How do you keep your motivation levels high when you are faced with difficult or impossible tasks? Don’t you need some inspiration every time you get stuck in your quests?
There are so many songs in the world that could help you, but Disney songs are the ones that can have a powerful effect upon your mind. That’s because they carry a message that can inspire you to go beyond what you think is possible.
Check out these 30 songs that will make you believe anything is possible.
Best Disney Songs of All Time
‘Let It Go’ (Frozen)
A musical fantasy film inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, “Let It Go” appears in the 2013 Disney animated movie Frozen.
Multiple award-giving bodies have recognized this Disney song. It won the 86th Academy Awards for Best Original Song, the 57th Grammy Awards for Best Song Written for Visual Media, the 19th Critics’ Choice Awards for Best Song, the Phoenix Film Critics Society for Best Original Song, and the Radio Disney Music Awards for Favorite Song From a Movie or TV Show.
‘Friend Like Me’ (Aladdin)
There is no doubt that “Friend Like Me” is one of Disney’s best songs. The song is sung by Genie and appears in the 1992 Disney film Aladdin.
During the 50th Golden Globe Awards in 1993, it was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
‘Hakuna Matata’ (The Lion King)
A hit song from the 1994 Disney animated musical film The Lion King, “Hakuna Matata,” means “no worries”. At the 1995 Academy Awards, it was nominated for Best Original Song.
According to the American Film Institute (AFI), this song ranked 99th out of all movie songs.
‘Under the Sea’ (The Little Mermaid)
“Under the Sea” is one of the most popular Disney songs from the 1991 Disney animated film The Little Mermaid.
The song is one of Disney’s classics. Whenever you hear it, you will want to dance.
In addition to other songs on this list written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, this Calypso-style track is inspired by Trinidadian and Jamaican reggae music.
‘Circle of Life’ (The Lion King)
It’s kind of a connection to the greater world when you hear The Lion King’s opening song.
During an interview, Rice said he was amazed at how fast John composed: “I gave him the lyrics at the beginning of the session at about two in the afternoon. By half-past three, he’d finished writing and recording a stunning demo.” Elton John sang a pop version (with alternative lyrics) of the song with the London Community Gospel Choir, which was included in the film’s soundtrack and made into a music video.
‘I See the Light’ (Tangled)
Alan Menken and Glenn Slater composed the song for Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 50th animated feature film Tangled, entitled “I See the Light.”.
It is a folk-inspired pop ballad recorded by American recording artist and actress Mandy Moore in her role as Rapunzel and American actor Zachary Levi as Flynn Rider.
As the seventh track on the soundtrack album, “I See the Light” describes Rapunzel and Flynn’s developing romance. It is also the first time the two of them realize their love for one another in one of Disney’s most mesmerizing moments.
‘Go the Distance’ (Hercules)
The song was from Hercules, a 1997 underrated film.
A song written by Alan Menken and David Zippel, it was recorded by Roger Bart as Hercules’ singing voice.
For the film’s end credits, Michael Bolton recorded a brilliant pop version of the song, while Ricky Martin sang the Spanish version.
‘Portobello Road’ (Bedknobs and Broomsticks)
Originally composed by the Sherman Brothers for the underrated live action film Bedknobs and Broomsticks, this track is about Portobello Road in London.
David Tomlinson sings the song about a famous market street where anything could happen.
A similar style of filming was used for the musical number from Oliver ‘Consider Yourself.’
‘Oo de Lally’ (Robin Hood)
Robin Hood’s first song, “Oo-De-Lally”, appears in Disney’s animated feature film of 1973.
Alan-A-Dale sings the song, Roger Miller voices it.
‘Colors of the Wind’ (Pocahontas)
In Walt Disney Pictures’ 33rd animated feature film, Pocahontas, “Colors of the Wind,” was composed by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.
Flowy, elegant, and rich with imagery and grandiose sonics, this piece is a masterpiece. This pop ballad contrasts European imperialism’s priorities with values like respecting nature and living in harmony with the Earth.
“Colors of the Wind” has never been more relevant than now during this time of climate change.
‘You’re Welcome’ (Moana)
The song You’re Welcome is from the 2016 film Moana.
Featuring Maui as the “hero of men” in South Pacific legend, it is sung in pattern rap style.
‘Baby Mine’ (Dumbo)
Frank Churchilla and Ned Washington wrote this incredibly emotional song for 1941’s Dumbo. In the original film version, Betty Noyes sang the vocals.
Before the two are separated from each other in the film, Dumbo’s mother, Mrs Jumbo, sings this lullaby while cradling her baby with her trunk.
It was nominated for a 1942 Academy Award for Best Original Song.
‘A Spoonful of Sugar’ (Mary Poppins)
“A Spoonful of Sugar” is a song from the movie Mary Poppins that was actually influenced by the polio vaccine.
The song was composed by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman for Walt Disney’s 1964 film Mary Poppins and its 2004 musical version.
During the song, Mary Poppins instructs Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber) to clean their rooms. It can be fun, even though the task seems daunting, she tells them. Mary’s leitmotif is the melody throughout the film. In the interlude, she notices that Michael could not get out of the closet doors.
‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ (Toy Story)
“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” is a song by Randy Newman.
Originally the theme song of Disney/Pixar’s 1995 animated film Toy Story, this song has become a key musical component of its sequels, Toy Story 2 (1999), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Toy Story 4 (2019), as well as a musical leitmotif for all the Toy Story films.
The song was nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
‘Beauty and the Beast’ (Beauty and the Beast)
“Beauty and the Beast” is a Disney animated feature film song written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken.
Originally recorded by British-American actress Angela Lansbury when she played the character Mrs., the film’s theme song is a Broadway ballad. This film describes the relationship between Belle and the Beast, focusing on how they have learned to accept their differences and change each other for the better by accepting their differences.
In addition, the song’s lyrics suggest that love is ageless and timeless, like a “tale as old as time”.
‘Almost There’ (The Princess and the Frog)
“Almost There” is a song written by Randy Newman for Walt Disney Pictures’ 49th animated feature film The Princess and the Frog (2009).
It was originally recorded by actress and singer Anika Noni Rose in her film role as Tiana.
‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ (Pinocchio)
“When You Wish Upon a Star” was written by Leigh Harline and composed by Ned Washington.
A simple-but-effective song sung by Jiminy Cricket, a supporting character in the film.
There is something inspiring about this song that makes you believe anything is possible. That’s what Disney is all about.
Originally composed for the soundtrack of Disney’s 1998 animated film Mulan, “Reflection” was written and produced by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel.
In the film, the song is performed by Tony Award winner, Filipina singer and actress Lea Salonga as Fa Mulan.
During the Disney Gold Classic Collection DVD release of the film in February 2000, a music video for “Reflection” was included. Its emotional writing and Salonga’s vocals have received highly positive reviews.
‘He Mele No Lilo’ (Lilo & Stitch)
Lilo & Stitch’s opening song, “He Mele No Lilo,” appears on the soundtrack as well.
A traditional Hawaiian song known as “Mele Inoa no Kalakaua” (Name Song for Kalakaua) is a major influence on “He Mele No Lilo”.
During Stitch and Ani’s time together in the Japanese version of the anime episode “Lilo”, a melody from “He Mele No Lilo” played.
‘Remember Me’ (Coco)
The song was written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez for the 2017 Pixar film Coco.
Benjamin Bratt, Gael Garca Bernal, Anthony Gonzalez, and Ana Ofelia Murgua all perform the song at different points in the film.
This song was written by Ernesto’s music partner Héctor Rivera, and is first introduced as a mariachi track, urging Ernesto’s fans to keep him in mind. It is one of Ernesto de la Cruz’s most popular songs.
‘You Can Fly’ (Peter Pan)
Walt Disney’s Peter Pan has a song called “You Can Fly”.
Peter, Wendy, John, Michael, and Tinker Bell sang it during their flight to Neverland.
A slower instrumental version of the song was used for the segments on Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom in the Magic Kingdom Club Gold Card: Update ’95 video.
‘The Bare Necessities’ (The Jungle Book)
Featured in the animated 1967 Disney film The Jungle Book, “The Bare Necessities” was written by Terry Gilkyson and sung by Phil Harris as Baloo and Bruce Reitherman as Mowgli.
It was originally written for an earlier version of the movie that never came to fruition.
The Sherman Brothers, who wrote the other songs of the film, kept this as the only song used from the previous version.
‘How Far I’ll Go’ (Moana)
Two musical numbers from Disney’s 2016 animated musical Moana are “How Far I’ll Go” and its reprise.
Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote it with additional music and Mark Mancina co-produced the reprise.
Moana, the lead role played by American actress and singer Auliîi Cravalho, performed the song. On November 18, 2016, it was released along with the album.
‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ (Encanto)
Encanto, the breakout hit animated film in the 2020s, has officially joined the Disney soundtrack canon.
As well as topping the Billboard 200 albums chart, the soundtrack scored two top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits, including Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” (credited to Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz and the Encanto Cast) and “Surface Pressure” (Jessica Darrow) — the first Disney song to hit No. 1 since 1993.
‘A Whole New World’ (Aladdin)
The song is Aladdin and Jasmine’s love ballad as they take a magical carpet ride with the help of Tim Rice.
The writing process for “A Whole New World” took only 45 minutes, despite being one of Disney’s most famous songs! Lea Salonga and Brad Kane performed the song outside of their animated forms at the Academy Awards. Is there anything we can say about this whimsical track? Shining, shimmering, and splendid, it is.
‘You’ll Be In My Heart’ (Tarzan)
The standout song from that movie is “You’ll Be In My Heart” by Collins, which was originally sung by Kala the ape (Glenn Close) in the film.
Collins wrote five original songs for the 1999 film. Despite the song’s ending in the movie, its full version can be found on the soundtrack.
This Disney smash won the Golden Globe and Academy Awards for Best Original Song, like many other Disney hits. Additionally, it was nominated for a Grammy for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture.
In a fun fact, Lily Collins, Phil Collins’ actress daughter, says this is her favorite song from him.
‘Out There’ (The Hunchback of Notre Dam)
Baumann: This is wonderful musical songwriting – actually, it’s a little overambitious for a children’s movie, with its countermelodies, key changes, and Hulce’s piercing upper register.
It’s not a song to sing along to, it’s a song to be moved by.
In keeping with Hunchback’s strange, dark, and sinister tone, which I never quite liked as a fourth grader. Maybe it’s time to revisit this forgotten oddity of Disney’s Golden Age, since “Out There” is just as stirring as any Disney musical.
‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You’ (Mulan)
“I’ll Make a Man Out of You” is a Walt Disney Pictures’ 36th animated feature film Mulan (1998) song composed by composer Matthew Wilder.
There’s nothing like a pop song with a giant orchestra and a meaty backing chorus to send an entire car full of adults into hysterics three hours into a road trip.
In spite of its being the second-most heteronormative/repressive song in Mulan behind “Honor to Us All”, its popularity has endured for a very long time.
‘Part of Your World’ (The Little Mermaid)
“Part of Your World” was composed by Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman for the 1989 animated Disney film The Little Mermaid.
An ethereal power ballad in which the main character expresses her desire to become human in “Part of Your World,” a power ballad performed by American actress and singer Jodi Benson as Ariel, a mermaid princess. The lyrics substitute placeholder names for many human-related terms which would be unfamiliar to mermaids.
After rescuing Eric, a human prince with whom she has fallen in love, Ariel reprises the film’s theme song, “Part of Your World.”.
‘In a World of My Own’ (Alice in Wonderland, 1951)
Alice sings “In a World of My Own” in the 1951 Disney animated feature film Alice in Wonderland.
Alice was supposed to sing a slow ballad called “Beyond the Laughing Sky”, which was about Alice dreaming of a new world, very much like Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz. Due to Kathryn Beaumont’s difficulty singing, it was decided that starting the film off with a slow ballad would be risky.
Disney’s songs can be extremely inspirational. They are packed with uplifting messages that can help make your life better. Although life is challenging, these Disney songs will remind you that life is still beautiful.
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