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Hypnotically Captivating: 30 Most Popular Songs from Disney Movies

30 Most Popular Songs from Disney Movies
From soothing and beautiful to the most silly and serious ones, Disney has always rocked for creating original songs for their films, be it animated or live action. Melodyful brings you the 30 most popular Disney movie songs of all time. Hope you enjoy them.
Payal Kanjwani
Last Updated: Aug 6, 2017
Omission of Mother Figure
Many of the early Disney films are a mother-free zone: The Jungle Book, Pinocchio, and so on. This was because of their creator's guilt over the death of his own mother in 1938. He had bought a home for his parents after the success of Snow White, but tragically a faulty heating system led to Flora Disney's death from carbon monoxide poisoning.
You sure have a favorite Disney movie. Disney was there for most of us when we were growing up, and it filled our imagination with beautiful stuff, and probably gave us unrealistic expectations of life and love; most beloved talking animals and may be even our first royal-blooded crush. It also gave us some of the most adored and memorable songs in history! Maybe, it's that romance ballad that makes you feel all loved up, or that gentle one that reminds you of your childhood, or that peppy number you sing at the top of your lungs after you've had a couple of drinks. Whatever the case, it's a very personal thing, so we're not positioning this list as definitive. It is, however, the 30 most popular, both animated and live-action Disney movie songs.
"Let It Go"
Movie: Frozen
Release year: 2013
Best-loved lyrics: "Let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway."
Totally deserving the wild popularity, "Let It Go" won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2014. The power of the song lies in its hope for purgation of emotions. It gives a life mantra for anyone holding on to a feeling that's holding them back; a singing of freedom. The song is brilliantly delivered by Idina Menzel, whose powerhouse voice has just the right edge and grit to make it an anthem for the ages.
"A Whole New World"
Movie: Aladdin
Release year: 1992
Best-loved lyrics: "A whole new world (Don't you dare close your eyes) ..."
A modern classic, voiced by Disney favorites Lea Salonga and Brad Kane, it gives us an essence of freshness, thrill, excitement, and wonder of new love. This romantic song, winning the Oscar in 1993 for Best Original Song, makes a perfect choice for theater auditions and karaoke.
"Circle of Life"
Movie: The Lion King
Release year: 1994
Best-loved lyrics: "But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky keeps great and small on the endless round."
This song is, no doubt, the best written songs, mainly the awe-inspiring opening, with very well-thought lyrics by Tim Rice and composed by Elton John. "Circle of Life" rightly describes the path of life moving in circles of love and faith, hope and despair. It was rerecorded in 2003 by the Disney Channel Circle of Stars. The Walt Disney World in Florida has assigned this as the theme song of Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park.
"Colors of the Wind"
Movie: Pocahontas
Release year: 1995
Best-loved lyrics: "Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon?"
This is yet another Oscar-winning song (1995) for Disney, sung by Judy Kuhn. To appreciate others and to seek to understand others before judging them is the message conveyed in this song. It gives a glimpse of how the native America views the world around them. The nature-pleasing lyrics are a delight to hear.
"Part of Your World"
Movie: The Little Mermaid
Release year: 1989
Best-loved lyrics: "You want thingamabobs? I've got twenty! But who cares? No big deal, I want more ..."
A true power ballad, sung by Jodi Benson, it perfectly blends in any atmosphere; be it with friends, in a car, or on the streets. It's an anthem for anyone who has ever felt they were on the outside, looking into a place, a group, or a station in life that they longed to be a part of. This iconic song was almost cut from The Little Mermaid.
"The Bare Necessities"
Movie: The Jungle Book
Release year: 1967
Best-loved lyrics: "Forget about your worries and your strife ..."
This song is sung by Phil Harris as Baloo and Bruce Reitherman as Mowgli. It is a joyful and lighthearted song, showing a simple and easy bliss as if to say "Don't let your heart be troubled." Often we complicate things in life more by the responses we give; this song tells us to feel light in spirit and keep things simple.
Movie: Mulan
Release year: 1998
Best-loved lyrics: "Why is my reflection someone I don't know? Somehow I cannot hide, who I am, though I've tried."
As the title suggests, "Reflection" is about self-examination and the desire of being true to oneself. A powerful ballad with a raw touch in it, it is one of the strongest lyrics by Disney. This song was also featured in an episode of Lizzie McGuire (a TV series) when Miranda (played by Lalaine Vergara-Paras) fails as an actress and decides to be a singer instead.
"Can You Feel the Love Tonight"
Movie: The Lion King
Release year: 1994
Best-loved lyrics: "The world, for once, in perfect harmony ..."
From the three nominated songs by Tim Rice and Elton John, this was the one that took home the Oscar, though it might have been the hardest job to pick one from The Lion King. It is the most grown-up, silky, and (dare I say it?) sensual Disney song. This song is truly refreshing, and owing to its unique structure, it is one of the musical gems of the Disney Renaissance.
"Kiss the Girl"
Movie: The Little Mermaid
Release year: 2006
Best-loved lyrics: "It don't take a word, not a single word
Go on and kiss the girl."
This is a catchy, little romantic track based on the style of Afro-Caribbean music. The lyrics encourage a young man to kiss the female love interest before it is too late. On paper, it might not sound like a good blend, but give it a listen and we promise, you won't regret.
"Just Can't Wait to Be King"
Movie: The Lion King
Release year: 1994
Best-loved lyrics: "I'm brushing up on looking down, I'm working on my roar ..."
An insanely infectious song this is. This is a happy number, portraying Simba who's full of hope, growing up, and wanting more independence. Just try to keep those feet still as the drums start up. (You can't!)
"Hakuna Matata"
Movie: The Lion King
Release year: 1994
Best-loved lyrics: "It means no worries for the rest of your days ..."
Again a catchy tune from Tim Rice and Elton John, this is a type of fun Disney song that probably everyone knows. The song prescribes to lead a problem-free life by not worrying about it.
"Beauty and the Beast"
Movie: Beauty and the Beast
Release year: 1991
Best-loved lyrics: "Barely even friends
Then somebody bends
Unexpectedly ..."
Tender and warm, this one also won an Oscar. Brimming with life and originality, this is one of the best title songs produced. It's about two people who never really liked each other, eventually becoming friends and later lovers. The feeling of accepting the change though not being prepared for it is described pleasantly. Beautifully sung by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, it was awarded as the best song at the Academy Awards, the Grammys, and the Canadian Film Awards.
"When You Wish Upon a Star"
Movie: Pinocchio
Release year: 1940
Best-loved lyrics: "Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true ..."
This is an iconic anthem which barely needs any explanation to be on the popular list. It won an Oscar for best original song in 1940. It's used in the opening logo sequence of all Disney films, and also during parades and shows at Disney's theme parks and cruises. The song is truly a mission statement for Disney. Dreams are for everyone, no matter who you are. It conveys an ocean of hopes and dreams coming true.
"You'll Be In My Heart"
Movie: Tarzan
Release year: 1999
Best-loved lyrics: "You'll be in my heart from this day on, now and forever more ..."
Here's a lovely song sung by Phil Collins. This won an Oscar (like most on this list) for Best Original Song. This is a motherly song in the movie. At the climax, a woman's voice can be heard whispering, "Always ..." This could be interpreted to be the spirit of Tarzan's mother, showering her love. But if you ponder upon the lyrics, it fits in so many different scenarios.
"I'll Make a Man Outta You"
Movie: Mulan
Release year: 1998
Best-loved lyrics: "Did they send me daughters when I asked for sons?"
It's an ironic twist in the track just as it is framed in the movie, wherein a woman is disguised as a man. Very inspirational and powerful lyrics.
"Someday My Prince Will Come"
Movie: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Release year: 1937
Best-loved lyrics: "Some day my prince will come
Some day we'll meet again
And away to his castle we'll go
To be happy forever I know ..."
This is the first Disney romantic song, which still dwells in the hearts of Disney fans. It has an influence on all the women out there, waiting for their Prince. This beautiful song is ranked #19 on the list of AFI's 100 years...100 songs.
"Go the Distance"
Movie: Hercules
Release year: 1997
Best-loved lyrics: "I would go most anywhere to feel like I belong ..."
This is an immensely inspirational piece, where Hercules is praying to the Gods to help him find where he truly belongs, and his prayers are answered. The song was nominated for Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
"Under the Sea"
Movie: The Little Mermaid
Release year: 1989
Best-loved lyrics: "We got no troubles, life is the bubbles, under the sea ..."
A high-spirited song that stays with you, and can be played on any occasion. Life under water is described so beautifully, that no one would want to stay on land after this. No doubt, this also grabbed an Oscar for Best Original Song category. Some lines like - Down here all the fish is happy
As off through the waves they roll
The fish on the land ain't happy
They sad 'cause they in the bowl
, are worth giving a listen.
"Once Upon a Dream"
Movie: Sleeping Beauty
Release year: 1959
Best-loved lyrics: "I know you, I've walked with you once upon a dream ..."
A romantic song with the tinge of a dream-like hope, it is as classy as the movie is. This song was also covered by Lana Del Rey for the dark fantasy film Maleficent and was released on January 26, 2014.
"Be Our Guest"
Movie: Beauty and the Beast
Release year: 1991
Best-loved lyrics: "Be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test ..."
This is probably the most frequent song heard from Beauty and the Beast. A vibrant musical number, this is the most celebrated and popular Disney song. Nominated for Academy Award for Best Song and 64th Academy Awards in 1992 along with other two tracks of same movie, Disney feared that this would result in an unfavorable draw. Eventually, though it lost an Oscar but carved a place in our hearts.
Movie: Beauty and the Beast
Release year: 1991
Best-loved lyrics: "Oh, isn't this amazing?
It's my favorite part because you'll see
Here's where she meets Prince Charming
But she won't discover that it's him 'til chapter three!"
A Broadway-style musical number that hit the charts, it was sung by Broadway icon Paige O'Hara. In accordance to the meaning of the character "Belle", the song is beautiful in its own way. Even the reprise version of this track has received love and appreciation.
Movie: Song of the South
Release year: 1946
Best-loved lyrics: "Mister Bluebird's on my shoulder
It's the truth, it's actual
Ev'rything is satisfactual ..."
Originally from the 1946 live-action/animated film Song of the South, this song has become a part of our culture. A cover of the song was produced by Phil Spector, which went to No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. Apart from earning an Oscar for Best Original Song, this is the opening theme music for most Disney movies and TV shows, and hence widely popular.
"Heigh Ho"
Movie: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Release year: 1937
Best-loved lyrics: "It ain't no trick to get rich quick
If you dig dig dig with a shovel or a pick ..."
This is perhaps the first song from a Disney movie to get famous on a great national level. Being more than 75 years old, this song is adorably enduring.
"I Won't Say (I'm in Love)"
Movie: Hercules
Release year: 1997
Best-loved lyrics: "If there's a prize for rotten judgment,
I guess, I've already won that
No man is worth the aggravation
That's ancient history, been there, done that ..."
Anyone who has got his/her heart broken earlier and is scared to trust love again, is compelled to relate with this song. This romantic love song is very catchy indeed.
Movie: Mary Poppins
Release year: 1964
Best-loved lyrics: "But better use it carefully
Or it could change your life
For example, yes, one night I said it to me girl
And now me girl's my wife, oh, and a lovely thing she's too ..."
It's no secret that Mary Poppins introduced a word into the English language, a word as long and exclamatory as any other. It has a catchy tune, loaded with fun, spirit, and energy.
Movie: The Princess Diaries 2
Release year: 2004
Best-loved lyrics: "Trying hard to reach out
But when I tried to speak out
Felt like no one could hear me
Wanted to belong here
But something felt so wrong here
So I prayed I could breakaway ..."
The song is about breaking away from your past and leading a new life; shedding away what's gone and trying new things by becoming a new person. Beautifully sung by Kelly Clarkson and co-written by Avril Lavigne, this song gained popularity among young girls very soon.
"The Climb"
Movie: Hannah Montana: The Movie
Release year: 2009
Best-loved lyrics: "There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose ..."
A country-pop ballad, styled in soft rock and pop rock, this song is a huge piece of inspiration to us. This song peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. And it's not just the Miley's version, but the soothing Joe McElderry's version of "The Climb" touched our hearts too.
"Why Should I Worry"
Movie: Oliver and Company
Release year: 1988
Best-loved lyrics: "The rhythm of the city
Boy, once you get it down
Then you can own this town
You can wear the crown ..."
This song sung by Billy Joel is extremely upbeat and is used to present a street dog from NYC. This song was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
"All for Love"
Movie: The Three Musketeers
Release year: 1993
Best-loved lyrics: "When it's love you give
I'll be a man of good faith
Then in love you live
I'll make a stand, I won't break ..."
The song's musical style is inspired from 1980s' rock and pop music. The title was generated by the Musketeers' motto: "All for one, and one for all." The single was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on January 22, 1994. It remained at the top for three weeks. The lyrics of the song are very promising.
"A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes"
Movie: Cinderella
Release year: 1950
Best-loved lyrics: "Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true ..."
Beautiful, serene, dreamy, we can go on adding adjectives to describe this wonderful song. The lyrics that reflect sheer optimism are sure to fill optimism within you.
You've read our list. It may or may not match your taste, but we hope it's close enough. Be sure to share your own favorites with us.