Wallace Wylie

Top 10 Disney Songs of All Time

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5. ‘Never Had A Friend Like Me’ from Aladdin

The perfect anecdote to all that ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me’ crap that Toy Story peddles, this is manic madness. Once more Robin Williams is on fire. Would the song be as good without him? Probably not, but performance is everything and combined with the animation this song is genius. If you say anything about not liking Robin Williams I’m ignoring you.

4. ‘I Wan’na Be Like You’ from The Jungle Book

First of all, King Louis is not voiced by an African-American. It is Louis Prima. Second of all … well, there’s no second of all. It would be easy to find sinister undertones in this number given Prima’s jazzy voice and Disney’s track record with racial stereotypes, but I prefer to take this song for what it is, a barnstorming swing number that allows Louis Prima and that man Wonga Harris to shine. I revert again to my inner child.

3. ‘Pink Elephants On Parade’ from Dumbo

This whole sequence is a bad trip before the phrase was ever invented. Sinister and genuinely disturbing, the song was later covered by Sun Ra and it’s not hard to hear why. A case could probably be made that LSD usage came naturally to a generation raised on Disney. Utterly fantastic in every sense of the word.

2. ‘Not In Nottingham’ from Robin Hood

In Americana’s rush to embrace the authentic hard-living tales of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson it forgot the goofball genius of Roger Miller. Too clever by half, Miller dipped his toe into any musical genre he fancied and created a body of work that is an unexplored treasure trove. Voicing Alan-a-Dale the singing rooster, Miller penned this moving ode to unhappiness for Disney but its power is such that it transcends these origins and exists as a vital song all on its own. Nevertheless its part in the movie is heartbreaking. Apparently this has been covered by those talentless shitbags Mumford & Sons. Don’t let that put you off.

1. ‘Once Upon A Dream’ from Sleeping Beauty

They really don’t write ‘em like this anymore. The melody is so beautifully expressive and generous that, combined with the wide-eyed romantic innocence of the words, it threatens to sweep us off of our feet. Based on a Tchaikovsky piece, it manages to capture the epic enchantment of love that stands in contrast to the preferred ‘realities’ of love as described in something like ‘Ether’ by Gang Of Four. Except I’d lay a bet that most if not all of the members of Gang Of Four are married or in long term relationships right now. Love conquers all.

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