As a product of the Disney Renaissance (and because I have been watching Disney cartoons with my baby cousins all weekend long), I decided to pull out the Mickey ears and tug on those heartstrings for a Disney-themed playlist this week.
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1. “Hakuna Matata” – from “The Lion King”
Several of my earliest childhood memories stem from this film, but in particular, the moment below is one of my all-time favorite film scenes.
I’ll admit, I still do the headshake from time to time. Admit it, you probably do too. I won’t tell your secret…no worries.
2. “Beauty and the Beast” – from “Beauty and the Beast”
Everyone who knows me knows that this is truly “my song.” It was a staple of my childhood days, I sang it as a senior in high school when I played Mrs. Potts, and it brings back floods of memories (and subsequent heart pangs) every time I hear it. It’s one of those tunes that is truly as old as time – too special to describe but too moving to not share.
3. “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” – from “Mary Poppins”
This is just one of the most uplifting, jolly good songs you can listen to. While I have a personal connection to the song because of a particularly interesting dance class during a school trip to NYC, it is just a lot of ~fun~. Always. Cue the tamborine.
4. “Go The Distance” – from “Hercules”
Every form of this song is great – the full track that spurs a travel montage to visit Zeus, the reprise where our hero Herc rides away on Pegasus, even the Michael Bolton version. It’s another example of composer Alan Mencken’s genius and true heart when it comes to making beloved soundtracks for those of us who came of age during the Disney Renaissance – and beyond.
5. “Out There” – from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
One of the most beautiful Disney songs and scores (arguably of all time), this soaring song for Quasimodo is just as moving as it was when I first heard it as a toddler. This soundtrack is the ultimate choke up – there isn’t a song on there that isn’t full of sweeping orchestrations and deep-running textual meaning (which yes, I understood when I was older, but still, it was a LOT for a kid). But my favorite part? That waterfall ride. The best.
6. “Thomas O’Malley Cat” – from “The Aristocats”
The swagger and the sweetness of Thomas O’Malley always delighted me as a child, and still does to this day. It’s got a little jazz thrown in with the horns that is heard in a lot of the older Disney animated features, which only adds to the fun. Two tail swishes way up.
7. “You’ll Be In My Heart” from “Tarzan”
If it’s not the “Hunchback” soundtrack that makes me choke up, it’s the Phil Collins-helmed one for “Tarzan” that does the trick. This movie came out when I was old enough to remember seeing it with my family, singing along to all of the songs with my mother in the car, and starting to fully understand for myself the spectrum of comedy and tragedy in a story. For those reasons and more, this film (and in particular, this song) will be with me, always. (Yeah, I went for the cliche. Sue me.)
8. “Just Around The Riverbend” from “Pocahontas”
Thinking back as to why I loved “Pocahontas” so much, maybe it was the protagonist’s independent spirit and passion for the things she loved. Maybe it was the fact that she had a talking tree for a fairy godmother and an adorable raccoon friend named Meeko. Who knows? Regardless, this is one of my favorite songs from the Disney Renaissance that I so (and still) loved.
What are some of your favorite Disney songs? Leave you comments and picks below!