1 The Mickey Mindset: 111 Awesome Disney Songs, Part 1

Friday, July 11, 2014

111 Awesome Disney Songs, Part 1

Ryan Dosier - Greetings, Disnerds! For a long time, I've been contemplating what sort of articles I'd like to write for The Mickey Mindset (other than my animated reviews). There's just so much content in the Disney universe that it was simply daunting for me to even think about picking something to write about, let alone actually writing it. But then I realized I was listening to my Disney playlist and realized that the music of Disney would be a perfect subject for an article series. This series is similar to one I had done last year on The Muppet Mindset with 120 Awesome Muppet Songs.

For Disney, I went through my iTunes collection (which admittedly doesn't have every Disney song) and chose all of my favorites. Oddly enough, as soon as I did that I was left with exactly 111 songs. It was too perfect not to just run with. The songs will be presented in completely random order--no favoritism here. So here we go with ten posts, each with 11 songs, showcasing the best of Disney music (in my opinion)!

1.)   "I Wan'na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" from The Jungle Book
I couldn't be happier with the first song in the list! The Jungle Book is one of my favorite Disney animated features and this song is probably my favorite in the film. Written by the incomparable Sherman Brothers and performed by Louis Prima as King Louie, this jazzy number is spectacular. While the song is great to just listen to, watching it on the screen with the incredible animation of King Louie is even better. Favorite Lyrics: "Now I'm the king of the swingers, oh, the Jungle VIP/I reached the top, and had to stop, and that's what's botherin' me!"

2.)   "Mother Knows Best" from Tangled
If there's one thing Disney does best, it's villain songs. "Mother Knows Best" is one of those villain sings that is immensely catchy and clever but bears some truly frightening lyrics when you pay attention. The spectacular Donna Murphy provides the voice for Mother Gothel and she's incredible in this song. Music and lyrics come from Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, so it's no wonder that the music is flitting and wonderful and the lyrics are dynamic and clever. It's a great, bouncy villain number that I love. Favorite Lyrics: "Mother's right here, mother will protect you/Darling, here's what I suggest/Skip the drama, stay with mama/Mother knows best."

3.)   "He's a Tramp" from Lady and the Tramp
Ah, Lady and the Tramp, one of the most wonderful Disney love stories. Nestled in the middle of the film is this saucy serenade from Peggy Lee voicing the character Peg. For only having one scene in the film, Peg remains one of the most memorable parts of this film simply because of this song. It's fun, it will get stuck in your head, and it's brilliantly performed. I love random songs like this in Disney features from one-off characters. It's a sign of a simpler time where any character could break into song. Favorite Lyrics: "He's a tramp, he's a scoundrel/He's a rounder, he's a cad/He's a tramp, but I love him/Yes, even I have got it pretty bad."

4.)   "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan
The songs in Mulan are few and far between, but this power ballad performed by Donny Osmond (of all people) is epic. It's one of my favorite Disney songs to sing along with because it's so fierce and tranquil at the same time (see what I did there?). The repetitiveness of the melody and the lyrics really reflect the repetitiveness of training. I love the drum beat in the background as well. It really, really feels like an army song. Favorite Lyrics: "Let's get down to business/To defeat the Huns/Did they send me daughters/When I asked for sons?"

5.)   "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" from Lilo & Stitch
I fell head over heels in love with Lilo & Stitch when I rewatched it last year, and the music is a huge reason why. The Hawaiian influence on the songs performed is incredible. "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" comes at a pivotal point in the film, where Nani takes Lilo surfing and Stitch experiences fun for the first time. The music of the song sounds magical, and accompanied with the lyrics mixed with English and Hawaiian is just beautiful. Listening to it instantly transports me to a beach somewhere and I love that. Favorite Lyrics: "Whirlpool swirling, cascading twirling/Hawaiian roller coaster ride."

6.)   "Forget About Love" from Aladdin and the Return of Jafar
This is one of the few songs from Disney's drove of direct-to-video sequels that I truly love. Who would have thought that Gilbert Gottfried could sing, let alone carry an entire song? Maybe it's the swirling and beauty-invoking music that makes this song so lovely, but the lyrics are delightful as well. In the song, Iago tries to push Jasmine back to Aladdin with a little reverse psychology--and it works. It's just a delightful little moment in the abyss of Disney sequels. Favorite Lyrics: "You're better on your own/A meal becomes a banquet when you eat alone!"

7.)   "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" from The Lion King
The greatest Disney love song ever? Maybe. "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" is at least in the running for the top spot. The song is accentuated brilliantly in the film by lush, colorful backgrounds and wonderful animation as we see Simba and Nala fall in love. The song transcended the film and made for a hit single for Elton John when the movie came out. This may be unpopular opinion, but I'm a sucker for Timon and Pumbaa's lines bookending the song, give me them over Elton any day. Favorite Lyrics: "Can you feel the love tonight?/The peace the evening brings/The world for once in perfect harmony/With all its living things."

8.)   "On My Way" from Brother Bear
Oh my gosh I love this song. Honestly, this song is my favorite part of Brother Bear. Phil Collins did outstanding work on the music for the film, and it stands out as the best part of the film for me. It's a perfect song for travel, for vacation, for moving... it's just wonderful. I think the song is actually more enjoyable outside of the film. It's just a good, good song to listen to. Favorite Lyrics: "Tell everybody I'm on way/New friends and new places to see/With blue skies ahead, yes I'm on my way/And there's nowhere else that I'd rather be."

9.)   "Down to Earth" from WALL-E
Peter Gabriel sings this song that plays during the beautiful end credits of WALL-E. The song has an electronic, synthesized sound that is perfect for the film. It starts slow, but builds to beautiful intensity as the lyrics remind us that we can fly. I could just watch the end credits of WALL-E with this song playing over it and still be moved. Both the song and the film are great reminders of why we need to take care of our planet. Favorite Lyrics: "Did you think you'd escaped from routine/By changing the script and the scene?/Despite all you made of it/You're always afraid of a change."

10.)   "The Ludwig Von Drake Song" from House of Mouse
This song is probably the most random choice in the entire list. It was performed by Ludwig Von Drake in one episode of the awesome Disney Channel series House of Mouse. In the song, Ludwig names off every Disney character present. It's bouncy and crazy and fun and I can't imagine how difficult it was rhyming some of the lyrics. It also features a cameo from the late, great Roy Disney! Favorite Lyrics: "Here's Lumiere the candlestick/And Cogsworth, he's the clock/There's Bashful, Grumpy, Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Dopey, Doc!"

11.)   "Out There" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame
A perfect song to close out the list this week. This is perhaps my favorite Alan Menken ballad... and that's saying something. Quasimodo gives this song such heart and soul that it's so hard not to love. Every time I hear this song it makes me want to go out and take on the world and live my dreams, just as good songs--and most Menken songs--do. This is a true highlight of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and one of the most woefully under-appreciated Disney songs. Eat your heart out, "Let It Go." Favorite Lyrics: "Out there among the millers and the weavers and their wives/Through the roofs and gables I can see them/Everyday they shout and scold and go about their lives,/Heedless of the gift it is to be them!/If I was in their skin, I'd treasure every instant!"

Tune in next week for 11 more awesome Disney songs!

No comments:

Post a Comment