Everyone has their favorite Disney movie, and everyone has their favorite Disney song, as well. The rich characters, in-depth stories, and beautiful worlds of Disney films help to make them so unique, but the music plays a huge part in that too.
The songs of our favorite Disney classics stay with us our entire lives. Some of them are emotional and moving, while others are upbeat and impossible not to dance to. Either way, the folks at Disney have written some absolutely unforgettable tunes over the years, and here are the very best, ranked.
Disney has always had a great ability to write catchy, upbeat tracks that get heads bobbing in cinemas far and wide, and “Why Should I Worry?” from Oliver & Company is most definitely one of the best.
A groovy, funky jam that starts off slow but really builds up to a roaring chorus, this song is an undisputed classic and the accompanying on-screen action, showing super cool Dodger (voiced by Billy Joel) being followed around the city by little Oliver fits with the music just right.
Often regarded as an overlooked classic, A Goofy Movie was a terrific film with a valuable story to tell. The song “Eye to Eye” or “I 2 I” was a real highlight from the film’s climactic scenes, with Goofy and his son Max dancing to the beat alongside Powerline.
Powerline was voiced by Tevin Campbell and based on a blend of Michael Jackson and Prince. Either one of those pop legends would have been happy to sing such a funky tune.
Another instant classic from A Goofy Movie, “Stand Out,” lived up to its name and was most definitely a standout moment in the whole film. It kicks off the film in the best way, as Max bursts onto the stage in his ‘Powerline’ persona.
The song has major hints of Michael Jackson about it and wouldn’t have looked out of place on one of the King of Pop’s classic albums.
One of the best things about Hercules, and there are many, is its music. The film, inspired by Greek legends and gods, had some classic tunes, and “Go the Distance” was one of the very best.
An inspiring, uplifting track that can mean something special to every one of us, it perfectly embodies Hercules’ quest to become a hero and reunite with his parents. It’s a super song to listen to when you’re feeling down.
A bit of a silly song, but an indescribably cheerful one, “Oo-De-Lally” is the kind of Disney track you can’t help singing along to. It always puts a smile on the face of those who hear it.
The song was performed by Roger Mill, a famed honky tonk musician responsible for such chart-topping hits as “King of the Road” and “Dang Me.” He wrote several other songs for the film too.
When people listing the best Disney movies of all time, it’s quite rare to see The Great Mouse Detective making the cut. Many people overlooked this movie, but there’s a lot to love about it, including this song.
A charming little song with amusing overtones in the film, “Goodbye, So Soon” is a great track to listen to when you’re moving on from a bad break-up, taking someone toxic out of your life, or just moving on to bigger and better things.
An emotional movie in more ways than one, The Fox and the Hound has some terribly heart-wrenching moments, and they all begin with this particular song, highlighting the passage of time and how it can affect people.
The song starts off joyfully enough, discussing the happiness of having a best friend, but takes a bit of a darker turn later on as the lyrics start to discuss whether the friendship between a fox and a hound can really last in the long term.
There are some tough scenes to watch in Disney’s Dumbo, and the moment when Dumbo reunites with his mama is one of the most touching moments of all. It’s heart-warming and heart-breaking all at once as the two elephants entwine their trunks.
Making the scene even more emotional is the song, “Baby Mine.” On-screen, we see a host of animal families together as the song describes the love between a parent and a child.
Disney brought in the big guns when making Tarzan, hiring none other than legendary musician Phil Collins to pen the film’s score. “You’ll Be In My Heart” isn’t just one of the best songs ever featured in a Disney movie, it’s arguably Collins’ greatest work too.
It’s a beautiful love song, with the titular phrase encapsulating so many emotions and meaning something different yet equally special for every listener.
“Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo,” three simple, nonsensical sounds that came to mean so much. That’s what Disney is all about, taking simple ideas and stories and making them truly magical, and while “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” isn’t really much of a song, it’s still super memorable.
It’s also a vital part of the Cinderella story, as, without the Fairy Godmother and her magic, Cinderella would never have made it to the ball to meet Prince Charming!
Definitely, one of the catchiest Disney songs ever written, “The Bare Necessities,” was absolutely brilliant in the original animated version of The Jungle Book and the live-action/ CGI remake too.
Alongside other Disney songs like “Hakuna Matata,” this track tells us to forget about worries and simply live life in the moment, savoring each day we’re alive and never forgetting the importance of life’s bare necessities.
Friendship is a key theme in many Disney films, especially Toy Story, which charts the evolution of Buzz and Woody’s relationship, starting off as an intense rivalry and growing into a powerful friendship by the end.
The touching song, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” sums up this connection perfectly and is a lovely song about friendship that always makes us think about our best friends.
“Let It Go” gets the most airtime, but another Frozen song is also an undisputed classic. “In Summer” not only makes us think of summer and all the joy that comes with it but paints a funny picture of a snowman wanting to enjoy the sunshine.
It’s a strange but entertaining concept and really sums up the character of Olaf and his adorable naivety about so many aspects of life.
Definitely, the most played Disney song of recent years and perhaps one of the most played of all time, “Let It Go,” performed by Idina Menzel, is a powerful, stomping classic, embodying Elsa’s freedom and independence.
It’s a rallying cry for people around the world to let things go, focus on what they love, and live their lives to the fullest, and it continues to inspire legions of listeners to this day.
Lilo & Stitch is best remembered for introducing us to the fuzzy, blue, alien furball of Stitch, but the movie had some super music too. “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” is one of the best.
A distinctly Hawaiian track, this upbeat song features a blend of English and Hawaiian lyrics, introducing audiences worldwide to the Hawaiian language and paying homage to the island’s culture.
Beauty and the Beast had some super music throughout, with the titular track, “Beauty and the Beast,” being one of the film’s very best songs. With a memorable melody and poetic lyrics, it’s an all-round winner.
A truly legendary entry in the Disney songbook, this romantic classic encapsulates the spirit and story of the film perfectly and has been covered by many music stars, too, like Ariana Grande and John Legend.
Whether you’re watching the animated classic or the live-action version with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, “Be Our Guest” is one of the best Beauty and the Beast songs of all.
The whole gang of the beast’s castle gets in on the fun, serving up a feast of delicious delights for Belle in one of the most cheerful and bouncy songs ever recorded for a Disney movie.
Yet another entry from Beauty and the Beast, which really just goes to show how great the film’s soundtrack was, “Belle” introduces us to the movie and the character of Belle.
A jovial song that kicks off with a host of people saying “Bonjour,” this lovely song gives us a glimpse at life in a beautiful French village, while also showing off Belle’s thirst for adventure and excitement in her life and even hinting at how the whole plot will play out.
Those sneaky Siamese cats! They’re a couple of key villains from Lady and the Tramp, and their entry into the film is absolutely perfect with this oriental-themed song and dance routine.
The two cats move and sing in perfect harmony, and even though the song doesn’t last too long, it’s a classic and also represents a significant moment in the film as the cat’s cause carnage that ends up being blamed on Lady.
All Ariel wants is to experience a little bit of life on land, entering the world of humans and living among them, if only for a day. “Part of Your World” perfectly expresses her thirst for adventure.
It’s a terrific song that tells us so much about the titular character through the power of music and lyrics, something that Disney has been able to do time and time again in so many movies.
Some Disney songs make us cry, and others that make us laugh, dance, and jump around. “Under the Sea” most definitely falls into the latter category. It’s one of those songs you can’t help singing along to.
A Caribbean classic performed beautifully by Belle’s little buddy, Sebastian, “Under the Sea” tells us of the joys of living down on the ocean floor, far from the hustle, bustle, and problems of human life on land.
The Princess and the Frog was hailed on release for the way it managed to look, sound, and feel like a true Disney classic after a few years of mixed responses to other Disney releases. Part of what made the film so special was this song.
“Dig a Little Deeper” is a soulful tune with a great melody, catchy beats, and meaningful lyrics. Lines like “Money ain’t got no soul” really resonated with audiences, and the song inspires us all to think about what really matters in life.
Pretty much every single song in The Lion King could easily appear on this list, and we’re starting off with Hakuna Matata. A groovy, moving, upbeat classic, it’s another of those songs you can’t help bobbing your head to.
Like other Disney songs, it inspires us to stop and think about our lives, reevaluating all the worries and stresses that bog us down each day and focusing on the things that matter. It’s amazing how deep Disney songs really are when you think about them!
Many Disney movies start off with hopeful songs that introduce us to our heroes and look at their hopes, dreams, and ambitions. “I Just Can’t-Wait to Be King” is a perfect example of that.
It gives us a great look at Simba, focusing on his excitement and optimism for the future, but also sets him up for a big fall as the movie continues, showing that pursuit of power isn’t always the most important thing in life.
Some Disney songs are remembered for their meanings and messages, others are remembered just for being catchy and fun. “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” manages to do both.
It gives us a fascinating look at Mulan defying the odds and actually defying the very lyrics of the song as she proves that women can do everything men can do, setting an example for all the others to follow. It’s also super catchy!
Themes of womanhood, responsibility, expectation, and femininity are explored deeply and touchingly throughout Mulan, and “Reflection” gives us a wonderful example of all of that.
It shows the inner struggle Mulan has to deal with, wanting to be herself and go her own way, while also feeling a need to follow the rules and satisfy her family. It’s something that so many of us can relate to.
The perfect example of how a single song can have so many different meanings, depending on the context, “Remember Me” appears several times throughout Coco, and always means something different.
At first, it’s used by Ernesto as a way to remind his fans to keep him in mind when he’s not around. Later, it’s used as a touching lullaby by Hector to Coco when he has to leave her band. And eventually, it’s used to bring Miguel and his great-grandma together.
Mariachi bands and classical Mexican music play a big part in Coco, and “Un Poco Loco” is one of the movie’s prettiest homages to the ‘Son Mexicano.’ It’s a groovy tune that gets everyone dancing, both on-screen and in the audience.
The mixture of English and Spanish lyrics also help to make this beautiful bilingual track particularly memorable, and we can all feel un poco loco when dancing to this one!
Pocahontas tells a moving tale of colonialism, and “Colors of the Wind” is the perfect song to listen to if you want to feel the emotions and story of the film summed up in just a few minutes.
It’s a vital part of the movie as Pocahontas helps John start to see the error of his ways, introducing him to the beauty and power of the natural world. The lyrics are simply stunning, too, and the song was even awarded an Oscar.
“You’re Welcome” represents our first meeting with a demi-god, Maui, and it’s the perfect introduction to this hilarious character as he boasts of all his accomplishments like lassoing the sun.
This song also gives us a fun taste of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s singing abilities. He totally makes the song his own and even broke into the Billboard Hot 100 when the song was later released as a single.
In the same style as “Go the Distance” from Hercules or “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid, “How Far I’ll Go” is an inspiring song that shows us how desperate Moana is to live an adventure.
She wants to set sail, exploring the ocean waves, while her father refuses. The song reminds us all that, even when other people disagree, sometimes we have to listen to our hearts and go our own way.
“Do you trust me?” – Those four simple words, so well-known to countless people all over the world, kick off one of the greatest Disney songs ever written. “A Whole New World” from Aladdin is simply flawless.
It’s the perfect romantic song as Aladdin and Jasmine soar through the skies on a magic carpet ride, quite literally enjoying a “whole new world” as they experience the thrill of magical flight, while also beginning a new journey in their love together.
Aladdin wouldn’t have been the same without the late, great Robin Williams, and his performance for “Friend Like Me” will go down in history as one of the best ever.
It’s the perfect introduction to the might, magic, and wit of the genie as we get a crazy visual display of all his magical abilities, falling in love with the character instantly and feeling desperate to see and learn more about him in the scenes that follow.
Villains don’t always get the best songs in Disney movies, but there have been some classics along the way like Scar’s “Be Prepared” in The Lion King or “Gaston” in Beauty and the Beast.
“Poor Unfortunate Souls” is the best baddie song of all, though, embodying all of Ursula’s evil intentions, and there have been some super covers over the years, including one by the Jonas Brothers.
A single song that taught kids so much about how life and death work, while also becoming a mega-hit and one of the most iconic pieces of music ever written, “Circle of Life” is simply unbelievable.
It’s such a powerful song, paying tribute to the story’s African roots and setting up the entire plot of the film in the process. It’s hard to even imagine a more perfect Disney song than this one.
If there’s one classic Disney song that stands out above the others, summing up all the magic, charm, and wonder we associate with our favorite Disney classics, it has to be “You Can Fly.”
This song doesn’t rely on any cheap tricks or even amazing lyrics, it’s just a pure, unfiltered expression of joy and excitement as the kids meet Peter and learn how to fly, soaring over the streets of London on their way to Neverland.