Most of us would agree that Disney music did constitute a major chunk of our childhood. Even if one forcibly tries to extricate these thoroughly ingrained melodies, one cannot help but be impressed anew by the sheer complexity, wit and undeniable beauty of the original songs that Disney feature films have foisted upon the world.
While most tracks are extremely catchy and each one is part of a critical moment for the characters singing in unison, there are some that we think stand tall and will always be sung. Here are seven such songs:
Let it go, Frozen (2013)
American actress and singer Idina Menzel went from being a Broadway actress to an overnight sensation, thanks to her vocals in Disney’s Frozen. Written by the husband-and-wife duo, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the song became a call for independence for adolescent girls coping with familial pressures to act under traditional gender roles.
In the film, Let It Go is Elsa’s moment of departure from the societal expectations placed on her by her parents.
You'll be in my Heart, Tarzan (1999)
Phil Collins' You'll be in my Heart signals the beginning of Tarzan’s upbringing into the family he would call his own, and it shows that home is where the unbreakable bonds of the heart lie.
The ballad shows that Tarzan’s love for his mother has nothing to do with his species as a human being and that there is no division when it comes to compassion.
You've Got a Friend in Me, Toy Story (1995)
You've Got a Friend in Me, sung by Randy Newman, not only establishes the relationship between Andy and his toys, but it also signifies the end to their relationship, as Andy enters early adulthood.
The song also serves as an epiphany for the toys that youth isn’t everlasting, and that, in time, the child-like imagination eventually fades away.
Hakuna Matata, The Lion King (1994)
Hakuna Matata is a Swahili phrase that roughly translates to “no worries”. The song provides an upbeat moment shortly after the passing of Simba’s father Mufasa.
The song serves as the moral backbone for the film as the titular character restores life to the Pride Land.
Circle of Life, The Lion King (1994)
Circle of Life, composed by Sir Elton John with lyrics by Tim Rice, mixes traditional African sounds with the voice of singer Carmen Twillie. The song adheres to the ideology that all life must run its course and be treated with respect.
The song shows us the beginning of a new life. Simba is learning the ways of his kingship as he adopts the philosophy handed down to him from the lives which came before.
Beauty and the Beast, Beauty and the Beast (1991)
This was originally performed by Angela Lansbury in her role as Mrs. Potts. However, it was also covered in a duet sung by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson. The relationship between Belle and the Beast is described in the hauntingly beautiful ballad.
We see Belle dressed in a yellow ball gown, meeting the Beast, who is in a royal blue and gold suit. The two waltz through the room, as Mrs. Potts serenades them.
The Bare Necessities, The Jungle Book (1967)
No one can top the jazzy stylings of the singing bear from the 1967 film, The Jungle Book. Sung by Phil Harris, the song is a quintessential lesson in the Disney wheelhouse.
It emphasizes the message that no one can search for something that isn’t there. Only when one learns to appreciate the simple things in life that one will truly begin to accept the life one has.
What do you think is the greatest Disney song of all time? Did your favorite make the cut? Let us know in the comments section below!