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Top 10 Animated Disney Songs

VO: Rebecca Brayton
The characters and story-lines are just two of the things that make animated Disney movies so memorable. In fact, they wouldn't be the same without the music - and Disney's perfectly crafted tunes help us learn more about a film's characters and move the story along. For this list, we’re choosing songs from Disney’s traditionally animated films and excluding any movies that have computer animation, live action or are Pixar-related. We’re also limiting it to one song choice per film. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 animated Disney songs.

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When it comes to animated Disney movies, these musical numbers definitely go the distance. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Disney songs.

For this list, we’re choosing songs from Disney’s traditionally animated films and excluding any movies that have computer animation, live action or are Pixar-related. We’re also limiting it to one song choice per film.

#10 – “Go the Distance” from Hercules (1997)

First sung by a teenaged Hercules who’s stuck in a world where he doesn’t belong, this inspiring tune proved to be such an appropriate anthem for a hero that it appeared again later in the film. Nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe, the Michael Bolton version also “found its way” to the top of the Hot Album Contemporary Tracks chart.

#9 – “The Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book (1967)

While Baloo tries to enlighten Mowgli about the ways of the jungle with this Oscar-nominated song, you can’t help but chuckle at the young boy as he unsuccessfully attempts to duplicate the bear’s every move. Featuring an instrumental break for the characters to do some “big scratching,” the fun and simple tune even helped us to “forget all our worries and our strife!”

#8 – “You’ll Be In My Heart” from Tarzan (1999)

This touching and emotional song is the perfect companion to gorilla mother Kala’s attempts to comfort her newly adopted human baby Tarzan. By describing how a parent’s unconditional love can transcend differences, the soft rock ballad went on to top the Adult Contemporary charts for nineteen weeks. The Phil Collins single also captured the hearts of critics by snagging the Oscar and Golden Globe Awards for Best Original Song.

#7 – “Someday My Prince Will Come” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

By coupling Snow White’s hopeful tone with her innocent longing for her Prince Charming, this romantic ditty managed to entrance almost all of the seven dwarfs and multiple cuddly wild animals along the way. Once Disney ensured that actress and singer Adriana Caselotti would not lend her voice or likeness to any other films thereafter, her sweet vocals and romantic words would be further immortalized as “the fairest of them all.”

#6 – “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas (1995)

While trying to convince John Smith to respect the beauty of nature, Pocahontas sings this moving anthem infused with North American sensibilities. By “singing with all the voices of the mountain,” artist Judy Kuhn helped composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz bag an Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy Award with the Disney theme song. Meanwhile, thanks to a simple and strong melody complemented by vivid lyrics, the pop ballad became a top five hit for Vanessa Williams.

#5 – “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid (1989)

With adorable rhyming and calypso-flavored rhythms brought smoothly together by a crab with a Jamaican accent, it’s hard not to be transported into the happy and carefree underwater world of Sebastian and his “hot crustacean band.” Though the movie’s “Kiss the Girl” also received an Oscar nod, it was this upbeat number that brought home the gold and showed who’s “got the beat here naturally.”

#4 – “A Whole New World” from Aladdin (1992)

Thanks to Aladdin and Jasmine’s soaring voices, you really do feel like you’re on a magic carpet ride, discovering “a whole new world” with this song. In fact, the pop ballad earned a “shining shimmering splendid” Academy Award over fellow Aladdin number “Friend Like Me,” while Peabo Bryson and Regina Bell’s single version knocked Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” out of the Billboard Hot 100’s top spot.

#3 – “Beauty and the Beast” from Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Angela Lansbury’s lullaby version of this gorgeous ballad is an intimate and poignant rendition of blossoming love between two seemingly opposite characters. The Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy-winning musical number also became a top ten single with the unmatchable vocals of Celine Dion and the smooth crooning of Peabo Bryson – and soon enough, “this tale as old as time” was a Disney classic.

#2 – “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” From The Lion King (1994)

Whether you’re talking about the movie version or the Elton John recording, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” is most certainly all about “the romantic atmosphere.” In perfect harmony with its lyrics and beautiful music, the song also beat out fellow “Lion King” compositions “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata” for the Oscar win. And with its Golden Globe and Grammy trophies, “it’s enough to make kings and vagabonds believe the very best.”

#1 – “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio (1940)

Disney has always been about making dreams come true and despite its simplicity, this song’s powerful message of faith and hope struck a chord with audiences captivated by the story of a puppet who wanted to be a real boy. Today, the Oscar-winning number is considered one of the greatest songs in film history and continues to be associated with the magic of Disney time and time again.

Which is your favorite Disney song? Be sure to check out for more entertaining top 10s.

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