The Top 50 Disney Songs

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There are few things we at Earn This love more than a good musical — particularly a well-animated or -choreagraphed Disney musical. “Let It Go” has yet to thaw from the Billboard Top 10, and we’re creeping up on the 25th anniversary of The Little Mermaid, a film that launched a thousand Buzzfeed “only 90s kids” articles. Thus, Brian, Colton, and I decided the time was ripe for our authoritative ranking of Disney songs. (Grant abstained, citing his Y chromosome.)

The three of us individually selected our top fifty songs, then we averaged the rankings for one mega-ranking. We wrote little blurbs about why we love each song, grabbed some screencaps, and assembled this article. We’ve rarely had so much fun writing for the site. Please praise or criticize our selections in the comments.

I’ve also put together a Spotify playlist of the songs in order so you can listen as you read.

-Dan

Ma Belle Evangeline

50. Ma Belle Evangeline – The Princess and the Frog

The criminally underrated Princess and the Frog features a few memorable songs, but my favorite is the heart-warming ballad “Ma Belle Evangeline.” Voice-acting genius and New Orleans resident Jim Cummings is accompanied by trumpeter Terence Blanchard, and he sings about falling in love with a star in the sky. Beautiful. – Dan

One Jump Ahead

49. One Jump Ahead – Aladdin

Here’s a song that flies through a half-dozen styles in intensely cartoony fashion, and all before the genie is even introduced!  Most Disney movies actually come in pretty light on the slapstick, but Aladdin has it in spades.  It’s easy to miss some of the funny moments—musical and visual—as they rush by, so this one’s always worth another listen. – Colton

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

48. A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes – Cinderella

This is one of Disney’s trademark songs, capturing the idealism and romantic outlook often associated with the studio. Disney Legend Ilene Woods pines for something magical to happen with innocence and optimism. In the animated sequence, her later verses are hummed with accompanying friendly animal pests (hilariously spoofed 57 years later in Enchanted). – Dan

King of New York

47. King of New York – The Newsies

The Newsies has a half dozen songs that could make this list (just ask Colton, who voted for each of them to make the cut). But among the most classic entries in Disney’s 1992 live-action musical is a testament to the power of the newspaper shared by the ensemble. – Dan

A Spoonful of Sugar

46. A Spoonful of Sugar – Mary Poppins

Robert Sherman (one of the Sherman Brothers, Walt Disney’s crack song-writing duo throughout the 60s and into the 70s) found inspiration for this song when his children returned home from school one day and informed him they’d been given the Polio vaccine in school. When he asked if the vaccination had hurt, they said no: The medicine was injected into a cube of sugar, which they then swallowed. “A Spoonful of Sugar” could be the anthem for the Disney brand. Cynics may dismiss these films as cloying, and as promoting a naive worldview. But that bit of sweetness and sentimentality just might make the “medicine” of life’s grimmer moments a little easier to take. – Brian

The Mob Song

45. The Mob Song – Beauty and the Beast

I can understand opposition to a song in a children’s movie that really wants to be titled “Kill the Beast”.  But come on!  At no point in my development from little boy to grown-up have I found this song otherwise than awesome.  Musically, it’s spirited and driving, full of gang vocals and dramatic strings.  Plus, torches!  And lightning!  And a battering ram! – Colton

Trashin' the Camp

44. Trashin’ the Camp – Tarzan

“Trashin’ the Camp” is basically Phil Collins writing a song for Stomp.  I like both of those things, so I find it delightfully rambunctious.  Even if you aren’t a fan, consider that this is the only song in Tarzan ostensibly performed by characters within the flow of the movie. – Colton

Zero to Hero

43. Zero to Hero – Hercules

What kind of music would go well with an ancient Greek epic? If your first answer was gospel, you’re more creative than I am. I mean, I guess it kinda fits (Jesus WAS basically a demigod, after all). The idiosyncratic genre choice is introduced ingeniously, when a more stereotypical fanfare in the opening scene abruptly gives way to the film’s first song, “The Gospel Truth.” As I mentioned in my Little Shop of Horrors post, Menken had used the idea of a “Greek chorus” made up of sassy black women previously, but he takes the concept to the next level here, with the Muses (only 5…I guess the other 4 weren’t in the budget) serving as singing narrators throughout the movie. They fill all their tunes with plenty of soul, but for me the fast-paced “Zero to Hero” takes the cake. – Brian

Prince Ali

42. Prince Ali – Aladdin

Aladdin was the first movie I ever saw in a movie theater. Of course, that was on my third birthday, so I don’t really remember it. While I caught Return of Jafar on VHS and was obliquely aware of the TV series, it was many years before I actually saw the original film again. Sometime in the interim (8th grade, I believe), I went through a “Disney music in foreign languages” phase. Only then, while listening to the French version of “Prince Ali” did I realize the song’s brilliance: The Genie warps from place to place within the marketplace, assuming a dozen different identities to sing “Ali’s” praises and whip the real townsfolk into a starstruck frenzy. Only one song in the movie better utilizes Robin Williams’ frenetic energy and improvisational skill…but we’ll get to that in a minute. – Brian

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

41. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah – Song of the South

Song of the South is famous for two things: Its racism (“the production helps to perpetuate a dangerously glorified picture of slavery,” claimed the NAACP at its release) and “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” its Academy Award-winning song. The former is a topic for another day. The latter is one of Disney’s signature upbeat melodies, infinitely listenable even 70 years later thanks to James Baskett’s charismatic vocal part. – Dan

You'll Be In My Heart

40. You’ll Be in My Heart – Tarzan

This is probably the only instance of a Disney song where the credits rendition is preferable to the original. The original in the film comes and goes too quickly; the version that closes the movie grows into something special. A moving profession of familial love, “You’ll Be in My Heart” has been rightfully acclaimed, winning the Oscar for Best Song and lighting up Billboard in 1999. – Dan

Cruela de Vil

39. Cruela de Vil – 101 Dalmations

One of Disney’s best villains gets one of Disney’s best villain songs (and best villain names). Songwriter Roger sings and plays all the instruments for a composition that mocks his wife’s “dearly beloved old schoolmate,” a wonderfully vile harpy obsessed with killing Dalmatian puppies to make a fur coat. – Dan

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

38. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – Mary Poppins

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: It’s what you say when you have nothing to say. This conversational laxative and the accompanying melody provide some of the most memorable moments of Mary Poppinsanimated sequence. In the scene, Mary and Bert are joined by a retinue of musical “pearlies,” members of an Edwardian-era charitable organization who dressed in eye-catching clothing covered with faux-pearl buttons. Though a nonsense word, their mantra has endured in our lexicon, and learning to spell it is a milestone for any devoted Disney fan. – Brian

Out There

37. Out There – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback soundtrack is highly operatic, and some songs transition seamlessly, one into the next. “Out There” is really TWO songs, joined perfectly: In Frollo’s opening segue (referred to variously as “Sanctuary” and “In Here”), he reminds Quasimodo that “the world is cruel, the world is wicked,” and that Quasimodo himself is a deformed monster, and must remain cloistered away in the belltower at all costs to preserve his own safety. But after twenty years of solitary confinement in his “sanctuary,” Quasimodo throws caution to the wind, desperate for just one day “out there” among regular people, who are “heedless of the gift it is to be them.” The hunchback’s soaring aria will make you want to live life to the fullest, and, well…go outside. –Brian

Savages

36. Savages – Pocahontas

Shortly after Pocahontas expresses how deeply different her worldview is from John Smith’s, Disney shows how completely similar their friends are.  Rather than laud the composition, let me just repeat the oft-quoted lyric: “They’re different from us / Which means they can’t be trusted!” – Colton

If I Never Knew You

35. If I Never Knew You – Pocahontas

Only the obligatory end-credits pop rendition of this song actually made it into the film’s theatrical cut. The original, sung by Pocahontas to an incarcerated John Smith before his scheduled execution, was cut after test screenings suggested it slowed the pace of the film too greatly to keep the interest of child audiences. It’s a shame: In terms of sheer romance, “If I Never Knew You” holds its own alongside better-known classics like “I See the Light” and “A Whole New World.” Plus, Mel Gibson has some seriously respectable pipes. Luckily, the scene was restored for the 10th anniversary DVD. –Brian

The Bells of Notre Dame

34. The Bells of Notre Dame – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Not many Disney toons open with a murder. Compare this sequence with “Belle” from Beauty and the Beast. Both are sprawling, lavish Broadway-style openers which “set the scene” and introduce the primary conflict (plus they both take place in France). But there’s a lot of heavy stuff going on here: Ethnic persecution, threatened infanticide, spiritual blackmail, and yes, a straight-up murder on the steps of a church. Hunchback doesn’t mess around. Cap it all off with Clopin’s incredible, wailing final note paired with a clanging carillon…to quote the top YouTube comment from the last time I watched the scene, “this is how you start a movie.” – Brian

Santa Fe Newsies

33. Santa Fe – Newsies

Before he was Batman, Christian Bale portrayed an orphan.  (Well, a different orphan.  One who can dance and ride horses.)  Amazingly enough he was gifted with a voice that could do justice to this soaring ode to elsewhere.  Beginning as a wistful whisper, the melody builds to a simple demand, one well beyond reasonable expectations yet backed by unfailing hope. – Colton

Feed the Birds (Tuppence)

32. Feed the Birds – Mary Poppins

According to the Sherman Brothers, “Feed the Birds” was Walt Disney’s favorite song, and he would frequently call upon them to perform it for him personally. In many ways, Mary Poppins was Walt’s opus. I suspect in those moments of calm reflection, listening to this serene song, Disney took pride in his empire. And though you can’t see it, you know he was smiling. – Brian

Once Upon a Dream

31. Once Upon a Dream – Sleeping Beauty

Second verse, same as the first.  That way, anyone who’s ever heard this song once can recall every word.  It’s an elegant waltzing number inspired by no less than a Tchaikovsky ballet (The Sleeping Beauty).  I’ll await the context of the upcoming Maleficent before casting judgment on the new Lana Del Rey interpretation. – Colton

Carrying the Banner

30. Carrying the Banner – Newsies

All I can say is that my fellow rankers had never seen Newsies at the time this list was compiled.  This song is perfect.  It makes full use of the “live-action musical” format with its interplay of various characters, connected by choreography.  From the rallying cries of “Go get ’em, Cowboy!” to the tasteful French horn reveille and even the tranquil interruption of a group of eleemosynary nuns, “Carrying the Banner” stands as a triumphant theme for a band of ragamuffins. – Colton

Just Around the Riverbend

29. Just Around the Riverbend – Pocahontas

“Riverbend” serves as a brilliant counterpoint to “Steady as the Beating Drum,” the song which introduces Pocahontas‘s Native American community. The Powhatan, we are told, adhere to a traditional lifestyle which keeps them perfectly in tune with the cycles of nature. Pocahontas balks at the passive role assigned to her by these traditions – like Belle, she “wants so much more than they’ve got planned.” But Pocahontas’ bucking of “the system” results from more than just free-spiritedness. “Looking beyond the riverbend” implies being not only adventurous, but also, more importantly, flexible and forward-thinking. Pocahontas expresses a prophetic apprehension that, although the natives’ way of life may be “steady” in terms of their relationship with nature, they might not be prepared to cope if unforeseen variables arise. Kocoum, her intended, may be a “handsome sturdy husband who builds handsome sturdy walls,” but he “never dreams that something might be coming.” So while this tune perfectly highlights Pocahontas’ frolicsome, trailblazing personality, it also foreshadows the grim culture clash to come. – Brian

Heaven's Light-Hellfire

28. Heaven’s Light/Hellfire – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Perhaps the best dual-song dichotomy in film…it just edges out “Snow Miser” / “Heat Miser.” The real genius of the tune(s) is that Quasimodo and Frollo are singing about the same thing: They’re both falling in love with Esmeralda. But while Quasimodo emphasizes the love, Frollo focuses on the “falling.” The heartsick hunchback dares to dream that he might be worthy of love’s spiritual warmth, while Frollo fears his own lecherous urges will drive him to damnation.
Oh, yeah…and it’s a Disney song about damnation, complete with Latin chanting. That alone seems noteworthy. – Brian

Why Should I Worry

27. Why Should I Worry – Oliver and Company

I won’t call Oliver & Company underappreciated or defend the film as a whole, but its best song ranks with the best songs from most other Disney cartoons.  Brought to life by Billy Joel himself, it’s got multiple memorable movements.  Through rock and roll, in a heavy New Yorker accent, Dodger the dog actually teaches kids French by singing about “street savoir faire.”  Just watch out, or the hook in the outtro will be the only part you remember. – Colton

I Just Can't Wait to be King

26. I Just Can’t Wait to Be King – The Lion King

A duet at heart, infused with Mr. Bean’s basically pitchless commentary, this tune is backed by a weird array of instruments.  Most of them are probably synthesized.  But it’s all in fun, and there’s no denying that the viewers have as much fun as the lion cubs amidst the jamboree of savannah creatures. – Colton

When She Loved Me

25. When She Loved Me – Toy Story 2

Coming in like a gut punch, “When She Loved Me” provides a turning point for Toy Story trilogy at the dead center of the series. All of the sudden, being a “child’s plaything” became a fragile, terrifyingly temporary proposition. It would be a great song simply for thematic reasons, but Randy Newman’s composition is heartbreaking, and Sarah McLachlan’s performance is even moreso. This is a song that will have you weeping every time you listen. – Dan

Chim Chim Cher-ee

24. Chim Chim Cher-ee – Mary Poppins

Along with “Pavement Artist”, which is the same song for my tuppence, “Chim Chim Cher-ee” is the polar opposite of a ska track: it’s a cheery and chin-up song set to a morose tune.  I find myself singing it sometimes for days at a time and never much minding.  The only downside is Dick Van Dyke’s widely decried attempt at a cockney accent. – Colton

I See the Light

23. I See the Light – Tangled

Tangled features an innovative style of computer animation, meant to evoke the aesthetic of rococo oil paintings. Every frame abounds with lush detail, but, with the amalgamated eye-poppingness of tall ships, still waters, castle spires, and ten thousand glowing lanterns taking flight, “I See the Light” is in a league all its own. The sequence provides some of the most breathtaking visuals in an animated feature to date…and the song itself ain’t too bad neither. The double-meaning tune has Rapunzel seeing the very literal light of the lanterns she has long-yearned to experience up close, and “seeing the light” in the sense of realizing her growing feelings for Flynn. Flynn has the same “enlightening” epiphany regarding his own feelings, and all this “light-seeing” makes for an unforgettable moment which ranks among Disney’s most romantic. But I do have one question: Why did Mother Gothel tell Rapunzel her birthday was the same day as the lantern ceremony? Gothel literally could’ve picked any day of the year to assign as Rapunzel’s “birthday,” and avoided a whole lot of questions. – Brian

You've Got a Friend in Me

22. You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Toy Story

It’s remarkable how these eighty words became more and more poignant as the Toy Story series grew up. The lyrics “As the years go by / our friendship will never die” was in TS1 a generic profession of affection, in TS2 a defiance of the inevitability of Andy growing old, and in TS3 a foolish, self-comforting lie of Woody’s. Newman’s earnest testament to uncomplicated love is the thread that ties cinema’s greatest trilogy together. Kudos to Newman for nailing the song, and kudos to Pixar for making the most of this two-minute tune. – Dan

Belle

21. Belle – Beauty and the Beast

In its original incarnation, Disney planned to make Beauty and the Beast a non-musical. Luckily, the phenomenal success of The Little Mermaid prompted a switch (and a change in director), or else we might have been deprived of one of the best musical openings yet to grace stage or screen. The sequence introduces not only our protagonist and antagonist, but also their entire village, which the animators and ensemble voice cast bring to vibrant life. Never have pleas for six eggs or complaints about exorbitant expenses been sung so mellifluously. – Brian

I Won't Say I'm in Love

20. I Won’t Say (I’m in Love) – Hercules

Meg is one of my favorite characters from all of Disney’s animated movies. At first we just see her cynical side, but we gradually learn that it’s a reaction to her romantic side. She has a history of giving her heart away too fast, and this song is her wondering if she’s made the same mistake again. The high-energy tune is a back-and-forth between Meg, voiced by Susan Egan, and the Muses beckoning her to romance. Meg finally relents: She won’t say she’s in love… “at least out loud.” – Dan

God Help the Outcasts

19. God Help the Outcasts – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Few songs top the “chills factor” of this stunner from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Esmerelda calls to a God she’s not even sure exists. The outcasts around her (brilliantly drawn as shadows) beg God for wealth, fame, and love. Then, they come together in a spine-tingling refrain of “I ask for God and His angels to bless me.” But what does Esmerelda want? “I ask for nothing, I can get by.” She ends the song bellowing a cry for her fellow outcasts, the “Children of God,” which echoes through the rafters of a cathedral. It’s enough to make you fall in love with Esmerelda, and Hunchback, and Disney in general, every time you listen, all over again. – Dan

Gaston

18. Gaston – Beauty and the Beast

The character Gaston ends up a psychotic killer, but his song is a comic masterpiece. These are my favorite lyrics that the late Howard Ashman ever wrote, a hysterical enumeration of Gaston’s manliest features. From his daily egg consumption, to his spitting capabilities, to his preference for antler-based decoration, Gaston admits that “as a specimen, yes I’m intimidating.” On top of that, the tune is one of those great “Officer Krupke”-type bring-down-the-house numbers. My what a song, that “Gaston.” – Dan

Hakuna Matata

17. Hakuna Matata – The Lion King

Other Lion King songs have earned more awards and sold more singles, but “Hakuna Matata” is The Lion King’s most iconic number – and, if you believe the AFI, its greatest. Whether it’s the pleasant, jangly production, the laid back lyrics that remind you of summer, or just the fact that it’s a wonderful singalong, “Hakuna Matata” never gets old. – Dan

When You Wish Upon a Star

16. When You Wish Upon a Star – Pinocchio

Disney’s de facto “theme song.” The first seven notes of this tune have got to rank among the world’s most frequently-heard melodies. Not only does the iconic leitmotif play at the close of every day in every Disney theme park worldwide, but also over the castle logo in the opening of countless DIsney films and home video releases. It’s even the hailing call of Disney Cruiseline’s specially-tuned foghorns. Though maybe not the best part of 1940’s Pinocchio, “When You WIsh Upon a Star” is certainly the most pervasive. – Brian

Friend Like Me

15. Friend Like Me – Aladdin

Charlie Daniels was in studio recording Million Mile Reflections when he realized that, despite having inhuman talent as a fiddler, he hadn’t put a fiddle song on the album.  So he wrote and recorded “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” that day.  I like to imagine a similar scenario in which timeless composer Alan Menken and voice actor extraordinaire Robin Williams exchanged a knowing glance and, within moments, “Friend Like Me” burst into existence.  It’s a matter of taking the immense talent on hand and writing a song that requires every last bit of it. – Colton

The Bare Necessities

14. The Bare Necessities – The Jungle Book

Jazz music!  Long before the Princess and the Frog soundtrack attempted a New Orleans style, Baloo the bear entertained Mowgli with a real swinging combo piece.  Every time the characters break into natural speech on screen, there’s a genuine solo going on in the background courtesy of some happy tuba or a trumpet with an honest-to-goodness mute in the bell!  Not to mention that the lyrics provide two of my two favorite verses in Disney’s canon.  Listen to this one daily to chase away your blues. – Colton

Beauty and the Beast

13. Beauty and the Beast – Beauty and the Beast

I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why “Beauty and the Beast” ranks as one of Disney’s finest musical numbers. But since that’s what I have to do, I might attribute the song’s success to its simplicity. Okay, yes, the computer-generated ballroom (one of Disney’s earliest collaborations with the fledgling Pixar) is visually impressive and allows for some sweeping cinematography and unusual camera movement. But the scene is a “show-stopper” in the most literal sense: The film slows down for a moment and lets the music take control, allowing us to fully experience the tranquil, passionate emotions at play. And as the titular beauty and beast slowly rotate, a few plunked piano chords and the sole voice of longtime Disney collaborator Angela Lansbury fill that vast ballroom with a simple melody which will nevertheless be remembered even when the film is “as old as time.” – Brian

Reflection

12. Reflection – Mulan

Lea Salonga is a treasure. After winning a Tony for her role in Miss Saigon, she brought to life two of the most iconic Disney heroines, Jasmine and Mulan. For some reason, Disney only gave her one song in each film — “A Whole New World” and “Reflection” – both of which owe their status as classics at least in part to Salonga’s tremendous vocal quality: innocent, feisty, and emotive. – Dan

Go the Distance

11. Go the Distance – Hercules

Every hero must set out on a journey if he or she ever wants an apotheosis (literally Greek for “making a god out of someone”).  Hercules gives this idea a crystalline vocal expression in but a few words.  The song is short, and truly the orchestra does almost no work: it’s simply a universal message paired with a gorgeous melody. – Colton

Can You Feel the Love Tonight

10. Can You Feel the Love Tonight – The Lion King

Elton John’s credits version is one of Disney’s twelve Oscar winners (ten of which are on this list), but I prefer the rendition sung by Simba, Nala, Timon, and Pumbaa. Timon notes “all this romantic atmosphere,” and he’s right: The understated instrumentation of the verses crescendo into a euphonious refrain. You’re darn right we can feel the love. – Dan

Kiss the Girl

9. Kiss the Girl – The Little Mermaid

There’s something subtly unique about a love song that isn’t sung by either of the lovers.  As a third-party, unabashed encouragement to take the next step, “Kiss the Girl” is without equal in cinema or on the radio.  Sebastian the crab knows how to set the mood. – Colton

I'll Make a Man Out of You

8. I’ll Make a Man Out Of You – Mulan

The best song about manliness this side of “Gaston” features in a movie about a young girl saving all of China.  But amidst all the gender bending confusion, perhaps the greatest irony is that the best song about manliness this side of “Gaston” is sung by Donny Osmond. – Colton

Let it Go

7. Let It Go – Frozen

Disney recruited Idina Menzel, one of the biggest Broadway stars of the past decade, to voice ice queen Elsa – presumably with this specific song in mind. It paid off. “Let It Go” is the most acclaimed Disney song in two decades, a blow-out-the-speakers colossus about refusing to hide your inner self. If the hairs on the back of your neck don’t stand up during that last “let the storm rage ONNNN…” you may want to check that you still have a pulse. – Dan

The Circle of Life

6. Circle of Life – The Lion King

Though billed as Disney’s first “original” story for an animated feature (rather than one adapted from a folktale or novel), The Lion King borrows heavily from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Disney’s own Bambi. It’s something of a fusion. Hambi, if you will. But the film manages to capture the best aspects of both works: From Bambi, we have detailed animal animation developed from research in the field, and an emphasis on the cyclical nature of life, death, and the seasons. On the Shakespearean side, we’ve got oodles of brooding, plotting, and other courtly intrigue. And the “Circle of Life” opening has it all. The first majestic salvo of chanted Swahili as the rising sun crests the horizon transports us instantly to the savanna…but wherever we live, we are all moving “in the endless round.” – Brian

Colors of the Wind

5. Colors of the Wind – Pocahontas

Please listen to the first version of “Colors of the Wind” recorded for promotional purposes.  It might not be as sweeping or grandiose as the movie version, but it does have Stephen Schwartz’s original lyrics.  A sucker for the triple-rhyme (as am I!), he wrote this as the closing line: “For your life’s an empty HULL / Till you get it through your SKULL / You can paint with all the COLors of the wind.”  Alan Menken made him change it. – Colton

Be Our Guest

4. Be Our Guest – Beauty and the Beast

It’s simple to see why this song ranks so highly: It’s a truly show-stopping “culinary cabaret” with dazzling choreography (and even a few Busby Berkeley-style birds-eye formations). More interesting are the questions it raises:

  • What exactly is “the gray stuff?”
  • Is every single dish, fork, and spoon a former human resident of the castle? If so, what happened to all their old, non-enchanted utensils? If not, it means that, in addition to humans becoming objects, some of the regular objects gained sentience. In that case, when the curse is broken at the end of the film, did all those sentiences…die?
  • Also, Cogsworth remarks that the castle has been enchanted for ten years, which means the Beast couldn’t have been more than 11 when the sorceress cursed him. Guess she doesn’t take any lip from kids.

– Brian

Part of Your World

3. Part of Your World – The Little Mermaid

On one level, this is a great singalong about a mermaid calling corkscrews “thingamabobs.” And let’s not ignore that level; I dare you to sing the first few lines of this song in a room filled with twenty-somethings and see if at least a few don’t belt out the rest of the tune. But what makes this one of Disney’s best is that next level. “Part of Your World” is a universal ballad about longing and not belonging, brought to life by Jodi Benson in an all-time great performance. Being a mermaid never seemed so damn human. – Dan

Under the Sea

2. Under the Sea – The Little Mermaid

Children don’t know what marimbas or steel drums are, but after hearing this song, we all go on to associate the sounds of those instruments with “aquatic music” for the rest of our lives.  It’s melodic, it’s extravagant, and the rapidfire wordplay of the bridge knocks me out every time.  Alan Menken won his first of four “Best Original Song” Oscars for it.  Ariel left partway through, and for that she is my least favorite princess. – Colton

A Whole New World

1. A Whole New World – Aladdin

They don’t make them better than this. Brad Kane and Lea Salonga make you believe in true love and Alan Menken’s gorgeous composition puts each listener on a magic carpet ride. “A Whole New World” captures the essence of Aladdin: Two kids want to escape the lives they’re stuck in. It also captures everything Disney stands for: No matter your age or place in life, music and movies can transport you to a whole new world. – Dan

disney-end

This article has already inspired plenty of discussion between us (including a Newsies movie night and an argument about diegetic music in Tarzan), but we’re curious to hear how your ranking might differ from ours.

Click here to view our individual rankings and the scoring used to generate the final list.

This is an entry in the Rank This series.

Brian T.

Brian T.

Brian is the host of the TV show Count Gauntly's Horrors from the Public Domain and the creator of Brian Terrill Movie Night. He joined Earn This in 2013.

Colton O.

Colton O.

Colton drinks straight out of coconuts and writes about music for Earn This. He joined the site in 2009.

Dan S.

Dan is the editor of Earn This. He co-founded the site in 2009.

3 thoughts on “The Top 50 Disney Songs

  1. Just read through this again…I wanted to say that “longing and not belonging” and the “soaring ode to elsewhere” are two beautiful turns of phrase.

  2. I have a daughter. She is four years old. She love watching disney shows.This article is very useful for. As i will be telling more stories from it to my daughter.

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