Top 10 Disney Hero Songs of All Time



Top 10 Disney Hero Songs of All Time

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Whitney Wilson
These Disney hero songs went the distance. Our countdown includes "Moana," "Aladdin," "The Lion King," and more!

Top 10 Disney Hero Songs

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Disney Hero Songs.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best songs from Disney’s leading men - saving House of Mouse heroines for their own list. We’re considering both animated and live action films here, so expect to see a wide range of tunes. Since duets and villain songs have already been covered elsewhere, they’re not included here. Sorry, Prince Charming and Gaston, you already had your chance to shine.

What’s your favorite song by a Disney hero? Be sure to share your pick in the comments below.

#10: “Strangers Like Me”
“Tarzan” (1999)

Let’s kick off with this powerful piece by Phil Collins. While the song isn’t technically sung by Tarzan, it does reflect his inner thoughts. Tarzan has lived his entire life isolated from other people, and he is fascinated by Jane, Dr. Porter and even the vile Clayton. The first part of the song is dedicated to Tarzan’s curiosity about the human world and what it entails. Over the last few verses, it shifts into a beautiful love ballad, revealing Tarzan’s growing affection for Jane. This song encompasses so many emotions, from the desire to learn to the beauty of new love, all in just a few minutes.

#9: “You're Welcome”
“Moana” (2016)

We’ve always loved Dwayne Johnson, but who knew he could carry a tune? In this upbeat song, Maui is introduced, in all his cunning and cockiness. Maui tells Moana about his heroic deeds, from lassoing the sun to creating coconuts. Of course, the sly demi-god omits the time he stole the heart of Te Fiti, but his charm makes it easy to forget about for a while. While the song’s conclusion isn’t exactly heroic, Maui’s gifts to humanity and his redemption ultimately make him a hero. This song is a perfect reflection of the demi-god’s complex personality and moral code. It’s also guaranteed to get stuck in your head.

#8: “Santa Fe”
“Newsies” (1992)

Long before he pitched his voice to gravelly tones as Batman, Christian Bale used his pipes to belt this stirring “I Want” song. Jack Kelly, a poor newspaper hawker, dreams of leaving New York to live in the Land of Enchantment. His wishes for freedom and a better life are sure to speak to anyone who has ever felt isolated, alone and hopeless. While the original “Newsies” film was a flop at the box office, it’s since become a cult classic. The stage show of the same name was a Broadway hit and cemented “Santa Fe” as a musical classic.

#7: “Jack's Lament”
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)

These Jacks really know how to tug at our heartstrings. While “What’s This?” might be the best-known of Jack Skellington’s solos, “Jack's Lament” perfectly encapsulates his internal conflict. Jack has only ever known life as the Pumpkin King. His spooky skills are truly unmatched, but he wonders if there’s more to life than being scary. He has grown tired of the monotony of Halloween and the terror it brings. His exhaustion and boredom have made him feel empty inside. This song is certain to resonate with anyone who has ever contemplated leaving behind success to see what else the world has to offer and start anew.

#6: “Lost in the Woods”
“Frozen II” (2019)

It was practically a crime that Jonathan Groff’s vocal talents were barely used in “Frozen.” While we adore his love letter to reindeer, it didn’t do justice to the Broadway star. Thankfully, that travesty was more than remedied in the sequel. Kristoff’s 1980s-inspired power ballad is a heartfelt reflection on his relationship’s growing pains. His beloved Princess Anna is, of course, on her own journey, and Kristoff doesn’t know where he stands with her. This powerful song shows that even rough and tumble men like Kristoff have intense feelings and that it’s okay to express them. Featuring reindeer harmonies and references to Queen and Bryan Adams, this song is truly unique among Disney tunes.

#5: “One Jump Ahead”
“Aladdin” (1992)

This film has no shortage of great songs, including its deuteragonist’s signature piece. But Aladdin’s catchy tune “One Jump Ahead” stands out. This song really kicks off Aladdin’s journey, and the audience gets an important glimpse into the chaos of his everyday life. We see his plight in poverty, resourcefulness, and less-than-great relationship with the royal guards as he liberates a loaf of bread. Aladdin’s diamond-in-the-rough heart really shines through when he gives his hard-earned food to a pair of starving children. With that and “One Jump Ahead”’s reprise, we’re reminded that the wily thief is not exactly what he seemed when we first met him.

#4: “I'll Make a Man Out of You”
“Mulan” (1998)

Basically the “Eye of the Tiger” of Disney songs, this piece gives most of the film’s characters a chance to shine. Li Shang tries to shape up his soldiers into the warriors he needs them to be. He doesn’t sugarcoat how badly they need to defeat the Huns and keep China safe. Yao, Ling and Chien-Po lament Shang’s brutal training practices. Mulan, meanwhile, is just trying to keep up and blend in. Near the end of the song, Shang decides that Mulan (who Shang thinks is a he) is a lost cause and sends her packing. However, Mulan ultimately proves herself and earns the admiration of her commander and fellow soldiers. This song is guaranteed to get you ready for any challenge life throws your way.

#3: “I Just Can't Wait to Be King”
“The Lion King” (1994)

Simba has some amazing songs both in this film and its sequel. But this Elton John masterpiece takes the cake. The young lion’s first song highlights everything he wants to accomplish when he ascends the throne. It’s an upbeat, optimistic tune that perfectly reflects Simba’s vision of the future and his perceived invincibility. The interjections of Zazu, Nala and the other animals add to the depth of the song, making it a perfect piece to sing with friends. The colorful musical number and its scenery serve as a stark contrast to the devastating blow of Mufasa’s death only a few scenes later.

#2: “Out There”
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996)

This film’s soundtrack packs plenty of powerful emotional punches, but this song is a true tour de force. The titular hero watches the citizens of Paris from his belltower and reflects on the walls that have kept him both safe and isolated. Quasimodo has observed the people on the streets below for so long that he knows them like close friends. Sadly, he has never been able to meet any of them. He yearns for just one day to leave his tower and live among the people he's watched from above. Much like the character himself, this song starts out quiet and builds up its confidence as it goes along. It’s a gorgeous reflection of Quasimodo and establishes him as an incredible hero.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Evermore”, “Beauty and the Beast” (2017)
A Beautiful & Hauntingly Romantic Showstopper

“Thomas O'Malley Cat”, “The Aristocats” (1970)
The Coolest Cat Introduction in History

“The Bare Necessities”, “The Jungle Book” (1967)
The Original Ode to Minimalism

“Why Should I Worry?”, “Oliver & Company” (1988)
Billy Joel’s New York Know-How & Carefree Attitude

“One Song”, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937)
A Sweet Declaration of Love

#1: “Go the Distance”
“Hercules” (1997)

Of course Wonder Boy tops this list – his film even has a song with “hero” in the title! At the beginning of the film, however, Hercules sees himself as more of a “zero” who doesn’t fit in. He wants to find a place where he belongs, which is a wish most of us have had at one point or another. Halfway through the song, Hercules finds out that he doesn’t fit in with humans because, well, he isn’t one. He sets out on a quest to discover who he truly is, and the song crescendos into a message of hope and destiny. “Go the Distance” and its reprise are a beautiful emotional journey condensed within the narrative of the film, and it foreshadows Hercules’ ultimate happy ending with Meg.