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A Definitive Ranking of Every Disney Song, Ever

Come join in and sing along with every song from the Disney animated canon

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Disney Songs Ranked
Illustration by Steven Fiche

    In the lead-up to the release of the live-action The Little Mermaid, Consequence will be looking back at the Disney Renaissance and how it shaped our culture. This time, we’re updating our ranked list of every Disney song ever — this feature originally ran in November 2016, and it has been updated to include animated Disney releases since that time, up to 2022’s Strange World


    Things make a real, lasting mark on your brain when you’re a kid. That encompasses the fears, loves, insecurities, dreams, and other things one will likely describe to a therapist as an adult, but other things stick, too. Songs, especially. The impulse children have to press “play” over and over and over again can leave all kinds of wonderful and sometimes useless things stuck in your head.

    It’s part of why creating entertainment for children can be so meaningful, because with some talent and skill, it’s possible to give a young person a song they’ll carry with them for decade after decade. Well after they’ve stopped thinking about the works of A.A. Milne as anything but some stories they liked when they were young, one can hear the phrase “Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood” and know immediately what comes next, and what comes after that. That stuff lingers. It lasts. It matters.

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    That’s all a big part of why, for reasons beyond its massive size and reach and bank accounts, Disney matters. That’s not to diminish the very real cultural significance of the films in the Disney animated canon (that’s films released by Walt Disney Feature Animation, beginning with Snow White in 1937), many of which can (and do) appeal to adults as well as children. Beauty and the Beast is a stunning achievement in filmmaking, no matter the audience demographic.

    But because so many of us were introduced to many of their films at a young age, those movies, and the songs they contain, have the potential to stay with a person for a lifetime. The relationship one has to those songs and movies may change — spoiler: not all of them have aged well — but they’re far from easily forgotten.

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    Why dig into this catalog? Well, because lists are fun, of course. But it’s also worthwhile to take a spin on the carousel and head back in time, revisiting characters and melodies first encountered at a young age. It’s valuable to then, while your mind remembers what it’s like to love something so unabashedly, explore some other stories and songs you missed.

    Beyond all that stuff, Disney also makes some damn good songs, and great music is never a waste of time. Disney has employed some legendary composers and lyricists, from the powerhouse team of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, to the Sherman Brothers, who wrote many, many songs that millions of people know by heart. It can’t be said that every single film has at least one musical gem, if only because a few have no songs at all. But most of them do. Remember Home on the Range? Neither did we. That thing’s got a few great, little tunes hidden away.

    It’s also important to explore the stuff that helped to shape us as people, and our society as a whole. There’s some really racist shit in this list — some of those songs are still great songs; some are the kind of garbage it’s easy to dismiss. There are a lot of really restrictive ideas about gender — do you have any idea how many songs in the Disney catalog romanticize housework? — and some extremely unrealistic depictions of love and romance (again, see your therapist).

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    But there are also songs that inspire, challenge, and provoke thought. On reflection, that one scary song from Beauty and the Beast isn’t just scary, but illustrates the danger of a mob mentality and was written by a man dying of AIDS just as the ‘80s were being ushered out the door. Yes, it’s frightening, and it serves the plot. But it does more, because art can be both things. To a child, one story. To an adult, perhaps many stories in one. One thing’s for sure: There may be 55 films, but the stories are countless.

    So here they are, all the songs in the Disney animated canon, from Aladdin to Zootopia. If Disney transformed a song in any way, from giving an old melody new lyrics (The Lion King’s “The Hula Song”) to creating a whole new work, it’s included. Here’s hoping there’s at least one new gem waiting for you in here or one priceless tune you didn’t even realize you remembered. It’s OK to sing along. No one’s watching. Just follow the bouncing ball.

    Allison Shoemaker


    295. “Kanine Krunchies,” 101 Dalmatians (1961)

    I’m sorry. I don’t believe any dog would be into this. Hey, also, do you have any enemies? Here’s a 10-hour loop of this song. — A. Shoemaker

    294. “What Made the Red Man Red,” Peter Pan (1953)

    So, to be clear, this song isn’t second-to-last on our list, beating only the worst fake commercial jingle in history, merely because it’s super-duper racist. It’s also trite, repetitive, boring, utterly predictable, and not even any fun. The animation is among the least interesting sequences in Peter Pan, the jokes fall flat — John smokes and then turns green! Hilarious! — and it’s difficult to even catch what’s being said most of the time. Flop on all counts. But yeah, this song is racist as hell. There’s also a side of misogyny, just for kicks. “Squaw gettum firewood!” For fuck’s sake. — A. Shoemaker

    293. “The Siamese Cat Song,” Lady and the Tramp (1955)

    Aunt Sarah’s twin cats are jerks. The Lady and the Tramp’s poorest-aged sequence sees poor Lady being framed for household destruction, as the two cats croon their way through chaos. Peggy Lee, as both cats, does her best, but between the instrumentation and the deeply, deeply unfortunate Asian accent the cats adopt, “The Siamese Cat Song” is just one of those Disney songs that doesn’t play as well with time no longer on its side. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

    292. “Where the Dream Takes You,” Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

    Mya’s “Where the Dream Takes You” is the one major single from Atlantis: The Lost Empire, one of those Disney movies that makes audiences the world over say, “Oh, shit, that, was a movie that came out once.” It’s an addendum every bit as forgettable (if competently made) as the film in which it appears. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    291. “Bug Hunt,” Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

    Yes, former From First to Last frontman Sonny Moore also has a Disney credit. Skrillex isn’t bad at what he does, the wide-ranging contempt for the musical trend he helped usher in notwithstanding, but “Bug Hunt” is hardly one of his more interesting or complex works. It’s loud, addled with ADHD, and works best in context of the film as background noise to a more engaging sequence. But for the parents who probably had to hear this thing for weeks a few years ago, the assessments might not be as charitable. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    290. “My Funny Friend and Me,” The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

    Sting’s fared better with Disney in the past, when the white man supergroup of he, Rod Stewart, and Bryan Adams put on one of the most melodramatic videos a Disney tie-in has ever had. Here, however, he offers up a gently ambient slow jam that doesn’t even fit the tone of the film in which it appears and was somehow up for Best Original Song at the Oscars despite this. Funny how a lot of the worst songs on the list exist as the result of Disney attempting to reach out to the masses instead of doing what they do best. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    289. “Say It with a Slap,” Fun & Fancy Free (1947)

    Do bears actually slap each other as a part of their mating rituals? Seriously, do they? The internet has failed to turn up answers. Regardless, this song sucks. Sorry, “Bongo,” but if I want to listen to a troubling song about slapping as a part of a mating ritual that may or may not result in sexual coercion, I’ll just dial up “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss).” — A. Shoemaker

    288. “Little Wonders,” Meet the Robinsons (2007)

    As singles from soundtracks go, “Little Wonders” isn’t one of the more distinctive among them. Delivered by storied Santana collaborator Rob Thomas over a simplistic post-alternative track, it’s full of the kind of Disney-ready platitudes that you’d expect out of a pop tie-in, but not necessarily from Danny Elfman, who penned the song. We all gotta get paid sometimes, one supposes. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    287. “A Huntin’ Man,” The Fox and the Hound (1981)

    In 19 seconds, “A Huntin’ Man” manages to work in a shitty stereotype and two sentences that make absolutely no sense. — A. Shoemaker

    286. “Johnny Appleseed,” Melody Time (1948)

    Here’s Disney at its most on-the-nose evangelical. Taken from the Melody Time short, “Johnny Appleseed” is all about thanking the Lord for His many blessings in the most Little House on the Prairie manner imaginable. As Johnny croons “The Lord is good to me/ and so I thank the Lord” to a chirping bird, we won’t judge you if your eyes roll right out of your head. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    285. “When Can I See You Again?,” Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

    More from Wreck-It Ralph, with this song … Wait. Cloying frayed-synth big-room EDM sounds? Twinkly glockenspiel that screams “pandering and childlike”? Lyrics so generic that they appear to have been assembled by a word processor gone awry with self-actualization mantras? A general sense of annoying homogeneity? Yep, it’s Owl City. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    284. “Welcome,” Brother Bear (2003)

    “Welcome to our family time/ Welcome to our happy-to-be time/ This is a festival/ You know and best of all/ We’re here to share it all.” Phil Collins has many defenders (several Consequence of Sound writers among them), but this schlock is pretty much indefensible. Also, remember Brother Bear? No? Yeah, neither do we. — A. Shoemaker

    283. “Anytime You Need a Friend,” Home on the Range (2004)

    To be clear, there are actually two versions of “Anytime You Need a Friend”, and Alan Menken’s original composition would probably land a little higher. But this ranking concerns songs as they existed in theatrical release, and the Beu Sisters’ arena-country version (with record scratches, for some reason) that plays during Home on the Range’s end credits is a bit of disposable hokum. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    282. “The Future of Friendship/New Friends Song,” Ron’s Gone Wrong (2021)

    Glass Animals’ Dave Bayley performs the vocals for this pop number, which is ostensibly about making new friends, but is really about your parents buying you a fancy new B-bot (the new robot toy at the center of this film). It’s not quite a jingle, and not enough of an earworm to stand out as a great pop song — like the movie in which it’s featured, it’s easy to forget it ever happened. — Liz Shannon Miller

    281. “Skumps (Drinking Song),” Sleeping Beauty (1959)

    “Skumps (Drinking Song)” isn’t one of Sleeping Beauty’s better musical performances. Essentially, it’s a quick drinking ballad and not even a memorable one considering that half of it is just a pair of kings talking about how it’s good to be kings and raising glasses to an eventual union of families. The other half is the word “Skumps.” There’s just not a lot to it. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    280. “A Most Befuddling Thing,” The Sword in the Stone (1963)

    So Merlin’s views on romance are pretty messed up. Yes, the girl in question is a squirrel, and so is basically just acting as nature demands, but they made her look pretty human (as most Disney animals do), so it’s OK to be a little discombobulated by lyrics like “You’re wasting time resisting/ You’ll find the more you do/ The more she’ll keep insisting/ Her him has got to be you.” Oh, sorry, did I say discombobulated? Should have said discomBOOBulated. That’s what I meant. — A. Shoemaker

    279. “Lack of Education,” The Fox and the Hound (1981)

    The message of this jazzy, little Pearl Bailey number is basically as follows: “Hey, kid, someday you’re gonna get shot and taxidermied, and it’ll be your own fault, because you were stupid enough to be friends with a dog.” — A. Shoemaker

    278. “The Clown Song,” Dumbo (1941)

    “The Clown Song” ranks low for three chief reasons: 1) It’s barely a minute long; 2) It’s just a forgettable accordion jam, in which clowns briefly sing about demanding a raise; 3) Clowns are horrifying. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    277. “Tomorrow Is Another Day,” The Rescuers (1977)

    You’ll find some serious nostalgia for The Rescuers in some circles, but this music-minded list won’t be one of them, as the film’s music definitely isn’t one of its stronger points. “Tomorrow Is Another Day” is of a kind of wispy balladry that the lesser Disney songbooks tend to fall into at times, to the point where it winds up in Anne Murray territory. No disrespect to the Canadian songstress; it’s just the least interesting kind of Disney ballad. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    276. “Casey at the Bat,” Make Mine Music (1946)

    Come on now. You get to set “Casey at the Bat” to music, and this is what you do? Worse yet, the only stuff added to the poem is all about how women don’t know a damn thing about baseball, but they all show up to the games because Casey is so handsome. So, like, it’s their fault that there is no joy in Mudville? Nope. Shut it down. — A. Shoemaker

    275. “Fun and Fancy Free”/Reprise, Fun and Fancy Free (1947)

    It’s easy to laugh at the generally cornball nature of some of the oldest-fashioned Disney songs on this list, but good lord, the titular theme song “Fun & Fancy Free” is so sugary it might rot your teeth out of your head. Also, just tossing this out there: “If you should have a chronic ache/ pills won’t make you strong/ the only tonic you should take/ is a teaspoonful of song” is pretty horrible medical advice. Consider Fun & Fancy Free the Patch Adams of its time. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    274. “Higitus Figitus,” The Sword in the Stone (1963)

    I grew up with “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”. I sang along with “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”. “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” was a friend of mine. You, sir, are no “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”. — A. Shoemaker

    273. “Katrina,” The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

    “Katrina” might well be the cutest, most well-arranged Bing Crosby song about slut shaming ever recorded. That’s meant with tongue planted in cheek for the most part (cool it, commenters), but it’s slight to say the least, and the entire point of the song can be found near the end: “But Katrina will kiss and run /to her a romance is fun/ with always another one to start.” It’s like the “Hotline Bling” of Disney songs, in that it sounds like Katrina’s already having a fine time on her own. Ain’t like Bing was a saint, anyhow. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    272. “Make Mine Music,” Make Mine Music (1946)

    Everything Dominick said about “Fun and Fancy Free” applies here. “Make mine music and I’ll dream of you/ Make mine music and the dream comes true.” Give it a rest, Disney! You’re coming on kinda strong. — A. Shoemaker

    271. “Arabian Nights,” Aladdin (1992)

    There are a number of songs on this list to which time has been unkind, songs that came from a different era from American history when casual, off-the-cuff racism was treated far more delicately than audiences today might allow. And then there’s “Arabian Nights”, which is just as bad and looks a little worse by dint of coming from a movie released less than 25 years ago. It’s one cliché about the Middle East after the next, all wrapped up in the general sentiment of “It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home!” Actual line from the song, by the way. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    270. “Something That I Want,” Tangled (2010)

    Grace Potter’s rock revival style would seem to be an ill fit for a Disney vehicle, even one as awash in modern storytelling and style as Tangled. It turns out that’s exactly right. The stomp-clap introduction and tediously Doors-y synths introduce a song that aims to match the subversive sass of the film’s scrappy heroine, but ends up feeling like yet another obligatory Disney finale. There’s going to be several more of these before we get to the good stuff, so tuck in. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    269. “Wherever the Trail May Lead,” Home on the Range (2005)

    This song basically screams “adult contemporary chart-topper” right down to the big and totally unnecessary key change and the gratuitous falsetto. Sorry, Tim McGraw. This one’s a dud.. — A. Shoemaker

    268. “Someday,” The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

    Remember All-4-One? They were probably not the best choice to sing the super-synthy pop ballad that comes at the tail end of one if Disney’s darkest and least pop-filled films. Not a good song, but more importantly, it’s just a really, really inappropriate choice. Hope you enjoyed our grim movie. And now, All-4-One! Ooh, here comes the key change! — A. Shoemaker

    267. “I’m Still Here (Jim’s Theme),” Treasure Planet (2002)

    Not to be confused with the epic “I’m Still Here” from Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, this “I’m Still Here” is a generic pop ballad written by the chief Goo Goo Doll, John Rzeznik. The best and worst thing one can say about it is that it’s no “Iris”. But hey, the movie’s not bad. — A. Shoemaker

    266. “Without You,” Make Mine Music (1946)

    The sequence itself is very pretty, even if it does look like a screensaver I had in the ‘90s, but this is the worst kind of generic love song. — A. Shoemaker

    265. “The Sword in the Stone,” The Sword in the Stone (1963)

    Long before Fred Darian gets going, the toothless acoustic melody that drives “The Sword and the Stone” already suggests the worst tendencies of folksy ‘70s music. It’s a brief, mercifully short introduction to a film that definitely lands low in the grand Disney power ranking, and Darian’s ponderous warble hardly helps to dissuade viewers from the sense that what’s about to follow is going to be something of a letdown. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    264. “Healing Incantation/Prologue/The Tear Heals,” Tangled (2010)

    This is very pretty, but good lord, the healing incantation shows up in Tangled so many times that it loses all its potency. The best thing about that important haircut Rapunzel gets is that it means we (almost) never have to hear this thing again. –Allison Shoemaker

    263. “Always Know Where You Are,” Treasure Planet (2002)

    Pick your poison: There are two versions of “Always Know Where You Are” from Treasure Planet, one of Disney’s very few outright duds since the Disney Renaissance began. One is by the Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik, the one that closes the film, and the other is by BBMak. Neither is particularly good, and Rzeznik’s version in the film is the perfect kind of pop-rock to which one might walk out of a movie theater, dodging small children all the while. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    262. “Fee Fi Fo Fum,” Fun & Fancy Free (1947)

    Fun and Fancy Free’s Wayne the Giant actually appeared in a number of Disney properties thereafter, but was never the villain in the way he is when he delivers the brief, silly “Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum”. Like many of Disney’s omnibus film songs, it won’t linger for any length of time, and it’s basically a song about a giant who doesn’t seem to have the greatest-ever grasp on his giant powers, to joking effect. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    261. “They’re the Clades!,” Strange World (2022)

    It feels weird to even be ranking “They’re the Clades!” on such a list. Strange World isn’t a musical, and as such “They’re the Clades!” is less of a song and more of a low-effort theme. It doesn’t strive to have a strong emotional core or boast a soaring melody, it just is. Because of the bottom-tier standards the song sets for itself, it’s hard to call the tune outright “bad,” but that being said, will it make anyone’s Disney tunes playlist? Anyone performing it on karaoke night? Not a chance. – Jonah Krueger

    260. “Humiliation,” The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

    We probably shouldn’t even count this one, as it’s largely instrumental, but there are some voices at the end there, so here it is. It’s a great piece of orchestration, but not much else. Meh. — A. Shoemaker

    259. “Try Everything,” Zootopia (2016)

    “Try Everything” is Shakira’s nondescript bit of uplift that plays both during and at the end of monster hit Zootopia. In context of the film, it’s a sweet enough pop track about the value of keeping an open mind and discovering the much larger world beyond the one you’ve always known, but the third verse is the same as the first, and it’s another song by a popular artist that plays too standard to stick out in the way the film wishes it to. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    258. “Rescue Aid Society,” The Rescuers (1977)

    The best thing that can be said about “Rescue Aid Society” is that it’s not a terrible ballad. But this movie has one honest-to-god musical number, and it’s a bunch of mice from all over the world pledging to save people who are in trouble. Somehow, this piece of nothing was all they came up with. Missed opportunity. — A. Shoemaker

    257. “Hail to the Princess Aurora,” Sleeping Beauty (1959)

    “Hail to the Princess Aurora/ All of her subjects adore her.” Repetitive, slow, too long, and contains slant rhyme? No thank you. — A. Shoemaker

    256. “Never Knew I Needed,” The Princess and the Frog (2009)

    Here’s more from the realm of “this doesn’t belong here”: compared to most of The Princess and the Frog’s dynamic, locally-minded soundtrack, “Never Knew I Needed” may as well have been recorded for an entirely different movie. There’s none of the Louisiana sound that makes some of the soundtrack’s better songs hum; in place of this is Ne-Yo’s end credits song, a generic pop ballad about love’s capacity to change lives that feels shoehorned into the film. Give the people what they want, Disney. What they want is more Keith David. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    255. “The Sailor’s Hornpipe,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    There are so, so many songs in Alice in Wonderland. Get ready. This one’s inoffensive, but it’s a traditional melody with some original lyrics, and it’s over in under 40 seconds, instrumental break included. So here it sits. This is what happens when you do the bare minimum. — A. Shoemaker

    254. “Ichabod,” The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

    It starts out promisingly enough (“Who’s that comin’ down the street/ Are they shovels or are they feet”), but “Ichabod Crane” loses steam fast. Bing Crosby does his Bing Crosby thing, but basically it’s just a bunch of people watching a guywalk down the street at an obnoxiously slow pace while reading a book. Wake me when it’s over. — A. Shoemaker

    253. “That’s What Makes the World Go Round,” The Sword in the Stone (1963)

    Here’s a kind of Disney song practically custom-made for the old Disney Sing-Along videos, but one that doesn’t really stand out on its own. As we’ve already established, The Sword and the Stone is full of this kind of song, and “That’s What Makes the World Go Round” is little more than a loping diatribe that Merlin lapses into when he turns himself and Arthur into fish just to prove a point about the animal kingdom. Plus, his advice of “You see my boy it’s nature’s way/ Upon the weak the strong ones prey/ The human life it’s also true/ The strong will try to conquer you” isn’t all that reassuring for an insecure kid. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    252. “The Elegant Captain Hook,” Peter Pan (1953)

    As with “Casey at the Bat” and “Rescue Aid Society”, this one gets docked for being such a missed opportunity. The topic of this song is one of the best villains of all time. How is this all they could come up with? Cruella DeVil got a world-class anthem, and all she wanted was a coat. — A. Shoemaker

    251. “Poor Aurora/Sleeping Beauty,” Sleeping Beauty (1959)

    Yes, this is very pretty. Spoiler: All the songs from Sleeping Beauty are very pretty, because they’re all Tchaikovsky. However, there are others who use the beautiful music to much greater effect. She’s sleeping. And she’s beautiful. We get it. — A. Shoemaker

    250. “Mine, Mine, Mine,” Pocahontas (1995)

    A sort of spiritual companion to “Heigh-Ho”, but with a distinct overtone of cultural exploitation that Snow White never really broached in its time, “Mine, Mine, Mine” is a bit of wordplay that also stands as one of the less interesting Pocahontas songs. It works two ways, because it’s about selfishness, and also about Governor Ratcliffe (David Ogden Stiers) plotting to strip-mine the whole of Virginia for fame and fortune back in England. It’s a loose interpretation of history, and a looser kind of villain ballad, and doesn’t really land. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    249. “One Little Slip,” Chicken Little (2005)

    It’s been, one little slip since … Never mind that.

    The joke breaks down with the syllabic structure. Anyway, Barenaked Ladies contributed “One Little Slip” to Chicken Little, one of Disney’s earlier in-house forays into computer animation. It’s a milquetoast pop tune for a movie that could be considered much the same, and more proof that the band generally released all the wrong singles throughout their popular run. Not that it matters here, but a lot of Maroon really, really works, and we don’t get to write about BNL too often anymore, so that can just stay there. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    248. “Great Spirits,” Brother Bear (2003)

    This mostly harmless opener from Brother Bear would probably ranked higher, though not much higher, but it committed a flagrant foul: blatant misuse of Tina Turner. Seriously, you get Tina Turner to agree to sing a song for your movie, and this is what you give her? Red card! — A. Shoemaker

    247. “How D’Ye Do and Shake Hands,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    The Tweedles get several songs in Alice. Two are sort of annoying, but mostly weird and cool. This one, though, is just annoying. Shut up, Tweedles. — A. Shoemaker

    246. “True to Your Heart,” Mulan (1998)

    Strangely enough, “True To Your Heart” has also appeared in a non-Disney movie, with Raven-Symone covering it years after Mulan for Ella Enchanted. The Disney version is not so Raven, however, instead performed by the all-star team of Stevie Wonder and… 98 Degrees. As you’d expect of a Disney ballad delivered by Nick Lachey’s onetime outfit, it’s not exactly a barn burner, and even by the standards of end-credit songs in Disney movies, it’s connected loosely. The film’s larger sentiments end up reduced to a simple “Trust your heart/ And you’ll see the light,” and it’s hardly a fitting end to one of Disney’s more thematically interesting features. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    245. “If I Never Knew You,” Pocahontas (1995)

    The version of “If I Never Knew You” in Pocahontas is notably different from the one originally recorded for the film. The original was a duet between Mel Gibson and Judy Kuhn as John Smith and Pocahontas, but was abandoned in favor of a faster pace for the overall film. However, a version recorded by Jon Secada and Shanice plays over the end credits, one full of treacly synths and treaclier observations about love being the ultimate unifying force against racism. Or something. It’s in keeping with ‘90s music’s most unabashedly sappy tendencies, but if you’ve ever wanted to hear Mel Gibson sing a Disney ballad, it’s online for your perusal. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    244. “Let Me Be Good to You,” The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

    Here’s a song where a mouse strips. It includes the lyric “I’ll take off all my blues.” It’s not particularly funny, sexy, or even deliberately weird (though make no mistake, it’s definitely weird). But the worst offense of all is that it’s basically just “Let Me Entertain You” from Gypsy, only not good. — A. Shoemaker

    243. “No Way Out,” Brother Bear (2003)

    Love him or hate him, Phil Collins knows his way around a heartfelt, remorseful ballad. But if you’re up for a song with absolutely no subtlety (“Of all the things I hid from you/ I cannot hide the shame/ And I pray someone, something will come, to take away the pain”), you’re way better off with “Against All Odds”. –Allison Shoemaker

    242. “A Pirate’s Life,” Peter Pan (1953)

    Much like “Skumps”, “A Pirate’s Life” just doesn’t have much to it. It comes and goes in Peter Pan, sung by the pirate crew as they do assorted pirate things. It doesn’t really say anything more than “piracy is fun, if dangerous,” although it does have the rather unnerving ending of Skylights being shot in mid-song. Truly, piracy is a life unworthy of more polite, decent people. Keep that in mind, torrenters the world over. The life of a pirate is short. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    241. “Son of Man,” Tarzan (1999)

    If this song came up on a Pandora station, you might think it was “We Didn’t Start the Fire” for the first 15 seconds or so. Whether you’d be disappointed to discover it’s the worst song from Tarzan probably depends on your feelings about Phil Collins, Billy Joel, and Belgians in the Congo. Thumbs down. (Pandora? Get it?) — A. Shoemaker

    240. “God Help the Outcasts,” The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

    While some of Disney’s work has hewed toward the pious, “God Help the Outcasts” is a more direct example; delivered by Heidi Mollenhauer as Esmeralda, it’s a ballad that ends up outshone by some of the other Hunchback balladry. For a film largely about respect for the pitiable, “God Helps the Outcasts” deals heavily in low-swinging pity, begging that “God help my people/ We look to You, still/ God help the outcasts/ Or nobody will.” It’s a song that aims for empathy and lands on vague sentiment. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    239. “Tulou Tagaloa,” Moana (2016)

    When Moana opens, you hear one voice. Olivia Foa’i of Te Vaka (a celebrated Oceanic music group founded by Opetaia Foa’i, one of the film’s composers) unleashes a killer vocal, drawing you into a world where lava monsters are a) real and b) not what they seem, maybe? It’s thrilling, instantly epic, and ultimately kind of brief and meaningless since it transitions into a scene where a Grandma is scaring some little kids. Still, a lovely and mood-setting, if brief, piece of music. — A. Shoemaker

    238. “Alice In Wonderland,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    As this list goes on, you’ll notice a trend: the introductory songs to most Disney movies, particularly from older generations, are all serviceable without sticking out in any particular way. The same can be said for “Alice in Wonderland”, from the opening credits of the film of same name. If anything, it’s surprising how straightforward the song is compared to the impish absurdism of so much of what follows. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    237. “Let’s Sing a Gay Little Spring Song,” Bambi (1942)

    The choral singing in <em>Bambi</em> can be very effective at times, but this isn’t one of them. Imagine what a song with that title would sound like. Yeah, it sounds exactly like that. Be right back, gotta deal with this sugar coma. — A. Shoemaker

    236. “Once Upon a Wintertime,” Melody Time (1948)

    This song is a damn Christmas Mad-Lib. It’s like one of those SEO-creating bots wrote a holiday song. Merry bells, chestnut mares, ice-skating, jingling spines (yep), blah, blah, blah. The ice-skating rabbits are cute, but even they get pretty obnoxious when the lady rabbit melts the ice off the dude rabbit with her smokin’ hot bod. — A. Shoemaker

    235. “Very Good Advice,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    What a disappointment this song is. “Very Good Advice” may be the only song on this list that’s totally tanked by a performance. Kathryn Beaumont’s performance as Alice is, by and large, really wonderful, but whoever told her to fake cry through most of this song should have been fired. Melody? What melody? I’ve got to do some more sniffling. — Allison Shoemaker

    234. “And He Shall Smite the Wicked,” The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

    Now for something different: a Disney song performed fully in Latin by the English National Opera Company, as Frollo makes his final stand against Quasimodo and is dragged to hell for his troubles. It’s a short one, but an effectively menacing accompaniment to a character who hides behind piety to commit all manner of sins. And the booming choral accompaniment has quite a bit to say on the topic of Frollo’s well-earned exit: “Day of wrath, that day/ Shall consume the world in ashes/ When the judge is come/ When the damned shall be cast down/ Into the searing flames.” Damn, Disney. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    233. “Blue Bayou,” Make Mine Music (1946)

    “Blue Bayou” actually started as a deleted segment from Fantasia, but the self-proclaimed tone poem is far more memorable for the animation of the Make Mine Music segment in which it appears than for the song itself. To say that the Ken Darby Singers’ rendition is sleepy would be an understatement; it’s a lovely, harp-driven melody that might just lull you to sleep in no time flat. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    232. “Look Through My Eyes,” Brother Bear (2003)

    Phil Collins was Disney’s go-to guy for a while there, huh? Near the end of Brother Bear comes “Look Through My Eyes”, a well-meaning, upbeat song about following one’s heart to the daylight that trots out the greatest hits of the modern soft-rock playbook. You get: attentive, uptempo, non-distracting piano; light electronic flourishes; acoustic guitar; some nondescript electric guitar for flavor; and Phil Collins. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    231. “Scales and Arpeggios,” The Aristocats (1970)

    So here’s the thing. “Scales and Arpeggios” is a weird scene in the middle of The AristoCats, as it basically invites viewers to take in the piano lesson of a privileged cat, as she sings a song about that lesson. It owes more than a little bit of spiritual debt to The Sound of Music’s “Do Re Mi”, but imagine that song if it were sung by a chirpy child. If that doesn’t sound good to you, well, you might just want to move on to other parts of the film’s soundtrack. And Marie’s observation that this is sheet music theory “every cultured student knows” comes off a little smug. Take it down a notch, cat child. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    230. “Honor to Us All,” Mulan (1998)

    Poor Mulan. Seriously. It all works out for her in the end, but she spends quite a bit of her film at the mercy of pretty much everyone else around her. Take “Honor to Us All” for instance, which frames her preparation rituals for courtship as a gauntlet of demands from her grandfather and pretty much her entire village at large. Her bather compares her to a “sow’s ear,” and it doesn’t get a lot better from there, with the busybody bystanders instructing her about how important it is for her to be complacent and attentive. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    229. “My Favorite Dream,” Fun and Fancy Free (1947)

    “Mickey and the Beanstalk” seems like a great idea, but man, it’s kind of a bore. “My Favorite Dream” is a cookie-cutter ballad with cookie-cutter lyrics that basically only exists so that the harp can give Mickey a window in which to steal the giant’s key. It puts the giant to sleep, so I guess the giant and I have that in common. — A. Shoemaker

    228. “The Next Right Thing,” Frozen II (2019)

    An empathic song about depression and what it takes to pull yourself out of it, there’s a lot to appreciate in “The Next Right Thing,” especially Kristen Bell’s delicate vocals and the central message of the lyrics. But unlike other Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez tunes, there’s no memorable hook or melody, despite being three minutes and 30 seconds long. (Other songs on this list do a lot more with less.) — L.S. Miller

    227. “Once Upon a Time in New York City,” Oliver & Company (1988)

    Some of Oliver & Company has aged very, very well. Some of it sounds exactly like you’d expect a movie from the late ‘80s to sound, in the best possible way. This one just sounds dated (not because of Huey Lewis, either). And oh, god, that chorus. Doesn’t get much more maudlin than that. Luckily, the film’s real show-stopper comes in pretty hot on its heels. — A. Shoemaker

    226. “The Bells of Notre Dame,” The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

    “The Bells of Notre Dame” is delivered by Clopin, in telling children of the legend of Quasimodo, a name that Clopin translates outright in mid-song as “half-formed.” It’s a cruel opening, one that recounts how Frollo was perilously close to just drowning Quasimodo because of his appearance suggesting a demon’s. A lot of Disney movies don’t play around when it comes to the brutal realities of the world, but as you’ll see time and again as this list goes on, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is especially pronounced in its unflinching cruelty. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    225. “You’ll Be in My Heart,” Tarzan (1999)

    Phil Collins’ most well-known song from the Tarzan soundtrack is also its most aggressively saccharine. It’s a fine vocal turn from Collins, but man, this is basically the color beige as a Disney ballad destined to be trotted out at father-daughter first dances until time immemorial. (Hearsay from writers older than this one suggests it was also a prom jam in its time, which makes just as much sense.) An additional version in the film, titled “Lullaby”, is posed as a duet with Glenn Close and is actually more effective for its brevity. But Collins’ hit? It can be done without.– D. Suzanne-Mayer

    224. “We’ll Smoke the Blighter Out,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    God, Alice has so many songs. This one’s fine, I guess? It seems like a song written while a house is about to be burned while the hero is stuck inside it could be more dynamic, but no, they’ll just smoke the blighter out, in case you missed that that’s what they’re doing. — A. Shoemaker

    223. “Hip Hip Pooh Ray,” The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

    This list will prove that we’re Pooh fans. Seriously, those songs are damn good, and you can get away with quite a lot when you’re writing for children. But I’m sorry, hip hip pooh-ray is just a bridge too far. A person can only handle so much twee. — A. Shoemaker

    222. “Casey Junior,” Dumbo (1941)

    Yes, this one’s catchy enough that it ended up on some of those Disney sing-along tapes with which the world’s children were brainwashed at a young age, but for all Dumbo’s inventiveness, “Casey Junior” is a bit of a snooze. Cute filler, but filler all the same. — A. Shoemaker

    221. “All Is Found,” Frozen II (2019)

    One of the most forgettable songs to come out of the Frozen franchise, this opening number even puts the characters to sleep – literally. The somewhat eerie, lullaby-esque tune suffers from a bland melody and overly-dramatic orchestration, with equally vanilla lyrics to match. There’s little that makes it distinctly Frozen, and the result is a track that feels like it could have come from any given Disney animation. – J. Krueger

    220. “Immortals,” Big Hero 6 (2014)

    CoS is a Chicago-based publication, which means that every time Fall Out Boy comes up in conversation, we’re obligated to observe how far the band has come since its VFW hall emo days. Need yet another reminder? Look no further than “Immortals,” the generic tech-rock track FOB put together for Big Hero 6, a movie far more interesting than the pop single bestowed upon it. It also feels like a B-side to “Centuries,” one only mildly more subdued than that already kind of ridiculous song. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    219. “Sanctuary,” The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

    The darkness of Hunchback proves to be one of its virtues, but good god, this is a bit much. The only thing that makes “Sanctuary” less dark than, say, “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana, is that Quasimodo does in fact manage to save Esmeralda from being burned alive. Laying it on a little thick, aren’t we, Menken? — A. Shoemaker

    218. “Know Who You Are,” Moana (2016)

    This reprise emerges near the end of Moana, as Auli’I Cravalho’s intrepid warrior finally comes face-to-face with Te Fiti, the spirit of the island and mother of all creation. It’s a brief piece, repurposing the melody from “An Innocent Warrior” in service of Moana’s impassioned plea with Te Fiti to rediscover her less lava-filled, more peaceful side, and Cravalho delivers it with the nuanced delicacy that she brings to all of her performances in the film. It’s very much a Disney piece, but a well-performed (if quick) one. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    217. “Listen With Your Heart I/Listen With Your Heart II,” Pocahontas (1995)

    One of the shortest songs in Pocahontas, Grandmother Willow’s vaguely disturbing tree face advises Pocahontas on her journey with some simple, sage advice: “Listen with your heart, you will understand.” And even if it’s just a quick melody from which the film quickly moves on, the way in which the song’s production uses the simple sound of rushing wind for atmosphere is an interesting aural choice. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    216. “All of You,” Encanto (2021)

    This is the lowest-ranked Encanto song on this list, only because it’s less of an original song in its own right and more of a combination of themes from the rest of the soundtrack. As the penultimate song, it’s responsible for wrapping up a lot of plot, but doesn’t stand out on its own merits. — L.S. Miller

    215. “The Gospel Truth I-III,” Hercules (1997)

    Since each installment of “The Gospel Truth” barely counts as a song on its own, we’ve lumped them together here. As the muses of Hercules periodically step into the film as the most literal Greek chorus possible, in order to keep the story moving and streamline some of the more complicated bits of mythos involved in the film, “The Gospel Truth(s)” maintain the speedy, lighthearted pace of much of the film at large. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    214. “The Rain Rain Rain Came Down,” The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

    There’s a flood in the Hundred Acre Wood, and this omnipotent chorus would like to tell you all about it. Pretty forgettable song, but it gets a few bonus points for some great alliteration (“frozen fractals” is the new “rushing, rising riv’lets”). — A. Shoemaker

    213. “Melody Time,” Melody Time (1948)

    The title song from the 1948 assemblage of short films of same name, “Melody Time” starts with a cacophonous overture before slipping into a ‘40s Disney bit of light swing courtesy of Buddy Clark, the film’s host and narrator, who invites viewers to “jump in and sing.” It’s simple, old-fashioned stuff, and it’s just fine for what it is. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    212. “The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met,” Make Mine Music (1946)

    Lots of great music in this one, almost none of it actually Disney’s. Listening to Willie the Whale will certainly make a person realize exactly how much opera they’ve heard before, but it’s likely that the non-opera parts won’t be remembered. Bonus points for the darkest Disney ending that doesn’t involve Bambi’s dead mom, though. — A. Shoemaker

    211. “Spirit,” The Lion King (2019)

    “Spirit” was always destined for middling reception. Housed within a particularly maligned live-action remake and squeezed between some of the most beloved classics in the Disney canon (both in terms of proper songs and Hans Zimmer’s score), the track had to be something truly special to make any sort of mark. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t anything close to special. Not even Beyoncé could save this tune from being immediately forgotten, though we’d guess she might prefer it that way. – J. Krueger

    210. “Appreciate the Lady,” The Fox and the Hound (1981)

    Pearl Bailey’s gonna give it to you straight: being nice to someone is way more likely to get you laid than lying and/or being an asshole. Sound advice, mediocre song. — A. Shoemaker

    209. “The AristoCats,” The AristoCats (1970)

    “The AristoCats” stands as one of Maurice Chevalier’s final recorded performances, and it’s a cute, weightless bit of opening credits fluff (in the non-cat sense). Its vaguely Parisian melody hums under Chevalier singing of privileged animals, occasionally in French, and it’s a fine bit of table-setting for a film that finds substantially more style in a lot of the music that follows. And Chevalier’s mega-clichéd flourishes at the end are enjoyably aged.– D. Suzanne-Mayer

    208. “The Future Has Arrived,” Meet the Robinsons (2007)

    ‘Sup, All-American Rejects? The early-aughts power pop band contributed “The Future Has Arrived” to the Meet the Robinsons soundtrack, and given some of the other Top 40-minded songs on this list, it’s not half bad. If the production is mega-clean even by the band’s poppy standards, it captures the manic, inventive energy of the movie well enough, if not to any overwhelmingly lasting effect. It’s an end-credits song, which probably isn’t shocking to most. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    207. “Too Good To Be True,” Fun and Fancy Free (1947)

    The only thing that makes “Too Good to be True” a trite but not unbearable entry is the bizarre sequence in which it’s featured, in which a pair of oddly violent cupid-bears show us how twitterpated Bongo and his lady-love have become. The literal rose-colored glasses are a nice touch, too. — A. Shoemaker

    206. “Little Patch of Heaven,” Home on the Range (2004)

    Man, k.d. Lang sounds great in “A Little Patch of Heaven”, a song that rhapsodizes about the many virtues of a dairy farm that bears the name, you guessed it, Little Patch of Heaven. Too bad the song itself isn’t more memorable. — A. Shoemaker

    205. “You Belong to My Heart,” The Three Caballeros (1944)

    Dora Luz delivers “You Belong To My Heart” as a translation of the Bolero love song “Solamente una vez”, and the Disney version retains much of the gentle Samba melody. Luz’s resonant delivery is offset by Donald Duck quacking his way through the song in response, loving and animated, which is funny if more than a little bit distracting. But what else says love like “we own all the stars and a million guitars are still playing”? — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    204. “Eeyore Needs a Tail/The Winner Song,” Winnie the Pooh (2011)

    The 2011 Winnie the Pooh is surprisingly delightful, but of all the fun little gems in its score, this one’s by far the most forgettable. It does end with a solid verse for Eeyore, however: “Found an anchor over there/ Now it’s on my derriere/ Not that anybody’d care.” — A. Shoemaker

    203. “Blue Shadows on the Trail,” Melody Time (1948)

    One of two Roy Rogers performances in Melody Time, “Blue Shadows” has the unhappy distinction of being far more memorably used in Three Amigos! It’s fine. — A. Shoemaker

    202. “Sugar Rush,” Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

    Delivered primarily in Japanese by the girl group AKB48, “Sugar Rush” is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The theme song to the Mario Kart-style racing game within Wreck-It Ralph covers its electric riff in several layers of glossy and … well, sugary production, and will lodge itself in your head for days if this sort of relentless pop is your thing. And how could it not be? All together, now: “S-U-G-A-R! Jump into your racing car!” — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    201. “An Innocent Warrior,” Moana (2016)

    A scene-setting piece early in the film, “An Innocent Warrior” establishes two of the core motifs around which Moana’s soundtrack is built: ethereal choral sounds and gentle, oceanic melodies. It’s one of the more subdued pieces from the film, but Vai Mahina’s standout vocal elevates it despite the song’s relative brevity (it clocks in at barely 90 seconds). In a soundtrack full of bounce and drum-driven theatrics, it’s a welcome and wholly appropriate change of pace. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    200. “Baia,” The Three Caballeros (1944)

    Taking its melody from Brazilian composer Ary Barroso’s “Na Baixa do Sapateiro, “Baía” is an appropriately lush song for a very pretty sequence in which nothing happens. — A. Shoemaker

    199. “Mind Over Matter,” The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

    The Sherman Brothers wrote lots and lots of very clever songs for the Pooh shorts. This one’s not really among them. It’s still playful, catchy, and cute, but it’s basically just a song to pass the time while everyone tries to push Pooh through the hole in which he’s stuck. Not exactly the stuff of legend. — A. Shoemaker

    198. “The Tummy Song,” Winnie the Pooh (2011)

    A song so cute it’s almost kind of aggravating, “The Tummy Song” is a quick Pooh Bear serenade about the importance of eating and also of giving your stomach what it wants when it wants it. Jim Cummings’ latter-day rendition of Pooh delivers the song with a wiser, but still beyond-precious sentiment, and if you’re not at least a little charmed by fast-paced rhymes like “when there is no honey the Pooh takes the tummy wherever the honey will be,” you may in fact be dead. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    197. “Two Worlds,” Tarzan (1999)

    So that slow build into a thunderous drum track is pretty choice and pretty Phil Collins to boot. “Two Worlds” introduces Tarzan with a frantic bit of action, before the singer’s instantly recognizable upper-register vocals implore all to “Trust your heart/ Let fate decide/ To guide these lives we see.” It capably sets the tone of warring worlds, and compared to some of Collins’ work elsewhere in the film, “Two Worlds” is pretty lively stuff. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    196. “Love,” Robin Hood (1973)

    Somehow, of all the songs in Robin Hood (hint: they’re all higher on the list, including the one that’s basically just whistling), this treacly Nancy Adams ballad is the one that got nominated for an Oscar. It’s fine. There are fireflies. They’re pretty. Whatever. — A. Shoemaker

    195. “Waiting on a Miracle,” Encanto (2021)

    While most of Encanto is in a classic 4/4 time, Mirabel’s “I Want” song is written in 3/4, symbolizing how she moves to a different rhythm from the rest of her kin. When she sings, “Hey, I’m still a part of the family Madrigal/ And I’m fine, I am totally fine,” it’s not the world’s most subtle subtext, but it still gives us a clue into the girl who tries to see the best in everyone, including herself. After the miracle fails to appear even when begged to a traditional bambuco beat, then Mirabel is ready to take fate into her own hands. — Wren Graves

    194. “The Virginia Company”/Reprise, Pocahontas (1995)

    The introduction to Pocahontas through the eyes of the titular trading group, John Smith is brought in to help the singing chorus of settlers pursue their dreams of untold wealth and fortune. It’s a triumphant, drum-and-whistle production extolling the virtues of conquering new lands, even if the reprise has another one of those Pocahontas lines that makes you hiss through your teeth a little bit in “we’ll kill ourselves an Injun/ Or maybe two or three/ We’re stalwart men and bold/ Of the Virginia Company.” At least it’s the bad guys in this case. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    193. “Good Company,” Oliver & Company (1988)

    The repetitive melody and lyrics can be mostly excused, as the song begins with Jenny practicing the piano as Oliver watches. But for all its sweetness, “Good Company” still feels like something of a missed opportunity. If this adoption song had been the least bit anthemic, we might have been spared all those Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercials. Still, it’s not bad. — A. Shoemaker

    192. “Saludos Amigos,” Saludos Amigos (1942)

    Disney’s goodwill trip to South America is historically fascinating, as one of the aims was to help defeat the Nazis (no, really, it was). The two movies that emerged from that trip are somewhat less interesting, something epitomized by the Oscar-nominated title track. Sounds great, but you’ll likely forget about it within minutes. — A. Shoemaker

    191. “La La Lu,” Lady and the Tramp (1955)

    Darling’s lullaby to her newborn, “La La Lu” provides a great showcase for the remarkable voice of Peggy Lee, but that’s about all there is to it. The lyrics (“La la lu, la la lu/ Oh my little star-sweeper/ I’ll sweep the stardust for you”) leave a lot to be desired, and as it arrives on the heels of the terrific “What Is a Baby?”, it suffers a great deal by comparison. — A. Shoemaker

    190. “Little Wooden Head,” Pinocchio (1940)

    Fun fact: “Pinocchio” actually means “little wooden head.” It’s also the name of the song that Geppetto first sings to Pinoccchio, and its sentiments play like any other Disney song between a parent and child. Geppetto believes in the power of his soon-to-be real boy to make the world a better place, as Christian Rub croons about his “Little wooden head with eyes that shine/ Little wooden head that’s made of pine/ In a weary world you do your share/ Spreading laughter everywhere.” He gets there eventually, if not without struggle. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    189. “Jonny Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet,” Make Mine Music (1946)

    From Make Mine Music, here’s a song about gendered hats. Johnny Fedora loves Alice Blue Bonnet so deeply that his life is torn asunder when he’s sold away and repeatedly abused as hats too often are. Of course, this being a Disney song, they’re one day reunited to live happily ever after and even have a couple of baby hats in a miracle of procreation that defies both God and logic. And it wasn’t the last film appearance for Johnny, who actually pops up at the end of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? atop a hippopotamus. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    188. “Reindeer(s) are Better Than People,” Frozen (2013)

    Here’s one of Frozen’s very lightest songs. “Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People” is a quick lullaby sung by Jonathan Groff’s Kristoff, both to and in the style of his beloved reindeer companion, Sven. It’s goofy and short, even as Kristoff sings (as Sven) how “people will beat you and curse you and cheat you.” Even in the film’s moments of levity, a little bit of world-weariness tends to slip out in small ways. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    187. “Wintry Winds,” Bambi (1942)

    It’s a choral piece where the choir creates the sound of, you guessed it, a wintry wind. Pretty, but also pretty unremarkable. — A. Shoemaker

    186. “Rumbly in My Tumbly,” The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

    One could be forgiven for forgetting this song, one of the seemingly dozens of Pooh songs about being hungry and/or wanting honey. They’re all cute, but they do blur together, and this is one of the blurrier numbers on that long, long list. There’s at least one moment of classic Sherman Brothers wit, however: “Time to munch/ An early luncheon/ Hum de dum dum dum.” — A. Shoemaker

    185. “Peace on Earth,” Lady and the Tramp (1955)

    Over a truly serene Christmas scene, “Peace on Earth” functions as a brief, lovely countermelody to “Silent Night” as Donald Novis invokes, “Peace, my children of good will/ Peace, my children, peace be still.” It’s one of the earlier moments in The Lady and the Tramp, but also a quick, potent reminder of how lovely even the subtlest moments of the marriage of Disney animation and music can sometimes be. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    184. “A Girl Worth Fighting For,” Mulan (1998)

    “A Girl Worth Fighting For” is basically the Disney song equivalent of one of those awkward moments of not fitting in with coworkers’ banter, particularly if they’ve ever been a woman in a male-dominated field of work. As the warriors march on to battle with the Huns, several of them start to wax heroic about the kind of woman they’d ideally like to be rewarded with for their efforts. For Mulan’s part, she tries to interject with “How about a girl who’s got a brain/ Who always speaks her mind,” which gets a resounding response of “Nah!” At least it’s a comedy song that makes the soldiers sound like dopes. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    183. “(You Ain’t) Home on the Range,” Home on the Range (2004)

    It’s no “Fathoms Below” or “Steady as the Beating Drum”, but the opener to Home on the Range could be a lot worse. Sure, it sounds exactly like you think it would sound, with no musical surprises in store, but Glenn Slater’s lyrics offer a few moments of cleverness (“Out in the land of the desperado/ if you’re as soft as an avocado/ Yee-haw, you’re guacamole, son!”). Besides, even at his most predictable, Alan Menken still knows how to write a catchy tune. — A. Shoemaker

    182. “Your Mother and Mine,” Peter Pan (1953)

    In a film all about lost children of one kind or another, “Your Mother and Mine” hits ably on the fantasy (and accompanying sadness) of attempting to explain what a mother’s unconditional love is like to children who don’t know. Kathryn Beaumont brings the same vulnerability to the song that she lent to Alice (of Wonderland) just a couple years prior, but it’s more of a gentle bedtime rhyme for the youngest in Peter’s crew than a full-blown performance. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    181. “I Am Moana,” Moana (2016)

    When is a reprise not a reprise? When it’s a hybrid of two previous tracks, a musical Frankenstein that doesn’t really give us anything new musically. Still, “I Am Moana” is worth a listen for those final seconds when Auli’i Cravalho lets her voice loose and declares who, after nearly two hours of asking, she truly is. Add in Rachel House’s tender, weary performance as Gramma Tala and you’ve got a just-OK song made unskippable by the voices that bring it to life. — A. Shoemaker

    180. “Old Father William,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum get a proper number, one that’s featured higher on this list. For now, here’s yet another short Wonderland song that would probably be pretty good if you heard more than 20 seconds of it. — A. Shoemaker

    179. “Mexico,” The Three Caballeros (1944)

    At the time, the technological razzle-dazzle required to make it so that Donald and his friends Jose and Panchito can take a tour of Mexico (you know, the live-action Mexico) on a flying sarape was pretty damn advanced. The song? Good, but not great, and cheesy, but not unbearably so. As far as tourism ad campaigns go, you could do a lot worse. — A. Shoemaker

    178. “Yodel-Adle-Eedle-Idle-Oo,” Home on the Range (2004)

    Uh, so apparently Randy Quaid is pretty accomplished at the age-old art of yodeling. That’s right: Before he became a depressing pop cultural curiosity, Quaid lent his surprisingly formidable pipes to Home on the Range’s “Yodel-Adle-Eedle-Idle-Oo”, a villain song for Quaid’s evil cattle rancher, Alameda Slim. It’s not only (assumedly) some of the more menacing yodeling ever recorded, but in context Slim is yodeling for the purpose of hypnotizing and kidnapping animals. Truly, a more seductive yodel has never existed to ears human or animal than Quaid’s. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    177. “Colombia, Mi Encanto,” Encanto (2021)

    The bustling “Colombia Mi Encanto” is a love letter to Colombia, its rich history of music, and the themes of Encanto. It’s a particularly joyous number, and its thumping beat beckons you to the dance floor. Carlos Vives may provide an excellent vocal performance, but the song itself feels less like Encanto‘s thesis and more like a background track intended for the credits. — Paolo Ragusa

    176. “The Journey,” The Rescuers (1977)

    “The Journey” is a simple number, a largely instrumental track with a chorus played over The Rescuers opening credits. Shelby Flint’s pained croon of “who will rescue me?” is accompanied by an optimistic, if melancholic, soprano sax melody, and if there’s not much more to it beyond that and the grandiose strings that tend to accompany a great many of these opening songs, it’s still a lovely, forlorn piece. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    175. “I Thought I Lost You,” Bolt (2008)

    At the height of her Hannah Montana phase but before “Party in the U.S.A.”, Miley Cyrus made Bolt, and with it “I Thought I Lost You”, which is a fun, perfectly harmless little pop tune. It would probably rank higher if not for a bit of a squick factor, as this is also a duet with John Travolta. Now, since he voiced Bolt, this isn’t technically a love duet, but it sure sounds like one. Yeesh. — A. Shoemaker

    174. “Looking for Romance (I Bring You a Song),” Bambi (1942)

    This song is fine. It’s very pretty, and uses choral voices as well as almost anything in Bambi, but it’s totally unnecessary, too. As the background for one of the most beautiful sequences in the film, it’s simply there to tell us what the gorgeous animation already has: Bambi and Faline are falling in love. — A. Shoemaker

    173. “Song of the Roustabouts,” Dumbo (1941)

    The animated sequence surrounding “Roustabouts” is one of a great many Disney songs of its kind, what with a merry band of workers singing a song of uncommon anguish that doesn’t seem to realize that’s what it is. The Roustabouts, however, are a group of men who use a substantial amount of elephant labor to pitch each circus tent in each town on their tour, and apparently “never learn to read or write,” but are happy anyway. Good for them? — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    172. “All in the Golden Afternoon,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    Of all of the many strange faces Alice encounters in her trip through Wonderland, the flowers aren’t exactly the most iconic. Nor is “All in the Golden Afternoon”, in which a crooning chorus of flowers serenades Alice on the topic of, well, being flowers: “There are dizzy daffodils on the hillside/ Strings of violets are all in tune/ Tiger lilies love the dandelions/ In the golden afternoon.” Kathryn Beaumont’s spot-on delivery of Alice’s counter-melody goes a long way, but otherwise, let’s move on. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    171. “Transformation,” Brother Bear (2003)

    Our highest-ranked song from Brother Bear is actually a pretty good example of when a Phil Collins score can work for a Disney movie. Like Tarzan’s “Trashin’ the Camp” (still to come), it’s evocative and atmospheric, telling the story through sound, rather than text. There’s text too, but as sung in the film by the Bulgarian Women’s Choir, it’s all in the Iñupiat language. — A. Shoemaker

    170. “Friends on the Other Side,” The Princess and the Frog (2009)

    The villain song for The Princess and the Frog’s Dr. Facilier, “Friends on the Other Side” is a delight just for the sake of listening to Keith David sink his teeth into a song about voodoo and other such forms of dark magic. If it doesn’t quite have the memorable lyricism of some of the Mouse House’s best tributes to the nefarious, David purring his way through “I hope you’re satisfied/ But if you ain’t, don’t blame me/ You can blame my friends on the other side” is worth it alone. If ever an actor was made to play a smooth-talking Disney villain, David was. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    169. “Cinderella,” Cinderella (1950)

    The song that appears over the opening titles of Cinderella repurposes the old-fashioned chorus that backs much of the film’s music for a tune that’s deliberate even by the film’s generally airy musical standards. It’s basically the moral of the story in one tidy package, before a single frame of film even plays, what with the talk of how “Though you’re dressed in rags, you wear an air of queenly grace/ Anyone can see a throne would be your proper place.” Little presumptuous there, movie. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    168. “Love Is a Song,” Bambi (1942)

    Here is the opening song of Bambi, from that brief moment while watching the film where you expect a cute Disney movie, right before you learn about the harsh, brutal realities of death and matricide the hard way. It’s a solid, if inconsequential, preamble to a film that’s largely cute once you get past that whole “your mom is dead, you’re alone in the world” situation, setting that central tone in decent fashion. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    167. “Where Is Your Heart At?,” Meet the Robinsons (2007)

    As the singing voice of Frankie the Frog, Jamie Cullum gets two at bats. The other is a solid cover of “Give Me the Simple Life”, but “Where Is Your Heart At?” (written by Rufus Wainwright) is the only original he gets to tackle. It’s kind of nonsensical, but pretty good? There’s something about a circus coming to town and him becoming a magician? Honestly, let this guy croon, and it doesn’t matter what he says. — A. Shoemaker

    166. “When I Am Older,” Frozen II (2019)

    The best Olaf is an iced and chilled Crocodile Dundee, baffled at all this stuff he doesn’t understand. But a close second is young Olaf, stand-in for the children in the audience. “When I Am Older” is a great example of this species of snowman, optimistic that things will work out but fairly worried in the meantime. It’s a bit of amusing fluff, as each new verse brings confident rationalizing followed by a flash of anxiety undercut with visual slapstick. — W. Graves

    165. “A-E-I-O-U,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    This is just a caterpillar smoking hookah and singing the titular vowels over and over again. It’s hard to fault that, as it’s sort of perfect exactly as it is. But it’s also hard to give it much credit, because it’s just some vowels. Ah, well. Wouldn’t change a thing. — A. Shoemaker

    164. “Goodbye, So Soon,” The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

    The best song for the best character in this movie is still to come, but “Goodbye, So Soon” has its own charms. On the downside, it’s essentially just background noise for the scene in which Basil and Dawson escape from Ratigan’s death trap at the very last moment. But the fact that it’s just in the background is part of what makes it so fun: What kind of villain records a taunting goodbye song, puts it on the record player, and makes the trigger for the trap the point at which the record player’s needle comes to a stop? A great villain, that’s what kind. — A. Shoemaker

    163. “I’m Wishing,” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

    On record, since “I’m Wishing” is the first song in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it’s also the very first Disney song of them all. As openings to a near-century lineage of music go, “I’m Wishing” is a fine one, one that segues into “One Song” as the film opens its historic love story. And the echo effect surrounding “Make a wish into the well/ That’s all you have to do/ And if you hear it echoing/ Your wish will soon come true” is a masterful bit of early-cinema audio production. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    162. “Frozen Heart,” Frozen (2013)

    Frozen opens with “Frozen Heart”, hardly one of the film’s more oft-quoted songs but one that nevertheless establishes its world quickly enough, by way of a sort of lyrical Greek chorus that uses entendre to set up the film’s central conceit of ice as a visual and thematic metaphor for grief, anxiety, and all manner of other human afflictions. “This icy force both foul and fair/ Has a frozen heart worth mining!” is a fine thesis statement for everything that follows, and even if “Frozen Heart” doesn’t have much payoff in the film’s larger context, sometimes that’s enough. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    161. “Lazy Countryside,” Fun and Fancy Free (1947)

    The best of the songs from the Bongo segment of Fun and Fancy Free, “Lazy Countryside” is the rare piece of Disney music that’s better without the animation. It’s like The Young Rascals’ “Groovin’” or The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Daydream”, with a Dinah Shore vocal that makes you want to go have a really nice picnic and maybe a nap immediately. It’s much, much better without the stupid bear. — A. Shoemaker

    160. “The Gifts of Beauty and Song,” Sleeping Beauty (1959)

    As Aurora is gifted with the titular blessings, “The Gifts of Beauty and Song” promises early in Sleeping Beauty that true love will conquer all. It’s a notion that guides Aurora through increasing adversity, and one of the film’s many repurposed Tchaikovsky melodies is used in brief with “Beauty and Song” to resonant, well-animated effect. It’s not the film’s most memorable stuff, but it’s effective nonetheless. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    159. “The Caucus Race,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    Yet another brief song from Alice, this one has a leg up on some of its fellows because it just sounds like so much fun. A group of birds, starfish, and the like are too busy racing to be much bothered by the fact that they’re routinely getting doused by the waves. So what if the goal of the race is to dry off? It looks like an insanely good time (or at least insane). — A. Shoemaker

    158. “Look Out for Mr. Stork,” Dumbo (1941)

    Look out for Mr. Stork, kids. He’s gonna bring you a baby whether you like it or not. Early in Dumbo, a battalion of storks brings babies to the various circus animals, all while this happens: “And let me tell you, friend/ Don’t try to get away/ He’ll find you in the end.” And moments later, at the song’s conclusion: “He’s got you on his list/ And when he comes around/ It’s useless to resist.” That’s right. Mr. Stork is bringing you a baby, and no matter where you go, it’s as inevitable as the rising sun. Song’s fine, but the implications are pretty damn scary. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    157. “The Three Caballeros,” The Three Caballeros (1944)

    Ranchera artist Manuel Esperón collaborated with Walt Disney on the Mexican portions of The Three Caballeros, and it’s Esperón’s song “Ay, Jalisco, no te rajes” that’s proven to be the most memorable. With new lyrics from Ray Gilbert, it’s not the most culturally sophisticated piece of music in the world, but Esperón’s melody and the fun of seeing Donald Duck try to sing along with two birds who can actually sing makes it worth a listen. — A. Shoemaker

    156. “Streets of Gold,” Oliver & Company (1988)

    Disney has a mixed record when it comes to attempting to connect with the zeitgeist. Oliver & Company is pretty thoroughly ‘80s, never more so than with “Streets of Gold”, a Ruth Pointer track overflowing with Casio drum tracks, periodic bursts of horns, and a general sense of excess in every direction. It’s not bad for its time, even with the heavily augmented sax solo midway through, but it’s in every way a product of it. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    155. “We Know the Way,” Moana (2016)

    Of the Moana tracks prominently featuring the Te Vaka singers, this one’s the best. A rousing anthem of exploration and adventure, “We Know the Way” comes with a little variation on a familiar theme — Moana’s ancestors explored the seas, but they always know the way home, and home they go. Performed by composers Opetaia Foa’i (singing in the Tokelauan language) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (singing in English), this isn’t a song about adventurers escaping some dull town (or island, as it were). It’s about explorers who bring their histories with them, make discoveries for those they’ve left behind, and know who they are, where they are, and how to get back to the place they call home. Foa’i and Miranda’s rich voices complement each other nicely, and the total package is enough to make anyone want to find a canoe and head for the great unknown ASAP. — A. Shoemaker

    154. “What Else Can I Do?,” Encanto (2021)

    Isabela Madrigal’s second act revelation is deeply needed in Encanto, and “What Else Can I Do?” is her shining moment. Its music and lyrics are a little general, but Diane Guerrero’s passionate vocal performance — as well as a few visual sequences that hinge on plant-based absurdity — make it a memorable number. Like many songs in Encanto, “What Else Can I Do” relishes in release, but it’s particularly joyous and rewarding. — P. Ragusa

    153. “Dalmation Plantation/Finale,” 101 Dalmatians (1961)

    Tabling that “plantation” doesn’t exactly conjure up images of a happy land filled with puppies right away, “Dalmatian Plantation” is a quick, cute ending note for 101 Dalmatians. As Roger Radcliffe serenades his family with the best possible rhyme against the film’s title, stability returns to the Radcliffe household, now overrun with cute animals that will presumably destroy and soil their home in irreparable fashion. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    152. “Mad Madam Mim,” The Sword in the Stone (1946)

    Not to go all Harry Potter on you, but if you took Dolores Umbridge and saddled her with the mental state and volatility of Bellatrix Lestrange, you’d probably wind up with someone who looks and sounds a lot like Mad Madam Mim. Now, Mim probably wouldn’t make anyone’s list of the best Disney villains, but her particular brand of unhinged prissiness is put to great use in the best song from The Sword in the Stone. And seriously, Umbridge crossed with Bellatrix? That’s some scary shit. — A. Shoemaker

    151. “Two Silhouettes,” Make Mine Music (1946)

    The Disney anthology films are pretty hit-and-miss, but this sequence is a real stunner, featuring two live-action ballet dancers whose movements are captured and animated through rotoscoping. It’s soundtracked by a lush Dinah Shore ballad, and if the whole thing’s a little cheesy, well that’s OK. It’s under five minutes of cheese. It’ll be done before you know it. — A. Shoemaker

    150. “Painting the Roses Red/Who’s Been Painting My Roses Red?,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    “Painting the Roses Red” unfolds in two halves, as an initial song and a subsequent reprise including the Queen of Hearts’ response to the Ace, Two, and Three of Clubs repainting her entire garden. The first portion is as cute and anxious as much of the film, with Alice being unknowingly duped into assisting in treason, whereas the second takes a turn for the outright disturbing when the Queen shows up and doles out her verdict for the Clubs’ error: “They’re going to lose their heads/ For painting the roses red/ It serves them right/ They planted white/ But roses should be red.” Sheesh. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    149. “Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum (The Dwarfs’ Washing Song),” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

    Man, a lot of the songs in Snow White are about the Proustian joys of old-fashioned manual labor. “Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum” is another, albeit in this case the labor is just taking a bath with a half-dozen of your closest friends. There’s something unnerving about the cheerful way in which Grumpy, ostensibly an adult if a diminutive one, is forced into the tub by his more cheerful mates to the tune of “Now scrub good and hard/ It can’t be denied/ That he’ll look mighty cute/ As soon as he’s dried.” But it’s a fun, cheery song from a film that works almost exclusively in those two media. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    148. “Up Down and Touch the Ground,” The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

    One of many delightful songs written for Christopher Robin’s pal, this weird, little exercise song makes plain Pooh’s philosophy on dieting. Why do we exercise? To make room for more food. “I am short, fat, and proud of that/ And so with all my might/ I up, down, up down to my appetite’s delight.” Love it. — A. Shoemaker

    147. “Reflection,” Mulan (1998)

    Christina Aguilera’s version may have more vocal fireworks — it is, after all, the song that made her career — but the power of “Reflection” has nothing to do with pyrotechnics. Arriving fairly early in Mulan, the heroine’s simple wish (“When will my reflection show who I am inside?”) hits home thanks to the lovely, simple animation, the power of Lea Salonga’s performance, and the universality of her desire. She doesn’t want to be anyone but herself, yet being herself just isn’t an option. That’s goddamn tragic, right? Don’t worry, this is still a Disney movie. She figures it out. –Allison Shoemaker

    146. “Pink Elephants on Parade,” Dumbo (1941)

    This is that scene in Dumbo that your well-meaning grandfather refers to as the “acid trip” before segueing instantly into a lecture about drug use. It’s not that far off, given that the sequence is the direct result of Dumbo getting accidentally shitfaced for presumably the first time. The tuba/trumpet melody is appropriately anarchic for the nightmare-inducing, phenomenally drawn animation, a cacophony of lower, darker tones punctuated by the occasional cymbal crash. Plenty of “Pink Elephants on Parade” is terrifying enough, but a dark horse contender for the worst part might be that cackling laugh right after “Here they come!/Hippety, hoppety.” — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    145. “All the Cats Join In,” Make Mine Music (1946)

    This surprisingly racy sequence (at least by Disney standards) is backed by some hot Benny Goodman shit. It doesn’t have a lick of what you might call “character development,” “plot,” or anything storytelling-related, but the odd reality it creates, in which an animator with an omniscient pencil helps some teenagers get ready for a night on the town, is reason enough to watch. Oh, and all the people who spend time trying to figure out if part of King Triton’s castle is shaped like a dick could just watch this instead. Come for the side-boob, stay for the jazz. — A. Shoemaker

    144. “Twas Brillig,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    If “‘Twas Brillig” was more than a little tiny peep of a song, it’d be way higher on this list, but unfortunately, Sterling Holloway’s Cheshire Cat only seems to know the first four lines of Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky”. It’s too bad, because of all the brief songs in Wonderland, this would probably have been the Wonderlandiest, and it’s a heck of an introduction to an unforgettable character. — A. Shoemaker

    143. “Someone’s Waiting for You,” The Rescuers (1977)

    Of the three milquetoast ballads in The Rescuers, the Oscar-nominated “Someone’s Waiting for You” is by far the most tolerable. By itself, the song fares only a little bit better than the others, but the sequence it soundtracks, in which the orphaned Penny looks at all the wild animals that have parents, is so unrelentingly sad that it gets some bonus points. Seriously, those birds have more love than this kid does, and while the rescue mice are on their way, Penny doesn’t know that! For all she knows, no one is waiting for her. Jesus, that’s sad. — A. Shoemaker

    142. “I’ve Got No Strings,” Pinocchio (1940)

    This song from Pinocchio had a revival when the first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron turned it into a pitch-black punchline for Ultron after freeing himself from control. Likewise, “I’ve Got No Strings” has its own ironic streak lurking below the precocious surface; performed at Stromboli’s, it’s one long reference (like much of the film) to the perils of irresponsible freedom from responsibility. When the wooden boy sings, “I’ve got no strings/ So I have fun/ I’m not tied up to anyone,” everybody else in the room is in on the joke except for the one real boy who should be. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    141. “The Hula Song,” The Lion King (1994)

    Strictly speaking, “The Hula Song” isn’t a complete original. The melody comes from “Hawaiian War Song”, an old standard dating back to the 1860s. But, although it’s a quick hit in the larger context of The Lion King, it’s still a memorable one leading to one of the film’s funniest sequences, in which Nathan Lane sings the hell out of a hula in order to incite a grand-scale distraction. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    140. “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    Tired of seeing all these Alice songs yet? Not as tired as we are. This is a solid one, though, with both Tweedles (Dee and Dum) offering Alice some advice to ignore, this time about the perils of curiosity. Carroll’s story is odd but entrancing, a quality reflected in the melody, J. Pat O’Malley’s vocal performance, and of course, the straight-up hallucinatory animation. Not an Alice standout, but far from the bottom of the barrel. — A. Shoemaker

    139. “Some Things Never Change,” Frozen II (2019)

    Like every musical sequel, Frozen II needs a good “here’s where things stand” song. Luckily, “Some Things Never Change” accomplishes its duties of recapping the passage of time and setting up future conflict while remaining catchy, uplifting, and (importantly) easy to listen to. For a song that needs to be more focused on plot than the emotionally-driven ballads of the film’s climax, it finds a way to present a clear moral and stays engaging throughout its runtime. – J. Krueger

    138. “I’ve Got a Dream,” Tangled (2010)

    What a strange movie Tangled is — not that anyone’s complaining. An otherwise limp plot gets propped up by all the weird stuff, from the glowing hair to the cynical chameleon to the horse that’s an excellent law enforcement professional. But nothing’s more strange than this old-fashioned show tune, in which a bar full of thugs (led by Brad Garrett and Jeffrey Tambor) reveal their deepest dreams to the girl with the freakishly long hair. Hook-Hand’s dream of being a concert pianist seems like it might be a bit of a stretch, but the ceramic unicorns are cool! — A. Shoemaker

    137. “Daughters of King Triton,” The Little Mermaid (1989)

    A quick one from The Little Mermaid, “Daughters of King Triton” sees the introduction of Triton’s other six daughters, who appreciate their “great father who loves us and named us well.” But when Ariel fails to appear in her introduction, the song grinds to a halt. It sets up Ariel’s rebellious spirit in no time flat, and besides, screw the patriarchy demanding a performance in its honor. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    136. “Little Toot,” Melody Time (1948)

    And now, the Andrews Sisters devote their considerable talents to telling you the harrowing tale of an annoying little tugboat. What? “Little Toot” is a total head-scratcher, but it’s also good fun, if only because the word “toot” gets used over and over and over again. — A. Shoemaker

    135. “Perfect World,” The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

    The opening to The Emperor’s New Groove, quite possibly the most endearing thing with which David Spade has ever been involved, sets the skewed, modern tone of the film in one of the weirdest ways Disney ever has: a verbose Tom Jones performance. It’s just the right level of cheesy while also introducing Kuzco’s swaggering obnoxiousness. Jones being an actual character in the film, as the “theme song guy” no less, is a crackup, as are some of the ostentatious tributes to Kuzco he manages. A choice cut: “An enigma and a mystery/ In Mesoamerican history/ The quintessence of perfection that is he.” — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    134. “Where You Are,” Moana (2016)

    The Disney canon is filled with place-setting opening numbers: “Circle of Life”, “Belle”, “Daughters of Triton” — the list goes on. Is “Where You Are” equal to those songs, and others? Well, yeah, it is, actually. Like “Belle”, it contrasts day-to-day life with the dreams of its heroine, setting her apart from the crowd in the course of one brief song. Unlike “Belle”, or any of the songs listed with it, “Where You Are” illustrates the urge that separates Moana from the rest of her village:

    Chief Tui: The island gives us what we need
    Moana: And no one leaves…

    It’s simple, crystal clear, and so much more complicated than that. Add in the terrific vocals of the world-class Christopher Jackson (Hamilton’s original George Washington) and you’ve got a hell of an opening number, as smart as it is funny, as acerbic as it is earnest, and honest in its every moment. — A. Shoemaker

    133. “Trust in Me,” The Jungle Book (1967)

    When the first attempt at scoring The Jungle Book seemed too dark, Walt Disney hired the Sherman Brothers, who’d just written the music for Mary Poppins, to give it another go. His one request was that they not read Kipling’s stories beforehand. That’s the likeliest explanation for this odd little song, in which Kaa attempts to hypnotize and then eat Mowgli. Yes, it’s a little spooky, as it should be, but it’s also silly, from the long, lisping lines to the fact that Kaa’s voice was provided by Sterling Holloway, aka Winnie the Pooh. Oh, bother. — A. Shoemaker

    132. “I Wonder,” Sleeping Beauty (1959)

    Oh, to tabulate how many early Disney songs began with a chirping bird, some strings, and a serene hum. “I Wonder” is a quick hit, with Aurora serenading the forest one sunny morning as Mary Costa’s rich vocals lament the lack of “someone who’ll find me/ and bring a love song back to me.” It’s simple, pretty, classical Disney. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    131. “I’m a Happy-Go-Lucky Fellow,” Fun and Fancy Free (1947)

    Hey, look! It’s that Jiminy Cricket song no one remembers! Fun and Fancy Free actually has two opening numbers for some unknown reason. Maybe they were just trying to fill time? Who knows, but while the other one’s garbage, this one’s a real charmer. Jiminy paddles a leaf like a boat, makes fun of some really sad books, and basically reminds us that worrying is overrated. Not a bad way to start a movie. — A. Shoemaker

    130. “Pecos Bill,” Melody Time (1948)

    Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers sure know how to spin a good yarn. Listening to this raucous little story-song, it’s easy to wonder how it is that “Pecos Bill” isn’t a more heralded Disney tune. Then you realize that the sequence is chock-full of cigarettes, guns, and casual racism, and it becomes a lot more clear. Still, this is a good old-fashioned Western number and well worth a listen. Just maybe not when the kids are around. — A. Shoemaker

    129. “Goodbye May Seem Forever,” The Fox and the Hound (1981)

    Ah, the kind of Disney ballad that can tear your heart out of your chest. “Goodbye May Seem Forever” sees Widow Tweed saying farewell to the fox she’s raised from cub age on, lest he be put down by force. Jeanette Nolan’s heartfelt delivery goes a long way toward elevating a song that’s otherwise been done better in other, thematically similar Disney films, but “Goodbye may seem forever/ farewell is like the end/ but in my heart is a memory/ and there you’ll always be” should do the trick of getting the crocodile tears a’flowing. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    128. “Another Believer,” Meet the Robinsons (2007)

    Shades of The Beatles color “Another Believer”, one of three Rufus Wainwright-penned tracks for Meet the Robinsons. The shimmering harmonies and unexpected rhythmic turns make a good match for Lewis’ invention montage, in which the kid-hero works tirelessly to build the memory scanner he hopes will help him find his mom. It’s the kind of song that makes anything seem possible, even winning the science fair. — A. Shoemaker

    127. “Wreck It, Wreck-It Ralph,” Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

    For a certain subset of moviegoers, there’s a nostalgic value to the lost art of the end-credits song that describes what happened in the preceding movie in no short detail. It’s a corny affectation, but one worth missing and one that Wreck-It Ralph brings back. Recorded by Buckner & Garcia (of Pac-Man Fever fame), with a synth line that sounds like an early, less disciplined iteration of a Cars track, “Wreck It, Wreck-It Ralph” is a fun throwback in a number of different ways. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    126. “Colonel Hathi’s March,” The Jungle Book (1967)

    Dumbo has its scary, pink elephants on parade, but there’s nothing at all frightening about the drills of Colonel Hathi’s regiment. A cute little march, complete with some trunk-trumpeting, makes the perfect backdrop for Mowgli learning to conduct himself “in a military style!” from a cute elephant youngster. This is one of those lesser Disney gems, a song you probably think you don’t remember until you hear it and realize you still know every word. — A. Shoemaker

    125. “Blame It on the Samba,” Melody Time (1948)

    One of Melody Time’s more infectious songs, Ethel Smith’s gentle croon lends “Blame It on the Samba” an old-fashioned quality, as does the terrific animation; like much of the film, the standalone number sees Donald Duck and Jose Carioca (Donald’s Brazilian friend who, alas, didn’t stand the test of time in the same way) dragged out of their end-of-day funk by “the Samba.” By the time Donald and Jose start dancing atop Smith’s piano as she works over some heavily pitch-adjusted keys, it’s hard to resist the urge to tap along at the very least. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    124. “Fathoms Below,” The Little Mermaid (1989)

    It’s a testament to the strength of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s work on The Little Mermaid that even the throwaway songs still wind up pretty high on the list. Remember this one? The sailors sing it right at the top, before the story dives down into those titular fathoms on the heels (errrr, fins) of a fish escaping a terrible but delicious fate. It’s not even close to the best song in the movie, but since there’s not a bad one in the bunch, that’s a pretty faint criticism. — Allison Shoemaker

    123. “Gonna Take You There,” The Princess and the Frog (2009)

    “Me and my relationals will help show you the way!” “Gonna Take You There” is both an introduction to Ray the firefly and to the zydeco portion of Princess’ songbook, an obligatory one given the setting. Essentially, it’s a way to stretch the sentiment of “Hey, I’m going to join your group and take you somewhere now” to song length, but the brushed drums and frantic pace are well worth the trip alone. And the firefly animation is pretty terrific, as is much of the film’s in general. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    122. “A Guy Like You,” The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

    This is the “Hakuna Matata” of Hunchback, positioned immediately after the unsettling “Hellfire” (one of Disney’s darkest songs) and right before Quasimodo doesn’t get the girl. That gives the gargoyles (led by Jason Alexander’s Hugo) of “A Guy Like You” the odd distinction of providing both comic relief and some grim foreshadowing. It’s also the Frenchiest of all Menken’s compositions, with loads of accordion and some dance-hall flair. It’s an underrated comedy song, and dramaturgically a lot smarter (and darker) than it seems. — A. Shoemaker

    121. “My, What a Happy Day,” Fun and Fancy Free (1947)

    Most of the songs from Fun and Fancy Free’s “Mickey and the Beanstalk” segment are pretty forgettable, but “My, What a Happy Day” is just too happy to be denied. If it were just the harp singing, it would still be pretty cute, but by the time the film gets to the crooning cows and the chorus of crows, you’ll buy whatever they’re selling. — A. Shoemaker

    120. “Les Poissons,” The Little Mermaid (1989)

    A Disney comedy song that probably converted at least a few kids to a vegetarian lifestyle, “Les Poissons” sees René Auberjonois’ Chef Louis singing the cutest, most whimsical song about fish slaughter imaginable. As Sebastian is very nearly stuffed and cooked as a gourmet meal, Chef Louis extols the virtues of pulling out what’s inside and serving it fried. Fish are delicious, but less so when they’re charming fish with island accents, and the ensuing chase scene is all the more satisfying as a result. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    119. “It’s Gonna Be Great,” Winnie the Pooh (2011)

    Jim Cummings might make more appearances on this list than any other actor, as he’s voiced everyone from Ed the Hyena (The Lion King) to Ray the Firefly (The Princess and the Frog). But since the late ‘80s, he’s been the man behind both Tigger and Pooh, and the 2011 film gave Cummings the great big Tigger solo he so richly deserves. It’s got all the frenetic charm you expect from the character with the added bonus of watching the striped guy train Eeyore in the ways of the Tigger. As you might guess, it does not end well. –Allison Shoemaker

    118. “That’s What Friends Are For (The Vulture Song),” The Jungle Book (1967)

    Ever wondered why those scary, old vultures have mop-top haircuts and Liverpudlian accents? Blame The Beatles. “Friends” started as a swingin’ ‘60s rock number, but when the Fab Four’s busy schedules interfered, the birds became the cheery but ever-so-slightly ominous barbershop quartet seen in the final film. It’s just as well although Ringo probably would have been great. — A. Shoemaker

    117. “Show Yourself,” Frozen II (2019)

    While nothing holds a candle to the earth-shaking success of “Let It Go” or the power of “Into the Unknown,” the creative team behind Frozen II still stuck the landing with “Show Yourself,” the emotional climax of the film. For a deeper look into the painstaking process Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez took to get this one right, spend some time with the docuseries about the film on Disney+ — this song was a hard-earned victory, and the moment when the musical themes from throughout the film come together is incredible. — Mary Siroky

    116. “Thomas O’Malley,” The Aristocats (1970)

    Ah, it’s Thomas O’Malley the alley cat! After Duchess and her family are drugged and abandoned in the countryside at the beginning of The Aristocats, Thomas introduces himself as a tour guide and roguish charmer alike with this brass-heavy tune. The easy highlight is Phil Harris as Thomas, whose too-cool delivery of bon mots like “Showin’ off my éclat, yeah,” particularly the purr he leaves over “yeah,” couldn’t be more perfect for Thomas. The only cat of his kind, indeed. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    115. “Down in New Orleans,” The Princess and the Frog (2009)

    An Oscar nominee for Best Original Song, “Down in New Orleans” is the introduction into the version of Louisiana that plays host to The Princess and the Frog. In the film, it’s both a prologue and a finale, delivered by Anika Noni Rose and also by Dr. John, whose croaking vocals (get it?) instantly set the mood, to say nothing of the brass band sound that characterizes so much of the film’s soundtrack at large. If it’s basically a tourist pitch from a lyrical standpoint, it’s still a fine start (and finish) to one of the better Disney works of recent times. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    114. “A Very Important Thing To Do,” Winnie the Pooh (2011)

    One of several Zooey Deschanel performances on the 2011 Pooh soundtrack, “Very Important Thing” is silly, insubstantial, brief, and utterly delightful. Not the best song in the score, to be sure, but a treat, nonetheless. Yes, it’s another work song, but the work really doesn’t matter. Whatever the very important thing might be, it sure sounds fun. — A. Shoemaker

    113. “The Headless Horseman,” The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

    Brom Bones knows that Ichabod Crane believes in ghosts, more than anybody. And in “The Headless Horseman”, Bing Crosby delivers a classic and one of the earliest examples of just how menacing Disney can get when it feels like it. The story of the legendary Headless Horseman feels a little quaint thanks to Crosby’s jazzy rendition, but it hardly shies away from how “you can’t reason with a headless man.” Just don’t cross the bridge at night, and you’ll be fine. And if you do? Well, it’s at your own peril. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    112. “Mother Knows Best,” Tangled (2010)

    Sure, “Mother Knows Best” is a bit Into the Woods-lite, but it’s still a heck of a villain song, if only because the villain in question is trying so hard to make it sound like it isn’t. Mother Gothel gives up the charade in the much darker reprise, but both are about how damaging and debilitating emotional manipulation can be, particularly from those who (pretend to) love us. Donna Murphy’s giddily demented performance is just the cherry on top. — A. Shoemaker

    111. “The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind,” The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

    The Disney take on Sherlock Holmes is a sneakily charming little thriller that’s absolutely not about the music, but in spite of that, Ratigan’s big solo is a highlight of the film. Vincent Price steals the whole movie right from under Basil’s nose, thanks in no small part to Henry Mancini’s song, which includes a harp solo, a sycophantic sing-along chorus, and a great example of how rhyme can help tell the story. Just listen to that shocked silence after poor, drunken Bartholomew follows the phrase “you’re tops, and that’s that” with “to Ratigan, the world’s greatest rat.” Genius. — A. Shoemaker

    110. “Whistle Stop,” Robin Hood (1973)

    Cons: This song is basically just Roger Miller whistling, humming, and making some funny noises. Pros: This song is basically just Roger Miller whistling, humming, and making some funny noises, with a melody so infectious that someone actually made a four-hour loop of it on YouTube. — A. Shoemaker

    109. “Surface Pressure,” Encanto (2021)

    Lin-Manuel Miranda has such a distinct and recognizable style, which is sometimes to his detriment, but more often to his benefit (and ours). Encanto is filled with strong tunes, and while “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is the film’s runaway hit, “Surface Pressure” is stacked with some incredible lines: “Give it to your sister and never wonder if the same pressure would’ve pulled you under” had oldest siblings everywhere shaking! Yes, the sequence is visually engaging (perhaps the only time donkeys as backup dancers could be accepted without question), and Jessica Darrow really sells the emotion, but the song is also just good. — M. Siroky

    108. “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana (2016)

    Of note: this is not a Princess ballad. Some may say “too little, too late,” but Moana makes sure that its heroine rescues herself at nearly every turn. Before we get to her nautical heroism, however, we get “How Far I’ll Go,” an ‘I Wish’ song that rivals the best in the Disney catalogue (namely “Belle” and “Part of Your World”). Check back in 20 years; perhaps then it will have the shut-down-the-karaoke-bar status of its predecessors. Still, even now, it’s no slouch: “See the line where the sky meets the sea, it calls me.” Can’t get much more straightforward than that. That world-class reprise has got to count for something, as does the fact that finally, for once, the 16-year-old sounds 16 (Auli’i Cravalho’s actual age at this writing). That’s legit, and it calls me (and lots of other listeners, one assumes). –-Allison Shoemaker

    107. “So Long,” Winnie the Pooh (2011)

    Most songs that are just there for the end credits are pretty forgettable, but not this Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward gem. I know, the idea of She & Him doing a song for Winnie the Pooh seems so unbearably twee that the lyrics should be cross-stitched, but “So Long” is just sweet enough. It’s a lovely little pop confection, Pooh or no Pooh. — A. Shoemaker

    106. “Love Is an Open Door,” Frozen (2013)

    By 2013, you’d have thought that Disney would run out of ways to repurpose the “we’re falling in love” duet, but Frozen finds a pretty clever one: “Love Is an Open Door” is a villain song that the audience doesn’t yet know is a villain song. Santino Fontana’s Hans delivers a hell of a double entendre with “I’ve been searching my whole life to find my own place,” which is true when you consider that it’s Anna’s castle and not her that he’s talking about. Anna’s sweet obliviousness only adds to the bite. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    105. “Best of Friends,” The Fox and the Hound (1981)

    A sweet, simple song about how nice it is to have a best friend and how stupid some other stupid, stupid people can be, “Best of Friends” won’t set anyone’s world on fire, but it gets the job done nicely. You really want these two cute animals to be friends, even as the world tries to keep them apart. Add in a great vocal performance from Pearl Bailey and “Friends” goes from fine to kind of wonderful. — A. Shoemaker

    104. “Savages Part 1/Savages Part 2,” Pocahontas (1995)

    *deep breath*

    So. “Savages,” in its two parts. It’s the most controversial song to emerge from Pocahontas, because it’s a song that does not play well outside of the film’s larger context. It’s a song in two parts, the first chronicling the run-up to the showdown between the settlers and Native Americans and the second a kind of reprise with Pocahontas trapped in the middle. Because “Savages” aims to capture each side’s intolerance of the other, you get assertions (as sung by the mob of settlers) like “Here’s what you get when races are diverse! … their skin’s a hellish red/ they’re only good when dead!” Thematically, it’s a powerful bit of commentary on how ignorance on all sides only breeds more of the same, and like much of the film’s soundtrack, it’s dynamite songcraft. Otherwise … well, that’s for all to decide on their own time. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    103. “Everything Is Honey,” Winnie the Pooh (2011)

    Before EGOT-ing and writing the tune that got the word “fractals” into every kid’s vocabulary, Frozen songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez wrote a handful of terrific little songs for Winnie the Pooh, proving themselves worthy successors to the Sherman Brothers (who wrote nearly everything else in the Pooh songbook). Pooh misses his lunch and starts seeing honey (err, hunny) everywhere he turns, leading to a sweet, hallucinatory, Busby Berkeley-inspired sequence that’s one of the film’s highlights. Yum. — A. Shoemaker

    102. “On My Way,” Brother Bear (2003)

    This duet between Phil Collins and Jeremy Suarez peaks near the start, when Suarez’s Koda starts the song from right under Collins and delivers a handful of too-adorable lines before Collins takes over for a Disney “traveling on the road” song that’s fine enough but forgettable even by the standards of that subgenre of Disney songs. Much like the film in which it appears, it’s perfectly adequate without leaving any real, lasting impression. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    101. “The Court of Miracles,” The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

    In case you forgot, there’s a point in Hunchback during which the film’s heroes are almost murdered in the Parisian catacombs. And Clopin (Paul Kandel) frantically plays judge, jury, and executioner in a booming, manic tribute to flagrant abuses of power. Where the threat of mortality is implicit in many Disney films, “The Court of Miracles” makes it explicit: “But the dead don’t talk/ so you won’t be around, to reveal what you’ve found!” It’s a bit of dark comedy in a film where pretty much everything comes with that adjective. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    100. “The Motion Waltz (Emotional Commotion),” Meet the Robinsons (2007)

    This song is so very Rufus Wainwright that it’s almost impossible to believe it’s in a Disney film. But the time-traveling Meet the Robinsons isn’t your average Disney flick. Simple and sad one moment, complex and surprising the next, “The Motion Waltz” feels just a little too heady for a kids movie. Perhaps in 2037, all movies for young people will include songs as thoughtful and odd as this one. — A. Shoemaker

    99. “One Last Hope,” Hercules (1997)

    Disney has seen a lot of voices come and go over the years. Great vocalists from every era have lent pipes to bringing one fantasy or another to vivid life. Among them, for all time, is Danny DeVito, thanks to “One Last Hope”. Frank Reynolds gets his own character song as Philoctetes, the Mick to Herc’s Rocky. It’s a training montage song, but has a handful of great lines (“I’m down to one last hope, and I hope it’s you/ though, kid, you’re not exactly a dream come true”) and is delivered in DeVito’s inimitable, gravelly style. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    98. “Steady as the Beating Drum”/Reprise, Pocahontas (1995)

    This is the rare case of a reprise far exceeding the original. Brief though it may be, Chief Powhatan’s “Steady as the Beating Drum” does so much more than the version that helps to open the movie, if only because it’s personal and character-driven, as opposed to just people in buckskin picking corn and floating around in canoes. It’s even better when it briefly appears in “Just Around the Riverbend”, but in all three cases, it’s a simple, but stirring, melody. It’s mediocre Alan Menken, which means it’s still pretty damn good. — A. Shoemaker

    97. “Dos Oruguitas,” Encanto (2021)

    Believe it or not, Disney submitted “Dos Oruguitas” for their Academy Award for Best Original Song bid, chosen over the chart-topping “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” It may not have won the award or achieved the same level of ubiquity, but it is a justifiable choice on Disney’s part; “Dos Oruguitas” is a crucial, emotional number, sung entirely in Spanish, and containing the sentimental heartbeat of Encanto. It accompanies the film’s climax with comforting beauty, and acknowledges the intensity of loss and resilience in a moving, memorable fashion. — P. Ragusa

    96. “Trashin’ the Camp,” Tarzan (1999)

    No big surprise that the best song Phil Collins penned for Disney is basically all about the percussion. Nothing fancy, nothing epic, just hammering out rhythm using typewriters, torn paper, plates, utensils, and anything else that these animals can get their hands on, with some Rosie O’Donnell scatting thrown in for good measure. It’s an uncomplicated, giddily happy little number. Hell, even the *NSYNC version is pretty good. — A. Shoemaker

    95. “When Will My Life Begin?”/Reprises, Tangled (2010)

    Fueled by a pop-folk acoustic guitar lick, “When Will My Life Begin?” falls again into the category of “the work song.” You know the one by now. Early on, the heroine (Mandy Moore’s Rapunzel, in this case) hasn’t broken away from the rigid structure of her everyday life and sets about her chores with a song in the heart and a yearning for adventure in the soul. Like much of the Tangled soundtrack, it’s not the most memorable stuff, but it’s full of charm from end to end. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    94. “Following the Leader,” Peter Pan (1953)

    “Following the Leader” feels oddly allegorical for any era in which a legion of Lost Boys rallies behind a figure who doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing. It’s also not the worst the Peter Pan songbook has to offer, but there’s a reason that this gem tends to be altered in later releases of the film: “We’re out to fight the Injuns, the Injuns, the Injuns/ we’re out to fight the Injuns/ because he told us so.” It’s good for a cringe in this day in age, but it also hits well on one of Pan’s most timeless lessons: Don’t dance through the meadow with demagogues. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    93. “One Song,” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

    It’s lucky that Snow White’s unnamed Prince has such a great set of pipes, because otherwise “One Song” would just be creepy. Sneaking up on a girl you don’t know while she’s alone in her yard and then refusing to leave after she runs away from you is total stalker behavior. But the sweepingly romantic ballad he belts out wins her over, and stalker or not, it’s easy to see why. That melody alone could make a person weak in the knees. — A. Shoemaker

    92. “In the Summer,” Frozen (2013)

    Poor Olaf. He just doesn’t understand that summer isn’t meant for a sentient snowman. “In Summer” gets to this point early (“Bees’ll buzz/ kids’ll blow dandelion fuzz/ and I’ll be doing whatever snow does in summer”), but he gets to have his moment in the sun (so to speak) even as Kristoff and Anna debate whether to burst his bubble. It’s one of Frozen’s quicker character songs, and if it lacks the dramatic heft of much of the rest of the soundtrack, Josh Gad’s childlike delivery is effective in and of itself. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    91. “The Music Lesson/Oh, Sing Sweet Nightingale,” Cinderella (1950)

    This is a very pretty, if mostly unnecessary, little number mostly used to demonstrate the following: a) that the stepsisters are even worse musicians than they are people, b) that Cinderella has the voice of an angel, and c) that Lucifer the cat is an asshole. What makes “Oh, Sing Sweet Nightingale” special is the marriage of music and animation, as Cinderella cleans the floor and harmonizes with the numerous reflections of her in the bubbles floating out of a bucket of sudsy water. It’s lovely, surprising, and just a little trippy. — A. Shoemaker

    90. “I’m Late,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    A note on the placement of “I’m Late”: Yes, it’s probably one of the first songs from Alice in Wonderland that most would recall. But it’s also incredibly short, much like many of the film’s musical sequences. Like, less than 90 seconds long. It’s more of an excerpt than a fully-formed song, although it does succinctly establish the White Rabbit in just a few stage-pattering words (“No time to say hello, goodbye!/ I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!). — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    89. “When I See an Elephant Fly,” Dumbo (1941)

    This is not the first song on this list that, to put it generously, has not aged well. As sung by Jim Crow (yeesh) and the other crows, “When I See an Elephant Fly” is pretty damn racist and becomes more troubling when you realize that Jim is voiced by Cliff Edwards, aka Ukelele Ike, aka the guy who voiced Jiminy Cricket, aka a super white dude. Come on, “he be done seen about everything?” That is bad. That’s really, really bad. But it’s also a damn good song, backed by the Hall Johnson Chorus and full of some truly delightful wordplay. The crows aren’t stupid or cruel, and neither is the song. It’s complicated, and just as undeniably catchy as it is undeniably problematic. At least “What Made the Red Man Red?” sucks. That makes things so much simpler. –Allison Shoemaker

    88. “Perfect Isn’t Easy,” Oliver & Company (1988)

    The introduction to Bette Midler’s Georgette, “Perfect Isn’t Easy” kicks off with the pampered pup literally sleeping on a pedestal. It’s all vamping and animal accompaniment, a loving ode to the privileges of a different sort of uptown girl. It’s not Oliver’s most memorable song in terms of content, but Midler’s performance gives it a characteristically brassy edge that suits the introduction well. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    87. “The Silly Song,” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

    Now here’s something that very clearly comes from a quainter time in human history. “The Silly Song” is pure, unabashed happiness, as the film’s whistle-and-accordion melody gives way to … well, silliness of all kinds. The accompanying sequence features some of Snow White’s most impressive animation in a film that changed the medium, and it’s just so damned fun. Plus, just watch Grumpy twerk that ass as he gets the piano melody going. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    86. “Will the Sun Ever Shine Again?,” Home on the Range (2004)

    Home on the Range ain’t very good. This Bonnie Raitt track, written by Alan Menken after the September 11th attacks, is something else entirely. Menken’s song is easily the highlight of the film, a mournful ballad that imagines a world where nothing ever gets better, where the memories of love, sunshine, and happiness are all you have to keep you going. It’s not maudlin, just so, so sad. It deserved a much better movie. — A. Shoemaker

    85. “Little Black Rain Cloud,” The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

    One of Pooh’s more harebrained schemes to sneak some honey from the bees involves covering himself in mud, floating along under a balloon, and singing about how he is definitely not going to eat any honey, no sir. He gets a mouth full of bees for his trouble, which, because this is Pooh we’re talking about, is not as frightening as perhaps it should be. The whole thing is just so darn cute, even if Pooh is a total idiot. Hey Pooh-Bear, clouds don’t talk. — A. Shoemaker

    84. “The Second Star to the Right,” Peter Pan (1953)

    Recycling isn’t just good for the planet. It can really come in handy in movies, too. Sammy Fain’s gorgeous melody was originally written for Alice in Wonderland, but when the song (then called “Beyond the Laughing Sky”) was replaced with the excellent “In a World of My Own”, it found its way (with new lyrics) into the opening titles of Peter Pan. As “Second Star to the Right”, it perfectly sets the tone for Disney’s sweet take on J.M. Barrie’s classic play. — A. Shoemaker

    83. “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride,” Lilo & Stitch (2002)

    The primary song from the Lilo & Stitch soundtrack sounds like it comes from an older film than it does, but there’s a reason it’s become one of Disney’s most beloved post-millennium songs: The tune’s an earworm. Preciously delivered by Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu, along with the Kamehameha Schools Children’s Chorus, it flawlessly sets the tone for the film’s mostly utopian vision of island life. It’s the sound of summer on a beach, delivered by unimaginably precocious kids. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    82. “Heaven’s Light/Hellfire,” The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

    “Heaven’s Light/Hellfire” continues the theme of The Hunchback of Notre Dame offering up some of Disney’s darkest music without qualification. The first portion sees Quasimodo singing of Esmeralda’s love as a form of redemption, and the show-stopping “Hellfire” juxtaposes his naiveté with Frollo’s brimstone-slinging invective: “Destroy Esmerelda/ and let her taste the fires of hell/ or else let her be mine and mine alone.” It’s possessive selfishness at its most nefarious, amplified by the way in which the priests surrounding Frollo offer mea culpas one after the next for his avarice. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    81. “The Unbirthday Song,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    One of the best nonsense songs in Alice, “The Unbirthday Song” perfectly captures that heady mix of fun and honest-to-god insanity that so defines the heroine’s trip down the rabbit hole. They may all be mad here, but the March Hare and the Mad Hatter especially so, a point hammered home by a pair of gleefully deranged performances. — A. Shoemaker

    80. “The Mob Song,” Beauty and the Beast (1991)

    Not every song from Beauty and the Beast is romantic and charming. “The Mob Song” is legitimately frightening, for instance. Delivered by Gaston in a fit of fearmongering, he’s able to rally an entire village against the Beast in just a few minutes, starting with the declaration that “the Beast will make off with your children!” and ending up at “we’re not coming home/ ’til he’s dead/ good and dead” before long. Never has the mob mentality been more easily explained to kids. All it takes is one. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    79. “A Star Is Born,” Hercules (1997)

    It’s a pretty typical happy ending/big-finish finale, but the actual content of “A Star Is Born” is so not the point. When you’ve got a quintet of world-class vocalists (Lillias White, LaChanze, Roz Ryan, Cheryl Freeman, and Vanéese Y. Thomas), sometimes you’ve just gotta give them a great big gospel number and call it a day. — A. Shoemaker

    78. “Barking at the Moon,” Bolt (2008)

    Remember Bolt? It’s cool if you don’t. But “Barking at the Moon” sees Jenny Lewis singing a cute country-tinged ballad in tribute to the glories of an animal returning home to their owner. It’s like Homeward Bound, but nowhere near as depressing. And Lewis’ croon is exceedingly well-suited to Disney-style sentiment. Even if it’s a quasi-duet with John Travolta, at least onscreen. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    77. “My Own Home,” The Jungle Book (1967)

    Disney sure does like to romanticize cleaning and stuff. Of the many — and there are many — songs in the Disney catalog about household tasks, “My Own Home” is the most mundane. But who cares about fetching the water? This one’s all about that transfixing melody, a tune so good that it ensnares both Mowgli and the audience. — A. Shoemaker

    76. “Give a Little Whistle,” Pinocchio (1940)

    As Lauren Bacall put it in To Have and Have Not, all you need for whistling is to “just put your lips together and blow.” It’s not so easy for Pinocchio, but luckily Jiminy Cricket is there to help. And if “you get in trouble/ and you don’t know right from wrong/ give a little whistle.” It’s as quaint as quaint can possibly be, but it’s good advice all the same. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    75. “The Phony King of England,” Robin Hood (1973)

    One of the few songs in Robin Hood not sung or written by Roger Miller, Johnny Mercer’s “The Phony King of England” cleverly combines elements of country, jazz, and traditional music into a rousing political takedown. That it’s sung by Phil Harris (also the voice of Baloo and Thomas O’Malley) is just a nice bonus. — A. Shoemaker

    74. “Into the Unknown,” Frozen II (2019)

    By the time Frozen II iced the box office in 2019, Idina Menzel’s place in musical theater history was already unimpeachable, and composers Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez knew exactly what they were doing when they gave her a showstopper where she could really uncork. “Into the Unknown” is a classic war of mind and heart, as Elsa’s brain insists, “I’m afraid of what I’m risking if I follow you,” as her heart feels the call of twinkling keys, restless strings, and AURORA’s enchanting “Aaahs.” Elsa’s choice never feels in question to anyone but herself, but listening to her wrestle with the options is still a treat. — W. Graves

    73. “When We’re Human,” The Princess and the Frog (2009)

    Michael-Leon Wooley’s Louis just wants to be a Nawlins jazz man, to play trumpet in the best clubs. As he and the film’s frog leads bounce their way through a Louisiana swamp, dreaming of all they’ll do when human, Randy Newman’s signature low-register delivery emerges through Wooley’s, and the accompanying jubilant animation nicely ties it all together. Louis might never be human, but he’s still a pretty good musician. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    72. “Merrily on Our Way (To Nowhere in Particular),” The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

    If you’ve been to Disneyland (or to the Magic Kingdom before 1998), odds are you’ve heard “Merrily” as it merrily soundtracks Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. But it’s a jaunty little tune in any context, and without a doubt one of the most entertaining Disney duets. Not bad for a toad and a horse on a road trip. — A. Shoemaker

    71. “Topsy Turvy,” The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

    Hunchback’s big, jubilant production number doesn’t quite set off the fireworks of “Be Our Guest” or “Under the Sea”, but it’s got one leg up on some other sprightly Disney jams: It’s 90% fun and maybe 10% frightening, thanks to a sequence that rapidly cuts back and forth, creating a subtle sense of chaos and impending doom amongst the general revelry. Poor Quasimodo just can’t catch a break, can he? — A. Shoemaker

    70. “Fixer Upper,” Frozen (2013)

    Yeah, it’s the troll song from Frozen, but it’s probably more important than you might remember. It’s the moment that brings Kristoff and Anna together, and like a less thematically unnerving “Something Else”, it allows for a reindeer wrangler to look like the kind of lover worth keeping around. Even if those trolls are super uninterested in the fact that Anna’s already engaged. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    69. “Little Dressmakers/The Work Song,” Cinderella (1950)

    There have been anthropomorphized sidekicks in Disney features since the very beginning, but no human-animal friendship has ever topped that of Cinderell-y and her little band of merry mice. Despite the Alvin and the Chipmunks voices, it’s a song far too fun to be annoying and too catchy to ever be forgotten. — A. Shoemaker

    68. “With a Smile and a Song,” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

    When you think “Disney,” it’s reasonably easy to imagine that “With a Smile and a Song” is the archetype you’d picture. After all, it’s Snow White performing a duet with an equally starry-eyed bird, as an entire forest of animals is moved to happiness by her sentiment. Also, it’s yet another in a series of astoundingly upper-register vocal performances in the film, even if that little bird can still trump her octaves. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    67. “Strangers Like Me,” Tarzan (1999)

    Phil Collins’ work on Tarzan is beholden to tastes, both for a distinctly different, more adult contemporary kind of Disney sound and for one’s general taste for Collins’ work. Much of the soundtrack sees the artist at his most maudlin, but “Strangers Like Me” assembles a pulsing drum track, some understated synths, and a soaring chorus (“I wanna know/ about these strangers like me”) into a high point in both the soundtrack and film. That flute-and-string refrain is pure Collins, too. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    66. “The Family Madrigal,” Encanto (2021)

    One of the grandest musical traditions is the opening scene-setter, from West Side Story’s “Prologue” through “Belle” in Beauty and the Beast. In Encanto, it’s “The Family Madrigal,” which introduces us to characters young, old, and domiciliary (hola, Casita!). It also prepares the palate for Encanto’s folk music stylings, which in “The Family Madrigal” are rooted in the Colombian vallenato tradition. This song sketches a whole world in a few irresistible lines. — W. Graves

    65. “I Won’t Say (I’m in Love),” Hercules (1997)

    This is one of those songs one shouldn’t judge by the recording alone. Susan Egan and the Muses (all great, and detailed elsewhere in this list) are great, but this one’s far from complete without the animation. Megara’s a unique Disney heroine, sardonic, wry, and reluctant, whose prickly nature — she actually starts as a bad guy — belies her empathy. The literal Greek chorus taunts her into honesty, making for a terrific Motown ballad and a great piece of musical character development. — A. Shoemaker

    64. “Ma Belle Evangeline,” The Princess and the Frog (2009)

    The Princess and the Frog takes full advantage of its New Orleans sound, particularly here, when Jim Cummings’ Ray (a firefly) delivers “Ma Belle Evangeline” to a star in the sky he’s called his own. The song’s lilting idealism cuts straight to the heart, like any great song about the unattainable, and the French flourishes are a perfect fit for the film’s Creole setting. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    63. “A Rather Blustery Day,” The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

    It’s not as well-known as many of the other Pooh standards, but the clever wordplay of “A Rather Blustery Day” makes it among the best that the Sherman Brothers ever wrote for Sterling Holloway, the Disney regular who voiced Pooh for over a decade. Makes a person want to go exploring, doesn’t it? — A. Shoemaker

    62. “What Is a Baby,” Lady and the Tramp (1955)

    When they made Oliver & Company, members of the Disney team were sent out on the streets of New York to photograph landmarks from a dog’s height. Lady and the Tramp did Oliver one better, writing a really wonderful ballad from the perspective of a loving pet who just doesn’t understand what this wonderful thing is and why she’s now somehow invisible. There’s not a hint of jealousy or spite, just confusion and no small amount of heartache. Woof. — A. Shoemaker

    61. “For the First Time in Forever,” Frozen (2013)

    As a counterpoint to the general bleakness of “Do You Want To Build a Snowman?”, “For the First Time in Forever” effectively draws the contrast between Anna’s elation at being able to meet the larger world again and Elsa’s terror of the very same. Menzel and Bell’s delivery is the real standout here, particularly at the song’s climax, when their dueling vocals wrap around one another in a perfect round. It’s not the soundtrack’s best, but it might be the film’s best thematic statement. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    60. “The Backson Song,” Winnie the Pooh (2011)

    Writing a list like this one leads to some unexpected discoveries. In this case, none was greater than the 2011 Winnie the Pooh, of which the highlight is unquestionably “The Backson Song”. Owl’s big number, performed with winning mania by Craig Ferguson (yes, that Craig Ferguson), hints at the creepy feeling of the Pooh classic “Heffaumps and Woozles” while actually centering on the joke that Owl’s making it all up. Animated as if Owl were drawing the whole thing in some very squeaky chalk, this sequence is the biggest reason that missing this one in the theatre was probably a mistake. Yes, even for grown-ups. — A. Shoemaker

    59. “Little April Shower,” Bambi (1942)

    While it might not be as affecting as a great heroic ballad or as fun as a sidekick’s ditty, “Little April Shower” has its own kind of power. A choir creates a gentle rain as seen through the eyes of a child (well, a fawn) who has never seen one, then gradually the song and the shower both morph into a powerful, frightening storm. It’s an ordinary occurrence made extraordinary thanks to a unique perspective and a gentle, lilting round. — A. Shoemaker

    58. “Into the Unknown,” Frozen II (2019)

    By the time Frozen II iced the box office in 2019, Idina Menzel’s place in musical theater history was already unimpeachable, and composers Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez knew exactly what they were doing when they gave her a showstopper where she could really uncork. “Into the Unknown” is a classic war of mind and heart, as Elsa’s brain insists, “I’m afraid of what I’m risking if I follow you,” as her heart feels the call of twinkling keys, restless strings, and AURORA’s enchanting “Aaahs.” Elsa’s choice never feels in question to anyone but herself, but listening to her wrestle with the options is still a treat. — W. Graves

    57. “Zero to Hero,” Hercules (1997)

    Of the numerous songs by the muses in Hercules, “Zero to Hero” is the best of them, its Motown-inspired sound giving way to some of the film’s most memorable lyrics (“Who put the glad in gladiator? Herc-u-les!”). This was also the theme for the film’s animated TV adaptation, and its clap-along melody will stick with you long after it stops playing. Trust us. We’ve been stuck with it for weeks. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    56. “Shiny,” Moana (2016)

    And now, half of Flight of the Conchords performs a Disney villain song. Jermaine Clement’s Tamatoa is a revolting creation, appearing for one brief but memorable scene in Moana as a deep-sea crustacean obsessed with hoarding gold and other valuable trinkets, including but hardly limited to Maui’s beloved hook. “Shiny”, delivered by Tamatoa while under attack from Moana and Maui, is one of the soundtrack’s standouts, even if a far poppier arrangement than most of the film’s other offerings.

    Clement slinks his way around every syllable, declaring how “Tamatoa hasn’t always been this glam” as both the black-lighted, malevolent crab and Clement wink and preen. It’s an absurdly playful performance, Clement doing his best Bowie through a series of mocking lines; “Maui man, you could try, try, try/ But you can’t expect a demigod/ To beat a decapod” is just one of a number of highlights. That it also tells quite a bit of Maui’s story in its uptempo, unseeming way is just one more highlight. In time, “Shiny” deserves to join the ranks of so many other classics delivered by the cruelest forces of the Disney canon. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    55. “Hi Diddle Dee Dee,” Pinocchio (1940)

    Here’s where the long tradition of Disney villain songs begins. It’s also a song dripping with irony and contempt for performance, as Honest John takes Pinocchio away to Stromboli’s caravan en route to Pleasure Island. It’s barbed in the way that so many of the film’s observations about a hedonistic life are, and it even ends with this gem: “Hi-diddle-dee-doo/ You sleep ‘til after two/ It’s great to be a celebrity, an actor’s life for me!” — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    54. “Dig a Little Deeper,” The Princess and the Frog (2009)

    Randy Newman’s first score for Disney and not Pixar has plenty of highs, but “Dig a Little Deeper” is the highest. The fairy godmother for Disney’s first African-American princess, Mama Odie (voiced by the great Jenifer Lewis) throws a much better party than Cinderella’s ever did, complete with dancing flamingos, a gospel choir, and (gasp) a moral. It’s a blast, topped by a joyous final few notes from Anika Noni Rose’s Tiana. The whole thing is goosebump-inducing, but more importantly, it’s a hell of a good time. — A. Shoemaker

    53. “I See the Light,” Tangled (2010)

    Disney’s 50th animated film, Tangled, updates the formula with an uncommon dose of cynicism and realistic danger, and “I See the Light” makes for a fine duet between Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi as Rapunzel and Flynn. It’s well within the tradition of Disney duets between opposites slowly coming together, and the sequence surrounding it stands to this day as one of the best-looking pieces of animation from the studio’s CGI era. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    52. “Be Prepared,” The Lion King (1994)

    “Be Prepared” was always going to rank high just on the basis of Jeremy Irons vamping his way through a villain ballad. But it doesn’t hurt that the song fuses its quality scenery-chewing with some frightening touches, particularly in the menacing hyena animation. And as nefarious brags go, “The king, undisputed/ Respected, saluted/ And seen for the wonder I am” is perfectly Scar and perfectly threatening. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    51. “Winnie the Pooh,” The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

    The languid melody that opens the Sherman Brothers song that became a franchise theme sucks you in, but it’s that chorus, the willy nilly silly old chorus, that really matters. It’s highly concentrated nostalgia and seemingly exists both in the present “where Christopher Robin plays” and in the past of “Christopher’s childhood days.” Listening to it as an adult, it’s not hard to imagine being transported back to the Hundred Acre Wood for one more afternoon of make-believe. — Allison Shoemaker

    50. “One Jump Ahead”/Reprise, Aladdin (1992)

    Long before Aladdin becomes a prince, he’s hustling his way through the streets, just “one jump ahead of the bread line.” There’s a jazzy verve to much of the Aladdin soundtrack, this being no exception, and it’s a perfect fit for an anthem about a young man who steals “only what I can’t afford, which is everything.” It’s also a perfect commentary on how people tend to regard the poor, with the peanut gallery commenting on his lack of parents and his status as a “one-man rise in crime.” — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    49. “What a Dog/He’s a Tramp,” Lady and the Tramp (1955)

    What point was there in hiding that it’s Peggy Lee who sings this wonderful jazz number? None at all, so Lady and the Tramp just named her character Peg. Lady encounters Peg in the pound, unprepared to hear what a dog — both literally and metaphorically — her new paramour is, but Peg also makes him sound just wonderful. It’s a classic tribute to a canine bad boy, performed by one of the great vocalists of the 20th century. — A. Shoemaker

    48. “In a World of My Own,” Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    Kathryn Beaumont’s rendition of Alice’s ultimate fantasies is brief and dreamy, a lark through a meadow that quickly establishes her as already living in a dream world all her own, before she ever sets a single foot in Wonderland. And who doesn’t want to live in their own fantasy world sometimes? — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    47. “Something There,” Beauty and the Beast (1991)

    Alright, so “Something There” is basically a tribute to the endless rewards of dating an unpleasant, coarse man until he changes into something better. That aside, it’s yet another of the film’s effective full-group performances and a song so good that its thematic content almost seems kind of cute. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    46. “Oo-De-Lally,” Robin Hood (1973)

    One of several terrific Roger Miller songs in Robin Hood, “Oo-De-Lally” is the most relaxin’ song ever written about two dudes running from the law. Are they stoned or something? There are arrows pointing right at their asses. Miller’s odd, off-centered rhythmic structure somehow makes the whole thing seem more peaceful, as if the day is so nice that no one could possibly be bothered to count in 4/4 time. — A. Shoemaker

    45. “So This Is Love,” Cinderella (1950)

    “So this is what makes life divine.” Indeed it does, and “divine” couldn’t be a more apt description for this delicate, ornate duet between Ilene Woods and Mike Douglas, Cinderella and her Prince Charming, as they wander through the palace gardens in a blissful reverie. Rarely has the sensation of falling headily in love been depicted so lovingly, on film in general. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    44. “Heffalumps and Woozles,” The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

    For some kids, it’s the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. For others, it’s Fantasia’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. But it’s Pooh’s bad dream that gave the world the nightmare fuel to end all nightmare fuels. The Sherman Brothers perfectly set off this bad trip of an animated sequence with their song, which would be really cute if it weren’t so terrifying. All this darkness, just for some hunny. — A. Shoemaker

    43. “Kiss the Girl,” The Little Mermaid (1989)

    Good guy Sebastian, trying to help get his friend some action with the aid of various swamp wildlife. “Kiss the Girl” makes for the kind of sweeping romance that the film does so well, and it’s one of the gentlest, most understated songs in the whole production. At least if you look past the whole light peer pressure aspect of it all. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    42. “Out There,” The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

    One of the more unsung films of Disney’s golden era of animation, The Hunchback of Notre Dame has a hell of an opener, one that might even have had some influence on South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut’s remarkably similar ballad “Up There” three years later. It’s quintessential Disney, with Quasimodo’s desperate need to experience the world soaring high above the streets of Paris. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    41. “You Can Fly!,” Peter Pan (1953)

    Exhilaration isn’t an easy thing to capture, but that’s exactly what “You Can Fly!” does. Like “I’m Flying”, the corresponding song from the 1954 Broadway musical released on the heels of Disney’s take, it uses a cartwheeling melody to nail down the feeling of soaring off the ground, but where “You Can Fly!” has an edge on that other excellent tune is in showing the effort it takes these kids to get airborne. The only thing better than effortlessly flying is when you had to work really hard to get off the ground. — A. Shoemaker

    40. “Heigh-Ho,” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

    Never has slaving away in a diamond mine been so fun and whimsical. Snow White’s ode to the cathartic feeling of heading home from work after a long, busy day is also probably one of the most commonly misquoted Disney songs; if only we had a dollar for every time “It’s off to work we go” was substituted. But no, “Heigh-Ho” is a celebration of finally punching off the clock and a gently bouncing one at that. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    39. “A Place Called Slaughter Race,” Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

    In the storied history of great “I want” songs from Disney leads, it’s hard to find one as self-aware as “A Place Called Slaughter Race.” The tongue-in-cheek take on the musical tradition, delivered perfectly in character by Sarah Silverman as Vanellope von Schweetz, is a prime example of the details that make the Wreck-It Ralph series so fun. It’s a great scene against the backdrop of the urban hell-scape that is Slaughter Race, but it’s especially memorable because it bears the necessary hallmarks of a truly great Disney track: lush strings, a layered choir of background vocals, and room for a dance break. — M. Siroky

    38. “Almost There,” The Princess and the Frog (2009)

    Tony-winner Anika Noni Rose belts it out, Randy Newman wrote the hell out of it, and the animators just went ahead and made Tiana’s dream look even more dream-like, crafting an animated sequence that’s downright decadent. Beyond all that, though, “Almost There” works best because it’s a classic Disney “I Want” song, but sung by a character who doesn’t think she needs a fairy godmother, thank you very much. She’ll get there on her own, come hell or high water. — A. Shoemaker

    37. “Just Around the Riverbend,” Pocahontas (1995)

    “Just Around the Riverbend” is a song that sees the titular princess wishing for things that couldn’t be more universal: choice, freedom, and the chance to see whatever comes next. Judy Kuhn’s exhilarating vocal performance races along as nimbly and daringly as the heroine’s canoe, and while the big climax might be a bit on the nose, let’s just look past it. Kuhn, Alan Menken, and Stephen Schwartz earned the right to get a little cheesy. — A. Shoemaker

    36. “You’re Welcome,” Moana (2016)

    At its best, the Disney song is a medium that allows for even the most churlish behavior to be excused with a spot-on pop melody and a heaping dose of charm. “You’re Welcome”, the standout track from Moana, has both of those in abundance, delivered by just the performer to execute both of those things with an audible grin: Dwayne Johnson.

    Less a Disney ballad than an egomaniacal rant delivered by Maui when he and Moana first cross paths in the film, “You’re Welcome” exists well within the part of the Disney canon that hosts songs like “Gaston”, braggadocio-fueled declarations of absolute manhood delivered by foolish types. It’s playful in every sense, from the horn-flecked arrangement to the infectiously catchy hook (seriously, try to get Johnson’s delivery of the titular hook out of your head after even one listen) to the obnoxiously self-congratulatory lyrics. But it’s Johnson who impresses most; the wrestler-turned-actor-turned-generally beloved public figure gives a fine (if within register) vocal turn and manages to establish everything an audience needs to know about Maui in less than three minutes by trading on his star persona while remaining completely true to character. It’s the kind of deftly effective Disney song that takes a while to digest before you realize just how well-executed it really is. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    35. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” The Lion King (1994)

    Let’s talk about Elton John’s classic from The Lion King for a moment. It’s one of Disney’s most memorable ballads of modern times, it’s considered an Elton John staple, but that’s just one of the two versions featured during the film (John’s plays over the credits). The lushly animated sequence that accompanies it in the film features the singing voices of Joseph Williams as Simba and Sally Dworsky’s Nala, a sentimental sequence key to the film. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    34. “Prince Ali”/Reprise, Aladdin (1992)

    While the Genie’s other big song (we’ll get to that one) wouldn’t have worked nearly as well without the voice of Robin Williams, “Prince Ali” is a great production number, plain and simple. Yes, Williams’ ability to turn on a dime makes it that much better, but Howard Ashman’s lyrics are among his cleverest, the march gets the blood pumping, and that perfect key change, timed right when the procession bursts through the doors of the palace, makes the whole thing soar. Jafar’s reprise, with lyrics by Tim Rice (who joined Alan Menken after Ashman’s death), ain’t half bad, either. — A. Shoemaker

    33. “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?,” Frozen (2013)

    Frozen’s opener takes an interesting turn, cutting away for the sake of some devastating storytelling, and then returns to the song to finish with a deeper resonance. Kristen Bell’s delivery fits perfectly with the song’s inner tale of Anna getting older and older without her sister, until Elsa finally becomes the only family she has left. It’s an eminently theatrical tune, even by the film’s to-the-back-of-the-house tendencies, and a perfectly pitched one at that. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    32. “Under the Sea,” The Little Mermaid (1989)

    It doesn’t take most people of a certain age more than a small handful of those opening calypso notes to pick “Under the Sea” out from a mile away. And in a film as uncommonly dark (by Disney standards) as The Little Mermaid, the song offers a welcome dose of bounce and levity, particularly in its endlessly clever rundown of the underwater orchestra. Even if the entire point of it is Sebastian attempting to squash Ariel’s curiosity about the world before it can bloom. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    31. “Whistle While You Work,” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

    Frank Churchill snagged the job of composing for Walt Disney’s first-ever animated feature when “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”, written for the Disney short Three Little Pigs, became an unlikely hit. Depression-era audiences adopted it as an anthem of sorts, a tune of resilient cheerfulness in the face of fear. That’s exactly the formula behind “Whistle While You Work”, which, lest we forget, is a song that Snow White sings while cleaning a stranger’s house so she won’t be homeless. What a merry tune. — A. Shoemaker

    30. “Why Should I Worry?,” Oliver & Company (1988)

    Perhaps the most surprising thing about “Why Should I Worry?” Is that it wasn’t written by Billy Joel. A pop confection so perfectly suited to the Piano Man that it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone else singing it, the song works in no small part thanks to the singer’s ability to belt it out with reckless abandon. It’s a total earworm and works as well in context (as Joel’s streetwise Dodger roams the streets like a flea-ridden king) as out. Be right back, gotta listen to it again. — A. Shoemaker

    29. “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King,” The Lion King (1994)

    So Simba, the cocky little shit he is when The Lion King begins, stages an entire elaborate dance number with a massive amount of savannah residents just to get some alone time with Nala. It’s a great number, the flute melody providing an able counterpoint to the song’s swaggering rhythmic stomp. He’s being a dick to Zazu, though, with all that talk like “Everywhere you look I’m/ Standin’ spotlight.” And it’s kind of weird that so many animals are already convinced of his ruler qualities, but that’s oligarchy for you. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    28. “Not in Nottingham,” Robin Hood (1973)

    Roger Miller’s knack for saying a lot with a little was perhaps never more apparent than in this stirring country ballad, which clocks in at 56 words total. Sung, like all of Miller’s tunes for the film, by the man himself (as narrator Alan-a-Dale), “Not in Nottingham” is made that much more affecting when it’s revealed that the rooster’s singing the mournful tune from the window of a prison, surrounded by weeping, trembling animals. It’s almost unbearably sad, but not a bit self-indulgent. That’s what comes from hiring a great songwriter and then getting the hell out of his way. — A. Shoemaker

    27. “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo,” Cinderella (1950)

    Talent is when you can write a memorable song. True skill is when you can accomplish the same while writing complete and utter nonsense. Written by three people, for some reason, “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” sets the tone for the more whimsical side of Cinderella by illustrating the creative process of a kind, old woman who can conjure pretty much anything a handmaiden would need from nothingness. Like a witch, right? No, not a witch. Totally a fairy godmother. Just tossing this out there: She’s technically offering Cinderella a chance to live deliciously. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    26. “Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat,” The Aristocats (1970)

    The best song from The Aristocats is an absolute blast and also stands as one of the more musically complex Disney works. Moving from smooth swing to a delicate, harp-driven melody to the kind of raucous jazz that, in this case, quite literally tears the house down, “Everybody Wants To Be a Cat” has a wild quality that not even the best Disney offerings tend to chase. And you know it’s from the early ‘70s between the presence of Scatman Crothers and the phrase “out of sight” being deployed with zero irony. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    25. “Go the Distance,” Hercules (1997)

    There are actually two versions of “Go the Distance” in Hercules: the version during the film performed by Roger Bart and the Michael Bolton performance that plays during the end credits. Bart’s rendition is moving, the strings soaring as Herc yearns “to find where I belong.” Don’t we all. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    24. “Gaston”/Reprise, Beauty and the Beast (1991)

    “Gaston” and its reprise is a rarity among Disney villain songs, in that instead of making grandiose threats, it’s just one long, delightfully obnoxious brag about the endless strength and total virility of the titular man. It’s hard to say which is the best among them, but “No one’s neck’s as incredibly thick as Gaston” is a strong candidate for the gold medal for both braggadocio and innuendo alike. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

    23. “Once Upon a Dream,” Sleeping Beauty (1959)

    Tchaikovsky is due much of the credit for the beauty of “Once Upon a Dream”, one of the most sweepingly romantic songs in the Disney catalog. It is, after all, Tchaikovsky’s melody. But the film’s directors wisely connected the music known as “The Garland Waltz” with a literal dance, albeit one performed barefoot, outdoors, and with an owl dressed up like a man. The prince shows up after a bit, but the dance continues, creating a timeless, peaceful sequence that’s even more potent than that bit where she’s asleep and gets a smooch. — A. Shoemaker

    22. “I Wan’na Be Like You,” The Jungle Book (1967)

    Lyrically, “I Wan’na Be Like You” is pretty simple compared to some of The Jungle Book’s other offerings, but Louis Prima’s throaty delivery and the big band-style bounce of the song’s earworm melody goes a long way. Plus, the entire scat portion of the song comes from out of left field in the best possible way. Can’t wait to hear Christopher Walken deliver this as the new-millennium King Louie. — D. Suzanne-Mayer

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