Top Ten Disney Revival Songs
The Revival period for Disney thankfully revived not just the studio in terms of quality, but it also revived their traditional musical format and to stellar results. Half of these movies are not musicals at all which means that this list is not going to be as strong as the characters list, but still they brought musicals back after a hiatus in the 2000s (those movies had songs but weren’t musicals) and there are enough good songs here to fill up a top ten list so here we go.
10. Friends on the Other Side
It start off pretty slow and basically consists of slow singing/talking for a while there, but ends on such a strong, effective and highly catchy note that it truly is one of the better Disney villain songs out there. I loved the descriptive lyrics and the imagery which accompanies the entire affair. It works great as a plot point and as a song too.
9. Dig a Little Deeper
The Princess and the Frog gets another song on the list because it has a damn strong, highly underrated soundtrack. I’d take as much of Mama Odie as I can possibly get and this is basically her only sequence and she is great in it. Again the lyrics serve the plot and character development superbly and it is just such a catchy number accompanied by colorful animation.
8. For the First Time in Forever Reprise
This is one of those scenes where the characters sing the words and an almost entire conversation is sung. I know that most do not like that, but I do and this is one of the better examples of such an approach. The singing from both is great, the words are mostly terrific and the entire sequence is not only powerfully sung, but highly intense and emotional as well.
7. I’ve Got a Dream
I really adore this catchy number. The lyrics here are actually funny. Not just funny, but some lines are even hilarious! The thugs are awesome, Flynn got a great, funny moment and Rapunzel is wonderful here. The entire sequence in this tavern is childlike and sweet with the song being innocent in a good way and immensely entertaining.
6. For the First Time in Forever
Frozen has a pretty overrated soundtrack with only a couple of good songs and this is one of them. The reprise is great, but here we got a full, longer version and it is probably the sequence which best describes Anna’s character in such a short time. She is infectiously amusing and likable here and the song is catchy but also quite grand in its last moments where both sisters sing together.
5. How Far I’ll Go
It actually isn’t the best Moana song, but How Far I’ll Go remains a pretty great “I want” song in its own right. This is the defining scene for the movie and especially for Moana’s character and it is beautifully built up through excellent imagery and action on screen. The lyrics are fine, but it is the singing that is the highlight along with its fantastic last chorus which was perfectly accompanied by animation and action on screen. A classicaly done, wonderful song.
4. Almost There
Almost There, on the other hand, is not classic Disney at all. It isn’t a ballad and it isn’t pop. It is a jazz number and while I usually tend to not care for this genre, here I loved it. We get to see the entire suffering and hard work Tiana puts and what he dreams of – opening a restaurant. I loved that artistic animation employed here, really well done. The number is infectiously catchy, beautifully sung and with particularly strong, descriptive lyrics. It is a fun, different kind of Disney song that benefits from being faithful to the time period and setting of the film.
3. We Know the Way
I know that Moana came out so recently, but I have to put this song so high on my list as it is absolutely magnificent. It is the highlight of the film and although the transition from scene to song was not smooth at all, the sequence itself is terrific. It showcases the culture of its people so well and it actually uses the Tokelauan language in its lyrics. In tone and in language, it fits to its setting much more so than ‘Frozen’ ever did. But it is above all else incredibly, hugely catchy and I know it by heart and I have listened to it a hundred times by now. It is by far the catchiest, most entertaining song out of these ten.
2. I See the Light
I See the Light is a contemporary, but wonderful love ballad. I loved how it was a return to those classic duo songs from the Renaissance and it reminded me wonderfully of Kiss the Girl from ‘The Little Mermaid’ as it is similar in imagery. Finally here their love has blossomed, both Rapunzel’s and Flynn’s singing is excellent, the words are very good and fit the story and their characters well and seeing those lanterns lift in the sky provides a beautiful, exceedingly romantic experience. It is such a wonderful moment from Tangled when the entire film just starts and your breath is taken.
1. Let It Go
This is a cliched choice, I know. But sometimes what majority thinks is actually right. Some may hate on this song because it has certainly been overplayed by now, but nobody can deny its power and its sheer spectacle. The entire scene is breathtaking and one of the best in Disney history, but the song is the standout aspect there as it gives Elsa excellent development and a moment to shine alone. It is a transcendent scene and a kind of majestic Broadway song which is beautifully sung by Idina Menzel. But the reason why it is so great lies in its lyrics which are absolutely amazing, clever, descriptive, almost artistic and just perfect in every way. Probably the most poetic and sophisticated of all Disney songs, Let It Go certainly is one of the best of all time and undoubtedly the best of the 21st century.
Try Everything – This is the only song from Zootopia which closes off the film in such a fun fashion. It is very catchy and fittingly worded for the film.
Gonna Take You There – This is another strong song from this underrated soundtrack that is too short, but incredibly entertaining and catchy.
Everything Is Honey – This Winnie the Pooh outing is not all that memorable, but it is accompanied by a great scene and features a pretty good, stellar final chorus.
Do You Want to Build a Snowman – This Frozen number is overly childlike and short, but it works in the context of the story and is very sweet and heartbreaking.
Shiny – This is far from Moana’s best songs and I do not like that it is rap basically. However, it is very amusing, funny, catchy and a pretty memorable scene overall.