It’s almost Thanksgiving, so I’m entitled to a little nostalgia. In that spirit, let’s talk about the master of nostalgia and making dreams come true — Disney.
Because I live in the Western world, Disney was part of my childhood. And Disney is known for music as much as it is for movies and theme parks. Its songs make up the aural fabric of our formative years, and we still love them even after the zits of puberty fade away.
So I’m going to discuss my top five Disney songs, at least for the moment. My picks fall mostly during the Disney Renaissance of the 90s.
Let me know what you think of my choices and what are your favorite Disney tunes.
- “Hellfire,” The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
I adore The Hunchbak of Notre Dame. It’s an underrated Disney film. And this song and the accompanying animation make for one of the best Disney villain songs. It’s dark and creepy, and I still can’t believe this song got past the Disney censors. It’s a song about the villain, Frollo, feeling conflicted between his feelings for Esmerelda and his unholy devotion to the holy. This song reveals that Frollo is one twisted cookie.
- “Jack’s Lament,” The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite films. I love stop motion and Tim Burton, so how could I resist? And in a movie with many spectacular songs (“This is Halloween,” “What’s This?”, “Oogie Boogie’s Song”), this song about Jack Skellington tiring of his success stands out. We also learn in this song that Jack likes to take off his head to recite Shakespeare.
- “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” Mulan (1998)
You know how it starts: “Let’s get down to business to defeat the Huns!” It’s a fun song from what may be my top Disney princess movie. Mulan is tough, brave, and generally more interesting than the likes of Cinderella or Ariel. Also, she learns how to fight in this song. How many Disney princesses do you know who can beat up someone?
- “Circle of Life,” The Lion King (1994)
I shouldn’t have to explain why this song made the list. Aside from how difficult this is to sing along to, I adore “Circle of Life.” Elton John killed this one. The animation is spectacular, and don’t you just feel nostalgic seeing Rafiki lift Simba on Pride Rock?
- “Cruella de Vil,” 101 Dalmations (1961)
This is the reason anyone really remembers this movie. I mean, the puppies are alright, but Cruella steals the show. She’s insane, and her villain song is simple and unforgettable. “If she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will.” Cruella doesn’t even sing her own song; another character does it for her. That’s power.