Tuesday, September 2, 2014
111 Awesome Disney Songs, Part 5
The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room" from Disneyland
This is one of those songs that immediately makes me think of Disneyland, and makes me wonder why I'm sitting here typing and not in the park right now. It's chock full of great, silly lyrics and jokes ("I sing so beautiful, I should sing solo." "Si, so low we can't hear you!"), and the birds are all wonderfully fun characters. Really, there's not much more to say other than I adore this attraction and this song. Favorite Lyrics: "All the birds sing words/And the flowers croon/In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room!"
46.) "I've Got No Strings" from Pinocchio
Pinocchio is one of my favorite films, and the music is such a huge part of why it's so delightfully charming and enjoyable. This little number performed by Pinocchio as part of Strombolli's marionette show is so innocent and sweet... until the saucy German marionette girls swoop in. It's funny, it's fun, the music is simple but delightful, and the lyrics are adorable. Just like Pinocchio. Favorite Lyrics: "I've got no strings/So I have fun/I'm not tied up to anyone/They've got strings/But you can see/There are no strings on me."
Dig a Little Deeper" from The Princess and the Frog
My favorite song from The Princess and the Frog is Mama Odie's brilliantly upbeat and joyful "Dig a Little Deeper." This song breathes so much life into Mama Odie, a character who only appears in a few scenes in the film, but steals every one of them. Couple that with the soulful vocals of Jenifer Lewis, and you've got one of the finest gospel-themed songs in any animated film. It's a blast. Favorite Lyrics: "Don't matter what ya look like/Don't matter what ya wear/How many rings ya got on your fingers?/We don't care--no, we don't care!"
48.) "It's Gonna Be Great" from Winnie the Pooh
One of the most vastly underrated Disney animated features is 2011's Winnie the Pooh. It's so deliciously funny and clever, and its charm is never-ending. One of my favorite moments from the film is this song that Tigger sings with Eeyore as he helps the morose donkey become a Tigger. The song is, dare I say it, bouncy, and one of the finest singing performances from the legendary Jim Cummings. Favorite Lyrics: "Strike me down, give me all you got/Bounce me, trounce me, flounce me, pounce me/Do it, do it, do it/It's gonna be great, it's gonna be great, it's gonna be great."
That's How You Know" from Enchanted
Ah, the modern day fairytale classic Enchanted. Not only is it one of Amy Adams' best performances, but the film features new music from Alan Menken and its awesome. No song is better than the show stopping production number "That's How You Know." The dancing, singing, spectacle is one of the best in live action Disney films. Trivia: the old men dancing in the park were the original "Step in Time" dancers from Mary Poppins! Favorite Lyrics: "Well does he leave a little note/To tell you you are on his mind/Send you yellow flowers when the sky is gray?/He'll find a new way to show you/A little bit everyday."
50.) "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast
A spectacular opening number to one of Disney's finest features. "Belle" is a wonderful example of group performance and echoes Broadway-style music better than any Disney animated feature song before it. Leave it to Howard Ashman and Alan Menken for that! The catchy, "talking" lyrics, the refrain of "Bonjour!" to open the song, Paige O'Hara as Belle, and so much more make this song simply delightful. Favorite Lyrics: "There goes the baker with his tray, like always/The same old bread and rolls to sell/Every morning just the same/Since the morning that we came/To this poor provincial town/Good morning, Belle!"
51.) "Topsy Turvy" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame
A break from the dark tones of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is this joyful, colorful blast midway through the film. Clopin, the clown gypsy, sings the song with ease and speed. It's so much fun to watch all the wacky things going on in Paris on this Topsy Turvy Day. It also provides a brief moment of happiness for poor Quasimodo... before ripping it away in one of the film's darkest scenes. But still, fun song. Favorite Lyrics: "Once a year, we throw a party here in town/Once a year, we turn all Paris upside down/Every man's a king, and every king's a clown/Once a year on Topsy Turvy Day!"
I've Got a Dream" from Tangled
Tangled features one of the few songs in modern-day Disney animated features to be primarily performed by unnamed characters, and it's this riotous ditty "I've Got a Dream." The main singers, voiced by Brad Garrett and Jeffery Tambor, are never given names, but their plights and their dreams are wonderful. It's such a treat to hear incredibly different voices like these performing in a Disney feature. This is perhaps my favorite moment in all of Tangled. Favorite Lyrics: "I've got scars, and lumps, and bruises/And something here that oozes/And let's not even mention my complexion!/But despite my extra toes, and my goiter, and my nose/I really wanna make a love connection!"
Proud of Your Boy" from Aladdin (Deleted Song)
The only deleted song included on the whole list is also the fifth Alan Menken song in a row! Of course, "Proud of Your Boy" went on to be a major player in the Broadway version of Aladdin, but originally it was penned by Alan and Howard Ashman for the animated film. It was cut after a sub-plot involving Aladdin's mother was removed. But the song is so important and soft and powerful. It's one of the most resonating Disney songs, period, and I'm so thrilled that it has found a home on Broadway. Favorite Lyrics: "Proud of your boy/I'll make you proud of your boy/Believe me, bad as I've been mom/You're in for a pleasant surprise/I've wasted time/I've wasted me/So say I'm slow for my age/A late bloomer/Okay, I agree!"
Winnie-the-Pooh" from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
I just need to hear someone start humming this song, and I immediately have to start singing along. It's so bouncy and catchy and lovely. This Sherman Brothers tune evokes everything that Winnie the Pooh represents: joy and kindness and friendship. Plus, it's a really handy way to remember all of the Pooh characters (except the oddly absent Tigger) in one handy song! Favorite Lyrics: "Deep in the Hundred Acre Woods/Where Christopher Robin plays/You'll find the enchanted neighborhood/Of Christopher's childhood days..."
Bella Notte" from Lady and the Tramp
"Bella Notte" is one of the most wonderful Disney love songs, and one that often gets overlooked in favor of the newer era of songs. Still, its music and lyrics are some of the best to be found in the Disney canon. Performed by Tony, the Italian restauranteur who feeds Lady and the Tramp the famous spaghetti, "Bella Notte" is the perfect accompaniment to any romantic dinner or occasion. Favorite Lyrics: "This is the night/It's a beautiful night/And we call it bella notte/Look at the skies/They have stars in their eyes/On this lovely belle notte."