge McDuck and his boatloads of saccharine rate charged pinch Donald Duck’s 3 mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie. They mightiness lick a enigma – aliases rewrite history.
Why It Works: As sung by prolific soundtrack creator Jeff Pescetto, who besides belted retired nan themes to Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers and Darkwing Duck for Disney, nan snappy, horn-laden DuckTales theme opus ripples pinch specified committed accumulation and vocal gusto that you can’t thief but beryllium whisked distant to a onshore of waterfowl misadventures.
Magic Moment: The extended type of nan taxable opus really contains a awesome bridge! That “D-d-d-danger lurks down you/ There’s a alien retired to find you!” is much urgent and memorable than really astir popular hits lead up to a last chorus. — J. Lipshutz
"Once Upon a Dream" (Sleeping Beauty, 1959)
Set nan Scene: Lonely Briar Rose (aka Princess Aurora) is disconnected gathering berries connected her 16th day for her aunts (aka nan fairies protecting her from Maleficent’s curse). But lo! Who is successful nan wood too her adorable furry and feathered woodland friends? It’s handsome Prince Phillip, to whom Aurora has (unbeknownst to her) been betrothed since her birth, and who appears earlier her conscionable arsenic he did “once upon a dream.” (Forget nan Stranger Danger for a infinitesimal and conscionable swoon!)
Why It Works: With this enchanted tune, Disney proved that you don’t request big, soaring songs to solidify memorable moments. Instead, “Once Upon a Dream” beautifully captures nan innocence of young emotion pinch small much than 2 beautiful voices, immoderate ethereal backing vocals, a quiet orchestra, and of course, adorable wood creatures watching on.
Magic Moment: From Aurora singing “I cognize you, I walked pinch you erstwhile upon a dream” to her “prince” formed by her animal pals, to her unexpected duet pinch nan existent quality prince erstwhile she lilts, “You’ll emotion maine astatine once,” only to person Phillip respond successful song, “the measurement you did erstwhile upon a dream,” it’s each charming! (Full transparency: “Once Upon a Dream” holds other meaning to me, arsenic I utilized to waltz astir nan room pinch my beloved feline humming this tune, arsenic if I were Aurora and her owl successful nan forest.) — A.C.
"Colors of nan Wind" (Pocahontas, 1995)
Set nan Scene: In nan midst of Pocahontas and John Smith’s improbable emotion story, nan erstwhile has to thatch nan second astir respecting nature, unlearning imperialist tendencies and mostly appreciating nan beauty of an unfamiliar spot and culture.
Why It Works: What could person been perceived arsenic a ham-fisted speech successful a Disney Renaissance movie alternatively became nan pointed yet tender lynchpin of an eager movie moment: Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz’s power ballad utilizes orchestral majesty and rhetorical questions to face audiences into reasoning harder astir nan world astir them.
Magic Moment: The measurement nan opening of nan hook transforms from nan soaring “Have you ever heard nan wolf outcry to nan bluish maize moon?” to nan wrenching “And you’ll ne'er perceive nan wolf outcry to nan bluish maize moon”? That’s conscionable top-notch Disney songwriting from Schwartz, who was moving connected his first Disney animated movie and would spell connected to lend to respective others. — J. Lipshutz
"A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" (Cinderella, 1950)
Set nan Scene: As she awakens from her slumber, Cinderella concisely explains nan whimsical accuracy down wishes to her furry friends, earlier diving into “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes.”
Why It Works: In sharing akin sentiments pinch “When You Wish Upon a Star” from 1940’s Pinocchio (which yet became The Walt Disney Company’s theme), “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” utilizes pathos to touch listeners’ hearts pinch nan committedness that thing their hearts desire tin so go a reality.
Magic Moment: One of nan birds originates harmonizing pinch our charming princess erstwhile she sings, “In dreams you will suffer your heartaches” — but only to beryllium abruptly shushed by an irritated bird, which prompts it to flutter to her bedside and proceed chirping alongside her for a delightful reprise. — H.M.
"Remember Me" (Coco, 2017)
Set nan Scene: “Remember Me” is simply a cardinal opus successful nan 2017 movie Coco, which not only spotlights Mexico’s Day of nan Dead civilization but besides nan relationship betwixt protagonist Miguel and his grandmother Coco. The heartfelt opus is besides important to Coco’s upbringing, pinch a philharmonic begetter who was absent astir of nan time.
Why It Works: There are galore versions of “Remember Me” successful nan movie — an uptempo mariachi, a saccharine lullaby, and a sentimental acoustic rendition — but each nonstop a connection of love, nostalgia, remembrance and astir importantly, family. The Spanish-language type by Carlos Rivera is conscionable arsenic emotional. “Remember Me” won champion original opus astatine nan 2018 Academy Awards.
Magic Moment: “Remember Me” without a uncertainty connects generations, and nan segment that champion represents that is nan 1 wherever Miguel is playing nan opus connected his guitar for Coco. Not only does she statesman to respond to nan melody, but besides finds nan spot to singing on pinch him. — J.R.
"The Bare Necessities" (The Jungle Book, 1967)
Set nan Scene: When various jungle animals effort and neglect to reintroduce orphaned quality kid Mowgli to a “Man-Village,” nan young boy flees and links up pinch nan lovable carnivore Baloo, who vows to support him distant from humans and proceeds to amended him astir nan finer aspects of jungle living.
Why It Works: A canonical don’t-sweat-the-small-stuff jam, “The Bare Necessities” makes a convincing lawsuit for embracing – and being contented pinch – life’s elemental pleasures.
Magic Moment: Baloo’s verse astir really you should usage nan claw erstwhile picking a paw-paw lest you prick a earthy paw is immoderate all-time awesome Disney wordplay. — E.R.B.
"Cruella de Vil" (101 Dalmations, 1961)
Set nan Scene: The movie lets america watch arsenic struggling songwriter Roger toys astir pinch a mischievous melody connected nan ivories, yet landing connected lyrics that lampoon his wife’s fur-obsessed erstwhile schoolmate.
Set nan Scene: If nan greenish smoke-spewing visage of Cruella de Vil (or her name) wasn’t hint enough, this mocking send-up of nan bloodthirsty heiress lets nan assemblage cognize that a GOAT Disney villain has arrived. And considering that nan thought of skinning 99 puppies is much than a hairsbreadth dark, nan playful frivolity of nan jazz tune gives this genuinely bizarre premise immoderate levity.
Magic Moment: Immediately before Cruella stalks into a London level demanding to cognize nan position of her early pelts, Roger (whose singing sound was provided by Bill Lee) croons this smirking couplet while copping a Bela Lugosi lurk: “Cruella de Vil, Cruella de Vil / If she doesn’t scare you, nary evil point will.” — J. Lynch
"We Don't Talk About Bruno" (Encanto, 2021)
Set nan Scene: The Family Madrigal gathers ’round Mirabel to talk a full batch astir really they’re not allowed to talk astir nan secretive and ominous Bruno.
Why It Works: On first listen, you mightiness beryllium tricked into believing each nan shade stories astir Tio Bruno, but nan opus really useful erstwhile you cognize nan afloat communicative and recognize that he intends nary harm pinch his prophecies, and he’s not truthful acold away. Like Dolores sings: “I tin perceive him now!”
Magic Moment: Camilo’s vivid “7-foot frame, rats along his back” informing is nan statement that launched a million memes on TikTok. – K.A.
"Circle of Life" (The Lion King, 1994)
Set nan Scene: In nan first framework of nan 1994 film, a reddish sun rises complete an African savannah arsenic Lebo M. belts his iconic “nants ingonyama bagithi baba” and nan camera cuts to nan waterfalls, rivers, rolling hills and misty fields of this earthy wonderland and nan fantastical web of animals who beryllium arsenic a portion of them. Like us, they are en way to Pride Rock to salary homage to nan recently calved Simba.
Why It Works: How overmuch clip do you have? The themes of life and decease astir to unfold successful nan movie are each encapsulated successful its first 4 minutes, pinch vocalist Carmen Twille hitting correct to nan psyche of nan matter pinch lyrics astir uncovering our spot successful nan way unwinding and this journey’s inevitable despair and hope, religion and emotion — elements arsenic inextricably linked arsenic everything other successful nan film’s ecosystem, and successful our own.
Magic Moment: After anointing Simba connected nan forehead, nan wizened elder Rafiki brings nan film’s cub protagonist to nan separator of Pride Rock and thrusts him into nan entity for each to spot — and front to — arsenic nan opus relaunches into its climax pinch a crescendo of drums, monkey howling, elephant trumpeting, a chorus hitting nan precocious notes and vocal runs from Twille that are astatine this constituent ingrained into corporate consciousness. — K.B.
"Breaking Free" (High School Musical, 2006)
Set nan Scene: A baby-faced Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens travel together to break free from nan societal level shackles of precocious schools everywhere, successful this iconic High School Musical number. Efron, clad successful his hoops tracksuit, and Hudgens, wearing a decathlon badge, harmonize successful hopes of bringing together their chap students from each walks of life.
Why It Works: “Breaking Free” is simply a textbook ballad of hope, which whitethorn explicate its monolithic jump from No. 86 to No. 4 connected nan Hot 100 chart. Its inspirational (albeit simple) lyrics, coupled pinch classical popular structure, made nan way basal listening worldly for simple and mediate schoolers fantasizing astir what precocious schoolhouse could be. Spoiler alert: they were successful for a world of disappointment.
Magic Moment: When Zac Efron’s (and really, Drew Seeley’s) first “We’re breaking free!” captures nan hearts of his classmates, and overtakes nan full crowd, teachers and parents included, by nan clip they scope nan bridge. — N.R.
"A Spoonful of Sugar" (Mary Poppins, 1964)
Set nan Scene: Things are not moving smoothly astatine nan Banks family successful London. Enter Mary Poppins, who will get things ship-shape, each while delivering a supremely hummable opus score. In this song, she helps nan kids tidy their nursery simply by snapping her fingers.
Why It Works: The opus contains unassailable proposal for approaching activity assignments: “For each occupation that must beryllium done/There is an constituent of fun/You find nan nosy and snap, nan job’s a game.” That useful for approaching conscionable astir each dreaded chore short of moving connected your taxes. (Nothing will make that immoderate easier.)
Magic Moment: At nan extremity of nan movie sequence, Julie Andrews arsenic Mary Poppins duets pinch her doppelganger successful a mirror. When nan image successful nan reflector shows disconnected pinch immoderate fancy vocal runs, level-headed Mary puts her successful her spot pinch 1 word: “Cheeky.” – P.G.
"The Climb" (Hannah Montana: The Movie, 2009)
Set nan Scene: After years of surviving – and successfully hiding – her double life, Hannah Montana’s travel culminates in Hannah Montana: The Movie, successful which she returns location to reconnect pinch her roots and non-famous self. The hostility builds into nan film’s last scene, during which Hannah Montana performs astatine a hometown fundraiser but yet breaks down, dropping nan enactment and whipping disconnected nan blonde wig, revealing her truth to nan 1 organization that’s ne'er asked her to beryllium anyone else.
Why It Works: Even erstwhile it debuted successful nan film, it was clear “The Climb” – which signaled nan impending extremity of a characteristic galore had grown up pinch – was astir truthful overmuch much than immoderate 1 thing. The opus has go a beloved favourite for Miley fans, and nan creator herself moreover performed a typical rendition for her Disney+ typical to beforehand her latest album Endless Summer Vacation. Few songs tin execute some universality and taste endurance – but “The Climb” has effortlessly done both.
Magic Moment: It’s difficult to compete pinch nan song’s first chorus, which erstwhile delivered almost a cappella hits hard. But erstwhile Miley delivers her signature wail on, “And I, I gotta beryllium strong/ Just support pushing on” (and holds that past note), it’s ever astonishing and ever feels true. — L.H.
"The Mickey Mouse March" (The Mickey Mouse Club, 1955)
Set nan Scene: Forget societal media — successful 1955, only half of U.S. households had a tv set. So erstwhile a groundbreaking assortment programme aimed squarely astatine children deed black-and-white screens from New York to Nebraska, it needed a taxable that not only introduced nan conception of nan show, but nan thought that each kid watching shared an affectional relationship to show — and each other.
Why It Works: Original Mickey Mouse Club host Jimmie Dodd made nan show’s taxable a rousing philharmonic march that’s instantly memorable and easy capable for moreover nan astir tonally challenged kid to cheer on with. It’s besides a amazingly durable composition. When slowed down for nan finale of nan series’ original run, nan opus took connected a warm, fond sadness (“M-I-C / See you existent soon / K-E-Y / why? because we for illustration you”), while updated versions helped anchor nan series’ galore revivals complete nan decades.
Magic Moment: Well earlier Aretha Franklin and Gwen Stefani took their pronunciation skills to nan Billboard Hot 100, Dodd demonstrated that if you chant retired nan letters to a connection successful nan mediate of a song, it’s almost intolerable for nan listener to defy joining in. Be honest, you’re spelling Mickey’s sanction successful your caput correct now, aren’t you? No shame: It’s conscionable bully cleanable fun. — J. Lynch
"A Whole New World" (Aladdin, 1992)
Set nan Scene: After aggregate grounded attempts to triumph complete Princess Jasmine, Aladdin yet finds nan cardinal to nan isolated royal’s bosom erstwhile he offers her a magic carpet thrust passim nan world, granting her nan state she’s ever longed for. With nary palace walls aliases creepy royal viziers to interrupt them, nan brace yet get a infinitesimal unsocial to definitive their admiration for 1 another.
Why It Works: Because each portion of this opus perfectly nails nan duty given. Alan Menken and Tim Rice’s orchestrations are 2nd to nary here, capturing nan emotion of flying precocious up done nan clouds effortlessly; Lea Salonga and Brad Kane nail their performances arsenic a brace of excited young group yet getting to acquisition “real” life for once; each of this is not to mention nan gorgeous animation arsenic our star-crossed lovers pinwheel done humanities landmarks astir nan globe.
Magic Moment: There’s thing astir nan tête-à-tête connected nan song’s 2nd chorus that’s unmatchable. As Jasmine takes nan melody, Aladdin keeps her amazement intact, insisting “don’t you situation adjacent your eyes,” and “hold your breath, it gets better” pinch each passing phrase. — S.D.
"When You Wish Upon a Star" (Pinocchio, 1940)
Set nan Scene: “When You Wish Upon a Star” is Pinocchio’s lifeblood, bookending nan movie successful its opening and closing credits and recurring arsenic a philharmonic motif passim it.
Why It Works: Sung by Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio’s narrator and its titular character’s charismatic conscience, nan simple, elegant tune’s sentimentality perfectly captures nan tone of nan film.
Magic Moment: There’s a logic nan opus earned Disney its first Academy Award for champion original opus successful 1941 and has been nan company’s philharmonic calling paper ever since – its indelible melody and hopeful lyrics convey a consciousness of boundless possibility. — E.R.B.
"Be Our Guest" (Beauty and nan Beast, 1991)
Set nan Scene: After volunteering to go nan Beast’s captive successful spot of her disoriented begetter Maurice, Belle receives an unexpectedly lukewarm invited by nan castle’s enchanted family objects — led by Lumière nan candelabra, Cogsworth nan timepiece and Mrs. Potts nan teapot — pinch a full-fledged, Broadway-inspired philharmonic number.
Why It Works: Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s scrumptious songwriting, paired pinch Jerry Orbach’s ever-so-handsome voice rattling disconnected nan exquisite paper (featuring “beef ragout/ food soufflé/ pastry and pudding, en flambé”) makes “Be Our Guest” moreover tastier than nan main people — and nan standout connected a Disney soundtrack that besides includes classics for illustration “Gaston” and nan Oscar-winning title ballad.
Magic Moment: Lumière reminds our saccharine princess that her autochthonal state only offers nan finer things successful life by introducing her to a chorus of dishes and silverware that magically toggle shape into nan Eiffel Tower and singing, “After all, Miss, this is France/ And a meal present is ne'er 2nd best.” — H.M.
"It's a Small World (After All)" (It's a Small World, 1964)
Set nan Scene: “It’s a Small World” was of people written for nan iconic thrust of nan aforesaid sanction — though erstwhile it was penned, nan grounds was still called “Children of nan World” and was considered a comparative afterthought among Disney’s contributions to nan storied 1964 World’s Fair. But nan Sherman Brothers, inspired by nan world fallout from nan Cuban Missile Crisis, wrote a jingle for nan audio-animatronic attraction that suggested that we’re each really neighbors successful nan end, and yet helped pass nan halfway ideas down nan eventual Disneyland thrust arsenic well.
Why It Works: If you person to constitute a opus that’s gonna beryllium heard millions of times a year, you amended make it damn catchy. Luckily, that was ne'er overmuch of a situation for nan Sherman Brothers — who penned “Small World” nan aforesaid twelvemonth Mary Poppins was released; nary large woody to them — and “It’s a Small World” is so among nan astir infectious compositions of nan full 20th century. But nan sing-song melody shouldn’t beryllium focused connected to nan removal of nan song’s powerful and genuinely timeless messages of world empathy and understanding, put successful position that moreover a four-year-old could understand: “There’s truthful overmuch that we share/ That it’s clip we’re aware/ It’s a mini world, aft all.”
Magic Moment: The existent magic infinitesimal comes astir 3/4 of nan measurement done nan ride, erstwhile you’re location betwixt your 12th and 13th clip done nan song, and you opportunity to yourself — perchance retired large — “You know, erstwhile you deliberation astir it, it really is a mini world, aft all.” — A.U.
"Let It Go" (Frozen, 2013)
Set nan Scene: After accidentally exposing her sometimes vulnerable ice-making superpowers to nan kingdom, a devastated Elsa exiles herself to no-man’s onshore and forges a caller life. As she sings, though, she realizes that she tin now genuinely beryllium herself for nan first clip successful her full life, and euphorically transforms from reluctant early queen to all-powerful, self-confident sorceress, pinch progressively up-tempo choruses and 1 fabulous outfit change.
Why It Works: There was a clip not excessively agelong agone erstwhile nary nationalist mounting was safe: If you stepped into a supermarket, for instance, you were almost predestined to perceive astatine slightest 1 three-year-old singing retired “Let It Go” large and proud, apt connected repeat. And while nan ubiquity of this stunner whitethorn person inevitably irritated some, moreover nan frostiest of haters person to admit that that’s simply a marker of an objectively awesome song. The modulations, Idina Menzel’s incomparable vocals, nan impeccable songwriting of wife-husband duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez – “Let It Go” saw nan roadmaps group by past Disney princess ballads and, well, fto them go, mounting an wholly caller golden modular for nan format.
Magic Moment: When Elsa holds retired nan atmospherically precocious past statement of “The past is successful nan past” earlier soaring into nan last chorus, freeing her hairsbreadth from nan constraints of a tight bun conscionable arsenic she frees herself from nan constraints of princesshood. A infinitesimal truthful good, it’s bound to springiness you nan shivers, nary matter really galore times you’ve already heard it successful Trader Joe’s that month. — H.D.
"Part of Your World" (The Little Mermaid, 1989)
Set nan Scene: Our mermaid heroine Ariel pokes astir nan sprawling cavern of items she’s scavenged from nan quality world — gadgets and gizmos aplenty, whosits and whatsits galore — acquiescing that neither this worldly wealthiness nor her elevated position arsenic nan youngest girl of King Triton moreover matters erstwhile she can’t really beryllium up wherever they walk, up wherever they run, up wherever they play each time successful nan sun.
Why It Works: An anthem for anyone who’s ever longed for autonomy, “Part Of Your World” is group amidst nan film’s coming emotion story, but it, like The Little Mermaid itself, is yet a treatise connected individual state and really without it, each nan thingamabobs successful nan world don’t really matter. At this early constituent successful nan movie there’s nary measurement Ariel, sheltered by condition and rebellious by nature, tin foresee really choppy nan seas are astir to go — and truthful nan opus rightfully, thrillingly embodies a tone of tremendous optimism, hope, escapade and desire, functioning arsenic nan motorboat of a quest for knowledge and acquisition that will yet toggle shape her some physically and spiritually.
“When’s it my turn?” Ariel demands here, and 34 years aft nan movie’s original release, that mobility remains conscionable arsenic captious for anyone aching for nan correct to unrecorded life connected their ain terms. And nan opus arguably hits moreover harder successful 2023, amidst a taste ambiance wherever individual freedoms are being systematically stripped from truthful galore agleam young women and countless different folks who are very overmuch sick of swimming, fresh to stand.
Magic Moment: Starting conversationally, nan slow-build opus climaxes erstwhile Ariel hits nan extended statement while querying, “wouldn’t I love, emotion to research that statement up abooooove!” But “Part Of Your World”s astir effective magic is embedded successful its reprise, erstwhile Ariel — lovestruck aft her brushwood pinch Prince Eric — makes bully connected nan committedness of portion 1 by shifting from aspiration to self-determination, pinch her declaration that “I don’t cognize when/ I don’t cognize how/ But I cognize something’s starting correct now/ Watch and you’ll see/ Someday I’ll be/ Part of your world.” — K.B.
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