Monday, September 15, 2014
111 Awesome Disney Songs, Part 6
When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinocchio
No song says Disney more than the theme from Pinocchio. In fact, this was (and in my opinion, still is) undoubtedly the anthem for The Walt Disney Company. "When You Wish Upon a Star" encapsulates everything that Disney stands for as both an entertainment company and an ideal to strive for. The "Disney Way" is this song, and it's perfection. Jiminy Cricket's original version from Pinocchio remains the stalwart best. Favorite Lyrics: "Like a bolt out of the blue/Fate steps in and sees you through/When you wish upon a star/Your dreams come true."
57.) "Perfect World" from The Emperor's New Groove
Come on, I had to include a song from The Emperor's New Groove, one of Disney's most under-appreciated animated features. No, it's not a musical, but this number performed by rock and roll legend Tom Jones to open the film is spectacular. It sets the tone for the film immediately, and clues you into the fact that this will definitely not be the traditional Disney fare. "Perfect World" is a perfect song for this film. Favorite Lyrics: "He was born and raised to rule/No one has ever been this cool/In a thousand years of aristocracy/An enigma and a mystery/In Meso American history/The quintessence of perfection/That is he!"
58.) "Once Upon a Dream" from Sleeping Beauty
This song is actually my favorite part of Sleeping Beauty. It's gorgeously animated, the backgrounds are incredibly stunning, and the song is magical. The lyrics illustrate such a beautiful ideal--meeting your true love in a dream, and knowing they're the one for you when you meet them for real. It's such a delightful moment in one of Walt Disney's classic films. Perfectly performed, stunningly animated, and a wonderful part of Disney music history. Favorite Lyrics: "I know you, I've walked with you/Once upon a dream/I know you, the gleam in your eyes/Is so familiar agleam/And I know it's true/That visions are seldom what they seem/But if I know you/I know what you'll do/You'll love me at once/The way you did once upon a dream."
Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" from Frozen
The newest song in the list this week comes directly from the icy world of Frozen, the latest Disney animated blockbuster. "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" is the catchiest song in the film and the one that stuck with me the most after my first viewing of the film. I love the angelic voices of the girls singing the song, the adorable way Anna says "It doesn't have to be a snowman," and everything else about this song. Favorite Lyrics: "Do you wanna build a snow man?/Or ride our bikes around the halls/I think some company is overdue/I've started talking to/The pictures on the walls!"
Gonna Take You There" from The Princess and the Frog
I really don't understand how you could not love The Princess and the Frog. Stunning traditional animation, wonderful storytelling, and exceptional music from Randy Newman. Ray the Lightning Bug (voiced by voice actor virtuoso Jim Cummings) is my favorite character in the film, and this quick zydeco-flavored song he sings to Tiana is a blast. The animation in this scene is especially stunning, with the many lightning bugs hopping and flying through the swamp. It's a joy. Favorite Lyrics: "We all go through together/Down here that's how we do!/Me for them and them for me/We'll all be there for you!"
61.) "Stand Out" from A Goofy Movie
I'm pretty sure I've already said this, but my goodness does A Goofy Movie have excellent music. "Stand Out" is the first Powerline song we hear in the film, as Max ruins his school assembly performing it with incredible light and video effects. The song is actually a really nice message of coming to terms with how you're different and how you stand out because of it. Plus, it rocks super hard. Favorite Lyrics: "Some people settle for the typical things/Living all their lives waiting in the wings/It ain't a question of if, just a matter of time/Before I move to the front of the line!"
62.) "Go the Distance" from Hercules
Perhaps my favorite Alan Menken ballad, "Go the Distance" is the anthem for many, many people setting out to live their dreams on a grand scale. I adore this song so much and I've sang it in the car when I needed a reminder of how important dreams are on multiple occasions. It's one of those songs with a message that will never get old or stop being important. "Go the Distance" is one of many factors that makes Hercules so wonderful. Favorite Lyrics: "I have often dreamed/Of a far off place/Where a great, warm welcome/Will be waiting for me/Where the crowds will cheer/When they see my face/And a voice keeps saying/This is where I'm meant to be."
63.) "On the Open Road" from A Goofy Movie
Ooh, yet another song from A Goofy Movie, and one of my favorites! This is the only true "musical" style song in the whole film, where there characters are spontaneously all singing the same song. Oddly, I think "On the Open Road" is my favorite tune from the flick. I love Bill Farmer's singing voice as Goofy and this song fits him so well. The chorus of other drivers who chime in are also incredibly well done. Favorite Lyrics: "Do ya need a break from modern livin'?/Do you long to shed your weary load?/If your nerves are raw and your brain is fried/Just grab a friend and take a ride/Together upon the open road!"
64.) "Strangers Like Me" from Tarzan
Have we had any songs from Tarzan on the list yet? Probably... and I'm too lazy to go back and check! Anyway, Phil Collins' work with the music in Tarzan is wonderful. One of the few Disney animated features to feature prominent songs that characters don't sing, Tarzan features a plethora of hits. "Strangers Like Me" is a beautiful storytelling song in the film, but also works as a wonderful anthem for finding a place where you belong. A true highlight of the film. Favorite Lyrics: "Every gesture, every move that she makes/Makes me feel like never before/Why do I have/This growing need to be beside her /Ooh, these emotions I never knew/Of some other world far beyond this place/Beyond the trees, above the clouds/I see before me a new horizon."
Reflection" from Mulan
Another beautiful anthem from a Disney animated feature, "Reflection" is a favorite of many girls and women who adored Mulan. But really, "Reflection" reflects all of us searching for purpose and trying to define who we truly are. It's a touching and staggering song expressing how most people feel at a young age. Trying to figure out who you are at the most confusing period of life is never easy, and this song explores and expresses that incredibly well. Favorite Lyrics: "Who is that girl I see?/Staring straight back at me/Why is my reflection someone I don't know?/Somehow I cannot hide/Who I am, though I've tried/When will my reflection show/Who I am inside?"
66.) "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from Mary Poppins
Absolutely one of the most clever songs ever written, this impossible to spell Sherman Brothers classic is a delight. When performed by Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke, "Supercali-" becomes a masterpiece. I adore this song and how silly and fun and wonderful it is. It's the definition of a nonsense song, and it's marvelous. Favorite Lyrics: "Because I was afraid to speak/When I was just a lad/Me father gave me nose a tweak/And told me I was bad/But then I learned a word to help me save my achin' nose/The biggest word you ever hear/And this is how it goes, oh!/Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"