Top 5 Musical Scenes From Animated Disney Movies

22 Oct

This is week 2 of our musical top 5 lists, and we decided to focus this week on Disney cartoons.  This might have actually been harder than last week’s list, which seemed impossible at the time.  I’m sure even more people will disagree with this one as well.  So before we jump in there’s one quick note.  We didn’t know where The Nightmare Before Christmas would go.  It doesn’t technically fit in this category, but we didn’t where else it would fit.  So we each supplemented our list with one song from The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Top 5 Disney Cartoon Songs + 1 Song From The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Lara’s List

“What’s This?” from The Nightmare Before Christmas:

A man who has grown up in a world of Halloween darkness comes across a land of Christmas magic, and the curiosity and elation that ensues is so wonderful to behold! It’s like a kid hearing about Jesus for the first time… only less sacrilegious. This song is perfect for putting up Christmas decorations, for you can hold up the ornaments and fake snowflakes in your hands and look at your friends and ask, “What’s this?” And it doesn’t get old at all.

5. “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan

From its masterful montagery to its female empowerment, this song is epic. It’s got hilarity from the side characters, sexist lyrics, fighting, a cappella, and people overcoming obstacles. Love and chill bumps.

4. “A Whole New World” from Aladdin

Overplayed? Yes. But my original love for this song still remains. It’s beautiful, it’s got duets, and Aladdin takes Jasmin all over the world! And in only minutes! I would not mind going on that date. Although he does get a little commanding with that “Don’t you dare close your eyes” comment… I’d forgive him of that if he took me to New Zealand AND Minneapolis. Oh, and it would help if that ice cream cloud was edible.

3. “Up, Down Touch the Ground” from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Absolutely adorable. Every time I exercise I think of this song. And every time I exercise I, too, get in the mood for food.

2. “Stand Out” from A Goofy Movie

I can still remember the ride home after seeing this underrated gem in the theater, belting “Stand up…above the clouds even if I gotta shananaaa!!” with my best friend, Kate. The song has yet to get out of my head, though, somewhere in the last fourteen years, I’ve since learned the actual lyrics. This song is awesome because it has the perfect blend of Disney magic and Michael Jackson catchiness. With a dash of Prince’s sex appeal thrown in, of course.

1. “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” from The Lion King

This song, this movie, was my childhood. Just throw in an Indiana Jones hat and a poster of Jonathan Taylor Thomas and you’ve pretty much got a good picture of Lara ages 6-11. I collected The Lion King shirts, sheets, folders, toys, posters, pajamas, stuffed animals, tapes, pogs, and just about anything else Disney would put Simba’s face on. This movie remained number one on my Top Favorite Movies list from June of 1994 to May of 2000, when it was bumped, rather unceremoniously, by Gladiator. I don’t want to talk about it. Needless to say, obsession is an understatement. But how could you blame me? It is a flawless movie. And this song in particular is so much fun. It captures both the spectacular elements of the rest of the film in its vibrant colors and amazing animal animation, as well as Simba’s playful and fancy free essence. Plus there’s a tower made out of hippos, a rhinoceros, elephants, giraffes, anteaters, antelopes, an ostrich, and lion cubs being held up by a bird. Need I say more?

David’s List

“This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas

This was hard for me.  I love every single song in this movie.  But I still remember the feelings of delight mixed with fear that I had the first time I saw this during this opening song.  They literally introduce you to every single monster you were ever afraid was hiding in your house somewhere.

5. “That’s What Makes The World Go Round” from The Sword in the Stone

I have absolutely adored this scene since the first time I saw it.  I have always wanted to be a fish, or at least be able to breathe underwater.  And here’s a kid that I could very easily imagine myself as actually doing what I’ve always dreamed of being able to do.  This scene allowed me to vicariously live out one of my fantasies.

4. “Why Should I Worry” from Oliver & Company

This is Billy Joel, as a dog, singing about being cool in New York City.  I don’t even know what else I need to say here.  That’s awesome, plain and simple.

3.  “I Wanna Be Like You” from The Jungle Book

I think my love for this song stems from another childhood desire.  This time to be some sort of primate.  I can’t explain where these desire came from.  I always wanted to be some sort of animal, or the bad guy, or both (in the case of the Rhinos from Robin Hood).  But here we have an orangutan and a bear scatting.  How awesome is that?

2.  “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast

This is so good because it’s actually like a musical sequence from a Broadway play, except everyone is an inanimate object that is somehow animate.  It’s really incredible.  There’s so much going on all at the same time that it’s easy to miss some of the small things.  My favorite parts are the beer mugs singing the bass line and Lumiere doing a little Fred Astaire dance at the end complete with top hat and cane.

1. “Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid

I know, I know. It’s a girly movie.  How could this be my number 1?  Well, it’s simple really.  The frogs on the oar singing “Sha La La La La” very low and the the little fishes/seagull singing “Yah Yah Yah Yah Yaaahhhh!” extremely high.  The combination of those two things is priceless.

A quick note about my list: If this was a top 6 list I would have put “When I See an Elephant Fly” from Dumbo, and I would have had a huge argument with Lara about whether or not the song is racist.  I don’t think it is.  I think the  case that the characters singing it are racist depictions of African Americans is a stronger argument, but even then I’m not sure I’d agree.  The crows are the only characters in the movie that are nice to Dumbo besides the mouse and his mother.  They’re basically the only good guys in the entire movie.  Everyone besides the lead crow was voiced by a member of a prestigous African American choir.  They are also depicted as both intelligent and free spirited, unlike the Stepin Fetchit persona popular at the time.  Plus, the song is awesome.

Also, I hard time deciding whether or not to include songs from Fantasia in my list.  I eventually decided not to because they don’t have any words, and they would have taken up most of my list.

Please disagree and leave your lists in the comments.

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3 Responses to “Top 5 Musical Scenes From Animated Disney Movies”

  1. Val October 22, 2009 at 2:29 pm #

    “If I could make you stop and take a look at me instead of just waaaaalkiiiiin’ byyyyyyy!!!”

    Man, I love y’all’s lists. You make my soul soar.

  2. Joey Strawn October 23, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    Thia was amazing, it’s always great to see the stupid things I think about in my room amplified and made better on a much bigger forum. You guys rock! Also, I didn’t have Disney songs in mine for the same reasons you didn’t, but I loved that you took the next step and made this. Way to go!

  3. Charlie Bucket October 24, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    fun category!

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