10 More Under-Appreciated Disney Songs

By | 2017-09-12T11:40:49+00:00 September 12th, 2017|Categories: Disney, Entertainment, Guides, Op Ed/Opinion|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

We’ve certainly mentioned it on this site before, but it bears repeating: the Disney canon has a LOT of great music in it. With close to a century of work to show, it’s easy to see how more than one stellar song can fall in to obscurity.

After sharing the first list of our top ten, it’s been impossible not to think about the ones we missed. So, to remind you of a few of your favorites (and possibly introduce you to one or two), here are ten more songs begging for another listen, straight from the wonderful world of Disney.

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He’s a Tramp

Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Why It’s Amazing:

There’s plenty of songs in the Disney canon which set up and describe a character, but very few do it as well as Peg. Equal parts classy, slinky, and sultry, it’s easy to forget this song is describing a dog (literally, not figuratively).

Plus, I defy you to try and not “sing” the back-up parts performed by the other dogs at the pound!

Great Line:

He’s a tramp, he’s a rover

And there’s nothing more to say

If he’s a tramp, he’s a good one

And I wish that I could travel his way

MU Alma Mater

Monster’s University (2013)

Why It’s Amazing:

I love this little, overlooked piece, because it really helps flesh out the collegiate atmosphere. I first watched this film while in college myself, and this movie hits all the beats of campus life, right down to the almost ritualistic reverence the college is held to. Having an alma mater not just written, but sung by a “sports” crowd was perfect, and all while keeping the good, “scary” monster feel.

Great Line:

Wherever children are dreaming,

We’ll bring the nightmares to

From Monsters University

Alma Mater we love you.

Whistle Stop

Robin Hood (1973)

Why It’s Amazing:

You know this song. There aren’t lyrics. There aren’t any important plot points.

But listen to it one time.

Just once.

And you’ll be singing it for days.

Great Line:

Just… just go listen to it. I’m not going to try and write it out. Do yourself a favor, and go listen to it. I’ll wait.

That’s What Makes the World go Round

The Sword in the Stone (1963)

Why It’s Amazing:

This peppy, happy song hides a surprisingly truthful and motivational message. It speaks of the balance of all things, and the importance of perseverance. Instinct is one thing, but it is the conscious choice to carry on and better oneself in spite of failings that is most important. Try. Dream. Envision.

That’s quite a lot of meaning from a magic fish with glasses!

Great Line:

You must set your sights upon the heights

Don’t be a mediocrity

Don’t just wait and trust to fate

And say, that’s how it’s meant to be

Once Upon a Time in New York City

Oliver and Company (1988)

Why It’s Amazing:

Disney has had a lot of musical collaborations over the years, but there’s few better tonal matches than Oliver and Company and Huey Lewis. The song sets up the main character well, and has your empathizing right from the start.

And it’s a tough sell, too, because the song is definitely the track to animal abuse. At the top of the film. I mean, it works out in the end. But, geez.

Great Line:

So Oliver don’t be scared

Though yesterday no one cared

They’re getting your place prepared

Where you want to be

Friends on the Other Side

The Princess and the Frog (2009)

Why It’s Amazing:

It’s no secret that Disney does villains well. From Ursula to Maleficent, Frollo to Chernabog, evil has never been more fun.

It’s because of that saturation of good, good bad guys that Dr. Facilier makes the list. I don’t think this character and song gets nearly enough credit, for cleverness, storytelling, and sheer entertainment. The Shadow Man has a smooth, conversational, snake-oil salesman vibe, and it works sensationally well.

Great Line:

Don’t you disrespect me little man

Don’t you derogate or deride

You’re in my world now, not your world

And I got friends on the other side

On The Open Road

A Goofy Movie (1995)

Why It’s Amazing:

When anyone mentions this movie around the 20-to-30 something crowd, they tend to devolve into a frothing mess over the pop glory that is Powerline. And I’m not gonna try to lessen credit where credit’s due. I know every word to “I2I,” and I am unashamed.

But there’s some great, classic Disney music in this film that doesn’t involve a yellow jumpsuit.

“On The Open Road” is one of the most dad-Goofy moments in the whole movie. It’s equal parts cartoon antics, and the endearing, oblivious love of a good father for his angsty teenage son.

Great Line:

If your nerves are raw

And your brain is fried

Just grab a friend and take a ride

Together upon the open road

Wreck-it, Wreck-it Ralph

Wreck-it Ralph (2012)

Why It’s Amazing:

This song is terrible for all the right reasons. Made to emulate the fictional in-movie game, this song hits all the beats for a poorly made promotion song, right down to forced syllables that don’t work in time with the music.

It’s gloriously campy, right down to the bland, stereotypical guitar solo.

Great Line:

With his trusty tool belt and steel toed shoes

Nicelanders believe that Felix just can’t lose

So when wreck it Ralph starts to come unglued

He doesn’t get mad

‘Cause he’s so rad

Brick by brick he’s gonna build it back

Mexico

Three Caballeros (1944)

Why It’s Amazing:

This song reads like a love letter to Mexico, and it’s absolutely enchanting. There’s something just so pleasing to appreciate the beauty of a country and its culture.

This piece was the only original song from the compilation film (which were common at the time), and it’s pleasing to think of these artists in the 40’s treating their neighbor to the south with such admiration and respect.

Great Line:

Paradise, that’s where I found you

Your magic smile made the blossoms bloom around you

Mexico, why do I feel as I do?

I simply fell under the spell of you!

Heaven’s Light/ Hellfire

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Why It’s Amazing:

If you read my previous list, you know that this isn’t the first appearance from this film.

It’s so good, guys. Guys. It’s so, so good.

I didn’t realize until researching for this article that these two pieces are tracked as two parts of the same song. The dichotomy of perspectives on holiness, the power of both hope and infatuation, the incorporation and transition utilizing religious iconography and tonal cues…

Guys. So good.

If you haven’t watched this film again as an adult (or, heaven forbid, if you’ve never seen it at all), save yourself from sin and have a viewing.

Great Line:

Then tell me, Maria

Why I see her dancing there

Why her smold’ring eyes still scorch my soul

I feel her, I see her

The sun caught in her raven hair

Is blazing in me out of all control

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This rounds out another list of hidden Disney gems, but were any big ones missed? Please comment your favorite overlooked Disney tune below!

About the Author:

Cameron Jackson is a nerd, writer, and self-proclaimed, “proletariat” living in Anaheim, CA. Follow his musings and see his adventures on Instagram and Twitter under the name @mr_camjaxn.

He is a regular co-host on Geeks Corner and contributes to the DAPs Magic writings with his own, unique perspective. When not writing, he is a talented artist and performer, and can often be found shirking these gifts by playing games like Pokemon, Bioshock, and Fallout.

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