Following the release of Disney's live action movie, Mulan 2020, we are inspired to take you on a trip down the memory lane with our favourite Disney songs!
Whether you are a Disney fanatic or not, chances are you have heard one or two of the Disney classics. So, without further ado, let's dive right in!
Pinocchio's When You Wish Upon a Star
The most iconic song that defines Disney as a whole is Pinocchio's When You Wish Upon A Star. Dating all the way back to 1940, the song still lives on and has been used by Walt Disney in the opening sequences of all the editions of the Walt Disney movies and television series. It has become the main theme for Disney and arguably the most popular Disney song of today.
2. Aladdin's A Whole New World
"A Whole New World" is Disney's magic carpet ride of wonder and fantasy. Lyrically, the song describes Aladdin showing Princess Jasmine a life of freedom and the pair's acknowledgement of their love for each other as they ride on a magic carpet. Easily one of the most memorable songs of Disney, Aladdin's A Whole New World won both an Oscar for Best Original Song and a (Disney's first and only!) Grammy for Song of the Year , beating out legendary musicians such as Billy Joel and Neil Young.
3. Lion King's Circle of Life
The song is well known for its opening line, sung by South African composer Lebo M. in Zulu. Translated to English, the lyrics in the opening line are ," Here comes a lion, father/Oh yes it's a lion ". Due to the film's great impact on popular culture, the song "Circle of Life" was also propelled to fame and was often referenced in other media such as the Doctor Who series, the film Chicken Little and A Bug's Life. In 2011, President Barack Obama spoofed a conspiracy theory that he was born outside of the United States, rather than this birthplace in Hawaii using the opening chant of Lion King's Circle of Life.
4. Pocahontas' Colors of the Wind
Written by Disney god Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, "Colors of the Wind" is about animism and respecting nature. It also touches on the issue of prejudice and the pain of having their native land taken away by colonists. As the lyrics go, "You think you own whatever land you land on/The Earth is just a dead thing you can claim". For a Disney movie, the main theme for Pocahontas is not afraid to bring forth an important message in the voice of the American Natives. The genius of the lyrics is what makes this song so iconic and important, even in today's context. It has also won the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
5. Mulan's Reflection
This song is performed after Mulan returns home following a humiliating and failed attempt to impress her matchmaker. The lyrics express the way Mulan feels about wishing she could show the world who she really is, but is afraid of bringing dishonour to her family by doing so. The song achieved widespread attention when it was released and had gained recognition with Film Score of the Year in the International Film Music Critics Award & Nominee of the Academy Awards & Golden Globes for Best Music/Original Song.
6. You've Got a Friend in Me
"You've got a friend in me" was originally written by Randy Newman. It was used as the theme song for the 1995 Disney/Pixar animated film Toy Story. The song was nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. As the song title implies, the song sings about how one can always rely on their friends through even the roughest of times. Initially, the film makes us think that it was about the friendship between Andy and Woody. However, as the film progresses, it becomes clear that Buzz is that friend instead.
7. The Little Mermaid's Under the Sea
"Under the Sea" is a popular song from Disney's 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid, again composed by Alan Menken. The song is influenced by the Calypso style of the Caribbean as well as Reggae, which originated in Jamaica. The track won the Academy Award for Best Original Song along with the Grammy Award for Best Song written for visual media. The song speaks about The Little Mermaid , where her sea creature friends plea for her to remain sea-bound and resist her desire to become a human to pursue prince Eric, whom she fell in love with. The song is also present throughout all the Walt Disney parks and resorts and the Disney Cruise Line.
8. Beauty and the Beast's Tale as Old as Time
Beauty and the Beast's theme, "Tale as Old as Time" imply that the feeling of love is timeless and ageless.
It was sung by British-American actress Angela Lansbury in her role as the voice of the character Mrs. Potts. The track was very successful, garnering both a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Song as well as Grammy Awards for Best Song Written for Visual Media and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
9. Let It Go
"Let It Go" is a song from Disney's 2013 animated feature film Frozen. The song was performed by actress and singer Idina Menzel in role as Queen Elsa. It is the first song from a Disney animated musical to reach top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 since 1995 when Pocahontas "Colors of the Wind" peaked at number 4 on the chart. The song presents Queen Elsa, who flees her kingdom when she loses control of her ability to generate ice. Elsa moved away from the townspeople, realizing she doesn't need to hide her abilities, she rejoices in being able to use her powers freely, to "let it go".
10 . How Far I'll Go
From the animated feature film Moana, "How Far I'll Go" is a power ballad from Disney. It won the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards and Platinum in the UK and 5x Platinum in the US. The track expresses a deep and rich message about Moana's struggle with her desire to explore beyond her island.
Zoe is an avid fan of all kinds of music. Her primary instrument is the guitar but she is always passionately learning how to play other instruments such as the drums and keyboard. She is currently playing the bass guitar in a band and has been routinely involved in music since she was a child.